Happy Family Day.

Two years ago at this time, we were in Ethiopia. We had passed Embassy and were waiting for Maya’s visa to be issued. There are so many big days in adoption. The day we received our referral and saw her tiny face in photos for the first time. The day that we traveled to Addis Ababa and held our daughter for the very first time. A couple of days later when we officially went to court to declare that we wanted to be her family and promised to care for her.  Then there was the day that we went to the transition home and Maya came back to the hotel with us, never to live in an orphanage again. So many big days and each day closer to being together as a family. This week, we celebrate the second anniversary of our Family Day. The day that we stepped off the plane in Texas and reunited with Alain. The four of us were together as a family for the first time in our home.
We call this special day “Family Day” for many reasons. For us, adoption is not about getting a child, it is about becoming a family. We became family to Maya and she became family to us. It is also a special time to remember her first family. With as much or as little as you know about your child’s first family, they are so very important. I often visualize Maya’s mom and am almost instantly brought to tears with the thoughts of all she is missing of her sweet, smart and spunky daughter. I wonder how many of the things I adore about our daughter, she gave to her. I imagine that we would all love her so deeply. There is no adoption that comes without loss and that must be remembered. So Family Day it is. Family created and family never forgotten. We are so blessed to be a part of her life and so today, we celebrate.
-Jenn

Note: We very specifically do NOT call this day “Gotcha Day” after hearing adult adoptees share their negative feelings on this term. For more about this, read this article on Red Thread Broken “What’s wrong with Gotcha Day?”

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Meeting Maya.
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Court Day.
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In the hotel in Ethiopia the day we picked her up.
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Family Day.

Peppermint oil {Essential Oils}

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One of the things I love so much about essential oils is their reversibility. I will use one oil for a while for one specific thing and then find out it is great for other things as well. Peppermint is one of those oils. Everyone in our house has used peppermint oil. When allergies are getting to us, I diffuse peppermint oil with lavender and lemon to help clear up sinuses. It smells exactly as you would expect, strong and minty. When Maya has chest congestion or the beginnings of some sniffles, I dilute peppermint with a carrier oil (usually coconut oil) and rub it on her chest for a homemade vapor rub. Chris applies it to his temples and the back of his neck for headaches. I have used in for muscle pain, applied directly to the problem area.  So many great uses. Love.

HOW WE APPLY:
For headaches: Put a drop in your palm with some carrier oil to dilute, then apply to temples, forehead and back of neck.
For congestion: Dilute with carrier oil, then rub on chest. I have a small mason jar that I pre-make a chest rub for Maya with about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 10-12 drops of peppermint oil. I sometimes add Lemon oil to this mix.
For fever: Apply to the bottom of feet every 30 minutes-1 hour as needed.
For nausea and tummy aches: Diffuse or apply to stomach

For more information on how to get started with Essentials Oils, CLICK HERE.

 

The information in this blog is not intended to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any disease, illness or condition and should not be used as a substitute for seeking professional medical advice. I am not a doctor. Statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA. The testimonials provided here are for informational purposes only. You should not stop taking any prescribed medication without consulting your physician. I am simply stating are family’s experiences.

Toms on Zulily!

Finding cute shoes for Maya that are not hot pink or covered in characters can sometimes be a challenge. Our go-to playtime shoes for her are Toms. They are simple to get on and off, so she can do it herself and they come on neutral colors. That ia win-win for this pink avoiding Momma :)  If you follow me on Facebook,  you may have seen my excitement a couple of weeks ago that Toms were on Zulily!!! Zulily features discounted items, each product for a limited time. When Toms are on Zulily, they go quickly. I stocked up as fast as I could. We heart Toms. Any other ideas for a great playtime shoe?
-Jenn

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The Ash color is my favorite. This is her third pair in this color. All in different sizes :)

Leah Braly - You must have been quick! I got on a couple hours after they were on Zulily and all my girl’s sizes were sold out :(

Block Party {Building Community}

Yay! We finally had our block party this weekend. It was a success. We had no idea how many people to expect, so we now have a freezer full of hot dogs (and we don’t eat hot dogs!). The turnout was a bit smaller than I had dreamed of, but there were enough people to make it fun and a great start to building a community in our neighborhood. We met some really great families. One who has lived 4 houses down from us the entire time we have lived here and we never met them before!!
While looking at my TimeHop app the morning of the block party, I realized that it was exactly one year ago that we felt like we needed to be doing something in our neighborhood. Better late than never! We aren’t giving up. We are committing to pursuing community in our neighborhood for a full year. I’m excited to see what friendships blossom and hoping that there will be many open doors for us to help our neighbors.
While I had visions of Pinterest floating in my head, I scaled my budget down from the-most-pinable-block-party-on-the-internet to cute -enough-to-tell-that-I-tried. Here are a couple of photos of our day.
Note: I’m only posting the photos of our family. There were more people, but I don’t know how they would feel about being blogged :)
-Jenn

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This girl is all personality. This is her after having her face painted for the first time and showing it off to her aunt. I love her so much!
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One of our neighbors is a police officer and had a friends of his stop by so the kids could see the car. My nephews loved it.
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Lavender {Essential Oils}

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Lavender is one of the 10 Everyday Oils that you receive in Young Living’s Premium Starter Kit. In our home, we have more bottles of Lavender than any other essential oil. As I type this, I literally have 6 bottles, all at different levels of fullness. We have one in the kitchen, in our oil drawer for general use. We’ve used it on burns from cooking, bug bites and my favorite lately, a swipe inside my cheeks and nose to stop my allergies. One bottle in Maya’s room to help heal any scratches and for calm and relaxation before nap/bedtime. One bottle for Alain for healthy skin. One in my bathroom. Alain and I both put a couple of drop on our face every day.  We use it so often. On nights that we are not fighting a cold or any other aliment, it is my go-to oil to diffuser for Maya to relax and calm. When Chris or I are restless, just can’t seem to get our minds to shut off and go to sleep, we rub a couple of drops on the bottoms of our feet.

HOW WE APPLY:
For allergies: Diffuse several drops (I usually combine with Lemon and Peppermint) To stop my sneezing almost immediately, I put one drop in the palm of my hand, then dip my finger in the Lavender and swipe some oil on the inside of my cheeks and inside my nostrils. It doesn’t taste great, but the taste doesn’t stay too long and it has worked every time for me.
For cuts/scrapes/bug bites: Apply directly to area. You can dilute it with a carrier oil. I also have a bottle of Lavender with a roller ball top for easy application.
Facial care: I put one drop in my palm and then apply it all over my face before bed. Alain does this also. We have seen an improvement in skin health.
For sleep: I often diffuse Lavender in Maya’s room at night. We have this diffuser for Maya’s room (Aroma Ready Oil Humidifying and Ultrasonic Diffuser). I love it because it doesn’t have a light and it has to option to run constantly or in 15 seconds on, 15 seconds off intervals. When filled, it will run in her room all night. We also apply it to our feet (Usually big toe) to help those nights that we just can’t get to sleep.
To dilute for Maya, I put a small amount of coconut oil in my palm and then drop one or two drops on top of the coconut oil. Rub palm on her chest and back. I don’t usually dilute Lavender for her (or any of us), but when you are first starting, it is good to dilute to learn how your body will respond.

For more information on how to get started with Essentials Oils, CLICK HERE.

 

The information in this blog is not intended to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any disease, illness or condition and should not be used as a substitute for seeking professional medical advice. I am not a doctor. Statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA. The testimonials provided here are for informational purposes only. You should not stop taking any prescribed medication without consulting your physician. I am simply stating are family’s experiences.

Peppermint oil {Essential Oils} » Pure & Lasting - […] our house has used peppermint oil. When allergies are getting to us, I diffuse peppermint oil with lavender and lemon to help clear up sinuses. It smells exactly as you would expect, strong and minty. When […]

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