Friday, March 13, 2015

New Site

I told you last week to stay tuned for some excitement around here, and now I'm ready to share the news.

I've been working on a new site for Answering Our Call, and it should be ready to go on Monday!

Now don't panic, with my limited tech knowledge and resources, it's still easy to understand and navigate. I've also added information on our home renovations, to keep all my content in one spot. With the preparation of our Dossier, I imagine updates from the adoption will become far and few between (remember, it's a 12-24 month wait period for our referral). By mixing up my content a bit more, it will allow me to keep writing (which I enjoy!) and keep you reading (if you want).

One change that you will notice, is that you will no longer have to add .blogspot to the URL. Simply go to and you will be directed to the site.

I know, old habits die hard, so if you put in the old site, you will automatically be redirected to the new.

Easy as pie. Speaking of pie, I might throw in some recipes here and there as well.

Friday, March 6, 2015

High Five for Friday

Is it just me, or does it feel like I only write about H54F anymore? Things have been a little slow on the adoption horizon. I've got some things up my sleeve for the future of Answering Our Call—stay tuned! As for now, let's get on to the high-fiving. 

1. It's March, which means Spring. 'Nuff said. No, but I'm serious. We've got 60s in the forecast. 

2. My bro-in-law and future sis-in-law are in town for Spring Break. We're only able to spend a few days with them, but it's been fun. We've got plans to visit them a little later this Spring. You know how you just have those people that get you? They're them for us. Living states apart isn't that great.

3. I think this technically happened last week, but I got to talk to a good friend/family member and just catch up on life. There are times in life when you don't realize how much you really miss someone. She also makes awesome stuff. Check her out at She makes the softest. blankets. ever. Think of your favorite blanket...the ones she makes are softer. 

4. Some of our friends stayed at our house and watched Nellie for us when we went on vacation (in December), so we finally figured out a time for us to take them out to dinner as a thank you. We went to a town favorite, Hickory Park, which, in my opinion, never gets old. We usually see them about once a week with our small group, but we were out in a new environment this time, which was kind nice.

5. This weekend we're heading back home. Adam has some stuff to work on at his parents house and we're also going to celebrate my brother's birthday. We haven't been back to that side of the state since Christmas-ish, so it will be fun. I'm looking forward to it. 

That's all for me. Like I said, stay tuned for some hopefully exciting things. But in the mean time, what are you doing this weekend? 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Drop Box Film

The Drop Box is a documentary created by Focus on the Family that looks at the hundreds of babies that are abandomed in Souel, South Korea each year.

An idea that originated in the Czech Republic, the baby box is now common among cities around the world. One brave pastor felt the call to rescue and care for these unwanted babies, and, with the specs of a Korean newborn, the drop box was created.

The story walks us through Pastor Lee and his wife's journey through parenting a severely disabled child, who would become their son. From there, Pastor Lee created the "drop box", for mothers to anonymously leave their children to be cared for by the church.

As soon as the baby is dropped off, a bell immediately rings, alerting the pastor and his wife that a baby has been dropped off. We learn of a common practice in Souel—abandoning children on the streets, which leads to a probable death.

It's a beautiful story of a man's answer to a call that we're all asked to do—look after orphans. A man choosing to love the way God loves us.

It's only in theaters March 3–5, so you've only got two days left to see it. I highly recommend it!

Watch the trailer here.

Friday, February 27, 2015

High Five for Friday

It's darn near the last Friday in February. I know it's a short month, but that went way too fast. But the good thing about Februray ending, is March beginning. And the good thing about March beginning is Spring.

1. This week has actually gone by really quickly for me since I took Monday off. I didn't do much, hung around home and ran some errands. But it was nice to have the day off work.

2. I went to visit my girlfriend on Friday night and had a great time with her and her friends. We went to a delicious Mexican restaurant (have I mentioned Mexican is my favorite?) and had some drinks. On Saturday we tried on bridesmaids dresses and got them all ordered. Bring on August!

3. I'm trying to read more this year (playing part in some of my goals for this year), and am going for a book a month. So far so good. Last month I read Tina Fey's Bossy Pants (I didn't love it) and this week I finished up Francine Rivers Redeeming Love (loved it). So now I'm on the search to find a new one. Any suggestions? I'm heading to the library this weekend to hopefully score a new one.

4. I felt some serious love this week for my birthdya this past weekend. Adam got me an awesome induction cooktop to use while our kitchen is non-exhistant. It's been a pretty exciting week, being able to cook again. As Adam says , "You don't even need a kitchen now!". For the record, that's not true.

5. It's been serveral weeks of H54F and not many updates. Well, we haven't got much to share. We're waiting for two more letters, a recommendation letter from our pastor and a recommendation letter from our accountant, before we can send in our paperwork to be state sealed by the State of Iowa. I'll be able to give an update once we get to that point!

Happy second to the last day of February! Hope you have a great weekend!

Friday, February 20, 2015

High Five for Friday

Funny thing about Fridays, they come every week. Thank goodness. Some come quicker than others (or so it seems), this week, it felt like it took three weeks to get to Friday. But we're there (in my best Lloyd Christmas voice).

1. Adam was working out of town Sunday and Monday of this week. A few days before, he asked me if it wold be okay if he left on Sunday instead of Monday monring (in order to get home sooner). This was perfectly fine with me because there was a special, two-day airing of The Bachelor on Sunday and Monday. I was lucky enough to get Mkini sucked into the drama, so we watched it together. It was actually pretty cool because the girls were in Des Monies. Sort of a "Hey, I've been there!" type of thing.

2. Adam and I received a gift card for our favorite Mexican restaurant a few weeks ago, so we went there for this weeks date night and it was so good. I'm still dreaming about it. If I could go there every day, I think I would.

3. This past weekend Adam's parents were in town and we spent Valentine's day at an Iowa State basketball game, followed by pizza and wine at their hotel room. Adam and I don't really get into Valentine's day, so the fact that we actually did something was exciting enough. Plus the Cyclones won.

Tammy with Cy (photobomed by Rob)
4. Adam's been working on our upstairs bathroom when he's not working on other jobs, and it's really coming along nicely. It's fully drywalled, and we should be able to start painting in a couple days (he's got a few built-in cabinets to do first). This excites me a lot. It really hasn't been hard sharing a bathroom between three people, but the excitement for another part of our house to be complete is definitely there.

5. This weekend I'm heading out of town to see my best friend and bride-to-be, Sarah and join the fellow bridesmaids to try on dresses for their upcoming nuptials. I'll be coming home on Saturday to spend some time with Adam as I approach 24 (my birthday is on Sunday). And I took Monday off so I could keep the weekend going as long as possible.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 6, 2015

High Five for Friday

TGIF. amigos. It was a pretty easy going week, and it seemed to go by pretty fast, which is always a plus.

1.  We had a mega-storm over the weekend and received about 13 inches of snow. Holy snow. Church was cancelled. How does that happen?! Fortunately it's supposed to be in the 40's again this weekend. I've said it before and I'll say it again: bring on Spring.

2. My future sister-in-law moved out to Indiana this last weekend and has spent her first week as an Indianian Hoosier (I googled that). We're already planning trips to go see her (including, but not limited to, a Women of Faith conference) but I will miss her. At least we have our Monday nights.

3. We're still checking things off of our Dossier list, and we're just waiting on a few more items to be returned for us. Slowly, but surely, we'll get it sent off!

4. Saturday Adam and I were planning on going down to Des Moines to run some errands and have lunch with a friend and her parents (and their friends) because they were going to Kinky Boots. They had an extra ticket and offered it to me! I had heard of it and definitely wanted to go. My friend, Sarah, and I got to sit really close (we're talking, I-could-see-the-sweat-dripping-close). It was awesome. And the extra time with a friend who doesn't live close, was awesome. 

5.  A couple we know from church is currently adopting from Uganda and are there right now for their court trip. They had court earlier this week and will be coming home on Sunday. Please pray for safe travels for them, and a favorable court ruling!

How was your week?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The One That's Hard to Write

It has been seven years since my mom pasted away. It's so hard to believe that much time has come and gone by. What has happened over the past seven years?

I met Adam. I graduated high school. I started college. I traveled across the world. I got engaged. I got married. I graduated college. Adam and I bought a house. And now we're on this journey to find our child. So many times, I've wanted to pick up the phone and tell her about it all.

It feels like it was just yesterday. I came home after school to find my mom and her boyfriend of 12 years, dead. It was a murder-suicide. That day and the days following were some of the most difficult of my life. It made it even harder eight months later when my dad passed away from pancreatic cancer.

But the most important and life-changing thing that happened in the last seven years?  I found Christ. I knew who Jesus was prior to my mom's death, but didn't understand the steadfast love that He has for us. When I look back on those days, it is so evident that God was working in my life, even though I wasn't even seeking Him out.

We're working our way through the book of Genesis at church. This past Sunday, our pastor had to quickly cover chapters 40-45. He talked about how Joseph goes through many trials—including being sold into slavery by his own brothers and thrown into jail for a false accusation, and then suddenly becomes part ruler of Egypt. Through and through, Joseph continues to keep his faith in God.

Joseph wasn't wallowing about his problems or cursing God. He looked at his situation and saw value, because God put him there. He was divinely put in the spot as a recipient of grace.

When somethings bad happens in our lives, it's so easy to ask God why. Why did this happen to me? This isn't fair. Why her? 

Praising God and the situations He puts us in gives purpose to the suffering. As humans, we're sinners. And selfish. We think this story and this life is all about us. We try to find meaning in these hard times but putting the events into a story. The easiest story is that we are the victims. We make God and others (typically, those who have what we don't have), perpetrators of the crime. We become angry with God for putting us in the situation. We become angry with others who have what we lost. And we're okay with being angry. Because we're victims. 

Another story is that we are the hero. We're able to jump over the hurdle and defeat the enemies by an amazing amount of strength that we have. All on our own.

Or we can understand that we are recipients of God's grace. Instead of trying to cast yourself in the main role as a victim or hero, cast yourself aside as an extra. The one who has received the grace to even be apart of this story. Wake up every day and thank God for allowing you to be apart of His day and His story. See value exactly where are you, knowing that is where God wants you.

I miss my mom terribly every day. And some days more than others. It would be amazing if I got to see her and talk to her when ever I wanted. But losing my mom has allowed me to see and understand God's perfect grace. God worked in me in ways that I can't even come close to understanding. But I am so thankful that He did. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

High Five for Friday

Hey Friday, friends. Sorry I left you hanging last week. H54F is back in full force, rawr. In true Stacy fashion, I'll probably throw in some of the top moments of the past two weeks since I forgot last week. Oops. It's hard to believe that the last Friday of January is almost gone and out the door. Only 11 more months until 2016. Am I getting ahead of myself? Probably.

1. Our friends had a little girl on the 17th. We made plans to bring over a pizza and meet her last week, and oh my word, she is the sweetest thing ever. She has that tiny little face that says, "I'm a newborn and it's sooo hard for me to stay awake." She's a sweetie. Did I say that already? Her parents are doing well, too.

2. Adam and I did our monthly Meals From the Heartland volunteering. This time we bought our future sis-in-law, Maggie to crash our date night. But Maggie wasn't the only entertainment for the night...oh no. At our station we had two young girls, I believe they were 6 and 9, and full of sass. We were asking them all sorts of questions though-out the night and they were eating up the attention. I'm not going to kind of made me pray for boys.

3. This week I went to one of those paint-and drink-wine-classes with a friend. We found a Groupon a few months ago and upon realizing it was about to expire, picked a day to go. It was so much fun and I definitely want do it again. My painting didn't really look like the example, but it was fun nonetheless. I just kept going back to the Bob Ross mantra, "Those aren't mistakes. Those are happy little accidents." Thanks for the motivation, Bob.

4.The weather has been holding strong to spring-like weather. And there are no complaints here. I don't know much about the little groundhog, but I hope he doesn't see his shadow (or do I want him to?) so it can be spring soon!

5. We've been working on the house just about every night the last several weeks. And it's getting better and better every day. While we're still a ways away from a working kitchen, it feels good to get a lot of the fundamental things (like, oh structural walls?) done right. While I would much rather have a working kitchen, it's kind of fun seeing it like a blank space. You can imagine it any way you want.

How has your week been? Leave a comment and tell me about it!

Friday, January 16, 2015

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday! It's crazy that it's already the middle of January! It's crazy, right? It has been a wonderful, sunny week. Check it out below!

1. I never thought I would be someone who would watch The Bachelor. Those dating shows? Just not for me. When my sis-in-law (well, almost) said she watched it, I thought I'd give it a try. So I watched the season premier a two weeks ago, actually, only an hour of the three hour premier, and I was hooked. Okay, so I didn't have enough patience to watch the entire show, but it was a fresh snow and Nellie was itchin' for a walk. Anyway—fast forward to this week—Adam was out of town working (which is good because he doesn't seem to care for it...weird, right?) so I decided I was going to watch it at the gym. This turned out to be the. best. idea. ever. There was no way I was going to get off of the elliptical and stop watching. So I'm officially a fan. Maybe even a super-fan. We'll have to wait and see.

2. So far this January, it's been cold. Like stupid cold. but this week, I can't complain. It's been sunny every day this week, and the temperature has even been rising. We're talking 40+ degrees today. It's feeling spring, even though we've got a couple months to go. Here's to hoping it stays for a little while.

3. We have a new roomie. I've mentioned it before, but Mkini has officially moved in with us. So far, so good. He's like a brother to both Adam and me and we really enjoy his company. Plus, it's making us even more motivated to get our kitchen finished. Now it's not just us who has to eat frozen pizzas and crock pot meals. I'm kind of waiting for a neighbor to accidentally recognize him as our adopted child (he's from Tanzania).

An oldie but a goodie. Taken around 2011. 
4. Two of our great friends will likely become parents this weekend! It's looking like she will be induced this weekend, and we are so excited for them. We'll likely be spending some time at the hospital with the new family of three.

5. RAGBRAI isn't for 183 days, but the route announcement is coming out next week. So I've been very determined this week to try and figure out the route. Why can't I wait until the 24th to figure it out ? Who knows. But I must figure it out. We're trying to get a bigger team together this year, and a lot of it depends on the course. I can't wait!

Last year on RAGBRAI—Los Gatos Gordos

Friday, January 9, 2015

I Am With You and For You

So, it's Friday. All of your regulars who read this know that Fridays mean H54F posts. I had full intention of starting my Friday with a H54F post as well. Until I read my devo for the day. It was one of those where you read it and wonder how in the world it is so applicable to your life? It's like God told the author that on January 9 I would be feeling this way, so she wrote it. How does it happen?!

We sent out holiday cards this year with some notes on adoption FAQs. You know, the basics that we get asked over and over (and over, and over), which is great. I love talking about our journey and the unknown-ness (is that a word) that comes along with it. What I've come across mostly though, is the astonishment from people when we tell them the length of time it will take. Every single adoption journey is different. Some people start out an adoption process with kiddos in mind, and some don't (raising my hand over here). The timing in every adoption journey is also different. While I can only testify to our case, with no specific kiddo in mind, I'm sure the other route is also a journey in trusting in God's plan.

I opened my devo this morning, since I'm trying to make a habit of it (see goal #1), to find a reading that hit me like a ton of bricks (side note: can you imagine actually getting hit with a ton of bricks. No way you'd make it out of that one. So it was actually more like getting hit with a nerf arrow or something.) I opened it up to the following:

I AM WITH YOU AND FOR YOU. When you decide on a course of action that is in line with My will, nothing in heaven or on earth can stop you. You may encounter many obstacles as you move toward your goal, but don't be discouraged—never give up! With my help, you can overcome any obstacle. Do not expect an easy path as you journey hand in hand with Me, but do remember that I, your very-present Helper, am omnipotent.

Much, much stress results from your wanting to make things happen before their times have come. One of the main ways I assert My sovereignty is in the timing of events. If you want to stay close to Me and do things My way, ask Me to show you the path forward moment by moment. Instead of dashing headlong toward your goal, let Me set the pace. Slow down, and enjoy the journey in my Presence.

Romans 8:31; Psalm 46:1-3; Luke 1:37

Okay, seriously?!?!?!

When you decide on a course of action that is in line with My will, nothing in heaven or on earth can stop you.
  • God has a plan for us. We do not make our own plan. Though we have our own free will to make decisions, when we get on the path that God wants us on, we will get there. (Underline, bold, italics, the works)

Much, much stress results from your waiting to make things happen before their times have come. 
  • Um, hello! This is a joke, right? This is me. I get stressed out for no reason at all. No reason. It's because I'm trying to make things happen before they are supposed to. Remember goal #3? This will help that one.

Instead of dashing headlong toward your goal, let Me set the pace. Slow down, and enjoy the journey in my Presence.
  • Let go and let God. He's got this. He's blessed us with this life and He takes such good care of us. 

I know I've said this before, that God has seriously blessed us with patience so far through the process. Not every day, but for the most part. I often tell people that if we wanted to have kids right away, we would have tried to get pregnant. But that isn't part of our plan right now. This is our plan. And we will get there. Who knows when we'll be a family of three (or will it be four?). We don't know. And trying to figure it out isn't going to do us much good. Thank you, Father, for letting this be our plan. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

High Five for Friday

Well hey, there, 2015. It's nice to met you. After one day spent together, I'd say we're off to a pretty good start. Today's post is going to cover some resolutions goals I have for this year. If feel like when I use the word resolution, my resolutions are just asking to be broken. Is that just me? So below are my three goals for 2015. (note: I just wrote 2014, then deleted and wrote 2013. This may take awhile)

1. Spend more time in the word. Why is it that I find it so hard to spend time in God's word every day? Fortunately, my MIL* gifted me with Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young which is a daily devotional with at least two verses per devotional. It's just what I need to get this goal moving. I'm hoping that reading and understanding His word will help me to surrender myself more and more to Him every day.

2. Spend less time on the computer/phone/tablet, etc. With technically bigger than ever, I often find myself stuck on social media or a website in my free time. While I'm not condoning social media (hello Pinterest!), I don't want it to become a bad habit. I am at my computer all day, and often I'll come home and get right back on. I know we're not parents yet, but I'm trying to look at the habits I have now and try to see how keeping them would affect my parenting style. I don't want to be a mom who sees everything my child does though the eyes of my iPhone camera.

3. Be more patient. Sometimes I find myself getting upset quickly, especially if I'm stressed or overwhelmed and especially with my husband. He is one of the easiest people to get along with, but sometimes I can be a little sassy, which isn't fair. I am so grateful for Adam and I would like to show him that more often by toning down the sass. 

What are your goals for 2015? Do you believe that the new year can be a 'new start'?

*MIL is code for Mother-in-Law
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