Dreaming Big for 2015 {part 3 – Saying Yes and No + Word of the Year }

I’ve heard from so many of you how you are thinking through and brainstorming and looking back and dreaming about what is to come. I’m so glad!  Honestly, it holds me more accountable to the things I write on here. Blogging is a tricky thing… you want to write for yourself but then it’s still very public. So it’s something that I often trust the Spirit to lead me in. But I do believe that blogging is a way I process and in many ways order all the swirling thoughts in my cluttered mind.

This is part 3 in my Dreaming Big for 2015 Series. And this is Definitely for myself. You can find the blog series I’m following and going by HERE on Lara Casey’s blog. It’s just simple (but so not simple) steps that I do about every 6 months or so the past 3 years  and it’s been life changing…. life changing in very small ways, but life changing nonetheless.


So here is What I’m saying NO to.  No is SO hard for me to say ya’ll. I’m a total YES girl. But when I realized that Saying No is really Saying YES to the things that matter most in my life then it changed my outlook on it. I still wrestle with feeling like I have to explain myself to others when I say No. I need to work on that this year. Not that I don’t want to share… but I shouldn’t want to try to soothe my guilty feelings of letting someone down because it doesn’t work for our life right now.


These are the ones I’ve processed so far… I’m sure many more will come to light and be incorporated in our family this year.



I’m saying NO to

Saying “hold on or just a minute” when my kids need my attention or to do something for them but I’m on the computer writing or editing or really anytime I’m doing something that in reality I could stop and come right back to. This will take time to break a habit of mine.

Big Birthday Parties for our kids and going to other kids birthday parties as well. *I’ll write more on this in a future post. It’s not something I think every one should do but right now it’s just something our family needs to step back from at this time.

Photography Mentorships/Workshops in Texas.  For some odd reason these really work well when I do them in North Carolina but tank here in Texas. And I’m just not at a place in life where I can effectively pour into people in this area…. now, want to talk adoption…. I’m All in! These are a few AWESOME places where I think online photography classes and mentorship are taking place that are high quality and sometimes even free! Creatife Life  *

Being scared/nervous about posting things on my blog.

Saying No to going on the spring mission trip Dan will lead to L.A. Even though everything in me will be longing to go as he has planning meetings and gets on that plane!

NO Parabens and Aluminum in my/kids lotions and beauty products.  It’s a step that I think is a good one towards a more natural daily beauty routine.

High School Senior photo Sessions. I have done them and I do enjoy them… it’s just not my wheelhouse and thus it’s not what really I love most.

The pressure (from myself) to read a lot of books.  This last year, I read 2 1/2  books, and they weren’t that long. But they impacted me and if I only read 1-2 books a year but I take the time to let them sink in… then I think that’s great! Sorry book club… I’ll still be the one who hasn’t read but is coming for time with you and good wine!

Feeling like I have to know what conferences or networks I should attend, be a part of or invest in this year. I don’t. I do love going to them and being a part of something bigger than me… but this year may hold all sorts of surprises that I need to be home for and my kids are still so small and dependent that I don’t want to say I’m going to invest in something wholeheartedly when I know I still need to invest a lot more at home…. and when I haven’t been led to anything specifically that says, THIS this is the people and timing that He wants me to throw my heart and time into. That day may come…. but for today, I’ll trust that He will have me going where He wants me to when I need it most.

Letting awkwardness or hurt prevent me from saying things like I love you and things that are deep and meaningful.

Not feeling like I have to please everyone and represent all sides when posting on social media. I have a perspective and I have a calling… so it’s okay that I post accordingly and trust that others with different perspectives and callings are posting likewise.

To other FB pages other than my personal one… I just can’t keep up with a photography one, a hobby one, etc..

Planning big events for my extended family. In my mind I always want to have these grand get-togethers but they never really pan out…. so I need to take that effort and make smaller gatherings happen more often! $5 roll Sushi Happy Hour coming your way Brothers and Sisters!!!

Not thinking that Instagram is a lesser way of blogging if that’s what I have time for.

Letting my mind run too far in the future (like more than a year) when it comes to planning things like schooling for my kids, the way our life will look, where we will be living. Because It often breeds fear and then causes Dan and I to argue about things we have no idea will be like when that time comes.  (for example, the other day we argued about digital learning when our kids are teenagers…. so stupid of me to argue about something that will change and develop in so many ways in the next 10-15 years.)

Think of more specific NO’s. I need boundaries and am always needing ways to structure and provide margin. So hopefully this will be a list that grows over the next few weeks.




in 2015 I’m saying Yes to:

Adopting a little newborn girl that has Down syndrome. Yes, it’s totally the plan for this year. Yes, it’s totally crazy sounding. Yes, it’s the cry of BOTH of our hearts and our kids can’t wait to have a little baby sister. I’ll write more on this later. But for now… we are home study ready and just waiting for God to bring the right birthmother/birthfamily along who bravely choose life for her child but needs a family to call her their own! We are a part of THIS registry that puts birth moms who are expecting a little bundle with an extra chromosome and families hoping to adopt a baby with T21 together!!  This is our nursery that’s slowly coming along. Abel is really excited to gain a new roommate! Oh I can’t wait to tell you more about how God put this newest adventure on our hearts. I think it’s going to be so incredible!

I might be a little obsessed about vintage floral little girl clothes right now. Half that dresser is little girl stuff just waiting for her to get here.

Doing something every day that is working towards simplifying my life…. if that’s making a Pdf, arranging the spice cabinet, or throwing stuff away, or whatever… but every day do something little in that area.

Mondays being an all day keep laundry going day and watching something I totally wouldn’t ever spend my time watching  (reality, or E! or something like that.) while folding mount laundry!

I need to stretch. I carry SO much tension in my body. I find that when I’m stretched or get a massage it takes away that feeling of being stressed out that my brain thinks is my life… but really it’s all in my muscles.

Baking Cakes for Birthdays and Special Occasions. HERE is my pinterest board of the cakes I want/will be trying to bake this year! I got a great bundt pan at a goodwill last week. Can’t wait to use it.

Teaching Classes for Influence Network

Keep Buying art supplies for the kids when I feel like I am buying the same things every month because they lose/break/ruin/use up the ones I got the month before. But them having a constant creativity outlet matters more!

Making Dr. Appointments.  Dentist… Eye… Lady… all those things that are so easy to put off but in reality are so easy to make happen.

Tackling Finances, getting bills/debts all written out on a poster board OR spread sheet.

Helping my neighbor and her family in ways that help them long term and always show kindness and authenticity even when that means saying hard things to her and pursuing her.

Organize smaller get togethers for my siblings and their families.

Making more of Pioneer Woman recipes. (they ALWAYS come out great! Her beef tenderloin is outta this world!!) Even reading her blog more often is something I should do because it shows me how to blog in a way that makes you feel like you’re having a conversation with the writer.

these peanut butter apple delights from PW are so easy and incredible!! click HERE for the recipe link!

Buying clothes I need.  Seeing clothes as something that God promises to provide for me and not viewing them as things I shouldn’t spend money on. Any mamas out there relate to me on this one?

Taking walks as a family right after Dan gets home from work.

Sharing more openly when I’m in person with people about all that God’s done in and through my marriage.

to Stevia. I like it already in cold drinks, struggling with coffee.

Arranging a My favorite things Tea Party

Seeing Taylor Swift in concert. YAY!!! Dan and I are so excited to go with our friends the Coelhos come October.

Keeping worship CD’s in the car so that the kids will know them as well as they know their taylor swift album. They love hillsong but maybe finding a few others that have the songs we worship most with on sundays would be great too.

Making Family birthdays more special and thought out. This blogger I adore… and I think she inspires me to work hard at creating beautiful and colorful celebrations that aren’t simple but still are.  Simplicity takes a lot of planning I’ve come to learn.

Booking Family portrait sessions a few times a month

Dallas Littles Club


Watching the first episode of a new kids cartoon with the kids. (sometimes I wait and assume it’s Nick Jr…so it’s great, and then later go, eh.. this isn’t the greatest show for my kids and then they are all sad when I ask them to watch something else)  Gosh, I wish every show was as good as Wild Kratts!! Love those guys SO much.

Finishing my two 31 Day Series on Adoption and Hospitality. (even if it’s what I do come October instead of a new series!) I want to finish them!!

Trusting that when God leads Dan in certain areas that it’s what’s best for our whole family.

Thursday nights being a night I can go out (book club, coffee with friends, etc…)

Hearing Jen Hatmaker speak. Because she speaks truth like THIS.

Getting Journal Bible and marking it all up and letting the truths express through art in the margins. I think that will help me meditate and remember throughout my day.  I’m inspired by THIS BLOGGER (who is also a rad foster mom!) and the way she goes about art journaling. I need to take THIS class! And what an awesome thing for my children to have to cherish…. the creative otuflowing of the ways His word spoke to me.

Figuring out a sock system for our family.

Doing a family album with Project Life… printing photos quarterly.

Coffee dates with local friends who push me, challenge me and speak truth into my life.

Plan in state road trip for this summer. (we typically have done epic road trip one summer then in state the next.) Maybe San Antonio/Seaworld would be a great trip ! I’d say the Ocean… but I think the Ocean has lost it’s attraction as a family until the kids get a little older. Abel eating handfuls of dirt unless I held him the whole time was our last experience. Yeah… no.



Word/Phrase of the Year! 

Last year “Done is better than perfect” was my theme!! And it applied in so many areas as I embraced a busy life of lots of littles.  But there are a lot of areas that I’m seeing some fall out from that approach. Now, it will still be something I have to remind myself often of when it comes to many things…. But I needed something that would challenge and ground me in these areas that I find are lacking and even suffering from in the areas of what truly matter most. (kids, marriage, health, relationships, God.)

For weeks I thought Slow down and get it right was going to be it. But slowing down usually isn’t my problem. My problem is because a lot of times doing those things I need to do and want to do is hard.

Please don’t judge me but, when it’s 8:30 and your kids have been going full throttle all day and all you want to do is be alone and have an adult conversation with your husband then brushing 5 kids teeth is HARD Work! When you have to arrange babysitting, a ride for your husband to work, and make sure insurance/medical savings is all the way it’s supposed to be and pick the right doctor that will treat you not mask your symptoms… then making and keeping a Dr. Appointment is HARD work! When you have 8 siblings, most of which have spouses and kids and you want to try to connect and love them and spend time with them to get to know them better… it’s HARD work! See, these are areas that are worthy of every bit of effort and then some… but it’s Hard!  Loving your neighbor who is probably more used to using and manipulating the people in her life than being in an actual friendship is HARD. Living intentionally with others and “doing life” with them and serving them…. it’s inconvenient…. it’s messy… it’s HARD Work!

Adopting a newborn, in many ways is easy longterm because you get to know that child from day 1 typically…. but at first it’s HARD work because you’re trying to figure out this baby as she figures out her new world… breathing, eating, digesting, sleeping.  Babies are Hard…. and all the new mamas said AMEN! God keeps bringing international adoption up in my heart.  I think when you’ve been overseas and know about how great the orphan crisis is… how can you not feel a tug towards that again. (unless it’s been a year or two since you’ve come home… you get a break from that tug!) We haven’t heard Him speak or lead in that direction right now for our family but I think whatever capacity He’s putting this on my heart, if it’s walking along side of others, if it’s supporting a ministry, if it’s traveling overseas, if it’s actually starting the process (don’t think it is but Dan and I both know that we want our yes on the table to whatever He might have in store for our family), Whatever it may look like… I know it’s not easy! International adoption is NEVER easy! It’s HARD!

So for 2015…….

DO HARD THINGS!! will be the theme of my song.

It’s what I want to challenge myself with. It’s what I will need HIM and His strength and power to be able to accomplish these things. (Yes… I need Jesus to get my kids teeth brushed! I’m just being honest!)

Do you have a theme or one little word you are clinging to this year?



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