Hello Friends! I can hardly believe we are just a few days from Christmas! I have spent the month chasing around a little munchkin, making and wrapping presents, baking muffins and cookies, humming along to Christmas music, and soaking up all the goodness that this month contains=) Here is a little of what my world has been looking like this December...
Let the festivities begin!
(Recipe for those deeee-licious chocolate peanut butter truffles pictured above, found here...)
Every year around this time, a magical little catalog arrives on our doorstep. It is usually sandwiched between colorful Toys-R-Us leaflets, K-mart adds, and Target flyer's boasting beautiful new toys. As soon as I see it, I make myself a cup of tea and peel open its cover.
I immediately find half a dozen things I want to buy...
It's the World Vision Gift Catalog, and it is splendid. Its pages are full of gifts you can purchase for people who you will never meet on this side of eternity. Life sustaining animals for a family in Uganda, education for a child in Ghana, clean water for a village in Niger... an orphanage for children or a safe place for exploited young women...
These things seem so far removed from our cozy little world here in the US. It is as if human suffering is just a bad dream that only exists in our imaginations...We hurry our days with shopping and wrapping and decorating and sometimes it is easy to pretend that that is what everyone everywhere is doing...sadly, it isn't.
Now that I am a momma, I am more determined then ever for my family to grow up knowing that Christmas is a time of giving, not just receiving. And that the hope that lies within us, the birth of our Savior two-thousand years ago, needs to shine brighter than the twinkle lights on our Christmas tree. Its beams have got to cross oceans, climb mountains, and descend valleys...and they need to come hand in hand with a hot meal, warm blanket, and drink of water.
That is why I love the opportunity that World Vision gives to us at Christmastime. With the simple click of a mouse, we can fill our virtual baskets with life-changing gifts and know that somewhere across the world someone is feeling the love of Christ.
This Christmas morning as we open gifts as a family, there will be a few little mementos that represent our world vision gifts, thing like...
This little wooden ornament that represents a "New Mother & Baby Kit" for a momma living in poverty...a gift I bought with our little one in mind. As I deliver our baby in a few months, I want to know that somewhere there is another mom holding a new baby, wrapped in a blanket that our gift provided and covered in prayers from our family.
And this little felt goat which represents the "Goat and 2 Chickens" we bought for a family on Hunter's behalf... I am excited to add to his collection as the years go by, and explain to him how important it is to give to others, even when we can't see them:)
Merry Christmas Season Everyone!
Now go "buy" some hope and say a prayer for the ones who will receive it!
This time last year I was sitting in Panera brainstorming with a friend of mine. We wanted to start a business. We knew what we liked, what we were good at, and what our goals were. Etsy seemed to be the perfect outlet for all of these things to align. We set to work laying the groundwork...planning our products, purchasing our supplies, meeting with other business owners.
The time has finally arrived and we have opened our virtual doors! Introducing:
This little shop has big dreams. My friend (now business partner!!) and her hubby have been desiring to adopt for the last few years, to bring home a little one and shower him/her with love. Everyone who knows them could pretty much say in unison, "They would make such great parents." They are a loving, sweet, kind, and gracious couple...and only one thing stands in their way. Finances.
That is why a portion of every purchase made from our little shop goes directly into a fund with the label, "adoption". With every purchase made they are one step closer!
We are so excited to see how God uses our endeavors to accomplish bigger things than we could ever plan or conjure up in our minds, and we are having so much fun dreaming up things to make!
So please take a look at this items in our shop. Each one has been lovingly handmade, with the exception of some vintage treasures that we've collected. This month we are offering a special for friends and family (that includes you!). Use the code FRIEND10 at checkout to save %10 on your purchases.
Here are just a few of my favorite things from our shop...
Yesterday we celebrated Hunter's birthday with a party, and although it was his birthday, we really wanted it to be a celebration of the many of the wonderful friends and family members who accompanied Hunter in his first year of life. His birthday was the perfect time to commemorate the little boy our baby has become, and the loved ones who journeyed with us as he grew.
We decided to have a harvesty-construction themed shin-dig, which for those of you who know us well, comes as no surprise. Mike and I both grew up in the construction world...driving trucks, operating equipment, and building things. Hunter was in his first mini-excavator when he was only a few months old...so it just seemed like a good fit.
We had three bonfires going to warm up the yard, and lots of hot cocoa to go around. All in all, it was a wonderful night...
Here are just a few of my favorite pictures from the night...
Growing up our family had a birthday tradition that my mom began when we were young. The night before your birthday, you would go to bed with excitement and anticipation, knowing that in the morning there would be a little birthday package waiting by your bedroom door. I remember waking up in the early morning hours and straining my eyes in the dark to see if there was a little bundle in my doorway. They were usually small token gifts...books, cds, or trinkets...in and of themselves they were nothing special, but given their presentation, they were magical.
I knew when I had children one day, this tradition would continue. Last night Mike and I scoured the isles of the local walmart, looking for a little something special to wrap up. After choosing and replacing numerous toys, trucks, and trinkets, we settled on a new box of crayons. 64 perfectly chiseled Crayolas. It may sound anti-climatic, but we are really hoping to teach our children to delight in the little things... So we took them home and wrapped them up. I made a card and we both wrote a note inside. Then I forgot to put it by his door. haha. Good thing he is only one!
This morning when he woke up, he got in bed with me. I presented him with the package and he gingerly tore back the paper and the ribbon to reveal the gift inside...after a brief moment of staring at the contents of his gift, he grabbed the card I made and took off crawling to the other side of the bed. He clutched the little note in both his hands and squeezed it tightly. He couldn't read what we had written, but he clung to our words, and my heart beamed. My mama, who had been staying with us since the storm hit and took her power, read his little card aloud,
"Happy Birthday Buddy. I'm so lucky to be your dad. I love you. Love, Daddy."
"Hunter Jacob, We have loved every minute of the last year with you...you have enriched our lives with your cheerfulness and smiles...We love you so much and are blessed to call you ours. Love, Momma".
We are a few short hours away from a family holiday... the first birthday of our little boy! Before the day arrived, we had one thing that needed addressed... a head of unruly blond hair that hung down over his ears and had begun to take on "mullet like" characteristics. It was time for his first haircut!
The three of us when together to commemorate the occasion. He did great. Afterwards we received a certificate that read,"This is to certify that Hunter Jacob Dimmitt has bravely met all the requirements of receiving his first haircut and has graduated from babyhood on October 31st, 2012". I teared up for a second when we got back in the car, but he looked so dang handsome with his new haircut that I recovered quickly.
The day after your baby is born, when you are holding that snugly little bundle in your arms, you start to forget all the tough that got you there. The forgetting begins with labor...that goes first...you know it was painful, long, soul-stretching, and back-breaking, but beyond that knowledge, the rest is history. Give it a few weeks and those nine long months of pregnancy seem like figment of your imagination. Fast forward 8 months and your love tank is so full that only the great and none of the tough even remains in your memory.
It's the middle of the summer and you are feeling alive with the arrival of things like vacation, ice cream cones, trips to the beach, and sunshine. You look lovingly at your little boy and husband and think, "I am so ready for another one". Hubby is feeling the same way so you take the plunge. You grab hold of the big present labeled "Pregnancy" and tear the paper off. You are elated that the gift is yours. You fail to read, or even notice the fine print that reads, "Excessive sleepiness and insomnia may ensue upon the opening of this gift. You will feel like getting out of bed in the morning requires Everest-climbing strength, and changing a dirty diaper will make you weak in the knees. You will be so thrilled to be carrying life and yet all you will be able to think about is the warm comfort of your bed and when is naptime anyway?"
A few weeks go by and the fine print proves more than accurate. Laundry piles up, dinner comes from the freezer or better yet from the Chinese restaurant down the street, and dust bunnies grow so big they blow across your living room like tumbleweeds. You become a "napper", that dreaded thing you swore you would never be.
Somethings don't change during this time...that little boy of yours? still makes your heart smile so big you think it will burst...and that hubby of yours? he takes little boy with him to go pick up the Chinese food, which makes you swoon because you can stay on the couch 10 more minutes.
Then something glorious happens. You open your inbox and get an email titled, "Week 13 of your Pregnancy". You read about how baby is growing and how he/she now has fingerprints and weighs an ounce. You read that you are entering your second trimester and you should start to feel better soon. You think to yourself, "Yeah, I do feel a little better today." And whether it is real or the placebo affect you do not know, nor do you care...because you skip your nap that afternoon and make dinner. You can't explain it but you just feel whole again. Your head descends gracefully out of the clouds where it has been hiding for the last few months, and you re-secure it tightly onto your body, because lets face it, you need your head back.
All the while the world has been changing outside your window. The leaves on the trees glow orange, yellow, and red, and the cool air that greets you at the door holds the crisp scent of Autumn. Pumpkin pie cans have been added to the end caps at your grocery store, and pretty fall decorations grace the homes of the people you love.
The fog lifts and you are left in a wonderful season called "fall". You venture out for the first time in weeks with one goal, to buy a pumpkin scented candle. You quickly bring it home and light it. You squeeze your squishy little boy and tell him you love him. You greet your husband with a smile and a kiss when he comes home from work, and tell him, "I'm back babe, I'm back!"
And he smiles and gives a sign of relief because he has missed you.