24 November 2014

the way God is writing this story

I am in awe. I have said that over and over, and will probably continue to say it to infinity. The night we found out that we could be bringing another baby home, Nick and I went to the little chapel in our church to pray together, to sit in silence, to ask for wisdom and direction. I felt like God was nudging me, "Carina, this is my glory story."
The decision to say yes wasn't easy, but it was filled with an overwhelming peace. I had a sense that if this was His will, He would make it happen. He would move the mountains that had to be moved to get us there.

Last week we had our first fundraiser. An auction on instagram that I had hoped would bring in $3,000. Half of our first goal. But the donations for the auction flooded my inbox. I couldn't keep up. And half wasn't what God had in mind. 

The total we need to send up front is $6,300.
The auction made $6,271.

Not only that, generous friends made cash donations to help us out and we are currently at $10,286. I can't even. If we didn't believe God was writing this story before, looking at that total at the end of the auction blew us away. The detail, the specifics. 
He is there, He is all over this. 

We are almost half way to our final total! I seriously can't believe it. In less than two weeks! And a very gracious, wonderful friend of ours has started organizing a local fundraiser for us, and people continue to ask how they can help.

Thank you. For standing with us, for believing for our family, for praying. Keep praying for us. For the birthmother, who is in a hard spot, who has our hearts, who we love dearly. Adoption is a hard road, and we continue to trust that His will will be done!

Now to Him who is able to do immeasureably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. - Ephesians 3:20

14 November 2014

an unexpected gift

Something crazy happened this week. 
On Tuesday morning, I got a voicemail from the adoption agency we went through with both of our kids. My morning was strangely quiet because Nick had taken the day off and spent the morning at the park with the boys. The girls were sleeping, the house was silent, and I could call them back with no worries of interruption. Thinking through why they could've called, I thought maybe some of our friends had used us as a reference, or maybe they wanted to remind me that it was almost time to send an update on Frances.

And then the caseworker told me that one of our birthmothers was pregnant again, and hoping to place her baby with us early next year. I nearly fell to the floor when I heard her. My palms got sweaty, my heart raced, my mind filled with questions. I am positive I sounded like a rambling fool as I tried to process with her on the phone, promising to talk it over with Nick later that day.

We didn't have adoption on our radar. At all. We don't have a home study ready, and after having a few unexpected home repairs come this fall, we don't have much in the bank. After we got the phone call, it didn't make any sense to say yes - the mountain seemed way too big to climb. But we talked and prayed and cried and reflected, and felt like that shouldn't be what stopped us. We follow a God who can move mountains, and here was our opportunity to witness it first hand.

So, we called the agency and said we want to move forward.
We were completely honest: this is not something we have planned for. While our hearts are in it 100%, our bank account is not. The cost to adopt in this scenario is $25,000. We want to have the faith and the courage to believe that God will make this happen if it's His will, but we absolutely cannot do it alone.

Will you stand with us? With our birthmother?
Asking for help is always hard, but this is going to take a miracle and we need people to be a part of that. 

First, and always, PRAYER. Please pray for us, for the caseworkers, and for the birthmom.

SPREAD THE WORD. The more people that know our story, the greater the community we have to rally around us to make this miracle happen.

The first fundraiser is an instagram auction this Tuesday, November 18th at 10am PST, on my shop account (@lovelylittleshop). If you have anything you'd like to donate, please email me at lovelylittlewhimsy@gmail.com. Consider doing some of your Christmas shopping that day! We already have some pretty amazing donations rolling in from some of our favorite shops. 

You can shop through my Noonday page and my etsy shop as well - every dollar will go right toward making this happen.

And if you can, donate by sending directly through PayPal to carinalee78@gmail.com
We have to dream big, pray big, and hope big. Every penny makes a difference.

Thank you so much for being a part of our story!

10 November 2014

toasted coconut raspberry smoothie

Did you know it's Smoothie Week?
I love smoothies! They're such an easy way to get in a good portion of produce and a quick energy boost. Today I tried a little experiment because I am currently obsessed with toasted coconut. Not sure how that would work out in my blender, but it ended up being even better than expected.

Try this out for a little afternoon pick me up or as a way to jump start your day!

The trick to the perfect smoothie, in my opinion, is frozen fruit. I cut up a bunch of bananas, divvy them into snack bags and throw them in the freezer so they're ready to go. Frozen bananas completely eliminate the need for ice, so you end up with a creamy, milkshake like smoothie, which is perfect when you need a sweet treat!

What you'll need:
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 frozen banana
1 tablespoon almond butter
2 tablespoons toasted coconut, plus a little extra for garnish
1/3 cup vanilla yogurt
2/3 cup coconut milk

Throw all of your ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth, usually about 90 seconds. Pour into your favorite glass, top with a little extra toasted coconut, and enjoy!

I was given a Ninja for Christmas last year and it's awesome, and I am especially loving the little individual blender that came with it. I am also loving (and swooning over and dreaming of) this little Vitamix. And let's not even talk about how cute this one would look in my kitchen. I die.

What's your favorite blend, your secret smoothie ingredient, your go to to get you going? 
I love new recipes!

01 November 2014

scarfament 2014


You may be asking yourself what in the world a "scarfament" is. I'm here to tell you it is an amazingly fun swap that you do not want to miss out on. You get to pick out a fun little ornament, a super cute scarf, and send it off to a new friend! It's like the best version of Secret Santa ever.

Danielle and I are hosting together this year - she's the genius behind this idea - and we're opening it up to 150 people. 

Want in? Just fill out this form and you'll hear back from us by November 5 with all the info you need to get rolling. Then you'll have until December 1 to get your pretty package in the mail and sent to your partner. You will have no idea who you're receiving from, and your partner won't know who you are until that very happy mail day. Suspense is fun.

So, don't waste time - spots are extremely limited! Happy scarf season!

Open to US residents only.
Please do not sign up unless you promise with your whole heart to send a package by December 1. An empty mailbox is just sad.


23 October 2014

my netflix BFF

I know I probably watch too much tv. Netflix and I are pals.
But here's why: nine times out of ten, if I'm working on something for my shop, or catching up on emails, I have something on. I love good tv. 
So when Netflix started offering The Gilmore Girls this fall, I jumped on board.
Because believe it our not, I somehow missed that one back in 2000 when the rest of America fell in love with Rory and Lorelai. Sorry, ladies, I'm here for you now.

Another fave, coincidentally, is Parenthood. I've seen every episode and am working on my second run through with my husband. He isn't as big into tv, so when we can find a show we both like, it's usually a binge situation. The last show we watched all the way through together was Lost. So, it's been awhile.He's slowly falling in love with the Bravermans just as much as I am. 

As I've started watching The Gilmore Girls, I realized that Lorelai and Sarah Braverman are essentially the same person, just with very different kids. She's a goofy, energetic, possibly overly involved mom. I can relate, except for the energy part, maybe. But in TGG, she has Rory, who is aiming for Harvard, stays up all night cramming for tests, has more focus than most kids, and tends to be the voice of reason in the mother/daughter relationship. Still quirky and goofy and bubbly, she plays Sarah, mom to Amber, who can't seem to get it together, no matter how hard Sarah tries to make it happen. This feels far more realistic, and Amber is my favorite character on tv at the moment, in all her angst and trying to figure life out and broody behavior. 

Either way, I love Lorelai and I love Sarah, which mean I love Lauren and I've decided she's my new Netflix BFF. Trying her best to love her kid, in her overly opinionated way, drinking too much coffee and being a little bit dorky all along the way. MFEO.

What are you watching these days? I'm always looking for shows and movies that I haven't seen yet. What should I watch next?