Welcome to a little peek into the past two weeks! We traveled to Johnson City, TN to meet up with two of my sisters and their families, loved having my mom come for a few days to stay with us and meet the babies, and Silas had an all day baseball tournament!
We got her pajamas to match the rest of us. Hers are still a little big, but they are adorable on her!
This sweet girl is becoming even more smiley and interactive!
Her big victory recently is that she’s finally starting to love baby-wearing!! I’ve always been a big fan of baby-wearing with my other three babies, but she just didn’t like it at all! I kept trying here and there hoping that would change — and this week it did!! Yay!!
She also started folding her hands together in front of her and even has slept a few 6-hour stretches recently!
When the babies are laying next to one another, Champ is often trying to hold Kierstyn’s hand. It’s so cute!
This is one of my favorite pictures of Silas and Champ together.
And this is one of my favorite pictures of Kierstyn.
We were planning to drive to Gatlinburg and Smokey Mountain National Park to meet up with two of my sisters and their families. When I mentioned that an hour before we were supposed to leave, a number of you said that it would be crazy busy since it was a holiday.
Y’all, I hadn’t even thought of that!! I’m so glad you warned us so that we didn’t end up spending our short trip in bumper to bumper traffic.
Instead, we changed our plans at the last minute and went to Johnson City, TN again and did the same waterfall hike we had done a few weeks ago (Sills Branch Falls). Maybe it wasn’t very original to do the same thing, but at least it wasn’t crowded and we avoided lots of traffic!
We loved getting to hang out with my sisters and their families… and it makes us SO excited for our annual Bull Shoals Lake extended family vacation in a few weeks!!
When we were in Johnson City, we stopped by Troyer’s — a fun market.
They have a huge selection of Trim Healthy Mama products.
I guess people come from miles away for the Trim Healthy Mama desserts — and they usually sell out by noon!
It was so fun to have my mom come visit!
She was here Monday through Wednesday and we spent the time talking, holding and feeding the babies, taking walks, and talking some more. It was so relaxing and special!
Guess what?!? We officially have another driver in our family!!! Kathrynne got her learner’s permit last week!
Also, I quickly decided that teaching our kids how to drive will be Jesse’s job.
It’s such a fun season right now — albeit full! We’re discussing high school and jobs and driving + nursing, diapers, and baby milestones! There’s rarely a dull moment around here! And I’m seeking to just embrace and savor every bit of it!
Silas had an all day baseball tournament on Saturday. 12 hours and 4 games later, his team won the championship!
We went to church for the first time in months this past Sunday and it was so nice. Kierstyn got to wear this cute dress and shoes that had been given to us, too!
Some Honest Thoughts on Foster Care
A few years back, I wanted to look into foster care or adoption, but Jesse didn’t feel a peace about it.
My personality is the type that I wanted to push and persuade, but I decide to pray instead. To pray for wisdom and clear direction — and that if foster care or adoption was supposed to be part of our story, that God would open up Jesse’s heart to the idea.
Looking back, I see how God needed to do a lot more work in my heart over these past few years. I’m glad His timing is better than my timing. He knew when the right time was — and that’s when He opened Jesse’s heart to the idea of pursuing getting licensed as foster parents.
I won’t pretend that the journey has been easy. In fact, it’s been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Not only the hours, days, weeks, and months required to get licensed, but then the journey after getting licensed…
The heartbreaking stories you hear and the many phone calls we’ve had to say no to because we knew our family wasn’t a fit (we made the decision from day one to only say yes when all of our family is in agreement and feels a peace about it).
The many unknowns that come along with saying “yes” — what will it mean? Will I have the emotional capacity to handle it? How long will this be for?
The zero control and say I have over so many things (did I mention I like to be the decision-maker?)
The uncertainty over the future and what it might hold (if you know me, you know how much I like to have a plan!)
But it’s also been one of the most beautiful, life-changing journeys our family has ever taken…
Our hearts have been broken for so many who are hurting and our eyes have been opened to the incredible needs there are in our own community.
We’ve replaced a lot of criticism with compassion as we’ve learned more firsthand what people are going through and struggling with.
And we’ve fallen madly in love with a sweet little boy and his mama as we’ve had the privilege to be a part of their story.
We don’t know what the future holds, but we look back on this past year and we see so much beauty, growth, and joy in our lives that has directly resulted from opening up our home in this way.