Saturday, March 26, 2011

And Baby Makes 4

This week has been an emotional roller coaster.

On Wednesday afternoon as I packed to come to my cousin's funeral, I got a call from our adoption agency saying that they would like to present us to a birth mom.  This was the second such call that we have received.  We got the first one a few weeks ago, and after six long days we finally heard back that the birth mom had chosen another family.  So when I got this second call I quickly put it out of my mind, figuring that we wouldn't hear back right away, and preoccupied with the thought of heading to a funeral.

Thursday afternoon, when we were stopped in San Luis Obispo for lunch on our way to San Jose {yes, we know the way to San Jose... I couldn't resist} we got another call from the agency telling us that the birth mother had chosen us to be her baby's family.  *Did you hear that???*  Chosen us

So in a parking structure in San Luis Obispo we got to tell Beau that he was going to have a baby sister.

{My sister took these pictures with her camera phone, so excuse the quality.}

Friday morning, while I was at my cousin's funeral, I got a voice message letting us know that we need to be in Salt Lake City by Thursday because they are inducing on Friday.  THIS FRIDAY.

So {no April Fool's here} our baby girl will be joining our family in just six short days, on April 1st.

Can I tell you that we serve a God of miracles?

And how nice it was to be able to share such wonderful news with our entire family.  It was a little something to rejoice about at a time when there would normally not be too much rejoicing.

Thank you to all who have been praying for Justin's family.  Stephanie has been amazingly graceful and a picture of strength.  We got some good news that my Aunt Jodi seems to have a good prognosis.  They are still running some tests, but my cousin {her son that is a Physician} is hopeful and encouraging.  For those of you that are curious, Aunt Jodi has been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma which is a cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow. 

Despite the circumstances, we have had a wonderful weekend with our family.  Today we spent the day watching old videos of past family reunions and making fun of ridiculously short shorts {on men}, big teeth and awkward stages

We are heading home tomorrow.  I am anticipating an overwhelming week of trying to prepare a nursery, make travel arrangements, and shop for baby essentials.  All amazingly good things that I have been looking forward to for a long time.

Please continue to pray for Stephanie and Aunt Jodi.

And please pray that everything will go smoothly with our adoption.  Pray for this birth mom... that she would be blessed with a smooth delivery and confidence that she is making the right decision for her baby.  Pray that papers would be signed and processed quickly so that we can come home soon as a family of four.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Updates on my Family

First of all, thank you so much to all who have been praying for our family.  It has been a difficult week, to say the least.

People keep asking me if I was close to my cousin.  Our family lives all over the country, and has my whole life.  We don't see each other nearly as often as we would like to.  But we are one of those families that, when we do get in the same room, it is like no time has passed.  I love each one of them dearly.  I have special memories of each one.  In fact, because our visits tend to be too few and too far between, we seem to cherish them even more.  Justin was my next closest cousin, age-wise {out of the 10 of us on my mom's side}.  To say I absolutely adored him is an understatement.  To say that when I was a little girl I maybe wished he wasn't my cousin so I could marry him {while inappropriate} is certainly true.  I loved him.  Yes, I was close to him.

It turns out that Justin did not die of a heart attack.  It was Sudden Cardiac Arrest, which means that his heart was healthy and he died basically instantaneously.  If you are interested in more information about SCA, my cousin Jared {Justin's brother and best friend} who is an ER Doctor has set up a blog: Updates on my Brother.

I will probably be fairly absent this week as we prepare to take our trip to San Jose for the funeral.

Please continue to pray for Stephanie and her babies, and for my Aunt Jodi who is currently in Chicago having testing done to determine just how far her cancer has progressed.   

Thank you again for your support!  I can't tell you how much each and every comment means to me.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hug your Husband

My cousin Justin died yesterday.

There is just no way to sugar coat that awful truth.

{I am so grateful that we got to share one last dance.}

My favorite cousin, a young father of three with one on the way, an amazing man... died yesterday morning in bed with his wife from a heart attack.

As if that news wasn't devastating enough, we also found out yesterday that my aunt {Justin's mom} has cancer.

The last several weeks I have been working on writing a bible study on Infertility, mainly focusing on why God allows suffering.  I have been studying Job, and reading about his response when everything was stripped away from him... loss after devastating loss.  And yet his faith never crumbled.  Job praised the Lord in the midst of unthinkable loss.

“I came naked from my mother’s womb,
      and I will be naked when I leave.
   The Lord gave me what I had,
      and the Lord has taken it away.
   Praise the name of the Lord!”
Job 1:21-22

In times such as these, it would be so easy to blame God, to be angry with God, to curse, complain, weep, and wail at God, but today I am clinging to the promise that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." {Romans 8:28}

While my family is shocked by the news and events of yesterday, God is not surprised.  I find comfort and hope in that truth.

Please pray for our family at this time.

Pray for Justin's wife Stephanie, and for the health of her unborn baby.  I do not want to even begin to imagine the pain and sorrow she is experiencing.  Pray for an unexplainable peace and for strength to get her through these next few days of decision making and funeral preparation.

Pray for my Aunt Jodi who is not only facing the reality that she will never again be able to hold her baby in her arms, but is also facing the battle of her life, fighting against these horrible cancer cells that have invaded her body.  Pray for strength for her... strength to fight.

Pray for my Uncle Ed who has lost his son, and now needs to walk his wife through a painful journey of treatment.

Pray for Justin's brothers and sister, for peace at a time when their whole world seems to be crumbling.

And pray for those three beautiful boys that are facing a lifetime without their daddy. 

Now go hug your husband.  Hold on tight and don't let go.  Tell him how much you love him, and how important he is to you.  Remember that this lifetime is but a blip, and use this as a reminder that our focus should be on eternity.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Little DIY Wednesday

My mind is full.  I am so engrossed in my Indie Biz 3.0 course, that I have 9 million thoughts all ramming into each other in my tiny little head.  {Really... I have a tiny head.  I think it is out of proportion with the rest of my body.  It's why my big curly hair works for me.}

Yesterday I spent some time designing what I want my market booth to look like this year, and in turn decided that I need a retro little desk that I can paint aqua.  {So if you have a retro little desk that you want to sell me, or if you see one on Craig's List or at a garage sale... give me a shout.}

This has inspired my DIY creativity.

So this morning, I would like to inspire yours.  Here are some fabulous DIY projects that I thought you might enjoy.  Please to enjoy...

I found this Office Lamp Makeover at Just a Girl:

I need this lamp for my office.  Oh!  Or maybe for my new market booth.  Hmmm.

I am currently obsessed with all things bird, so this Pretty Bird Wall Art from Blue Cricket Design is definitely calling my name:

I think this Picket Fence Headboard from Addicted to Decorating makes a fantastic quick and cheap room makeover.

Now, if aren't afraid to use tools, or you have a husband who will help you, or your brother-in-law has a woodworking workshop in his garage {all of which are true for me}, this Driftwood Candle Holder from Restoration House may be for you:

Of course, if you don't live near the ocean I think this would work just as well with any branch.

And finally {my very favorite project that I am now dying to try}, this fab-u-lous IKEA Rast Dresser Makover from Marcus Design:

Is that not the cutest thing you have ever seen???  She made two of these dressers for just under $125 people!  That's ridiculous.  I love it!

Who else is inspired to get a little messy???

Monday, March 14, 2011

Why I Shop at Nordstrom: Part 2

As promised {and before I begin my rant} I have the winners of last week's contest!  Thank you so much to all who participated.  I had no idea when I started this contest how much all your comments were going to bless my week.  It was wonderful to hear all the accolades for my friends.

Now, the winners.

The blog/shop owner that got the most comments was
Lisa from Jomestic Doi!

{You may be confused because it looks, by numbers, like Paige actually got more comments, but there were several commenters there that deleted their first comment and wrote another one, which made it look like there were more than there were.  It was a very close call though... Paige ended up with 25 comments, Lisa with 28.}

Congrats Lisa.  I can't wait to send you your new calendar!

And as for the commenters... Amy had our winning comment with:
I read Lisa's blog regularly and what I love about it is the wonderful mix of fashion and style posts, handy kitchen and cooking recipes and information, family life posts and real sharing from her heart. I am fortunate to be an IRL friend of Lisa's and I think she's fabulous :). And when I made her refried beans, I am a rock star here at home!!
Amy, please contact me so I can tell you how to claim your prize!

Okay, now on to my regularly scheduled rant

A couple of weeks ago I was at the mall and I had parked outside of Macy's {which I rarely do anymore because I hate even walking through that store}.  On my way back to my car I was walking through the Men's Shoe department and I noticed that their Converse were on sale, and Nathan had been asking me to get him a new pair.  I decided to try something different and get him the lace-less kind {since it takes him an inordinate amount of time to tie his laces}.  Well, it turns out that lace-less shoes are really only cute on kids.  Which meant... ugh!... I had to go back to Macy's to exchange them.

I arrived at Macy's on Friday morning already in a pretty foul mood because I was having a rough week.  Of course, there were no sales people to be found.  Anywhere.  I stood at the register for about 5 minutes waiting for someone to show up, thinking maybe they had gone to grab some shoes for the gentleman that was perusing the sale rack.  But when I finally asked him if he had seen any sales people, he said that he had not.  So I walked over to the back room door and yelled back there...  hello??? 

Of course, a salesman came right out.  What the heck was he doing back there???  Who leaves a sales floor empty for several minutes without at least peaking out to see if anyone is waiting?  Rule #1 of customer service, dude!

Anyway, I told him that I wanted to exchange the lace-less shoes for the one with laces.  Of course, they didn't have the laced ones in Nathan's size, so he told me he would ship them to me.  He processed my return {which took a while}, and started ringing up the purchase to be shipped.  Immediately I noticed that a $9.95 charge came up on the screen for shipping.  $9.95 on $39.99 shoes???  I said, I'm not going to have to pay shipping, am I?  {Thinking in my head that I know that my beloved Nordstrom would not charge me for shipping.}  Oh no, he promised.  There would be no shipping charges.

The next 10 minutes {I had now been there about 20} were spent spelling and re-spelling my address.  Finally, he was ready to take my payment.  Only, once again, the $9.95 for shipping showed up on the screen.  I thought I didn't have to pay for shipping... it is still showing the shipping charge.  Oh... he says, the shipping is only free if your total is over $50. 

Are you kidding me???  At this point, that man needed me to get out of Macy's as fast as possible.  I was not full of Christ's love in that moment.  Nope.  Not even close.

He gave me my card back and I informed him that this is why I shop at Nordstrom and I stormed out of the store and over to Nordstrom.

Nordstrom had the same shoes, for $64.95.  I asked the salesman {who immediately asked if I needed any help} if they would price match.  Sure! was his response.  They also didn't have Nathan's size, but guess what???  They shipped them to me for free!  And the entire process, from arriving in the department to completing my transaction took three minutes.  Three.  And you know what else?  I ended up buying three more pairs of shoes there. 

Nordstrom knows what they're doing.  One more reason why I shop there.

If you own your own business, think about these things.  What can you do to offer the very best customer service?  I follow the Nordstrom philosophy, and know excellent customer service always pays off in the long run.  I strive for people to one day say, that is why I shop at Much Ado About You.

Friday, March 11, 2011

P.S. its in the details

Today is the last day of our little blog contest.  I really had no idea how much I was going to enjoy introducing you to my friends.  I have been so blessed to read the wonderful comments that you all have left!  Keep it up!

This morning I would like you to introduce you to someone who truly inspires my creativity.  Bloggies... meet Patty of  
P.S. it's in the details

I came across Patty's shop last year and fell in love with items like this:

and this:

and who wouldn't love these:

I immediately saw visions of incorporating her embellishments into my own designs.  With her permission... these entered my line:

Patty also has a blog, where you can actually find paper crafting inspiration.  {You may have thought you were going to find that here, on a blog called "Confessions of a Paper Freak", but here you will definitely find more confessions than paper.  My husband teases me about that all the time.}

She's got some great scrapbook layouts, features of her beautiful products, and this super fantastic project that I think I am going to have to try!

Go check out her blog, then when you decide it would be much easier to buy these things than create them yourself... go check out her shop.  I just did {again}, and I am thinking you just might see some more P.S. it's in the details items in the 2012 Much Ado About You line!

Go on now... then come back here and give Patty some love.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Simply Handmade by Paige

When I grow up, I want to be like Paige.  Except she is eighteen years younger than me, so I guess... too late!

Good morning blog friends!  Today I would like to introduce you to Paige of  
Simply Handmade

Let me start by saying that Paige. blows. me. away.

She has a blog {which currently has over 800 followers}.
She has a shop {in which she sells the most adorable things}.
She is amazingly talented at building and promoting her business.
She loves Jesus and isn't ashamed of it.

Oh... and did I mention that she is 15!!!

The best part about Paige's blog is that recently, alomst everyday she has been showing us the super cute outfit she is wearing.  She is a great bargain shopper, and has fantastic style.  I mean... look at her:

She also has some great tutorials like this one, and this one

In her shop, you can find these amazing items:

I need to meet Paige's mom someday, because if I have a daughter I want her to be like Paige.  And if I don't, I want my son to marry a girl like Paige.

Go check her out.  You may be stuck there for a while.  But then come back here and give Paige some more love.  Let's make her day!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Jomestic Doi

Okay... I am about to do something that people will tell me I never should have done.

Here it is:

{Insert uproarious laughter here.}

You're welcome.  Yes, this was me in my freshman year of high school.  {Are you beginning to understand why I maybe wasn't first choice for the cheerleading squad???  And did you notice my awesome digital watch?  In our defense... this was the morning after a night of camping.  BTW, that sleeping bag that I am laying on is still in my garage.  I tried to take it to the Good Will the other day then Brooke went and made me all sentimental about it, so I just couldn't do it.}

That girl on the other side is Lisa.  She's the girl I want to introduce you to today.  Sorry Lisa.  I had to do it.  But to be fair... this is Lisa now:

Isn't she darling?

Without getting too terribly gushy and serious here, I have to say in all honesty that having Lisa in my life at this stage makes my heart happy.  Last year Lisa donated some items to my Adoption Raffle, and I told you this:

When I was in Junior High I had a friend named Lisa.
We were typical Junior High "friends".
We were nice to each other when it was convenient, we competed over other friends, we were snide at times.

In High School we basically went our separate ways.

Then a few years ago we ran into each other at a mutual friends' bridal shower.
We were both a little nervous {you know that feeling that sends you right back to the insecurity of adolescence?}, but it tuned out that neither of us was still a silly little Junior Higher!

Over this last year I have had the joy of sharing life stories with Lisa through our blogs.  I have come to depend on her comments, and can rely on the fact that just when I am feeling like nothing I say is important or worth while {or intelligible} Lisa will sweep in with some amazingly encouraging comment that turns my day around.

Lisa and I have a lot of similarities {like we love being mommies, love Jesus, love creating}, but one major difference between us is that I pimp myself out relentlessly and Lisa sits humbly in her blog corner. 

It makes me sad that the world is missing out on the beautiful jewels that spew from Lisa's brain, like this one and this brilliant one here.

Lisa also shares lots of yummy recipes, fun budgeting tips, home decor ideas, and crafty projects.

So please, pretty please... go check out Jomestic Doi here.

Then come back here and tell everyone else why they should go check it out. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane

In case you hadn't noticed from my shop... I like retro.  So when I first saw this blog, and this shop, and read this:

My name is Rachel and I’m a 1950’s housewife, stuck in 2010. I'm married to my high school sweetheart, Sean. I stay at home with my daughter Kensington. Together, we bake cookies, wander garage sales, color with crayons, eat spaghetti, twirl to records and give hugs.

It's a good life.

Oh, and we watch Mary Poppins. A lot.
I knew that I liked Rachel.  A lot.

I also think that my hubby would like her hubby because he apparently does stuff like this:

which would make Nathan's heart skip a beat.  He loves vacuum lines in carpet.  I don't do that for him.  Maybe I will for his next birthday.

Anyway, today I would like to introduce you to Rachel of  
Number 17 Cherry Tree Lane

Rachel has a great blog with fantastic snippits like this one from just last week, and this one here that is one of my favorites. 

She also has a shop where she sells adorable vintage treasures that she collects while wandering those garages sales. 

Like this:

and these:

and this to-die for little number:

Rachel doesn't live that far away from me, so I am hoping that we will get to make a real-life connection someday soon.

Go spend some time on her blog and you will want to be her friend too.

Then come back here and gush about how amazing her style is.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hippo Brigade

Good morning sweet blog friends!  Did you have a nice weekend?  I had a great weekend.  Great.  Before I introduce you to another friend I just have to super quick tell you about my amazing weekend.

First, I got my new machine!  {Insert the sound of a choir of angels signing.}  I will tell you more about this later, but so far as I can tell... this thing is going to revolutionize my business.  I am giddy.

Friday night we had an impromptu dinner with one of our very favorite families on the planet, the Witts.  That was fun.

Saturday I finally shipped off my old printer that I hate so much so that I can finally get my money back!  Then we had another one of our very favorite families on the planet, the Moras over for the most fantastically fantastic dinner, which included deep fried avocados.  Maybe I'll tell you about that sometime.

Sunday we had a great morning at church and then finally got our garage all cleaned out of the last of the boxes and I hung up my super fabulous glittered chandeliers that my hubby bought me for Christmas {again... more on that some other time}.

Now I am ready to tell you about another friend of mine. 

Bloggies... please meet Beckey of Hippo Brigade

Doesn't she just look fun?

I was "introduced" to Beckey last year when I first started to blog.  She is a friend of Brooke's sister, and Brooke thought that I would get a kick out of her blog.  {Apparently Brooke finds the time to check in on Beckey's blog... when was the last time you think she stopped by here???  I'm just saying.}

Anywho, Beckey. is. hilarious.  Period.

To prove it, here is her description of herself:

My special skills include run-on sentences, picking my kid’s boogers, and eating snacks.
My weaknesses include  housework, puppies, and designer shoes.
Although it doesn’t seem like it, I have a degree in English/Writing, but most of the time, I don’t have any idea how to write, because I never really paid attention in class.
I also have my cosmetology license, because maybe one day, I’ll stop having babies and get a job. But for now I’m a stay at home mommy, and most of the time I enjoy it.
Ohh, I do hope you like my website. Make yourself at home and come back often. If you want to say something nice, email me, if you want to say something mean, you can suck it.

Some of my favorite blogs of hers include this one about pasta, her rant about why she hates kids {sidenote: she has two}, and the one where she decided to cook Thanksgiving dinner.

Warning: if you are offended by occasional foul language, you may want to squint when you read Beckey's blog.  But still read it.  It's funny.

So now go and spend an hour or two laughing your pants off while you read Beckey's blog.

Then don't forget to come back here and tell us all about how much your cheeks hurt and how you are now eternally grateful to me for having turned you on to another place where you can waste your life away.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Spunk & Love

Good morning!

I am so excited to introduce you to my first friend today.  Blog friends, please meet Megan.  Megan, my blog friends.

This was Mego and I at The Creative Connection Event last fall.

You may remember me mentioning Mego before here and here, and a few other times.  That's because Mego is my bff.

Today I want to introduce you to her newest venture {which I may have also mentioned before, but you'll humor me, won't you?}: Spunk & Love

Mego creates these gorgeous Custom Baby Books and Birthday Books:

If you are anything like me... you do not have time to create elaborate scrapbooks to record your child's every milestone.  Beau is my only child.  He doesn't have a baby book.  The first two years of his life I printed all our pictures {because I was still using film} and put them in photo albums in chronological order.  Since we went digital, I have not even bothered printing them.

That is why these sweet little books that Mego makes are perfect!  They are intended to be a quick and easy way to record each precious year of your child's life.  I am seriously telling you that you could complete this entire project in one night.  {And I am not even lying.}

Here's a sampling of the layout:

{If you also happened to notice the spots on these pictures let me just say that it does not surprise me to imagine that Megan needed to clean off her lens.  Don't worry... there will not be spots on your Birthday Book.  Love you Mego!}

Isn't that adorable!

I think these make a great gift for a baby shower, or even those first few birthdays for which I can never seem to figure out what kind of gift is appropriate.

They are very reasonably priced {under $30}, which is fantastic for a handmade gift.

Swing on over to Mego's shop and check it out.

Then come back here and tell me how much you love her stuff. 

See you on Monday, when I introduce you to another friend.  :) 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Allow Myself to Introduce Myself

As you may know, I am passionate about developing, supporting, and encouraging Small Businesses.  I love helping other women try to find their way in this Indie Business world.  My You're the Boss series is all about helping other women avoid my growing pains, and make some smart decisions about moving past their own.

I have discovered that one of the keys to growing a Small Business is to take advantage of Social Media.  Twitter, Facebook, and even blogging are great ways to grow your business... for free!

One of my favorite things about this great big blogging world of ours is that it quickly begins to feel small when you start putting the connections together.  The Small Business Owners, the Bloggers, the Blog Stalkers.  I love it when I come upon a new blog or shop, and I realize that one of my friends has been there too.

So in the spirit of making the big blog world smaller, starting tomorrow and going through next Friday, March 11th I am gong to introduce you to six friends of mine.  They are Shop Owners, Blog Writers, and inspirational, creative women that I can't wait to show off! 

To make it interesting... I am making it a contest {I love contests}.  Of the six of them, the shop or blog that gets the most comments on their posting within the first 24 hours of the posting will win a Personalized Calendar from Much Ado About YouBut wait there's more.  One of the commenters on the winning posting will also win a Personalized Calendar from Much Ado About You!  That could be you!  Check out their shop or blog and comment about what you like, and you could win

Remember to make your comment within the first 24 hours of each posting {so you will have to come see me everyday... he, hee}!

See you in the morning. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

To Puppy, or not to Puppy

Since the day that I married my husband I knew that at some point in my life I was going to have to have a dog.  Before we had Beau, it seemed like a great idea.  We even went puppy-hunting at one point, driving out to the Inland Empire to see the largest dog I have ever seen in my whole life: a 250 pound English Mastiff.

In the end, we decided to have babies rather than puppies.  Well... one baby.

Then we sold our house and went back to living the life of renters, renting in homes that did not allow dogs.  Puppy talk was tabled.

One of the first things that my husband mentioned when we toured our new home for the first time was what a perfect space it would be for our dog.  Oi-vey.

So now we are back to talking about puppies.  I know it is my inevitable fate.  But I am not going to do puppy and baby at the same time, so for now {for now}, Nathan is being patient.

Then my dear friend Sylvaine sent me a link to her husband's new venture: Dogma Pet Portraits.

These faces just might get Nathan's dog home sooner than later.

You may remember me mentioning David before because he is the amazing photographer that shot my current line.  I love David.  I think he is an incredibly talented man.  He captures the most beautifully natural images.  I know that those of you with furry members of your families will be thrilled that he has opened up his business to the canine species.

David's studio is located in Costa Mesa.  If you are in the area, give Sylvaine a call {714.642.9021} and schedule an appointment.  You won't be sorry.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

First Day Jitters

Please visit my friend Alissa's blog, Rags to Stitches to donate to her  
Adoption Fundraiser and win some fantastic prizes!  

It's the first day of school.  I got my notebook ready:

my first day of school outfit on, and I'm ready to go.  Are any of you in my class???