Monday, October 29, 2012

Ruby is one!

Okay, so actually, she's already 14 months old. So this is {already} 2 months late.

Her party was so fun. I'm just gonna share it with whoever cares out there! :)

Of course, I started pinning ideas for her party from the moment I joined the ever-loving time-sucking idea sight, Pinterest. At the end of the post, I have links to where my ideas all came from.

Mister couldn't BELIEVE we were having a party without balloons...but what can I say? I like to be different. And I wanted her party to be classy & chic. I don't know if we pulled THAT off, but I sure loved the outcome! And a bonus - I was able to use all the decorations for her bedroom, which still was lacking in that area.

I should apologize now for the massive amounts of pictures you will see in this post. But...hey...just know that though there are many here, there are MANY more on my computer. :) I did pick out the best ones for you!

 The cake was made by a dear, dear friend {who also happened to make our wedding cake}. We tried to make candy buttons - FAIL. So we used real ones instead!

One of my favorite things I did was Ruby's name. I do a lot of letters as gifts to people, but usually initials. If it's longer than 4 letters, it sure is big b/c the letters are quite large. But this time, I spray painted them (new to me). I like them, but I think I prefer painting with acrylic. Surprisingly faster, and I prefer the matte look it gives. But the button clusters are awesome, are they not? {PS - I also spent hours spray painting is NOT as easy as it sounds!}

Isn't this display just ca~ute?! I took advantage of the candle thingies and made a 12 month display of her pics. LOVE.

I'm not a big punch person, and I saw this on one of my pins and loved the idea. It was a hit.

You'll have to forgive me for putting THREE pictures of her wreath on here, but they're my new obsession, and this one is the best one I've made yet. Seriously cute stuff. {I'm selling customized ones for Christmas gifts if anyone's interested.}

I found a tank top at a rummage sale and sewed on buttons to it. I made her first tu-tu, which actually wasn't nearly the project I thought it would be. I love that her outfit tied into the button theme.

At first, she was pretty hands off with the cake. But after she got a few good tastes, she dug in....

Ruby LOVES wrapping paper, tissue, etc. We were constantly redirecting her to what was IN the paper. Surely people understood...

One last picture of our birthday girl...she is just such a joy.

Watch for a blog coming soon with how we implemented her bday decorations to make her room look more like...a little girl's room!

As promised, here are the main inspirations:

Tutu - Treasures for Tots {She has a BUNCH of tutorials featured on her blog. Neat stuff.}
Party Theme & Decorations - The Rollins Ruckus, Kara's Party Ideas

Saturday, October 27, 2012

5 Years Ago Today...

5 years ago today, I had quite a day planned. I planned for my whole childhood for this day, but officially had 93 days to execute the details.

5 years ago today, I had all of my favorite people {and then some} in one single room at the same time to witness our words.

5 years ago today, I felt {and kinda looked} like a princess.

5 years ago today, I had so many dreams and wishes and hopes. Some of them have been surpassed; some of them...not so much.

5 years ago today, I had NO idea what I was doing.

5 years ago today, I couldn't WAIT to go on vacation with my sweet man...and then we ended up sleeping most of it away out of pure exhaustion.

5 years ago today, I shared communion with my future {and my niece Kennedy, who insisted on us sharing...oh the memories...}

5 years ago today, this sweet Mister...he already had my heart. So now, he was giving me his last name, and pledging to love me through thick & thin {and boy, have we had both}.

5 years ago today, I kissed the love of my life in front of a LOT of people. {Can I get a whoot, whoot!}

5 years ago today, I got married. {In case you were wondering.} And so to celebrate, I'm looking back on our 5 years. It's been a time, that's for sure.

5 years ago today, I had this...false reality that I was entering into a state of pure bliss. Those of us who are married certainly understand why I am calling it that. It is great. And awful. And sweet. And hard. with your best's the best. Living with your best friend who calls you out on all your...not so greatness...not always the best.

5 years later, I am a better person. I am quieter.

5 years later, I am a little softer around the edges.

5 years later, I care about things that I never really did care about before.

5 years later, I still laugh. He is totally hilarious. Basically all the time.

5 years later, I realize many of my weaknesses, which go hand in hand with my love's strengths.

5 years {and many arguments} later, I realize I'm not always right...and I'm okay with that.

5 years later, I am so thankful for who God gave me.

Dearest Aaron,

We made it to 5 years. Can you believe it? We've had some amazing times. Moments in time that we wouldn't trade for anything, learning new things about each other, and becoming parents...there's something you just can't plan for.

I love you more today than I did yesterday...and yesterday's yesterday. And I certainly love you more than that sweet, special day we said "I do."

I still do, though. I do promise to love you through thick & thin. Through days of sadness, and life's greatest triumphs. Through regular, plain old days where nothing major goes right or wrong, and through days when we struggle to catch our breath through the madness swirling around us. I do. I will.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Faves

I'm linking up with the amazing blog (one of my new all time faves), Finding Joy.

friday favorite things | finding joy
She is both inspirational and down to earth, and I find great comfort in her words. She encourages her readers to step back on Fridays, think about our weeks, and realize all the blessings that took place.

And though I am in sort of a funk, looking through my IG shots this week {find me @ JosKeathley}, I truly am blessed. We had some great memories this past week. So...humor me. And I hope you're able to do the same.

Saturday was a B..L...A...S...T! We attended a fall fundraiser for a friends upcoming adoption, and they had a REAL LIFE hot air balloon there! I have never watched one come up from flat, and It.Was.Neat. Truly. I was standing there in awe. Like some sort of kid in a candy store. {There may or may not have been squealing, folks.}

And at said event, I had the chance to spend time with a DEAR dear friend. Hay rides? Yes, please. And you can tell Baby R loves Auntie Kristin, too! We all are blessed to have all 4 Pulliams in our lives...

Not much of a spaghetti maker {or eater} here, but found out that {without a doubt}, Baby R loves "sketti" as much as her big brudder & Daddy. Maybe I should make an effort to get it on the meal plan more often...this picture was was watching her stuff whole mouthfuls of "sketti" in her mouth at once!

I loved getting back to my first love, crafting, this week. Truly makes me happy.

This is our Jack-o-Lantern. We had one {ONE} night together as a family this week, and I literally couldn't have been happier to carve a pumpkin with my loves. Baby R watched in wonder, Big D LOVED getting messy, and we all worked together to get "Mr. Jack" all set up. And Momma "purged" all our candles, so we're using a huge candle in a glass to light it up...but hey - it works! What a fun night with fun memories had with our punkin{s}!

And that picture...Could.Not.Be.Cuter. Oh my goodness. She is so into everything, including bookshelves. Also, she's officially walking as of yesterday. She still only does it about 1/2 the time, but she understands she can do it without our help and loves it!

We are truly blessed!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Show 'N Tell: Bow Holder

I am totally coming up with a new name BESIDES "Show 'N Tell" for my DIY section. I just hated "Show 'N Tell" as a teacher. Trying to pry information out of children in the name of vocabulary & language was awful. And usually lasted a good 1/2 hour. Anyway - the name must go...If you think of a clever one, please let me know.

Anywho - back to the matter at hand.

I have this box. With a lid. And it holds all of Baby R's hair "supplies." And we rarely use them because
a) it's all mixed together and hard to get to & b) I rarely have time to search for needed item. {Mister just loves it when I speak in "list style."}

So Baby R goes with those little plastic thingies in her hair and no hair "pretties." Pretty much All.The.Time.

We put Faux Wood Blinds up in her room. The plain ol' white ones just weren't doing it for us this summer. We were up with the Sun {and a semi-cranky baby due to lack of sleep}. I digress.

So we had a few of these slat thingies leftover {ya like my technical terms today, don't ya?}. I have been working on this in my head for months, and am thrilled to announce that it is done, after inspiration from this, thank you, Pinterest!  I loved the idea of using ribbon to attach the barrettes easily & quickly. I also love how they used hooks for her headbands. I have a totally different idea for the headbands in Baby R's room {which I'm sure I'll share whether you want me to or not ;-)}.


  • hot glue gun & glue
  • blind slat thingie, though you could use a wood piece, a frame, or anything
  • decorative ribbon
  • optional: ca~ute stickers

And the finished product all hing nice on the wall. Could it BE any cuter?! I think not!

Be blessed!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Looking Fear in the Eye(s)

Fear is a funny thing. I've known people who have just been driven by fear. Driven.

And though we are all fearful of certain things, I have never been much of a fear-filled person. That is...until I had kids.

Adoption comes with so many fears. As parents, we fear doing it right. We fear scarring our kids. We fear them feeling different their whole lives. We fear their possible hurts that are out of our control.

And me? I fear the birth parents.

When we adopted Dillon, we made it a closed adoption. And it was really up to us. The decision to us was a no-brainer. They could hurt him again. Seeing them might make him re-live some of the trauma he's been through. Secretly, some fears that I had were that he might love them more than me...that he would want to be with them. So keeping them at a distance was what we had to do.

Then came little sister. And the realities of "sharing" her for visits every week...the opening up of communication, be it through a case worker or not.

Then came a little book:

And a class I felt led to "facilitate" full of adoptive parents wanting the very best for their children.

Then came a few dreams (3 to be exact). Montages of happiness that included my children, older, smiling, content. And it featured my Mister & I, smiling, content. And it featured birth parents...smiling, content.

Then came prayer. A lot of prayer. And just...talking it out with God. And Mister.

Then came a letter that it was time for a case review for Little Miss. SO! I felt it was a perfect, non-obligatory way to meet them without kids present. It would be short & sweet. It would be with others present. It would be non-confrontational. It would be fine.

It would not, however, be easy. We doubted going and starting this process even as we were walking into the room.

But we did it. We faced our fear(s). Right in the eyeballs. And we smiled. And talked about our children. Our children.

And God was good enough to let me see beauty. Even though some ugly things have been done to hurt and scar my child for life, God allowed me to see beauty there. No anger & hurt. No bitterness.

I saw beauty. Those eyes gave me my two biggest blessings. And I literally couldn't ask for more.

For realz.

Monday, October 15, 2012

My productive moments...

I never intended to give her a bowl, fork, and mashed taties. It just...happened. And then I got distracted. And then there was silence.

For you see, like most mommas, my productive moments with a 13 month old are as follows: eat time (sometimes) & sleep time...

And that's it.

However, today, while I was fluttering about putting things away from our weekend of living in the woods, I was missing a BIG learning moment for my sweets. She fed herself with a utensil! Independence at it's best!

And so the rest of my "productive time" was spent cheering her on, telling her how proud of her I was, and giggling with her!

{God, help me to see with both eyes, even though I'm trying to keep a house up. Thanks for not letting me miss this moment. Thank you for my Baby R, and what a gift she is.}

Friday, October 12, 2012

This love

We Keathleys have a lot going on. Just...too much to even think about in a single day, it seems. Sometimes I feel that we will be crushed under the weight of it all.

Thankfully, even in those moments of darkness, I have a whispered promise, directly from God's heart:

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexted, but not in depair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." ~2 Corinthians 4:8-9~

I had to look up the reference, but I KNOW those words. They are hidden in my heart. From years of Sunday School, Bible Quizzing, and studying, reading, reflecting on the Words of Life.

And this moment...

  • I am thankful that I'm not the only one who has felt this way. {Thank you, God, for the words of Paul that help me remember.}
  • I am thankful for this Word hidden in my heart...this silent promise of hope, if only I should listen. {Thank you, God, for your Word. Thank you, Marmi & Daddy, various Sunday School & Bible Quizzing, Small Group, Pastors and Devotional Leaders, for helping me hide it there. I had NO idea how meaningful it would be one day.}
  • I am thankful that I, too, now have this great responsibility to hide Truth into my children's heart. {Thank you, God, for my 2 biggest gifts you have ever given me. Please help me to love them as you would have me.}
And I will...hide truth in them. Because life is hard. And really, it's sad sometimes. But God is good. And this hope we have is all that I have to hold on to sometimes.

I am thankful for something else today.

 These kids adore each other more than I could have ever taught them to. I've said it before, and I'll say it again...Big D just surprises me with his love for Baby R.

While families have to cope with sibling rivalry {I realize it may be coming}, he just...wants to make her happy. All. The. Time. And he'll do anything to make her giggle. And "bubba" is her favorite word.

This what I'm thankful for.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I know it's hard...

Dear Dillon:

Sweet child of my heart. When I met you, you quite literally changed my world forever. I had no idea what impact your little snotty-nosed, hyper-active, happier-than-happy little self would have on me.

But here I am...4 (plus) years from meeting you, and 3 (plus) years of you changing my name to "Momma."

I ache for you. It hurts my heart that I haven't been there for all your moments. It makes me anxious that I don't know all the trouble you saw before I ever came around. I long to just hold you in my arms and somehow morph it right out of you.

You have so much joy. You have so much sheer excitement. You love people. You love church and church friends more than I could have ever hoped. You surprise me every day by how much you love your sister. I realize it may not always be like this, but you have just really surprised me with your adoration for her.

And now, in the 2nd full month of 1st grade, we're seeing how hard this is for you. I've feared this all along. As your first teacher, I saw you struggle {and yet thrive} with new language and literacy, and I wondered if this would happen.

As I saw tears roll down your face yesterday, trying with all your might to read, my heart ached for you. It broke. And all the momma in me wanted to fix it...quick-like. But I can't.

It's hard. I know it's hard. Reading is hard. Learning is hard.

But don't give up. Just around the corner it will click for you. Or you'll remember a word from last week. And your confidence will build up, and even though it'll still be hard, it won't SEEM as hard.

The truth is...I know it's hard. But I also know you can do it. Don't give up. Don't stop trying. And don't stop believing that you CAN do this.

I love you all the way around the world {and then some},

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Been a While...

Sure has been a while.

I miss blogging. I miss writing. I miss crafting.

I have GOT to get back into the things that bring me joy.

I'm going on my first vacation since I got this job. Missed a couple Sundays, worked a lot from home, but never {ever} made myself {as} unavailable {as a Children's Director can be}.

I have many things planned for my time off. Mostly cleaning (my house is just...filthy in the crevices). Hoping for some thrifting & crafting. Have a few fun things planned with the munchkins and have a few friend moments worked in so far. Not to mention the ever-popular Williamson camping extravaganza @ the end of the week!

Here goes nothin' more work day before the big week! Maybe I'll start blogging again...