recently i'm... [28]

Proud Of: My little sisters' State Fair accomplishments! Emily won Master Beef Showman and Jayne's heifer won Supreme Champion! Ah, the Bannister Babes.

Loving: Eddy's s'mores ice cream. Mercy. Get this stuff away from me before I'm diabetic.

Reading: I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla by Marguerite Wright and White Oleander by Janet Fitch. So far, ICYV is incredibly informative and interesting. WO is incredibly depressing and horrifying and I have to take it in doses. The writing is beautiful and creative, but the story is dismal. I also picked up Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez and Snobs by Julian Fellowes (he's the creator of Downton Abbey!). "Snobs" is a terrible name for a book, but I love Downton Abbey, so I have pretty high expectations. Don't let me, um... DOWN, Jules. Ugh.

Listening To: Man, Mumford & Sons on repeat. Simply love their sound. Banjo plus intricate harmonies? Sold.

Obsessively Looking At: all pictures of my son. Be in my arms now.

Cooking: Last night I made Chicken Rollatini Stuffed with Zucchini from Skinnytaste, which sounds a lot fancier than it is. It's really easy and quite delicious. Also, I was able to use one measly zucchini from our garden and had to purchase an additional zucchini. I don't know what happened with our zucchini, besides that I think it was possessed. The leaves were out-of-control jungle-quality, and the stupid zucs only got to be about the size of a roll of coins, and then they'd start rotting. What. The.

Anyway. I have yet to be disappointed by a Skinnytaste recipe (though I don't plan on touching her dessert recipes because, I'm sorry, when I say "dessert" I really mean it). I've made her barbacoa beef, pineapple shrimp fried rice (my fav so far), crockpot buffalo chicken lettuce wraps, stuffed buffalo chicken breasts, and black bean burgers.

Oh - also tried a Pinterest recipe - avocado chicken parm. Pretty good.

Sewing: Curtains for the family room. They only had 6 yards, so I made 2 panels. My plan is to do solid navy blue curtains for the other windows in the room and make tie-backs out of the few inches of this patterned fabric I have remaining.
Also, one of my girl friends commissioned my to make curtains for her little one's nursery. The fabric is amazing - I'm excited!

Nesting: Yeah, I didn't know this was really a thing until about a week ago. I had agreed to babysit for our neighbors, and I was supposed to go over to their house at 5:30pm. About 4:50 that evening, I suddenly realized that I had to move our bedroom around IMMEDIATELY. I have no idea where this crazed need came from. Doug wasn't home from work yet, but it was imperative that I move everything right then and there. So I did. I hauled the mattress off the bed, moved the frame, lugged the mattress back onto the bed, vacuuming as I went along and sweating up a storm. At 5:20, I stood in front of a fan with a cold washcloth on my neck, then got changed and went to babysit. Doug texted me a little later saying, "I see someone's been nesting..." Since then, I've reorganized kitchen cupboards, made the curtains above, and have been brainstorming how to rearrange the den. Someone STOP ME.

Looking Forward To: autumn. I love all the seasons, so I'm not in a hurry for summer to be gone, but fall is so awesome. And I've got a lot to look forward to this fall in particular. :) The only thing I'm not looking forward to is Starbucks' $2 Treat Receipt ending. Boo.

Praying For: wisdom & grace as we prepare to be parents.

OKAY. Experiment time!!! 
What are YOU doing recently?!
Add a link to your "recently i'm" post below!



Look who's over on Apartment Therapy today!


bo's room

Welcome to Bo's nursery!
This is, by far, my favorite room in the house. Every time I walk in, I feel so happy.
We didn't originally plan on having an elephant theme - we sort of fell into it.
I knew that I wanted gray walls and then decided on accent colors of blue and orange.
I wanted something that was boy-ish, but still fun and childish.
(What you don't see: the ghetto Scotch tape holding up the paper fluff balls.)
And Doug agreed readily, because blue & orange are Detroit Tigers colors. 
I've always adored baby elephants, and slowly we started accumulating more & more elephant items.
As Doug said after I came home with an elephant shower curtain, "I hope Bo likes elephants."
Look at all these sweet little elephant details:

This one's not elephant themed, but it sure is adorable.
There are still a few things I'd like to do 
(add a shelf above the changing table, do a photo collage of Ethiopia pics)
but we are completely functional!
Thanks to all our family & friends for all the delightful homemade touches to our sweet boy's room!

All the nursery really needs now is BO!

crib: target
glider: borrowed from family friend
changing table: ikea
toy chest: my mother-in-law found it on the side of the road. i re-covered the cushion.
ottoman: meijer clearance
bookshelf: target
curtains: homemade
pillow cushion cover: homemade - thanks, katy!
africa/michigan prints: adapted from pinterest printable
elephant mobile: the red bird shop
bonsa pennant: homemade - thanks, ellie!


awake and opened

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

ee cummings

happy friday.


good [internet] reads

"The Truth About Adoption: One Year Later" - Jen Hatmaker

  • In adoption, it takes time for everyone to fall in love.
"The Ugly, Beautiful Truth" - ni hao y'all

  • Children who have been abandoned have already lost so much. A family. A history. An integral sense of who they are.
"10 Do's and Don'ts for Transracially Adoptive Parents" - love isn't enough

  • But, of course, these will not just be useful for raising transracially adopted children.

"When You Realize You're Living in a Bubble" - Michael Hyatt

  • There are more honest smiles among the poor of Ethiopia than the shopping malls of America.

"How to Be a Better Twentysomething" - via Relevant Magazine

  • I wish you would talk to me without checking your phone.


NY shower

I have the most creative & talented friends and family in the world, I'm pretty positive.
The decor was all vintage books/world themed... super cute.
A HUGE thank you to Victoria, Manda, KatieCaitlin for all their hard work!

1:: mini blocks spelling bonsa! amazing pinwheels made by cait. amazing cupcakes made by manda.
2:: another shot of the cool pinwheels.
3&4:: adorable beverage signs made by katie.
5:: scrumptious cake with adorable mini book banner by manda.
6:: favor table. mini pies. cute bookmarks that say:
"children are made readers in the laps of their parents." - emilie buchwald
7:: gorgeous, GORGEOUS bouquets, courtesy of flower fields forever.
8:: and what are those bouquets in? why, cute book vases, of course.
9:: elephant mobile made from book pages.
10:: yummy cucumber sammies made by victoria.
11:: a game where victoria made me close my eyes and see if i could guess the baby food...
by eating and smelling.
12, 13 & 14:: opening gifts... and apparently something was really tickling my funny bone. 
15:: mom's gift bag. this verse was written on the wall of the orphanage where bonsa lived.

All photos by Lydia Erakare.

For more pics, check out Cait's blog!

Thank you so much to my sweet family & friends for celebrating Bo in such a special way!!


bringing bo home: prep for fam & friends

Dear family & friends,

We are so thankful for the outpouring of love and support through this adoption journey. Sometimes it's hard to remember that all the paperwork, fundraising and waiting will have been the easy part in comparison to actually parenting our little man! As we inch closer to bringing Bonsa home, we thought it'd be helpful to give you some information on what the next few months will look like for our family.
If you can put yourself in Bonsa's little shoes, you can imagine how difficult this transition will be for him. He is going with strange people to a new place with different smells, unknown foods, an unrecognizable language, and a whole host of stimuli he has never experienced before. While we eagerly anticipate bringing him home, he knows nothing of this arrangement. He will be dealing with the pain and uncertainty of being taken from the home and caregivers he's known for the third time in his short life. We will be doing everything we can to ease this transition for him. This includes "cocooning" for several weeks after he arrives home. Our adoption agency, friends who have adopted, and adoption classes have all strongly encouraged this process of "social hibernation" for a little while. This means you won't see us at church, and we won't be having people over or going out for a bit.
In addition, Doug and I will be the only ones who hold or feed Bonsa for the first several weeks. Children who have spent time in an institutional setting often learn that any adult might be able to meet their needs. Because of the many people who have cared for him, Bonsa has no framework to connect to us as his mommy and daddy. By having Doug and I be the sole "need meeters" Bonsa will begin to see that we are different from the other caretakers who have come and gone in his life. Please know that we mean no offense if we ask you to refrain from holding or hugging or feeding him. These limitations are an important step in helping him bond to us.
We have been so blessed by the love and kindness that our friends and family have shown to us and already to Bo. We know that many people's hearts are already invested in this little guy! We are just as excited to have Bo meet all our family and friends as all of you are to meet him, so we are incredibly grateful for your understanding and patience as we begin our life as a family of three. It won't be long before we're able to fully celebrate Bonsa's homecoming with our loved ones!
We appreciate your prayers and thoughts for our family as we make this transition. We know that God has led us this far and trust that he will see us through any difficulties ahead.

With love,
Doug & Rachel                                                                            Thanks to YWAM for the cocooning letter template.



ten on ten: aug 2012

Oh boy. Got a late start on 10-on-10! 

1pm : amazingly cute invites made by mandavictoria!

2pm: let the madness begin.

3pm: quiet time

4pm: don't be deceived. this was followed by milk & oreos.

5ishpm: food again. i really do more than eat.

6pm: beginning of our photo wall! dang it, crooked picture!

7pm: potential date night outfits

8pm: movie snacks! thanks for our anni gift, zach & michele!

8 on 10. not bad for a late start!

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