12/2/17

36

The plan was to get home on Dec 1 from Africa and then party the next day for my birthday (that was my plan, anyway.)
Then we almost missed our flight from London and literally had to do the run to the terminal with our hands out saying "hold the plane!!" and praying they would.
Luckily they did (even though I got there way before mom and christopher because after all the running and getting on the train and all of that they went to the WRONG TERMINAL. Luckily I made it).
Needless to say, we made it with zero time to spare and I got to be home for my birthday.
I woke up to balloons in my mantle from Vic and Rachel and it was such a perfect way to start my day!
And while I was gone Jeff and the kids hung lights in the back yard and the rainbow that Jeff and I had bought when we were in Comfort, Texas (that practically weighs 400 pounds).
 Jeff got the solo stove all heated and ready to go and we moved tables outside and played games and ate pizza.  It was very last minute, but fun.
 I made everyone look at all of my africa photos and videos.


 We stayed by the fire until like 2 and then up until 4 when Jeff told me he had to go bed.
Then I got bangs and loved my life.
I am so thankful for this year.  It has been so hard in so many ways, but it has taught me so much.  Last year on my birthday I was so depressed I could barely get out of bed.  I cried all the time and just was at such a low point in my depression.  This year I felt so alive.  I would like to thank wellbutrin, the Lord and Jeff and my friends how listened to me when I went round and round in my head (and out loud) with the same thoughts that I couldn't move away from.  I am thankful to have gone through it and even to still struggle with it in some way, so that I know what its like to be depressed.  I felt so much shame and wanted to pretend it wasn't there, but there was no way for me to do that.  I knew so many people going through so many terrible things that I just thought I could work out or eat healthy or do something to help me see how amazing my life was.  But it just doesnt work that way.  I have always been supportive of people who take medicine for it, but struggled to get on it myself until I felt like I had exhausted every other resource.  But since I have been on meds, I have just been able to be myself again. I feel miles away from last years birthday and I could not be more thankful (**pops wellbutrin into mouth and washes it down with cold coffee).

12/1/17

Africa

Getting the opportunity to go to Kenya with Caris Foundation was absolutely a highlight of my life.
It took us 36 hours to get there and when we got there they greeted us with an amazing song and dance to welcome us.
Every friday they do a Bible study together where they talk about one verse and everyone goes around and says what they think the verse means and what it means to them.

Meeting everyone was just such an honor and getting to hear their hearts was so incredible.
Then we went out into the field and met some of the girls in the TTG groups (finance groups) where they are learning how to support their families with different types of jobs, save their money and pay back the small loans Caris has given them.  They loan money to each other and work together to support themselves and each other.  It is just incredible.
They are also learning to read and write.  One of the girls who Caris has taught to read volunteers her time to come and teach the ladies who can stay after their TTG groups meet every week.

This is Elda.  She is an amazing woman and I am so grateful to have met her.  She grows these crops and sells them in the marketplace.  She has rented a pump and dug ditches for pipes to pump the water from a near by river to her crops. I can not imagine doing that much work every day.  She is saving to by her own pump so she can rent it to other people and make money off of that.
Next to her is Edward who is in charge of the ag section at Caris and is helping her with any problems she has with her crops.

We also got to be a part of their end of year dinner and it was just a blast.  Everyone in Africa knows how to party and sing and dance and it was so much fun getting to see all that they do at work and also how much fun they have together outside of work.
The last day we were there was the celebration for all the women in the Caris programs.
They all walked from wherever they live, it could be miles away, and celebrated all that they have accomplished this year.  Caris gave out awards to TTG groups, to individuals who had saved the most money or made the most or grew the most crops, etc.  It was so much fun watching them recognized for all of their hard work and watch them just have fun together.
It started the moment we got out of the car.  They knew mom and Christopher were in charge and they just ran to the car and danced them to the ceremony.  It was the best entrance I have ever had for sure.
This is Mom with one of the original single moms that went through the caris program and has now graduated from the program and supporting herself and her family.
They even had an awesome Photo Booth that we took advantage of on our way out.  We didnt get to stay for the whole dinner because we had to get catch our flight.
We made it in the nick of time and flew to Nairobi where we had dinner at a fun restaurant and processed the trip.  They happened to be hosting a party for someone famous and there were camera crews outside doing interviews.  We felt a little under dressed but luckily no one noticed and we got to go in anyway.
 I taught Christopher to knit and he made a hat on the way home and to say I was excited was definitely an understatement.

11/1/17

Haiti with Caris

I can not put into words adequately what it meant to get to go to Haiti with Caris and see all of the incredible work that they are doing.  It is absolutely astounding and humbling and exciting on every level.  They are the most incredible people bringing healing and life all over the country.
We got to go on a helicopter ride and see the other side of the island where Caris is also located in Cap Hatien and it was breathtaking.
And of course the pilot ended up loving mom so much that he came to see us leave the next day ha!

The Cap-Haiten branch did presentations for Mom and Christopher to show all the incredible work they are doing and I just was so humbled to hear their incredible work.
 Then we hiked up to the Citadel and it was just beautiful. 







 Then we got to hear the incredible presentations of the Port au Prince side of Caris and it was incredible.  We walked into this incredible surprise party with signs and balloons and skits that showed their work, a song they sang in french and english, many people who spoke, cake, pizza, popcorn and so much more.  It was just amazing.

We saw a rainbow on our helicopter ride and it was breathtaking.
I can never thank Caris for having me and hosting me and I will never forget this trip or all the incredible work being done in Haiti!

10/25/17

Parents night out

When you find the best pair of overalls ever you tell your bff's to run and go buy them too. duh.
We had a kid free night and it was just the best! We started the night by doing an escape room and we made it out with like 15 minutes to spare!  
After that we went to eat sushi and then played the most fun game ever. Codenames. You guys gotta get it! 
Best friends, matching overalls and games. Pretty much the best night ever.

10/23/17

Show Time!

It's show season guys and we forget just how much we love it till it's here! All the prep, dreaming of different backdrops, shirt designs, color schemes, late night printing, figuring out who is keeping our kids, how are we going to get it all there, who is going to be our booth neighbors and what shirts are we gonna wear each day. It's all just the best. 
And we would never be able to make it happen without our amazing husbands, family and friends. Seriously y'all. You don't even know how much fun you make it when you come see us at a show or even leave a comment on one of the million instagram pics that we over post during a show. We can never thank you enough! 
We only signed up for 3 shows this Fall. There were so many more that we wanted to do but it gets tricky with schedules and kids. Luckily our kids count down to show season too and love it as much as us! We even have dreams of getting a double booth at one of the shows next year and having them sell and make slime from the other side. Ahhhh!! How amazing would that be?! Ella even said to me on the way to school this morning, Mom we will probably get on Ellen for selling slime so we can take the moms with us. Going to the Ellen show is a life goal so I'm glad to see it's on the top of her list too.
Anyways, back to the shows that have actually happened. Our first show this season was Oktoberfest in McKinney and it was just the best! This was the very first show we ever did 2 years ago so we were so excited to be back. And this year the show fell on my actual birthday! Birthday Booth for the win!!!!
Kristen had peg board dreams for our backdrop last year and I just couldn't see the vision till I saw the giant sized ones. Then I too fell in love. Bob made our dreams come true and made them using this tutorial. 
We threw a birthday party in the booth and passed out cake and party favors!
Lindsay brought me birthday balloons and I had them in my hand for maybe 2 seconds before I accidentally let them go! Ugh. I'm so glad Jeff got a cool pic of them floating away!
Bob and Jeff really step up their dad game for this show. We make a weekend of it and stay in McKinney with Kristen and Jeff so they are in charge of all the kids. All weekend. The girls got glitter roots done at the show by the fabulous SkyLight Salon so the dads got to be the ones to get that prettiness washed out. Ha!
Having the moms there together is always a hoot! They crack us up and we even put them in charge for a bit so we can walk around. And when we have someone stop by and say that they have been following us since the lullaby lubbock blog days we flip out and made her take a pic with us!
The second show we did was Christmas in Cowtown here in Fort Worth. It is a totally different vibe and crowd compared to Oktoberfest but we love it just as much! It is 5 days straight so we have to pull out all the tricks when it comes to kiddos. 
Last year we got so close with some of the vendors so it was so much fun seeing them all again. It's so cool to meet people who all support each other in their businesses and genuinely care and are willing to help you in any way. It's not a cut throat competitive feel that some shows have. It's the nicest people and we leave this show each year on such a high.
We even became best friends with one of the cops and he was back again this year!
Jake and Craig were our first real show friends and we always love seeing them! And we love how small we feel when taking a pic with Jake.
This year we met Doris. She was our booth neighbor and by the last day we were crying with her as she was telling us stories of her late husband. Doris is 74 and has been doing shows since the 70's. She started by making dolls but now makes and sells dolls clothes. She is amazing and we hope to be like Doris when we grow up!
My girls had fall break from school so they hung out with us a lot.
 Someone wearing our shirt! Ahhhh!!!!
Our last show this season is coming up on November 11th and 12th. This will be the first time we have done this show so we are excited. It is with BoHo Market in Dallas so y'all come out and see us! 
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