Friday, August 9, 2013

Mama's Weekend Getaway

Now that we have a family of six (we have a foster daughter who is just 6 months old), there's not many opportunities for me to get away and just have me time, let alone chances for me and hubby to get away for some US time!
Our Room at Asilomar
 Last month, Papa Bear had ALL FOUR kids, while I got to get away to Pacific Grove, CA with some girlfriends.  For TWO nights!!!  I was SO blessed and refreshed!  We had no agenda but to just have some girl time and to relax.  We stayed at Asilomar Conference Grounds and enjoyed some incredible ocean views, lots of laughter, and a bit of chocolate.  

Two Sweet Friends

Me and another sweet friend (I'm on the right)

Tiki Faces
 We ate at 5 Guys Burgers and Fries.  TWICE!  We went to Hobby Lobby in Morgan Hill (because it's the CLOSEST one to us, and I love it so much better than Michael's!).  I found a really cool basket there for $6 and a VERY cool BIG mirror for $24.  Both were 80% off!!!  We played on the beach, made a sand castle, took silly pictures of each other, had breakfast together at the conference grounds, had potato leek soup the first night, because it was so chilly, and because that soup just sounded so yummy (and it was!).

Love this woman!

All of us at The Ice Cream Shop in Pacific Grove
  We took board games, but never got around to playing them.  Another friend came down and joined us for Saturday, so we went to the Barnyard in Carmel and did some fun thrift store shopping for items to re-purpose into newborn pants and hats for my photography business.  We had a little snack and then went bought some coffee (for Papa Bear), and some chocolate at one of the best little chocolate shops EVER...Pieces of Heaven.  

Ahhhh, the life!  Monterey Municipal Beach

Can you see the seals?

That's me!  I don't care to have my picture taken, but I am learning to let go...

The Lone Cypress on 17 Mile Drive

Love this lady!

Love her too!

We took the 17 mile drive in Carmel, which is AMAZINGLY GORGEOUS!!! We had dinner on Saturday at one of Papa Bear and my favorite restaurants in Monterey...Hula's Tki Room.  We had ice cream at Lappert's A.K.A The Ice Cream Shop in Pacific Grove. We talked and talked and talked about some of the things that come with marriage and children.  We talked about God and His goodness and faithfulness. 

If you can manage it, I highly encourage you to get away with some girlfriends.  It'll do you good!  I am so blessed by these friendships!

Thank you, Papa Bear for allowing me to get away when you had all four kids.  You are an amazing husband and daddy.  I love you!!!

God bless you!

Mama Bear

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I'm Now Selling Photoshop Templates

Are you always looking for a great storyboard to be used on your blog?  Whether you are a professional photographer, or you are a mom-tographer who loves to showcase her kids' photos, these story boards are perfect for you.  Each blank set that you see below has the filled in set below it, so that you can see what it would look like with photographs in it.

I am also selling Facebook Cover Templates!

I hope that you will check out my BRAND NEW Etsy shop:  AO Photo Design!

Have a blessed day!

Mama Bear

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Life Gets in the Way

Sometimes, I get these great ideas, like starting a blog.  I am overly ambitious sometimes.  And then, life gets in the way.  Things get a little chaotic and crazy.  So much has happened in our lives since our last post!

To start things off, let me just say this:  We did emergency foster care in 2011, and got a little girl who was 10 months old in October 2011.  She celebrated her 1 year birthday with us and by the time she went to go live with a relative, she was 13 months old.  Needless to say, having her with us for 3 months, we got attached to her.  SO much so, that we cried when she left.  We KNEW this was a temporary situation, but we also knew that God called us to love these little ones for as long (or as short) as we have them.  We tried to guard our hearts, but about 2 weeks before she left, she really started loving back.  This was so hard on our whole family, that we decided we needed to stop for awhile, and maybe for good.

BUT, last November (2012), I really felt like God was wanting us to get back into emergency foster care.  UGH!  What???  NO!!!  Life was good.  Things were getting easier.  Our kids were getting older and able to do more for themselves.  My selfish and lazy heart did NOT want to take on a baby or another child!  Our youngest had just started preschool 2 days a week, where I actually had a couple of hours to myself!!!  Oh, the bliss!

Nope!  God had other plans.  How do I know for sure this was what He wanted?  Because Papa Bear had been thinking the same thing, and neither one of us had talked to each other about it yet!  So, we put off talking about it until after the New Year.  We prayed about it.  Then, about the second week of January (2013), Papa Bear said, "Ok, this is what we'll do; if THEY call US and say they are DESPERATE for homes, then we'll say yes, but we're not going to call THEM."  I was ok with that.  They probably wouldn't call.

WRONG!  Not even 2 weeks later, our caseworker called us and said, "So, are you guys ready to foster again?  We are DESPERATE for homes!".  Um, hello???  Could that be any more clear of an answer?  We knew then and there, that this was definitely what God wanted.  Sooooo, we said yes.  This was on Friday, January 25th.

Monday, January 28th, we got a call about a 1 year old girl who needed a confidential placement.  We had to say no on that one, for the protection of our family.  I couldn't believe we even got called SO QUICKLY!!!  I figured it would be a few weeks at least.

Then, Tuesday, January 29th, we got a call about a baby who was born the day before, 6 weeks early, and still in the hospital.  OH, MY!!!  She wasn't even a day old yet, when we got the call!  Well, we said yes.  We had to wait until she was 10 days old and had gained a substantial amount of weight before we could bring her home.  But we visited her almost every day before we brought her home.

This prompted us to put in our application for adoption.  NOTHING is saying that she will go up for adoption, but if she does, we wanted to have all of our ducks in a row, because of course, we fell in love with her immediately, despite the fatigue (and of course the sin that comes with such fatigue!!!  you know, anger, impatience, etc.).

We know not where this road leads, but we know we are doing God's will and we know that He sustains us each step of the way.  He cares for our every need before we even realize we have a need.  He gives grace when we have none to give others.  He is merciful when we are in the middle of sinning.  We are praying for birth mom.  We are praying for our own hearts.  We know that God is in control and He is a sovereign God.

We will wait.  And we will love.  And we will live life to the fullest, for His glory.

Mama Bear