life as we know it

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

t-shirts are available!

Hey all! I know how much you've been anticipating the pictures of the REAL t-shirts, not some silly mock here they are!

Front of women''s a little more blue-gray in person

Back of women's

Front of men's

Who wouldn't want to buy a t-shirt from this guy?!

Back of men's

The women's sizes are running SMALL- order approximately two sizes up. If it doesn't work, we'll exchange it for a different size without a problem. We've already put in our second order!

What others are saying about the t-shirts...

"I do love it and it fits perfectly! I love that it's longer too, and so so soft!" "Super cute"

Jessie sporting her new shirt. She was our first t-shirt sale!
If you haven't ordered yours yet, click on the t-shirt PayPal link to the right on our blog. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bah Humbug?

This Christmas season is different for Nick and I. We both REALLY enjoy surprising each other with presents and in fact, enjoy choosing unique presents that we are more excited to see the other one open more than receiving presents ourselves. Sometimes this can make for a less-than-budget friendly Christmas season. Not to say that we get caught up in the giving of presents over reflecting on the birth of Jesus this time of year, but we do love sharing enthusiasm through gifts! Things have been very different for us these past few months. We have cut back on expenses across the board. We took a 14 day "fast" from spending money on food, eating only what was in our pantry at home, cut back on internet, cable and electric bills (the house stays at 60 degrees more often than not around here...bring a coat if you're coming to visit us this year! :) ), working extra jobs, coupon cutting and discount searching and generally going with less than we're used to. Has it significantly HURT us? Absolutely not. But we are so much more aware of what we spend and how we spend it. All of this, and of course, very strict Christmas present budgets. I have to begin by recognizing that I am working A LOT. Six to seven days a week a lot and am away from the house for work more than 60-70 hours a week (I know that may not be a lot to some, but it has been an adjustment for me). These long hours means that I didn't start my Christmas "shopping" (I use the term loosely because it can't really be compared to SHOPPING) until Friday. I wandered around a few stores and left pretty much empty handed. I was feeling defeated and depressed about not being able to afford presents I would love to buy to surprise Nick. I've never thought of myself as a huge Christmas consumer, but this had really lead me to question: is the Christmas season about buying presents to me?! Horrific and unimaginable- NO WAY! Or is it?! It certainly really has had me thinking and reflecting more about what Christmas really should be about and what should be filling me with joy, which is certainly not my measly Christmas shopping budget. I know there is such a deeper reason I am going through this season during well, this season (excuse the pun, not exactly intentional!). I am looking forward to that time when it all makes sense but now am just trusting that Nick and I find joy this Christmas in spending time with each other which will be better than any present that could be wrapped under the tree.

We have continued to move forward with the adoption process. The t-shirts have arrived and we LOVE them. We love the colors and the design. The sizing was a little surprising to us as the women's are running SMALL (which I knew they would because they are slim women's cut, but SMALL!) and we're adjusting a few orders because of it. If Nick were around I would have him take some pictures so we could model them for you, so until then, you'll just have to sit on the edge of your seats waiting in anticipation! :)

We hope you all are having the opportunity to reflect on the importance of Christmas and what it really means.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Destination: Ethiopia!

We cannot believe it's actually happening, but we are returning to Ethiopia...together!!!! I think the part that makes it official are the fact that the plane tickets that have already been booked. We leave the US on February 12, arriving in Ethiopia February 13. We're spending the first seven days in Dahley with the sweet Baer Family. We are going to be assisting with the distribution of 1,000 pairs of shoes to school children in this rural community and helping out wherever we can. We're then heading into the city of Addis for the remainder of the trip to work in the government orphanages providing physical therapy services, setting up and training caregivers with specific equipment and following up with some of the other projects we began on the first trip in 2009.

Although I'm not going to go into details, I am absolutely in awe of God's provision for us and this trip. It wasn't long after I returned from my first trip in Ethiopia that I knew I would hopefully be returning with some additional equipment and to provide more training to the caregivers. Nick has been such a support for me during the times when I was doubting what I thought we had been called to do. Literally, this story is one of absolute FAITH and trust. There is absolutely no way whatsoever things could have come together without God's hand being in every single step. All this just makes me excited to get further into the adoption process because we really believe all this is in our story, as well. More details to come about our upcoming trip :)

On the adoption front- Nick and I are getting close to being finished with our first round of paperwork for our homestudy agency! We are really excited!

Heading back to all these beautiful faces soon!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Virtual trunk show...NOW OPEN!

Hi friends! Shopping for Christmas presents can sometimes be a difficult task. So can fundraising. We've decided to merge the two and hope that you all love the Noonday Collection products as much as we do. We received a sample box of some of the beautiful jewelry, accessory and home items and boy am I in LOVE. Seriously, if you are looking to buy me a Christmas present, ask me about my wish list. My fabulous husband snapped some of these pictures during our trunk show (p.s. if you're in Colorado and are interested in stopping by to check out the items in person, let me know!).

This is absolutely one of my favorite pieces!

Bracelets made by a community in Jama Masjid, Old Delhi, India

Love these engraved cuff bracelets

Tagua seed earrings made in Ecuador

LOVE. Handknitted alpaca made in Peru

My FAVORITE. psst...this is sold by Anthropologie for a lot more!

Love this link scarf- so versitle

Drooling over these arm warmers and matching hats. Also handknitted in Peru.

Handmade by Huda in Lebanon.

Entire set of jewelry made by Embira seeds

This piece makes such a statement

Here's how to purchase: Go to Noonday Collection, select your favorite pieces and add them to your cart. When you checkout, type "Mortellite" in the "instructions to the merchant" section. Then, tell me how much you love the item you chose! Thanks for all your support and we hope those on your Christmas list (including yourself!) enjoy these beautiful pieces!

We are also SO excited to have our Noonday Collection fundraiser featured at Our Different Christmas. Go check it out!


Monday, December 6, 2010

As told by my husband and a few other tidbits...

Did I mention what wonderful friends and family we have? We really do have great people in lives. Like this one. Carrie and I have known each other for, dare I admit, 14 years! We met during middle school cheerleading.

I'm not even claiming which one is me. Can you tell? Well, sweet Carrie has posted about our journey and we are so grateful! I told Nick he had to write something GOOD for her blog. Of course, he did a wonderful job. It's not until things like this when I realize HE has a heart for adoption and orphans separate from me. I've never wanted to feel like this was a one sided thing and can I tell you, it is SO not. My husband is the most fiercely loyal and loving person I know and I am SO blessed to walk this road with him. How did I pull off such a great catch?! You know you picked a good one when your friends prefer his company over yours. It's okay, I can see where they are coming from. Okay, well if I keep talking like this, he's going to get a big head, so I'll leave you all with the fact that I love him deeply and that I hope all my friends can share a love like we have at some time in their lives.

This weekend was busy for both Nick and I working, but it was also a really fun weekend. Friday night, our favorite (and only, but still, they would be our favorite if we had ten neighbors!) neighbors came over for some Mario Kart on the Wii. I myself love the Wii but will always prefer a good old Nintendo Mario Kart battle over anything the Wii has to offer. After work Saturday (getting off much later than expected), we saw friends of Nick's (and mine, now!) that moved out to Colorado recently. Nick has climbed with Brian and Ang for years and they have some great memories together, but I'm excited about making some new memories out here in Colorado!

Wednesday is another day we're looking forward to! We are meeting a virtual friend! Wendy, of Adopted by Design, is in town visiting her family who just also happen to live in Loveland, Colorado. We have partnered with them to do some fundraising for our adoption (check out her stuff by clicking on the icon on the right hand side of our page- if you order, include "mortellite" for instructions with your order)! They're coming over Wednesday night for some dessert and Nick is pulling out all the stops with our favorite heath bar chocolate layer trifle thingy. If you're lucky, I'll remember to take a picture to share.

As always, thanks for sharing in our journey!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Water Works

Yikes, something is wrong with me today! The tears have sure been flowing, and for good reason I suppose. Let's put the pieces together. December 1st was World AIDS Day which helped raised awareness to HIV prevention and for people to take action to reduce prejudice against those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. I've been seeing some videos related to this topic and articles (like the one featured in People Magazine about Project Hopeful) but have been extremely busy with work, so I finally found some time today to catch up. Of course, click on one thing and it will lead to to another, and another, and another. Until I stopped on the following video. Although not related to World AIDS Day, this video touched me deeply. It's the story of the Wahlberg family who answered God's call to adopt. What I can say is that this family didn't just change the life of their little girl Bale, but have a story that will impact many, including me.

 Of course this hits home for me as Nick and I are in the process of adopting a child from Ethiopia, but this goes to a deeper level for me. See, one of the children in the orphanage I volunteered in was a boy with no physical impairments but significant cognitive deficits. He was always in a dress because he would go the bathroom at random times and the caregivers got tired of changing his clothes. He has a large scar on his face. The only phrase I ever heard him say was "be careful" as he repeated what he had heard me say. We were careful when he was around the babies because he tended to unintentionally be a little rough. But the joy of this child's dancing, oh the joy! I loved dancing around with him. I'm not sure how the beat of clapping sounded to him, but it usually initiated a contagious dance party that made everyone smile. He was called Mingi. I knew it was only a nickname, not his real name, but I had no idea. No idea what this meant or the depth this phrase has in Ethiopia. It meant he was a cursed child. And I called him this. Oh, hurt my heart. Ignorance is bliss? I beg to differ. I hope we can all embrace the idea of opening our eyes to the injustices of the world and do something. I hope you find as much joy in this child's dancing as I did. I just wish I knew his name.

These are a few of the best videos I have unfortunately; sorry for the orientation.