end of the year

So, if you know me, you know I love a couple of things – arts and crafts and personalization. I worked with many, many amazing people this year, but I wanted to share my gratitude to two of my coworkers who picked up my slack, poured in ideas, took great initiative, and truly eased the burden of so much “stuff” that had to happen this year. Enter Treat Greeting Cards. You know Shutterfly, right? You may have ordered Christmas cards from them like we have! …. Well, Treat a newer brand of theirs! This website and their products have absolutely stolen my crafty, personalized loving heart! The specialize in cards, phone cases, and mugs; fun, useful items like that! I went to order these two gals cards thinking I would just be able to add a picture and my own greeting/signature.  I was already stressing thinking I had to find a card that would communicate something close to what I wanted to say. I even feared I’d have to be uber creative in making a card “work” that really didn’t. But, when I say I personalized just about EVERY aspect of  these cards. Ya’ll I was in heaven. Heaven. Heaven. Heaven. The fact that I was able to personalize the message sent me over the moon!! Annnnnd, then they came on the day they Treat said they would. Yes, they give you an accurate delivery date and will even send the card to your bud or stud if time is of the essence. THRILLED. I mean. I couldn’t be happier! The gals seemed to really enjoy them and one of my other coworkers is already planning and creating cards for a few of her friends! I mean, who wouldn’t want their face with a personalized message on a card?!

Check these out! while simultaneously excusing my work area. I live/work/paint/etc here!! amy2dewalt2Yes, I threw in a little Aibileen from The Help!!

Then… Two more of my favorite things in the entire world – painting and personalization collide…. Every single cheer or classroom gift I’ve given my kids has been an initial, a personalized picture frame (complete with their name & photograph!), SOMETHING with their name on it… and, I’ve made it myself. With attempting to not make it look homemade. lol. 

This year, my vision for my cheerleaders’ gifts were chalkboards. And, as frustrated as I was about the paint pens not making precise, clean lines – it does kinda look like chalk. I had to seriously fight my inner perfectionist and not focus so much on what is “wrong” or why it isn’t perfect and delight in the fact that it looks just like what I wanted it to look like. (Doesn’t life just work out that way sometimes?) I love that the black paint has a slight, slight shimmer to it, too!!! Annnnnd, I didn’t get paint of any furniture or carpet this time!! Woooooot!!!

Here are a few of the finished “chalkboards” aleshadanielle And, then my heart was happy.

… cheers to finding new ways to love on those you love and appreciate most!!!
(And, you still have time to love on your kiddos’ teachers, your fave coworker, classmate, teammate or WHOEVER before that very last day of school!!!)


because people matter


One thing I’ve realized over the past few weeks is that I have a crazy passion for people and their circumstances.

My heart has begun to truly break for the struggles, pains, and hurts that so many people are enduring. I know how much they need hope, support, and their desire to feel something besides disappointment and a void that doesn’t seem to be fillable. I’ve prayed for quite a while for a heart like Christ’s, a heart that feels others and I believe that that prayer is in the process of being answered.

I’m grateful for companies and people who support the issues of others and work hard to support them in any and every way they can. One company that opens their hearts and enters the hurts of others is Sevenly. Every week they focus on one cause. This shirt was last week’s cause was Down Syndrome, this week: Austism. I have shirts that supported adoptions in China, and feeding the hungry. I love that for each purchase, $7 is donated toward the week’s cause. I wear these shirts proudly – they have an amazing message, they help so many other people, annnnnnd they’re incredibly soft and wash well. Can’t beat a bit of that!

This company is literally the hands and feet of Christ. Isn’t that what’s is all about? Doing what you can with what you have to serve others in the body of Christ? Joining in and getting our hands dirty together??

This shirt is incredibly special to me as we’re on the path to adoption…. understanding that family truly is more than blood. Not only do we have friends that I know are our family, but our adopted child and their birth family will, too become our family. They are a part of us. We are all connected. Love makes and a commitment to be there makes a family. To be there when you think you want to be alone. To open your heart when you feel that no one else gets it. These are the people who will continue to trust and hope when you feel you’ve lost the ability to keep hoping  against all hope.

I almost feel as if my wardrobe is becoming adoption and cause shirts…. I’m waiting for two adoption shirts that are helping bring a couple babies home to hit my mailbox in the coming days. And, I’m okay with that. T-shirt, jeans or shorts, and sandals or Tom’s (that I also love as they give one pair of shoes for each that’s purchased!)

So GO!!!!! Check out Sevenly – I’m sure they’ll have a cause very soon that you’re into. If you’re not into t-shirts, you can definitely use your personal gifts and talents to support and love on a friend. Something we can all do to be supportive and loving in action.

… here’s to supporting people and their struggles.. after all, we’re all family, right?


… adoption rocks!

<a href=”http://unashamedgrowth.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/20131124-205023.jpg”><img src=”http://unashamedgrowth.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/20131124-205023.jpg” alt=”20131124-205023.jpg” /></a><br /><br /> ahhhhhhh!!!!! I’m still in complete shock that we have a beautiful little girl on the way via adoption.

I’m humbled every time we buy her clothes or pick out decor for her room or plan for the next year. I’m honored every time you guys share your stories with me and how my struggles and our triumphs have inspired and encouraged you; or how you’ve shared us with your friends and family.

This month has been quite special for me, although I’ve been quite quiet about it. It’s NATIONAL ADOPTION MONTH….. And, Saturday was NATIONAL ADOPTION DAY!!!!!!

This month, will forever be special for us. It represents everything that has changed us. Infertility brought us here, but I know that it was God who gently led and guided us this way.

Gently with grace and love.

Although our girl, H, will be adopted……. A fact that we are very proud of and want her to be very proud of – I’m guarding against making her feel as if she’s “separate but equal” in so many words. I want her proud of her background and unashamed of the life God has given her, but always knowing and secure in the fact that although she is adopted, she has a place in this world that she can never be removed from.

This year will be the last year we experience the holidays as a couple…… The holidays are always so difficult for me and I’m thrilled to share such a magical time of year with our girl. It’s honestly a dream come true! </strong><br /><br /><a href=”http://unashamedgrowth.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/20131124-210106.jpg”><img src=”http://unashamedgrowth.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/20131124-210106.jpg” alt=”20131124-210106.jpg” /></a> Love our not so complete table’s centerpiece! I found a box full of white mugs while I was pulling everything out and decided to Sharpie holiday greetings onto them. It curved my desire for arts &amp; crafts for a minute. Who knows what I’ll be working on in the near future. I’ve already begun thinking about the things I could make for H! Lol.

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Hope you guys have had a relaxing weekend!! Hope all of your thanksgivings are perfect!

… Here’s to the constant goodness and support from an amazing community! &amp; enjoying our last few months as a fam bam of 2!