50 Things That Instantly Make My Day Better

Dairy-free chocolate (this is my fave)Weightlifting at the gymWorking out on an elliptical machineHearing my son laughSoft blanketsHearing people I love say "I love you"Reading a good novelSpending time with GodExploringGlow-in-the-dark stars and planetsShoweringBeing an encouragement to someoneSinging, especially in harmonyListening to Owl City musicWatching Ellie and JaredHugsWritingCatching up with an old friendMaking a new friendHaving a meaningful conversationThunderstormsBeing at the beachWalking, especially in the woodsVideo chatting with family/friendsJane Austen moviesEating a healthy breakfastSnuggles from our dogs, Molly and BellaWatching not-yet-trampled-on snow sparkling in the sunShoulder massage Date with my husbandSleeping in Going to bed on timeChecking things off my "to do" listThings with bright colors, polka dots, or sparkles (or all of the above!)Eating at my favorite restaurantLove's Ice Cream. The best.Dancing!Using Pilot G-2 PensAttendin…

Missing Creative Writing

Well, friends, my creative writing has fallen by the wayside for a couple of years with the busyness of the adoption process and welcoming our little guy home! It's been a joyful and busy and exhausting and exciting time. And I wouldn't trade it. Our son is an absolute treasure, and I'm finally living out my dream of being a mama.

But truthfully, I've missed expressing myself creatively through writing. Tonight, I was fondly remembering the fun and challenge it was to write a poem a day in April. I accomplished my goal two years in a row -- 2015 and 2016 -- right here on this blog. Not all of the poems are very pretty (okay, some are downright horrible!), but there are still a few gems in there that I'm pretty proud of. And it felt good to accomplish a creative goal that I set out to do.

With this in mind, I was inspired reading up on NaNoWriMo, and boy, what an incredible project that would be -- writing an entire novel in one month! But who am I kidding? I don…

Unusual Baby Names I Like

I love unusual baby names. These are my current favorites. I will definitely not be able to use all of these in my lifetime, so steal away if you see one you like! 😉  
GIRL: Athalia Constance Dolphyn Eleonora Elyna Emmalyn Florena Gwyn Hazel Joella Marietta North Olympia Penelope Prism

​BOY: Alden Camelot Echo Edwin Flynn Harvey Jet Ronan

What are some of your favorite unusual baby names?

5 Favorite Meatless Meals

On the lookout for healthy, budget-friendly dishes?

Meatless meals can be a great way to go!

I love trying new recipes and sharing ones that we really like with friends! Here are some meals that have become favorites that we make time and time again ...

1. Veggie enchiladas

You can adjust this recipe to your taste! I skip the mushrooms and green chilis, and the result is delicious.  :)

2. Sweet potato quiche

I just use 6 large eggs for this recipe (instead of the 4 regular and 2 egg whites it calls for), and as you can see, it still turns out great!

3. Blueberry baked oatmeal cups
These make great quick breakfasts. If you have time, make a spinach & feta omelet to pair with your oatmeal cup!

4. Sweet potato & bean quesadillas…

The More Painful Side of Adoption

We have seen God move in tremendous ways over the past year as we began preparing our hearts and lives for the arrival of Baby Dykema. Dave and I saved about half of the $21,000 we need for our adoption. And the rest has been coming in through various fundraisers and out-of-the-blue gifts from friends and family. We only have about $1,300 left to raise. Praise God! As I reflect on this year, there’s so much to be grateful for!

At the same time, honestly, this road hasn’t been all roses and butterflies. There have been plenty of tears and pangs of heartache, too …

There are nights I sit alone in my rocking chair in our silent house, aching to hold my baby … longing to rock and sing him/her to sleep. When we get information about an expectant birth mother, trying not to get too excited … reminding ourselves that even though there’s a chance she could pick us, many couples wait a year or more before having a baby placed with them.Seeing Dave make silly faces and sit right on the ground to…

April PAD Challenge: Day 30

A Beautiful Dead End

Kicking up dusty dirt
The path ends in lush, dewy grass
A colorful tree canopy conceals the sky
A hush descends in the twilight
As a fairy peeks out

Some dead ends are beautiful.

April PAD Challenge: Day 29

Things I Like

Lima beans, strings, wings
Open doors, dinosaurs, crawling on all fours
Fluffy stuff, muffs, and cream puffs.