Thursday, April 7, 2016

I'm Back! And Life Update!

Yes, I'm alive!! It has been a loooong time! Far longer than I intended. Now that I am finally able to catch my breath, think about the last 6 months, and sit down to write, I don't even know where to begin! There is so much I want to say, but can't. There are so many details I want to remember, but don't want to share publicly. Life goes in seasons, and this is just one of those seasons of trying to figure things out. But one thing is for sure...I have missed blogging! Missed writing! Missed having this outlet! I have been blogging for 6 1/2 years, believe it or not. I know many of you came over from my old blog, which is where I started out. Pre-kids, early in marriage. It was just such a casual and much needed space for me to share pictures, details of our life, and things I wanted to remember. I still go read old posts from that blog often and remember wonderful memories and things that I shared over there and am so thankful to have all of those archived. 
On this blog, I have kept things a little less personal. I haven't shared as many family details (there are reasons for that) and while I want to blog those events, details, pictures that I did on my old blog, I do want more privacy than I allowed myself over there. I have read one too many creepy internet stories and it's just personal preference. So I have been trying to figure out how to have the best of both worlds. I want to be able to document life, and I want to be able to share tips and ideas that are important to me that may not have to do with my personal life, like I have mostly been doing in this space in the past. So I am going to try to find a way to do both here! Bear with me! I'm really not 100% sure what that will look like right now, but I am hoping to figure that out because I really have missed this. Writing has always been such a passion for me and blogging has been a great hobby and outlet, and I am sad that I have let it fall by the wayside too often. 
SO! All of that to say, I am back! I don't know how often or consistently I will blog, but I am hoping to get back to sharing soon! 
Here is a little bit of what we have been up to over the last 6 months or so! 
In October, we finished taking classes to be foster parents. We got our license in December and welcomed 2 foster kiddos at the beginning of this year. I have been pretty quiet about this because the truth is, I don't know what I am allowed to say. There are a lot of confidentiality rules and I don't want to break them. BUT, this is also a HUGE part of our life right now! We have 2 more people living in our house, so yes, that is an enormous change. I want to talk more about foster care and adoption through the foster care system in general but I probably won't share many specifics about our foster kiddos yet, for their safety and respect for them and their stories. I know there are SO, so many questions and misconceptions about the system and I would love to be a part of answering them and helping clarify misconceptions, etc. So if you do have questions, please feel free to leave me a comment or shoot me an email. We have had so many questions over the last few months that I have been thinking of making a Q&A post or FAQ post and answering as many as I can, so please feel free to ask! 
Our girls are doing great! They are 4 1/2 and just turned 3 now and SO much fun. They are at great ages and we are soaking up the time with them, as they just don't seem to stop growing and getting older! We are really in a sweet spot with them right now and enjoying it so much. 

This year, I set a goal to read 50 books. I used to love to read and honestly for about the first 3 years that I was a mother, I am not sure if I read a single novel. I read a few books on parenting, marriage, etc. but one day I realized I just didn't read anymore! Last year I really picked it back up and read much more often, so this year I decided to set this goal. I am on books 13 & 14 now so I am pretty much on track to get there by the end of the year! I am hoping to blog about what I've been reading if that's of interest to people! And please, if you have any good book suggestions, fiction or non-fiction, send them my way!! 

I've also been reading through the Bible via a chronological plan on the Bible app. I have tried one year Bible plans in the past and I always slip within a few weeks, but I have been sticking to this one pretty well. I got a new study Bible for Christmas, and that has really helped while going through the old testament as it breaks down a lot of the confusion and the "how does this apply to my life?!" for me. It has been so great to really dig in and be consistent with it this year. 

I have also been doing a lot more photography. I got my DSLR a little over a year ago and started trying to learn as much as I could right away. I was able to do some photo shoots for friends and even got to be a second shooter for a wedding last summer. I have continued to do photos, mostly for friends, but even for a few strangers, and it has been a really fun hobby to have! I have enjoyed learning more and it has been really fun to see how my photos have progressed over the past year. I am still learning so much, but looking forward to several families I have coming up this spring! It has also been great to learn more so that I can take better pictures of my own children, which is the whole reason I bought a nice camera in the first place. 
I basically failed at homeschooling my girls this year. I did intend to take a really casual approach since my older daughter is right after the cut off and won't start Kinder until 2017 anyway, and my younger daughter was still only 2, but wanted to keep up with her sister. It just got a little more casual than I anticipated. I actually had themes planned out for the entire year, but after awhile a lot of it felt repetitive. My girls were picking up on things really quickly and everything I had gotten off of homeschool sites was just the same thing over and over again, so we took a break, did more learning through play and did school when we felt like it or when I saw something I knew they would love. We will do something more formal for preschool this year, since they are both technically at preschool age now and are ready for something official. They both love to learn and I am constantly blown away at the things they know...I know every parent says that ;) I will hopefully be blogging more about our homeschooling plans and what we are doing for preschool this coming year!
My husband started a new job last summer, which has been AMAZING for our family! The company he works for now is like a dream. The first few months he worked there, he would come home practically daily and tell me something just completely unbelievable that they do there, and we would just sit in disbelief. Everyone else that works there said that they felt the same way when they started and still do. His schedule changed up a lot, so he works a little bit longer days now, BUT he has every other Friday off which is so much fun! So he works 80 hours in 9 days instead of 10. It's really not that much longer day to day, and having a 3 day weekend every other week is the best. I feel like we've had so much family time which has been incredible. 

That's about all I can think that is share-worthy! I can't wait to get back to posting and sharing more soon! In the meantime, if there are specific things you want to see more of from me, please let me know! It is always helpful to get feedback and see what types of posts people like to see! 
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