Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wee One Wednesday: Fundraising

One of the primary deterrents that keeps people from adopting is the cost. I read that of the many, many people who have considered adoption, only 2% end up proceeding with it, typically due to the high cost. And it's true: adoption is expensive, whether one chooses to adopt domestically or internationally. HOWEVER, of the friends I have talked to who adopted, they all shared that it was amazing how God came through to help with the finances, whether it be through surprise bonuses at work at just the right time or successful fundraising in numerous ways. 

While the financial component was certainly something my hub and I discussed early on in our decision-making process, it was not something we wanted to stop us from pursuing this path. We also talked extensively about fundraising, consulting with several friends about it, hearing varying opinions about whether or not we should do it, and ultimately deciding what felt okay for us, personally. In the end, we decided that we would feel comfortable doing some fundraising for our adoption, albeit only in the form that would allow us to offer a service to others. As a stay-at-home momma, I am not in a position to put in extra hours in a paying job to earn more money, seeing as how I am paid in hugs and laughter (and while invaluable, I'm pretty sure China won't accept those as payment). ;)

So, I began brainstorming ways that I could offer services to others and put any earnings made directly toward our adoption. I am now thrilled to announce that there are several ideas in the works, in part due to personal interests that I enjoy doing and in part due to the generosity of much-loved friends who have offered their own talents and time to help us raise funds.  

So, all that being said, here is what is in the works to help raise funds to bring our girl home: 

Stirred By Hand -- With deep gratitude to a local friend, who has adopted her own two daughters from the Philippines and initially created Stirred By Hand to help fund her own adoptions (and now uses the business to support others' adoption efforts), I was given the opportunity to sell some of her DELICIOUS, homemade caramels in the weeks leading up to Father's Day (thank you to the many who purchased!), getting a portion of the proceeds from what was sold. Did you miss out? Don't fret! We will be partnering again in the Fall to sell her AMAZING caramel sauce, which is a huge hit with any and everyone who's tried it. Stay tuned!!!

Tupperware Par-tay -- One of my nearest and dearest (shout out to you, Jenna; love you so!) offered to host a Tupperware party the weekend before school starts up here in the Mill, to help all of us mommas get organized just in time for the new school year! Which is funny, because my hub and I are in desperate need of Tupperware; so, when she called with the idea, I jumped on board right away! It is going to be a super fun, girls' night in, with several surprises being offered. And don't you worry, faraway family and friends in need of some new Tupperware (who doesn't?!), there will be an online extension of the party so you can partake, too! Stay tuned for more details on this as well!

Photo Session -- One of my closest friends just so happens to be the most amazingly talented photographer, love you with all my heart, Volree! She is just the best and will be offering photo sessions in the Fall and gifting all proceeds from the sessions directly toward our adoption. Do I have the most amazing friends in my life, or what? And for those who book with her, you may just notice a familiar photography assistant working by her side that day (hint, :) Again, stay tuned!!! Volree Photography is truly incredible!

Pure Barre -- One of my greatest loves is Pure Barre (if you haven't gone yet, find your local studio and go, go, go!!!). I have been going to classes regularly for over a year now and love the friends I've made, the workouts I get, and the sense of accomplishment of lifting, toning, and burning. Anywho, in a date TBD, my local studio (fist bump to you, Pure Barre Fort Mill!!!) will so kindly be offering a class with all proceeds going toward our adoption! Local friends, be on the lookout for more details once they are nailed down! Warning, though: once you try, you just may be hooked and have to join me there regularly!

Paper Goods and Monograms -- Anyone who knows me knows I love a good craft. :) You can imagine my excitement when I received a Silhouette Cameo for my birthday last year (which is a super cool machine that is the same size as a small printer and comes with software that enables me to basically create just about anything and then cut it out on paper, vinyl, fabric, or heat transfer material. The possibilities are endless!). Since then, I have used it to make a number of paper and vinyl goods, including party supplies, monograms, and personalized items. This is perfect for anyone looking to personalize a party, add special flair to a teacher/friend/family member gift, or just cover everything you own in a monogram. :) I am happy to create these at any time, so please let me know if there is something you need. I will be advertising this more in the future, too! Below, some of the items I have created in the past:

Baked Goods -- Finally, anyone who knows me also knows that I am a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad cook who doesn't know cilantro from, well, some other herb or spice or anything that's not salt, pepper, or Old Bay; HOWEVER, I love, love, love to bake! That being said, I have plans to do a big, fun cupcake sale with UNIQUE cupcakes (can't wait to tell y'all more about this in the future!). In addition, I have recently begun selling homemade, hand-decorated, shortbread cookies, with all proceeds going straight to our adoption. While these are mainly for local friends, I am working on learning to ship so that I can offer these up to those who don't live near the Mill. Please let me know if you are interested!!! I am always looking to create fun, new custom orders. :) Here are a few of the cookies I have created to date:  


Whew. How's that for a smorgasbord of fundraising? Ha! Random, I know, but all things I love and feel comfortable offering to others so that services/goods are exchanged in return for any proceeds. Hopefully, each effort will bring us one step closer to bringing our daughter home. Let me know if I can be of service to you! <3

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day To Our Favorite Guy

I have started, and re-started, this post over and over again, trying to find the words to convey just how amazing my hub is as a daddy. 

As much as I love to write, words fail me. 

I just cannot adequately describe what a truly incredible dad he is. I think it's easiest to explain by showing the joy, the love, the contentment, the feelings of safety, the fun, the absolute adoration that exudes from my children when they are with him: 

Hub, thank you for being the kind of daddy every child in this world deserves. How lucky are our babies that they get to call you theirs? 

Happy Father's Day to our one and only. We love you with all our hearts.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Cheers to the Weekend, Fam Beach Trip #1 Edition

It's the most...WONDERFUL time...of the year...

Oh, wait. I may have confused my seasonal songs. How about...

Summa, summa, summatime...

That's more like it. And with summer, comes BEACH!!! We are headed out to our annual Edisto beach trip with my hub's "side" of the family, which, between completing our last home study visit on Wednesday (hooooooray!!!!), distributing fundraising caramels to those who purchased (thank you!!!!!), carpooling between two separate camps (Football! VBS!), attending two birthday parties, packing for said beach trip, grocery shopping for said beach trip, keeping up with our very own little "Dennis the Menace," ;) , etc., whew!!!!, it has made for a VERY busy week. In other words, this is going to be a short post for today. 

Quickly, a few things we are saying CHEERS to this week/end... camp! See also: Banks' version of heaven. He loved every single second!

...VBS! Our shy little lady had a rough time with the first couple of drop offs, despite having one of her sweet besties by her side, but by Wednesday, she was rockin' it. She had a ball!

...trouble-making toddlers! I cannot turn my head for even a millisecond without this child (1) dumping out an entire bag of rice, (2) pouring water into a full bag of chips, (3) dumping his sippy of milk on the table and then splashing it as hard and fast as he can, (4) pulling all the toilet paper off the roll, (5) coloring in places he should NOT be coloring, etc. And I won't even mention the 30-minute scream-fest he conducted in the grocery store at the start of the week. But y'all? This fella still has my heart, mischievous menace and all. :) 

...Momma dates! Of the tennis and movie variety. :) guests! Last weekend, my parents surprised the kiddos by coming up for a pool party and sleepover on Saturday. Fun for all and all for fun! 

...Father's Day fun! For the second year, my hub orchestrated a big ol' fun golf tournament for over 40 days in our 'hood. Last year, he shot his first ever hole in one, which pretty much made his weekend the best ever. :) So, the guys will be hitting the links on Saturday and then will be meeting all us mommas and kiddos at the pool afterwards for a cool down and dinner. Sunday will also belong to my hub, as we do any and everything he desires. :) 

Alright, that's it for now, party people. Off to continue checking off the ol' to-do list. Have an awesome weekend, fabulous Father's Day, and wonderful week next week. I'll be back after vacation with an Edisto recap, a (finally!) write-up of my soon-to-be nephew's baby shower, a Wee One Wednesday, and more, more, more! 

Bon voyage!  



Friday, June 10, 2016

Cheers to the Weekend, Summer Marches On Edition

It's FriYAY!!! I don't know about you other stay-at-home mommas, but now that school is out, I generally have NO idea what day of the week it is. ;) But today, I can assure you, is Friday. 

Anywho. Here is what I'm saying CHEERS to this week/end! CHEERS to...

...sista time. Last weekend, my sisters and I threw a baby shower for my soon-to-be nephew, Sam (more on that when I finally find time to write up the post about it!). Once the shower was over, four of the six of us stayed in town to spend some girl time with each other, my momma, and my grandma. It was so nice! We got to see my parents new, soon-to-be home, went out for cocktails and apps, and then came home to put on jammies and talk a little girl talk. It was just perfect.

...finally getting to snuggle my beautiful new nephew Finn. He is just delicious.

...crossing items off our summer bucket list! At the start of each summer, I come up with a fun little checklist of activities for us to strive to accomplish by the time school rolls around. So far, so good! A few of the things we've done so far? Puddle-jumped, had a donut picnic, had our own carwash, and made our own popsicles.  

...less than 24-hour viruses. Earlier this week, out of the blue, Raleigh suddenly spiked a high fever that just wouldn't budge with meds and a cool washcloth on her forehead. So. She was treated to a cool temp whirlpool with plenty of bubbles. That did the trick! And her fever broke that evening. So strange, but I'm glad it was so short-lived!

...camps next week! If you have met my Banks for even 5 minutes, you know that he is obsessed with football: watching it, playing it, talking about it. So, he'll be spending next week at football camp! I don't know that he will even be able to sleep Sunday night because he'll be so pumped for it. :) And Raleigh will be headed to Vacation Bible School at her preschool. Hopefully, my initially shy girl will come out of her shell and love it! Meanwhile, Harrison and I will be prepping for the first of two extended family beach trips--grocery shopping, laundry-ing, packing, etc. 

...pool time and more pool time. We can't get enough and go just about every day, for at least a couple of hours. If for nothing else, to pick up chicks, baby pool style. ;)

...ADOPTION FUNDRAISING!!! We have started our adoption fundraising efforts to help cover some of the costs. We have a few ideas up our sleeves to help with our funding. If you follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook, you know what I'm talking about. :) If not, here's the scoop: 

I am THRILLED to announce that we have partnered with a local business, Stirred By  Hand, to kick off our fundraising efforts! Stirred by Hand makes the most amazingly delicious caramels that melt in your mouth (I speak from experience ;), with their proceeds supporting various adoption efforts. 

Just in time for FATHER’S DAY (it’s next Sunday, people ;), we and Stirred By Hand are so excited to offer two types of dad-approved caramels:

Daufuskie Island Rum Caramels
Jameson Irish Whiskey Caramels

There are three options for purchase:

1 lb box = $28
1/2 lb box = $16
Fun size pouch = $9

If you are interested in purchasing, know that we will be getting a portion of the proceeds to put directly towards our adoption. Please comment below, on Facebook, on Instagram, or shoot me a text. Oh, and for the time being, this is for those who are local to Fort Mill, Charlotte, and surrounding areas only (for delivery purposes). <3 

And with that, we are off to get our weekend started. We have a low-key weekend ahead, with the exception of a couple of surprise guests joining us at the pool tomorrow. :) It's going to be a HOT one!

Y'all have a great weekend, and let me know if I can hook you (or your Pops) up with some caramels. :)