Matters of the Heart Around Here {Free Printable!}

Thank Before You Speak Free Printable

My children are getting older, which has proven to be both a blessing a challenge rolled into one. More independence is wonderful in many areas (less diapers for one, woot!). …But with it comes the attitude. Lies. Harsh words. Teasing. And then momma gets involved which may or may not (probably) include yelling. The attitude of our hearts and what comes pouring out is our number one struggle right now in our household. Kids and adults alike. I couldn’t take the bickering any more! It is a daily– several times a day– battle. Please tell me we aren’t alone?! So while on my printing spree decorating my new momma command center and homework station I wanted to include some encouraging verses and guidance for all of us.  I’ve seen this quote all over Pinterest but none of them quite matched my style and colors I was going for.  So, I whipped one … Continue reading

Reflections: 2015 the Year of Joy

I like to make a post each New Year, not for resolutions necessarily, but to reflect on growth and see where God has had His fingerprints on our lives this past year. Each year God gives me a single word that I pray over for the year and His lessons are often wrapped around that word. 2010 was the year of greatness. So many amazing milestones! 2011 was the year of meh (it was okay?) 2012 was the year of healing. More counseling, more growing, more learning, more forgiveness. 2013 was the year of learning joy.  I named it that because I desperately wanted more joy in my life– I wanted to find the joy again in motherhood. Little did I know I would actually sink lower and I was be grasping for any joyful moment I could get! But it taught me so much. About myself, about my priorities, about … Continue reading

Searching for Adoption Stories

I love Talk About Adoption and the owner Callie behind it is such a passionate inspiration! She is a fellow birth mom and is doing so much to change the perception of adoption, supporting others in need, and let others facing a crisis pregnancy know that adoption is an option. Below is from Callie, she needs your story. Yours is worth sharing! I just want to say how awesome it has been to read the adoption stories that have been submitted to Talk About Adoption™. As a birth mother of 13 years myself, I have even learned so much about the role of a birth mother through these stories. I have cried happy tears, amazed at all the love and sacrifice each and every one of you gals have made. I am in awe of how much love there is in the adoption community, and I am blessed by every … Continue reading

Our Open Adoption Story Told in Photos

Open adoption story told in photos at

I participated in Big Tough Girl’s Photo-a-day challenge, each day I dug deep into a memory of what shaped my experience as a birthmom. I wanted to post them here as well to keep on sharing. And because, one day, these memories will be in a book and it’s easier to read on a blog when I’m forming new ways to tell our story. Enjoy!  Going through pictures tonight picking out ones to share for and it took my heart back in time. You never know when triggers will break open the crack and let the sadness out. I miss her and think of her every day, but some moments it is felt deeper than others. This photo was taken when my birth daughter was 2 (looking a lot like Ashlyn, my 2 year old now!) back when I was still a teen and we had monthly visits and sleep overs. A … Continue reading

Fit2B Cyber Monday Sale Codes!

It’s cyber Monday! Time to buy Fit2B – TummySafe Fitness at a discount price for your New Year’s goals  Tummy safe fitness to heal diastasis recti after pregnancy, safe workouts during pregnancy, and even ones to do with your kids! You can read my experience with how it helped my 5th pregnancy here. Info and promo codes can be found here. With 4 kids I don’t have time or money to make it to a gym, I love that I can have this option from the privacy of my home (I’m introverted, yo) and squeeze it in when I can. Plus? My kids love them too! Ready to join me? I need some accountability to tone back up after Sadie’s birth! I love Beth provides an online support group for us as well. Sign up here monthly or for the whole year.

Birth Mom Photo-a-Day Project

I know I don’t write here as much as I plan (see here for more consistent writing), but I am much more active on social media. Why? Because with 4 kids, it is easier to snap a photo, share a link, or write a little status update than to write out, edit, and make a photo for each thought I wish share. So, I want to connect with you over there! I’m participating in Big Tough Girl‘s Birth Mom Photo-a-Day Project, sharing my heart and treasured pictures from my adoption placement. It’s a snapshot inside look into my experience as a birth mom and what adoption means to me. Hope to see you there! Find me on Instagram or The Grace Bond’s Facebook page. And if you are a birth mom, I would love to see your own posts! Don’t forget to use the hash tag #btgadoption so others can find you. … Continue reading

When You Don’t Like God’s Answer

I’m sitting here at my in-laws house, where our family of 6 + our cat have now lived for 3 weeks with 3 other adults + their cats. Good thing it is a big house! It isn’t so bad, really. I am blessed with amazing family on all sides. Our strategy to move out of our 3 bedroom home so we could sell fast without having to keep it clean (which, is impossible with 4 young kids) or rush out for showing worked well and we were under contract within days. Days! God is so good. But now the hard part is here for me. The house hunting. Sure, it seems exciting. Peeking in people’s windows when it looks like no one lives there any more. Taking tours. Admiring countertops and landscaping, mentally moving our stuff into place, and dreaming of wall colors. And then you fall in love. Like, it could be … Continue reading

Life Just Got Busy (and Welcome!)

I still have a post waiting in the drafts processing my feelings on Anna and I’s 4 day sleepover this past summer. I promise I will finish it and it will be published one day! I feel like it is important for others to see what open adoption can be like and what our relationship has bloomed into over these last 11 years. But, for now I felt like I needed something new up to welcome the wildly successful #ShoutYourAdoption viewers that clicked over. Thank you! Thank you. Thank you all for sharing, liking, and commenting and spreading LIFE and what is possible with adoption. Keep it up. Head over to The Grace Bond’s instagram page or Facebook page to stay up to date in between blog posts! Now, here’s where I have been. Life is absolutely insanely busy right now but, oh, my soul! My soul is so filled with my … Continue reading

10 Ways Birthmother Grief Feels Like Miscarriage

Don’t forget I blog a lot about adoption and my experience as a birthmom over on as well! This is my latest piece about the grief of a birthmom and how I found the emotions similar to my miscarriage heartbreak. I wrote this in hope it helps others connect to one another, especially to put your feet in the shoes of a birthmother, the best way we know how. 1. Leaving the hospital empty handed I remember being wheeled out of the hospital empty handed two times. Once after I placed at 16 years old and again as a young married mom. Each time I went in with a baby (or two) inside me and was wheeled out with empty arms and a broken heart. It was incredibly hard knowing in an ideal world this wasn’t the way it was supposed to go.  READ MORE  

Joy in the Lazy Summer Morning

My summer morning routine lately: -Nurse baby -Get up between 6 & 7 am (with the rare occasion of 8am!) -Set up TV show for kids -Make food/smoothies -Drink smoothie while reading devotional -Make coffee -Put baby down for morning nap -Drink coffee -Write and browse Facebook -Take a shower around 10am -Start chores, lunch prep, play time, etc. Yes, my kids have watched a wee bit much TV these last weeks of summer. And I don’t care right now, because my house is so peaceful for me to just sit while I soak up God’s word and things that fill me so I can be better for them later in the day. Self-care is essential, ya know. I’m filling up for when we are painting and using our imagination while building blocks this afternoon. I’m filling myself up for these nights where we have been staying up late battling over the kitchen … Continue reading

  • May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14