Time in the States.

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Well, Lily and I have been back in America for two weeks now and we are loving it! It’s such a blessing to be able to sit down with family and friends and introduce them to Lily! We’re definitely soaking up this sweet visit here!

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We’ve also had some cool opportunities arise for us to fundraise a bit while here. We’re still figuring out some details but are excited to share about them soon! Please just check back in here for more information soon!

Thanks for your love and support!

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Her Second Birthday

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My Sweet Lily Girl,

You amaze me, babe. You have come such a long way this past year. You’ve been through so much, but you’re a fighter. Oh, are you a fighter! I am beyond proud of you for going from the brink of death to the strong, joyful, chunky little two-year old you are now.

Lily, you are such a smart little girl. You love to sit in my lap and read. You love to count and say your ABC’s (and you’re getting really good at both)! You enjoy puzzles and love when I quiz you on your colors and shapes. You ADORE Barney, but don’t mind some Veggie Tales occasionally, too. You love singing and dancing around the house in your dress-up clothes. You enjoy playing in the pool and bath time, as long as the water doesn’t get on your face :) You get so excited when I ask you to get your shoes so we can go on a walk or get in the car, or “tar” as you call it. When we play outside, your favorite thing to do is pick up the leaves and seeds and put them in your toy car, but you enjoy kicking the soccer ball around, too – praise God!

I wanted to share with you, each birthday of yours we celebrate, my favorite thing about you. But, I can’t. Babe, there are so many things about you that I cherish. There are so many things about you that are my favorite! So, I will share a few. I love how excited and giddy you get over things like me reading a book to you, or the Barney theme song or seeing the blue Skype call ringing and you realize we’re calling Jjajja. I love how much you love to learn. I love that you still call ‘water’ ‘doh dah.’ I love how you always say “yes, mama” and “mama, please.” You are so polite, Lil! I love your kisses and cuddles. I love when I come to get you from naptime and you scream with excitement. I love watching you grow, explore and learn. I love watching you play and I love watching you sleep. I love silly things you pick up from me, like saying, “niiice” when you give me a high-five. I am thankful I get to see more of Christ because of you. I love being your Mama, sweet girl and all of these favorites above are just TOUCHING on why I love that huge blessing.

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I cannot believe you have been by my side for an entire year. It seems so much shorter, and so much longer. Oh, little one, this year with you has been incredible. You have stretched me, grown me, challenged me, loved me, accepted me, trusted me, taught me, made me cry more than ever, made me laugh more than ever, made me stronger, made me healthier, made me a mother and, most importantly, you have made me fall in love with Jesus even more. Thank you, baby.

My prayer for you this next year is that you would grow even more into who God has created you to be. I’m praying that you experience the love of your Father, even as a two-year old. I’m praying that as you grow, your heart will begin to desire something more, Someone more.

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Happy birthday, my Lily Grace. Today, I celebrate more than I ever have before. This day is a day to be joyful for, grateful for! You are worth celebrating, Lily.  

I love you so much, baby girl. Always and forever.

Mama

Photo on 2014-03-18 at 02.42 #4

One Year.

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Today marks one year since I met my daughter. Wow.

I’ve tried multiple times to write down what that feels like, process how it’s been and fathom how far we have both come.. but I just can’t. And, I’m not convinced I’ll ever be able to truly do that. God is just so good. He has been, He is and we know He will continue to be.

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I wasn’t this sweet little girl’s original plan, but He is the God who loves redemption and I’m grateful He chose me to step in and be the Mother of this precious child, of His precious child.

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Today, we celebrate. We celebrate our first year together and praise Jesus for all He has done in our lives!

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I love my little one more than I ever thought I could and I cannot wait to see what God has in store for us in the years to come!

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Puzzle FUN!

hello friends! lily and I just wanted to update you all on our puzzle fundraiser!
we’re down to 190 puzzle pieces left! that’s all!
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and, we’ve got a pretty cool idea on how to finish this puzzle!

(thanks to some great friends who had this idea already!!)

RAK = Random Act of Kindness

And for every 20 pieces we sell, Lily and I are going to perform a RAK here and take pictures for you all!

We already have some VERY good ideas on how to love on some of the people here in Uganda (.. and maybe some from back home!) so let’s do it!
The point is to give back a little as WE are receiving such love from ya’ll!
So, who’s in!?
Who wants to buy a puzzle piece?
Who wants to share this blog with their friends and family and coworkers?!
To buy a piece (or pieces!), go to the homepage of this blog and note the “Make a Donation” button on the right!
We’re excited to see how this plays out and can’t do it without each of you!!

Blessed by ya’ll.

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2013

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2013 came with a lot.

It was a year full of new things that I am so incredibly thankful for. It was a year full of new things that I am still struggling with.

It’s been a year of joy, while also being a year of pain. A year of celebrating and a year of mourning.

It has been a year to love but also learn to be loved. I have met amazing people and I’ve said goodbye to amazing people. I’ve been a part of new life and a part of death.

I have laughed more than ever and have cried more than ever.

2013 was the year I became a Mother.

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And, most importantly, 2013 was a year for growing even closer to my Savior.

So, praise you, God. Praise you for growing me, loving me, bringing through so much and into a deeper and more intimate relationship with you. You are my Perfect Father.

I can only imagine what the Lord will have in store for Lily and I in 2014.. and then I can only imagine how much better it’ll be.. and then in 2015 I cannot wait to see how much better it was than all of my imagination. :)

I’m sure there will be greater joy, greater change and greater trials. I can only hope that with those things, I will have greater trust.

As always, He is good. And because His character never changes, I am grateful that I can have confidence in the truth that He will be good. Always.

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,

Who was and is and is to come.

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Our Christmas “Card”

Lily and I just wanted to tell everyone Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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I know, pretty solid pictures, right? Don’t worry though, like any family with kids, we had our ‘outtakes!’

 

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Seriously though, we are extremely grateful for each of you who love and support us and pray that you have a blessed holiday season and experience Christ to the fullest.

With love from Uganda,
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( http://www.elfyourself.com/ )

Another Puzzle Update!

Hey everyone! We wanted to share with you all the progress of our puzzle fundraiser

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We are SO thankful for everyone who has shared our story and given to our journey here! What blessings you all are to us!

We are SO close to hitting the half way mark!

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We have 192 pieces sold.. 242 would be half way!

If we can sell just 50 more pieces we will hit it!

So, who’s in?!

Let’s do it, friends!

50 pieces by the 15th?!

Sounds good to us!

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His Lily.

It has only been 8 months, 2 weeks and 1 day and I have forgotten.

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A week ago we had the privilege of taking our little friend to the hospital. He’s about 6 years old but weighs that of a 3 or 4 year old. He needed to go in for his bi-weekly weighing, measurements and Plumpy Nut pickup and we were able to take him.

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And, it was definitely where God wanted me to be.

As he began his check-up, I began to remember.

I remembered how small she was. How sick and unhealthy she was.

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I remembered the first 48 hours I sat with her, watching the IV slowly drip life into her body.

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I remembered the arm measurements, the charts, the ridiculous amount of Plumpy Nut I had to force her to eat.

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I remembered the painful injections but how she was too weak to even cry.

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I remembered the sleepless nights, the coughing and getting sick, the medicine battles.

I remembered my eyes being so heavy, so puffy (and choosing that day for pictures!)

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I remembered not knowing how to hold her small, fragile body.

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And then, I think about where she is now. I think about how big and healthy and happy she is. I think about how loved she is.

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And I never want to forget.

I don’t want to forget how faithful God has been, how faithful God is.

I don’t want to forget where she was 8 months ago..

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or 5 months ago..

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I don’t want to forget where she is now.

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I don’t want to forget that her hair was sickly orange and is now a thick, healthy dark brown. Or that she could barely sit on her own and now she’s running around everywhere. Or that she rarely smiled and now laughs all the time. I don’t want to forget that she barely made sounds and now says multiple words, including Mama.

I always want to remember how He’s loved her, how He’s shielded her with his faithfulness.

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This is Him, friends. The God who cares. The God who is faithful, trustworthy, mighty. The God who is good.

Forever and ever.

Let us pray we always remember.

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“.. And under His wings you will find refuge, His faithfulness will be your shield..”

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Here’s to the next 100!

A couple of days ago I posted and said that we only needed 25 pieces to reach the first 100 mark… and we passed it! We went from 73 pieces to 119 pieces in a matter of minutes!

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God is so faithful and I am reminded of that as each piece is purchased.

Thank you, again, to all who have shared our story and to all who have given their finances to buy pieces of our puzzle!

How BLESSED we are! How LOVED we feel!

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This brings us down to (only!) 366 pieces left to sell!

Friends, we are GRATEFUL for this love that seems to be pouring out for us! What an honor it is to have so many people – family, friends, strangers – come alongside of me and my sweet girl and love us! Praise be to God for providing you lovely people to support us!!

My goal now is to sell 100 more pieces by the weekend!

Which would then bring us to only 266 pieces left!

So, here’s to the next 100, friends!!

Blessed by you all!

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*Lastly, the winner of the SECOND Ugandan purse is Alex Cataldo!! Congrats, bud!*

Puzzle Update!

This. Is. Fun.

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We’re 56 pieces in and we’re stoked about how God’s going to use this to love and serve us! We are also SO excited to see family, friends and even friends of friends of friends getting involved! It’s awesome! And such a blessing to our little family!

My baby girl cannot wait to see more of this picture revealed – she (like ya’ll) have NO idea what it looks like!!

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Thank you to everyone who has shared our story and a special thanks to those who have bought puzzle pieces and helped us kick this fundraiser off!! You all ROCK!

ALSO: We’ve decided that for every 50 pieces we’re going to do a drawing for a sweet handmade Ugandan purse! (pictures to come..)

This first round winner/s are: Katie and Josh Coiner!

Thank you ALL for your love, support and encouragement!!

Only 429 pieces to go!!

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