My mother has been bothering me for years to write a blog. Every year I have the same answer… “What would I have to say that people would want to read?” I tell her when I have an answer for that question, I will write a blog. I seriously don’t know how people have time to write them. I don’t even have time to take a shower. Literally. It’s a problem. I don’t know how all these women out there write blogs. Not only are they writing blogs, they are writing blogs about all the crafts and food they make. How are they finding time for that? And most of them have more than one child. I only have one, and I need a shower, badly.
Now, I have something to write about. It’s been a long time coming and I stay up at nights thinking about it. I have been waiting for the perfect time, and I realized, there is no perfect time. I have to stop wasting time and do it …now. Four years ago, I went to Africa. Four years ago I made promises to people there that I would not forget them, that I would tell their stories. Four years ago. What have I done in four years?
My mom thought of the title “Before and Africa” and I actually love it. There are a lot of things my mom and I agree on, but usually when she has an idea “for” me, I politely turn her down. But this title struck a chord in me. I thought about all the blogs out there about style and fashion and craftiness and I thought about how my blog would probably be the antithesis of that. Maybe I do always buy the same long sleeved shirts at the GAP every three years when the old ones get holes in them. Maybe I do still have the same tennis shoes I bought for 30 bucks 6 years ago. Maybe I do only get my hair cut once a year. Maybe I am in desperate need of a style makeover, but I think this blog is more of a before and after of my soul. My soul before and now my soul (after) Africa…
So thanks mom, for the title and for recognizing there has been a change in me and that even though I have a hard time finding the words, it’s time to start trying.

Monday, June 24, 2013

How much more?

I’m sitting on my front porch…birds are singing…baby’s sleeping…and I am blessed. The last few days have been a reminder for me to stop, look around, and remember that I am blessed. In fact, as I have been sitting here, I had a neighbor drop off a huge bag of baby clothes for our garage sale, and I’m awaiting my brother’s call to find out the gender of their number two. Life is so sweet. Under the mess of paperwork I have been enduring, and the hectic schedule of summer camp, God still shows me how sweet it really can be.

While playing in the backyard with Max a few days ago we noticed a little bird in our big tree…he said “Wook at the bird mommy!” So I picked him up and we took a closer look. It was a hummingbird. I love spotting hummingbirds, it’s such a rare occurance that the beauty of it always surprises me. I loved birdbooks as a kid and I loved knowing all their names…quiz me on Michigan birds, I dare ya. So whenever I see a rare bird I get excited. This was particularly special though because as we got closer we realized it was a baby hummingbird. So tiny. Max said “oh he’s so cute mommy!” We realized it was a baby when we saw the mama hummingbird come and feed him. I thought, how amazing that we get to witness this. And I swear I heard God whisper “how much more…”

I even had time to go grab my camera and take a picture of it when the mama came back a second time...I think I was supposed to share this with you!

We took Max to see a life size Thomas the train this weekend and had so much fun watching his eyes grow big and his smile widen at his first sight of the ‘real’ Thomas. This moment I will remember until I die. A little boy, seeing his favorite train, in real life for the first time. We ate lunch at a park on the way home and he giggled as we drove up and downs hills on the country roads. I thought to myself I couldn’t love this boy anymore. And I swear I heard God whisper “how much more…”

I started to get a little panicked for the first time this week at how much this adoption is going to cost. We have already been blown away with the generosity of our friends and family…we’ve raised 1,080 dollars. That’s one fifth of Tony’s goal for the marathon…wow. We feel so blessed….but we have a long way to go…and I think of the amount we have to bring to the table and I start to sweat. And I swear I hear God whisper “how much more…”

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
~Matthew 6:25-34

How much more valuable are we to God than even the birds?
How much more does God love us than we even love our own children?
How much more can God provide when we feel like we can’t do it on our own?
How much more?

to can click on the paypal button on the sidebar or visit:

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Give us money

Our Adoption from Jennifer Schmid on Vimeo.

Give us money.

Yep that is what we are matter how sweetly we put it, it basically comes down to us....asking give us money.

I could reiterate it's not for us, it's to give a child a home.

I could tell you how astronomical I think the cost of adopting is, but how necessary adoption is

I could give you the staggering stats on orphans...or life in the Congo

I could tell you how we will NOT be able to pay for this adoption on our own

I could tell you how much you mean to us on a personal level and how it takes a village

I could tell you how hard Tony is training for his marathon

I could tell you that this means life change for a child

But instead I will just say "Please give us money!" and hope you know all the sentiment and love that is behind that request.

Here's a couple ways you can help:

Our adoption garage sale will be the weekend of July 20th (if you have any items you think could sell and want to donate them...shoot me a line!)

Tony is asking anyone who wants to get behind his marathon to donate $5 a mile (a total of $130) He is hoping to raise $5,000 that would mean 38 of our friends and family would have to commit to the $5 a mile....It's a lofty goal...but so is running a marathon so I think he can do it! (just use the paypal button to the right to donate!)

We are thinking about having a barn dance at my grandparents farm in the fall...just curious how many people would be interested in paying a cover to come and dance, sit by a campfire, eat s'mores and other fun things...send me a line!

If you want to donate with a tax deduction you can visit our fundraiser here:

Pure Charity

Also you can shop some of your favorite stores online and a percentage will go to our adoption! Such a cool site!

Thank you all so much in advance for your prayers and support. We are starting to get overwhelmed with the paperwork...but still plugging away, a day at a time.