Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Noonday Collection Blog Train! {One year In} **GIVEAWAY**

{Welcome to Life Unfabled, our family blog about everything and anything but mostly about our adoption these days. If you are new around here I want to invite you to grab that cup of coffee and hang out on my virtual couch this morning. If you found me through the Noonday Ambassador blog train I hope you've learned so much more than I can teach you about this amazing group of women and artisans I now call sisters. They inspire me every day. Make sure you catch up on yesterday's post HERE and check out this afternoon's post HERE}

 One year ago I began my Noonday journey. My sister became an ambassador, and after years of a very slow learning curve regarding justice and retail shopping I immediately fell in love with the concept that is Noonday. One year later I'm still in love, but it has become so much more than a concept. To keep things simple here are my top four lessons from a year of Noonday. 

Lesson 1. I'm not the wallflower I thought I was (or thought I had to be).
 Growing up I was known as being shy. I was quiet in new situations and preferred to keep my friends close and limited in number. Anything that smelled of popular scared me because I was so sure I would never be the cool kid.  I lived in the cold shadows of life when it came to social experiences. When I joined Noonday and learned the business model the idea of having to intentionally reach out to strangers and ask them to let me into their home, and then style them and their friends... I thought I would never be able to do it. But that scared high school girl has grown up, and my icons of fashion have changed. I'm no longer intimidated by the cool kids, because we are ALL the cool kids. My favorite fashion icons are my noonday sisterhood. Women from every walk of life who are joining their amazing creative talents together to raise one voice loud and clear for our artisans- those beautiful, stunning, examples of grace and dignity that remind me every single day to just. get. over. myself. It is not about me! I become less so they can be more, and this time, the shadows could not be filled with more warmth and joy. I love getting to know my hostesses and am encouraged and inspired with every trunk show. 

Lesson 2. Put another layer on.
Before Noonday I had maybe four necklaces that I wore. Rarely. I remember being in the 8th grade or so and going with my mom to a jewelry party. The presenter said during her presentation that to make sure you look your best to always take off three accessories before leaving the house. BLASPHEMY! If you feel your style is lacking a little something... try ANOTHER LAYER! Sometimes your arm party just needs a little more oomph, or a necklace needs a friend. I make myself wear every sample I have at least once. I'll be honest, when I preview each line there are always pieces that I question... until I wear them and learn their story. Then we become best friends. Forever. Make your style your own and break a rule every day. 

Lesson 3. Take a #selfie, but make it deeper than skin.
Each season we do the ambassador instagram style challenge. Y'all... it can be so hard. All of my insecurities come roaring up and I truly want to win ;-) but I always struggle with hitting that share button! What if people get annoyed? What if I don't edit out enough proof of the cupcakes ive eaten this summer? Is my hair ok? Am I ok? I'm not as pretty as her. Her photo skills are rad. Why does every picture my husband takes of me  make me look like a whale choking on Jonah?    Seriously, just getting real with ya. The reality though is that when I wear Noonday, I do also feel beautiful. I feel beautiful because my work is the act of telling YOU about redemption. Redemption of lives through the purchase of jewelry. When you shop Noonday, you give my family income and help us towards our adoption. When you place an order and customers over the globe sell out items, Noonday get to place new orders from our artisan groups. Those orders mean new employees, higher wages and more opportunity. Lives of challenge become less painful. Children with limited futures get to go to school, and new commerce in their community gives them hope of a future career. Mamas don't have to live their life living just to keep their children alive. As Jalia from our Ugandan group told us at conference, because of your orders... they dream much bigger dreams now. So even though I often feel insecure I also feel strong. and yes, I feel beautiful. Redemption IS beautiful. 

Lesson 4. Be brave
A year ago I said yes. I sent in my application email and invested my time and resources. It was scary for a while. Guess what? It isn't any less scary! My heart still races every time I call a potential hostess. I still get super nervous that I'll not say the right thing or forget to tell a story, or lose a customers order at a trunk show. But you know what? I don't. Everything works out fine. My sister ambassadors and the artisan stories encourage me to dig deep and be brave.  So my challenge to you? BE BRAVE. Book a trunk show. Contact me, or submit the form on the noonday website  to find an ambassador near you. This is worth it friends. Your time, your energy, your courage. After a year I can proudly say that I am STILL a Noonday Ambassador. Want to join me? I'd love to talk to you about becoming an ambassador yourself. Or maybe your Brave is ordering that pair of earrings you think might be just a little too big- or maybe you will choose to give five gifts for the holidays this year that have a double purpose. Whatever your BRAVE is, as my fellow ambassadors like to remind me #rockandroar!

****If you are still here, maybe after a bit of a warm up on that coffee, I would love for you to enter and win a La Noche bracelet, in midnight. This is my all time favorite bracelet from Noonday and is truly a spectacular piece worth 42$  Use the rafflecopter below, and good luck!! 
****" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The list

I've been a mama for 11.5 years. That's a while. The past few months I've really felt my "experience". I'm finally settling in to this role. On some days I actually think I might know what I'm doing. But on many days the same old challenges keep popping up. I've tried chore charts. I've tried point systems. I've tried demerits.  I've tried all kinda of systems, but honestly I'm just not a systems kind of gal. If consequences are not immediately obvious then I loose focus. I'm not surprised my kids are the same. So when I was blog hopping a couple of weeks ago and came across a blog (I can not find it again, if you know it tell us all in the comments!!)  that talked about "the list," my first instinct was to click on through. I thought about it though and the simplicity of creating a short, manageable core list with a singular goal at completion started to sound doable. Basically, the kids have a list of chores. Simple, expected items like their homework and reading time. The have to spend 30 minutes being creative (Legos totally count) and they have to complete one "moms choice" chore after ten minutes of general tidying up. For my guys- they are earning unlimited screen time. Yup I said that. IF they complete everything on their list they can veg out and watch tv or play the Wii to their little hearts content. But I'm finding that creative time goes from 30 mins to over an hour .. And the house is actually fairly tidy. (When it is no longer 100+ outside they will probably get some outside time on the list too. But y'all it's Texas and they've had two hours of active time at school so I feel no guilt. At all. Judge me on that later). Everyone has chores associated with specific events like dinner so those are not on the list, and we have family reading time every night before bed. Between all the extras that screen time is an hour or less. Unless the Quest is on. That they love and we watch together, a rare find on tv these days. (I fast forward the commercials though :/).   All of this is to encourage you that even a dozen years from now you might find new tricks to keep the sanity. Cheers on awesome bloggers even when you forget their names... Just don't forget mine;). 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Back to school!

I love the first day of school. New pencils and supplies, fresh paper, clean shoes and so much to look forward to. Watching my boys progress each year challenges me to remember where they were. They grow so fast that sometimes the in between times are easily forgotten. Our moving so frequently also makes it difficult. I don't remember them being so little in Victoria... But they were. I'm taking a little break today to remind myself how far they have come in just the last few years. 

2011. We lived in Victoria texas and Balin entered a moms day out preschool program when Ayden started third grade. We started our back to school breakfast tradition. Balin loved that treasure chest lunch box until his teacher used a treasure chest to hand out rewards. He was terrified the other kids would be confused and refused to take it to school. Third grade was a big growth year for Ayden. His academic gifting became more apparent and we realized just what we might be in for. 

2012 Balin started kinder and Ayden started fourth grade. We were in a little rent house that we loved and were fast falling in live with College Station. Kinder was a challenge for Balin because he was in LOVE with his preschool teacher (ms. Wendi!) but his kinder teacher was not as nurturing or affectionate.  He was loyal anyway and fought hard through the year. We got a do-over last year with the BEST first grade teacher on the planet. Ayden flourished well in fourth grade. And Silas? Where is that baby and when did he leave?!

2013. How can that be one year ago? Neither of those jeans will button and those shoes are all in shambles. These sweet boys are heading into what I know will be their hardest years yet academically, but I am confident in their abilities and their use of their gifts.  We had another breakfast, though I'll be honest- we forgot to set our alarms! So instead of a relaxed first day of school daddy and I were a bit chaotic. I think we hid it well from the boys though. Here's to hoping the rest of the year runs a little smoother!! Happy first day!!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

In which I work up the courage to say the F word.

{That would be "fundraiser". There, done. I feel better, do you? Although I'm sure when I say THAT "F word" for some of you the other one might come to mind. Hear me out though, this is kinda long but This one is also kinda special!!}

Our daughter/daughters have been little more than a dream for us. Lots of paperwork. Lots of meetings. Lots of aimless rambling a around Dillard's drooling over fluffy dresses I won't buy even when she/they are here. 

We are pursuing two routes to adoption- 1. Direct infant Adoption in a which a birth mama will recognize that it would be best for her to place her child in our home rather than for her to parent due to numerous possible reasons. We are open to openness in that relationship. We love that mama. 
2. Foster to adopt through a private agency. An infant/toddler/preschooler and maybe her sister (any age younger than our youngest) who is in the care of Texas child protection services will be placed in our home out of necessity for that child's welfare. We still love that mama but know that if the state has to step in then we probably will not have the same open adoption. 

Either way this ends with daughter(s).

Either way the waiting is hard. 

Either way this kinda gets expensive. Emotionally and financially. 

We need you. We need our team to rally. We need "Charlotte's" team to rally. 

Enter our little project. 
Charlotte's Dream quilt. This "kaleidoscope of hope" as I wrote on Instagram not too long ago is comprised of hundreds of triangles. Close to 300! It actually will be two quilts. A twin sized quilt and a crib sized. Two sisters? Or maybe a birth mom and daughter? We don't know... What we do know is that this project will take a while. Hopefully long enough to get me through the waiting with intention. I made a quilt for Silas and prayed over it for him with every stitch. This quilt is no different. Every stitch a prayer. I'm machine piecing this but will hand quilt it. Nothing compares to the way a quilt feels when it has been hand stitched. 

So how does it work? Simple.
 Sponsor a triangle. 
For every 5$ you donate I will (machine) embroider a name onto the back of one of the quilts.  Any name you want! The first one is going to be Velma. My grandmother whom I would give almost anything to have one more afternoon with. One more gleaning from her depth of wisdom. As I face the possibility of FIVE children I think of her. Did she parent flawlessly, nope. But she had plenty to teach me. I'll honor her by putting her name first. Every quilt she made me had her signature. So it belongs here too. 
 Who will you remember? 
Do you want our baby girl to know you were praying for her? Want to remember a grandmother or mother? Maybe you yourself placed a child for adoption. I would be honored to put that child's whispered name on here. (It's our secret, I promise). Or maybe a child you've lost too soon. Maybe an old friend , or someone who inspires you. The names will last as long as the quilt does. First name, last name, initials, whatever!  I can imagine her (them) physically touching and feeling the names as she/they grows up, knowing her life is part of a much bigger kaleidoscope of women, of motherhood- of daughterhood. I want her to know she belongs right here. Will you help us? Will you also share this on your social media? We need you AND your friends. We need your prayers. We need you to be on our team.  

It's easy. Just click that "donate" button under the header at the top right of the blog. You'll want to open the desktop view since the mobile site won't show it. You'll be prompted by paypal (safe and secure) and can donate right there from your phone. Easy peasy. I'll post photos as I go so you can all see the progress! Thank you for loving on our girl(s) in this way! **if paypal does not give you a "leave a note" option just comment below or send me an email at with the name you want on the quilt!**