A Reminder of How Far He’s Come…

Last week was the most difficult one we’ve had in a really long time. After five hard days at school, a postponed meeting with administrators and a few tears, Friday could not come fast enough. Sometimes what you need most after facing so much uncertainty, is a weekend with your people and a reminder of how far your kiddo has come.

Saturday was my reminder.

We participated in our second Apraxia Walk. Our family came to town and we met up with our friends at the park. We wore our Team Jackson t-shirts and rallied around the little boy who’s overcome so much!

Last year Jackson could only say a few words. There was still a lot of uncertainly about when he would talk. This year was different. This year he’s talking up a storm. We celebrated!

Jackson has found his voice.

As we walked up to get Jackson’s medal, a lump formed in my throat. I felt gratitude. I was so proud of my son. I was reminded of how far he’s come. He is a picture of perseverance and determination.

Saturday was my reminder: we’ve made it through many hard things and we will make it through many more.

We had such a fun morning at the Apraxia Walk! We were also excited to find out we were the top fundraising team for the second year in a row!

Here’s a few photos from Saturday…

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A few members of our team sporting our team t-shirts and ready to head to the walk!

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Jackson with his medal and a sucker 😉

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Ready to walk! Jackson’s speech therapist carried the Apraxia Walk banner!

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So thankful for family and friends who have supported Jackson on his journey to find his voice.

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Jackson’s best buddies Autry and Harmonee

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Jackson would not be where he is today without his amazing speech therapist! A lot of prayer and Ms. Sarah’s Apraxia expertise are the reasons he’s found his voice!

Friday Favorites

 

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This photo represents such a sweet and peaceful morning after a long, crazy and worry filled week. On this particular morning, I sat with my Bible open and let God’s truth sink deep into my heart. There is so much uncertainty in our life right now; but there’s One who I’m always certain of. I felt His peace sitting on my front porch step. I wasn’t worried about the decisions, diagnosis or the days ahead. Jackson took my hand, drug me out to the driveway and shouted, “mom, mom, moon!” and pointed to the sky.
And right then and there, as I looked at the visible moon on a sun-filled morning, I was reminded just how big my God is.
Bigger than a diagnosis.
Bigger than battling a school district.
Bigger than the mistakes I make as a mother.

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It’s FINALLY Fall! Now if the Oklahoma weather could get its act together I could trade in my shorts and flip-flops for sweaters and boots! It’s my absolute favorite time of the year! I’m ready to make memories with my family and mark items off our bucket list. Here’s five reasons Fall is my absolute favorite! We plan to kick off the season with a trip to the pumpkin patch this weekend if the rain doesn’t ruin our plans! Here’s a few cute photos from our past visits.

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These verses from The Message have been such an encouragement to me this week. I have read them over and over and over!

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Grey’s Is BACK!!!! Need I say more?? And the best part, my sister was in town so we got to watch the season premier together!

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The Apraxia Walk!!!! We have family and friends coming out this weekend to support Jackson! We have so much to celebrate this year! Jackson has found his voice and we raised over $1000 for Apraxia research and speech therapy grants! Here’s a photo of our team from last year. I’m excited to have even more people joining us this year!

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When Your Son Doesn’t Have Autism but Struggles in the Classroom

Saturday I read the story in the Houston Chronicle about thousands of special education students falling through the cracks in Texas. I cried. My blood boiled. I read snippets of the article to John and anger oozed out with each word.

I don’t live in Texas, but the story hit a tender spot.

We’re living this story. We’re fighting this fight.

We have been since the day Jackson transitioned from the state’s early intervention program to the public school system.

Last week Jackson had a terrible week at school.

Daily, I find myself praying on the drive to school and again as I stand and wait for him at the end of the day.

Please Lord, let him walk out without having a meltdown. Please help him have the self control to keep his hands to himself. I pray he didn’t get to rough with the other kids.

I prepare myself for the worst but hope for the best.

Friday his teacher asked me to wait. I knew it wouldn’t be good news.

Jackson had gotten too rough with his classmates. He’d also bitten a little boy.

I have no this aggressive behavior is happening because my son is overwhelmed in a classroom of 15 kids. Back in May we were told there would only be ten. We didn’t have these problems this summer when he was in a smaller classroom setting.

I took Jackson’s hand and we walked to the car. I didn’t yell at my son. I calmly asked about his day, about why he bit his classmate. I asked him if he felt overwhelmed or scared or nervous? But He couldn’t really tell me.

I cried on the way home.

I felt defeated. After a few great weeks of school, I was suddenly dreading the year ahead.

I am not the mama who drives through the drop off line without a worry in the world. I don’t pick him up from school and hurry off to an extracurricular activity. I’m the mama who walks her child to the door, making sure he keeps his hands to himself. I ask a million questions at pickup. I schedule meetings and make phone calls.

My son doesn’t have Autism; though we’ve been told an Autism diagnosis would make getting the services he needs a lot easier.

School officials say it’s a speech delay.

It’s really a neurological speech disorder.

But it goes so much deeper than an inability to talk, and the pieces are finally all starting to fall into place.

When a child can’t talk, when they’re noticeably behind their peers in expressive and receptive language, they find other ways to communicate.

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Every behavior is a form of communication.

My son tends to get aggressive.

He grabs, he kicks. Last week he bit.

This doesn’t make my child a monster. My child isn’t a trouble maker or a behavior problem.

My child has special needs.

My son doesn’t have Autism, but he has legitimate disorders. Each one creates a unique set of challenges when he enters the classroom.

The little boy in the news story reminded me so much of Jackson.

The story reads, A psychologist hired by the family determined Roanin had ADHD, generalized anxiety and “significant sensory processing deficits,” a condition similar to autism, medical records show.

He has a condition similar to Autism.

I have no doubt the little boy would have received the services he needed had he had an actual Autism diagnosis.

We wouldn’t have had to fight so hard wither had that been the case for Jackson.

Back in May we found ourselves sitting around a table with Jackson’s IEP team. We were there to make sure he wasn’t shoved into a traditional PreK classroom without any assistance. We knew it would be too much. When Jackson gets overwhelmed, the aggressive behavior begins.

After a lengthy meeting where we voiced our concerns, we were told Jackson would be in an inclusive PreK classroom. The class would include ten students (five on an IEP and five typical), a teacher and two aides. Imagine my surprise when I discovered they were initially going to consider Jackson one of the typical kids (after telling us he would be considered one of the IEP kids).

Their reasoning, he only has a speech IEP. 

But what about the meltdowns, the difficulty transitioning, his poor fine motor skills.

Because my son hasn’t had the right diagnosis, his needs have not been taken seriously.

If we weren’t fighting on his behalf, he’d fall through the cracks.

Or be labeled a behavior problem.

We’ve already been told that Jackson will have to fall into another special needs category in order to receive services next year.

A neurological speech disorder isn’t enough.

But it should be.

Since 1975, Congress has required public schools in the United States to provide specialized education services to all eligible children with any type of disability.

We’ve known for a while that Jackson’s needs go deeper than Childhood Apraxia of Speech and we’re finally on the right track to getting a proper diagnosis for him.

No, it’s not Autism; but hopefully it will be the answer we need to make school officials see just how challenging the classroom can be.

But just like the little boy in the news story, Jackson shouldn’t have to have another diagnosis to get the help he needs.

No child should.

Childhood Apraxia of Speech and Sensory Processing Disorder should be taken just as seriously as Autism or ADHD.

When will school districts and our society begin to acknowledge the wide variety of disorders that impact children?

When will we stop trying to slap an Autism label on children who don’t have Autism?

When special needs parents speak up.

When we educate others about the disorders that turn our lives upside down.

Life with a child who has special needs is rarely black and white.

Let’s stop pretending it is.

 

FRIDAY FAVORITES

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Old Photos

I’ve spent the week backing up my photos. The majority of them are from the past five years and go back to the day Jackson was born. Many have made me laugh and some have made me want to cry. What I’ve loved the most are the surprises I’ve found. I’ve come across many photos that I guarantee I didn’t print out or include in my scrapbook. They just didn’t catch my eye back then. They weren’t perfect. But years later, these photos are the ones that make me stop. I find that they are the ones that leave a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. They are the ones that make me giggle and remember those days that seemed so very hard., but that I miss so very much sometimes. How can my Little Man be three months away from turning five? My most favorite find…probably this photo of my Dad and my newborn son. I’m not sure if this was early one morning or late one night, but it shows that Pop was hands on during those early days when colic kept us all a little crazy.

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Car Karaoke

It’s a thing y’all! My cousins and I spent last weekend together and there’s a long history of singing in our family. Growing up we were always putting on shows. Every holiday included a performance by the Jackson 5 ! Fourth of July included a rendition of Martina McBride’s Independence Day while patriotic smoke bombs went off in the background. This weekend, as we road tripped to Magnolia Market, we cranked up the radio and sang a few songs from childhood. We belted out some old-school Jewel and a little Reba. We laughed so hard and somewhere there’s even a video proving how much fun we had.

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THIS Facebook Memory

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Surprise Packages Left on the Doorstep

There’s nothing like having a friend who loves Fall, Dr Pepper and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups as much as you! This week I found a little happiness sitting on my front porch. It was just the pick-me-up I needed after a few days of feeling puny.

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This Book.

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Five Years Ago: The Day I Learned I Had a Son

Five years ago I had a bad case of butterflies. The day I had been waiting for had finally arrived. I would find out if I would have a son or a daughter. This day still goes down as one of the best days of my life. The following is an excerpt from my book, Bringing Home the Missing Linck: A Journey of Faith to FamilyIt’s a beautiful picture of two mothers sharing an incredible moment. A moment that I’m thankful I will be able to share with Jackson some day.

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“You know I’m probably going to cry when we find out the sex of the baby,” I said.

“I kind of figured you would,” Allison said as we drove to her appointment.

We arrived at the doctor’s office a few minutes early and found a seat. I was a bundle of nerves. I had promised John and our families that I would call the moment we received the news. There was no way I could keep the secret long enough to plan a gender-reveal party!

My phone buzzed. I looked down to see a text message from John. “I have butterflies,” he wrote. “I’m ready to know.” I smiled. I had butterflies too. I couldn’t help but wonder if I’d be shopping for pink or blue.

Friends constantly asked if I wanted a boy or a girl. I had no preference. I knew I would be excited no matter the gender. I had waited such a long time for this moment.

“The baby just kicked,” Allison said. “Do you want to feel?”

I nodded. She took my hand and placed it on her belly. “The baby doesn’t move much during the day,” she said. “But it’s a wiggle worm at night. Sometimes it keeps me awake.”

I sat with my hand on her round belly and watched it move with each kick.

“Did I tell you the baby likes music?” she asked. “I put headphones on my stomach and crank up K-LOVE, and it squirms like crazy.”

I laughed at the thought of Allison with headphones on her belly. I liked knowing she let the baby listen to Christian music and that it responded.

About that time, the nurse called us back. I shot a quick text to John. “Heading back now.”

Allison got situated on the exam table, and I took her hand in mine. The nurse squirted a big glob of warm jelly on her belly and began to maneuver the wand. Within seconds, we were staring at the baby’s features on the huge flat-screen TV in front of us. I wiped away tears as the nurse pointed out ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes.

“You’re already crying,” Allison said with a laugh. “She hasn’t even told us if it’s a boy or a girl.”

Then I heard the words I had been waiting to hear since July.

“It’s a boy,” the nurse said. “And he’s definitely not shy!”

I squealed with delight and squeezed Allison’s hand a little too tight. I was going to have a son. “He’s perfect! I have to call John.” Without letting go of Allison’s hand I pushed John’s number on speed dial. He picked up on the first ring. “It’s a boy!”

John was ecstatic. “I have a son!”

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The nurse continued moving the wand across Allison’s belly. He was stubborn. He didn’t mind showing us he was a boy, but he didn’t want us to see his face. A bit of peach fuzz covered his head, and he weighed a whopping two pounds, two ounces. The doctor said he was healthy and on track for a December 9 due date.

I looked down at Allison’s hand in mine and wondered what was going through her mind. It was the first time she had seen the baby although she had carried him for six months. Did seeing his tiny features make her question her decision to place him for adoption? Was there any part of her that wanted to try and raise him on her own?

“Can we get two sets of sonogram photos?” I asked the nurse.

“She’s adopting the baby,” Allison said. “But I’d like to have a few photos, too, if it’s okay.”

The nurse handed photos to each of us—a picture of his profile, his tiny hand, and one that revealed he was definitely a boy.

As we got into the elevator to head back to the mission, I wanted to make sure Allison was okay. “How are you feeling after seeing the baby?”

“I’m fine,” she said.

“It would be completely normal if you felt more attached to the baby now that you’ve seen his face. Now that you know it’s a boy. I’d even understand if you were having second thoughts about the adoption.”

“I’m not,” she said. “I’ve made my decision. This baby is yours and John’s.”

“Okay,” I whispered. “Do you like the name Jackson?”

To The Mama Waiting for the Miracle…

To The Mama Waiting for the Miracle:

I saw your Facebook post today and my heart ached for you. I wanted to reach through the screen and give you a hug. We’ve never met face-to-face, but our worlds are very much the same.

I wish I could take your hand in mine, look you in the eye and tell you you’re doing an amazing job. I know you don’t believe that, but you are.

I know you’re scared, sad, frustrated, overwhelmed and emotionally drained.

I know you probably feel lonely.

Special needs parenting is a hard and lonely road.

But you aren’t alone.

Here I am miles and miles away from you, writing these words for you.

You are on my heart.

You are in my prayers.

It wasn’t that long ago when I dreaded (and grieved) the simplest of things. Taking Jackson to play at Chick-Fil-A. Attending birthday parties. School drop off and pick up.

Everything was so hard.

He couldn’t talk.

He had meltdowns.

I lost my patience.

I cried.

There were days when it was easier to just stay home.

Home was safe.

That was still very much our reality just a few short months ago.

But something changed this summer.

Jackson found his voice.

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The progress to get to this point was painfully slow, but His promise never changed: If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on the way. It will come at the right time. (Habakkuk 2:3)

That promise wasn’t just for my son; it’s for your son too.

Cling to it. Believe it. Proclaim it.

I have no doubt he will find his voice.

It’s many small moments that lead to the miracle. 

Hold tight to those small moments – a new word here, a new word there.

A trip to Target without a meltdown.

A haircut without tears.

Something other than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner.

When your son finds his voice, things will get easier.

They won’t be perfect. There will still be struggles. But having the ability to communicate is a game changer. It has been for us.

Last week as I walked Jackson towards the school, he let go of my hand. He made his way up the sidewalk, stood in line and kept his hands to himself. A few hours later he left school without having a meltdown. He walked in a line. He sat on the sidewalk and waited for his teacher to place his hand back in mine.

As we walked to the car, I told him how proud I was that he had waited patiently and that he was doing great in PreK.

He looked up at me with his big brown eyes, and in the voice I never get tired of hearing, said, “tank you mom!”

Four months ago he couldn’t do these things.

Four months ago we couldn’t have a conversation.

Four months ago we were still in that hard, hard spot.

But finally, all those moments – hours of therapy, thousands of tears, a million prayers – led to our miracle.

So sweet mama, don’t lose hope.

Hang on tight; your miracle is coming.

With Love,

From a Mama Who Understands…

 

FRIDAY FAVORITES

I’m trying something new this week. I love reading Mix and Match Mama’s weekly list of favorite things. She links up with a few  friends each Friday to share some fun stuff. I want to have a little more fun on my blog. Sure, I’ll still write about faith, motherhood, adoption and Apraxia. Those topics are near and dear to my heart, but I don’t want to be so serious all the time. I want to share fun things that make me happy. So here’s my first FRIDAY FAVORITES post…

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This photo is by far my favorite from the week (and I take a lot!) Jackson was taking a bath one morning while I got ready and our golden doodle, Jellybean, jumped into the tub with him. The giggles were endless.

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My husband hauled boxes of Fall decorations out of the attic last weekend. I didn’t intend to put them up this early, but I just couldn’t resist. It’s my absolute favorite time of the year. Having my house decorated for Fall makes me happy, happy, happy! I especially love my new polk-a-dot pumpkin from Hobby Lobby and the Pinterest inspired pumpkins I made out of wood crates! There’s nothing like lighting a pumpkin spice candle, curling up with a good book and enjoying my Fall decor.

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Speaking of pumpkin spice candles, these are my absolute favorite. I buy them at Wal-Mart for $5 each and they make my house smell AMAZING! It might be my favorite smell in the entire world! I have them lit constantly between September and November. The problem these days is keeping Jackson from blowing them out!

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A kid-free weekend with my sister and cousins! We are headed to Magnolia Market for a little shopping and girl time. I’m super excited to check out the bakery that recently opened. Those cupcakes are calling my name!

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This week Jackson’s speech therapist began yearly testing with him and we got great news! Jackson is able to do more than he’s ever been able to do! In the past, those tests have been brutal because Jackson didn’t have the words to complete many sections. But his vocabulary has grown by leaps and bounds. He’s saying short sentences. Although she’s not finished testing him, Ms. Sarah said Jackson will likely fall within the normal range in several areas. There were days I wondered if we’d ever get to this place. All the therapy appointments, tears of frustration and hard work are paying off. Jackson has found his voice! How can that not be one of my favorite things?

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I have a friend who I refer to as my “Oklahoma mom.” I met her when I was attending OU. Her son and I were friends, both working on our journalism degrees. She’s been by my side through good times and bad. I’ve sat on her couch for countless hours. Sometimes shedding tears, others laughing until my stomach hurt. Life is busy these days for both of us, so time spent on her couch isn’t as frequent as it used to be. This week Jackson and I headed over to her house after school and spent several hours catching up. It was definitely a highlight of my week.

Summer Reading Recap

The Choices We Make By Karma Brown

This was my favorite summer read. I couldn’t put this book down. It’s a story about friendship. One woman robbed of motherhood by infertility and her best friend willing to give her what she wants more than anything – a child. The author captures every beautiful and gut wrenching emotion associated with infertility and surrogacy.

First Comes Love By Emily Giffin

I always look forward to Giffin’s newest book. I preordered this one months ago. I couldn’t wait to read it, even though her past few books have left me a little disappointed. I think it’s really hard to outdo her first books Something Borrowed and Something Blue. The reason I didn’t love First Comes Love is because it took so much time to get to know the characters and then the story just ended. It’s about two sisters and the struggles they face years after their brother’s death. One of those struggles being a very rocky relationship. I liked the characters but I was left with questions. It really needed one more chapter to tie up the loose ends.

Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger By Beth Harbison

This was my first time to read a book by Harbison and I enjoyed it! A funny, romantic read! Perfect chick lit! Quinn was going to marry Burke, but right before the wedding she discovered shocking news. So she did the only thing she could think of. She left him at the altar and ran off with his brother. Now Quinn makes wedding dresses and avoids love at all costs. When the brothers who turned her world upside down return to town, old feelings surface.

Once Upon a Wine By Beth Kendrick

Kendrick fans won’t be disappointed in her newest Black Dog Bay story. At the request of her aunt and cousin, Cammie returns to the small beach town where she spent her summers. The town where she fell in love and swore she’d never settle down. Together, the three women try to turn a dying vineyard into a well-to-do wine business, each of them learning lessons in love along the way.

Heart Made Whole:Turning Your Unhealed Pain Into Your Greatest Strength By Christa Black Gifford

I started this book, only it have it sit, unfinished for weeks on my bedside table. When I picked it back up, the first paragraph was exactly what I needed to read regarding a difficult situation I found myself in. Heart Made Whole challenged me. Although some of the book seemed a little out there, it encouraged me to be honest with myself and with God. It helped me pinpoint past hurts and how they affect me today, which is a great first step towards healing.

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Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely By Lysa TerKeurst

I knew the moment I saw this book that I needed to read it! The title sums up how I’ve felt many times in my life. I picked this book up a week or so after my own messy rejection. Lysa’s words spoke truth into my shattered heart. Her words pointed me to Jesus. I was reminded that God loves me even when I’m messed up and make terrible mistakes. I have no doubt this book will be an amazing resource to women. Because if we’re honest, I think we feel less than, left out and lonely more than we care to admit.

Big Little Lies By Liane Moriarty

I’ve read most of Moriarty’s books – some I’ve loved; some I didn’t even finish – however, Big Little Lies did not disappoint. I love the way she weaves the stories of several characters together, surprising the reader at every twist and turn. Madeline, Celeste and Jane have no idea just how connected their lives really are and the tragedy that will occur because of their little white lies.

Barefoot Season By Susan Mallery

Michelle has just returned home to Blackberry Inn after ten years and three tours in Afghanistan. She’s healing from physical and emotional wounds and the last person she wants to deal with is her ex-best friend Carly. Carly has kept Blackberry Inn running since Michelle’s mother died, clueless that it’s on the verge of foreclosure. Michelle is desperate to save the Inn but needs Carly’s help to do it. Will she swallow her pride or lose the only place she’s ever called home?

Here’s To Us By Elin Hilderbrand

I’ve never not loved a book by Elin Hildebrand. Her novels scream summertime and her newest release did not disappoint. Three women – who loved (and married) the same man, but hate each other – find themselves on Nantucket to say their final goodbyes to famous chef, Deacon Thorpe. Throw Deacon’s three children into the mix and the drama just escalates. The untraditional family fights, laughs, cries, betrays and loves as they figure out how to live life without the man they all loved.

What I’m Currently Reading…

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Books Sitting On My Bedside Table…

Truly Madly Guilty By Liane Moriarty

Results May Vary By Bethany Chase

Present Over Perfect By Shauna Niequist

The book I’m looking forward to this Fall….

The third and final book in Elin Hildebrand’s Christmas series. Winter Storms will make it’s way into my mailbox in October!

Five Reasons Fall’s My Favorite

That Feeling

I wish I had words to adequately describe the feeling I get every year. It’s my favorite feeling in the world – the promise of Fall as the last moments of summer fade away. Maybe it’s best described as nostalgia of years gone by.

Saturday’s spent at OU football games, trips to the pumpkin patch, family and friends gathered around the table for Thanksgiving. It’s a feeling – deep in my soul – felt the moment Oklahoma is kissed by the first chill of fall. Felt as I drive down Lindsey Street – the copper, mustard, and crimson leaves swirling against a backdrop of blue sky.

Crockpot Comfort Food

I have a long list of recipes we devour the moment the temperature begins to drop. There’s nothing like turning on the Crockpot and inhaling the delicious aroma of potato soup or chicken and sweet corn tostadas. We also whip up this easy chicken pot pie recipe during the fall/winter months.

Scarves

I might have a slight obsession with scarves. You can dress them up or throw them over a comfy t-shirt. I wear this one a lot between September and November. It’s been my go-to for a few years now. Honestly, I love all the popular Fall fashions – cozy sweaters, boots and a great pair of jeans.

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The Scents

I use my Scentsy warmers the most in the Fall. Some of my favorite scents include Pumpkin Roll and Baked Apple Pie. But my absolute favorite thing to do is light my $5 pumpkin spice candles from Walmart. ‘They are heavenly! I dug them out of the kitchen drawer a few weeks ago because I just couldn’t wait for my house to smell like Fall.

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The Scenery

Fall is full of eye candy – from turning leaves, to pumpkins big and small. Fall has to be the most beautiful time of the year. Last year we took a road trip to Eureka Springs to check out the Fall colors and it was glorious. This year we have another trip planned to check out the fall foliage. I can. not. wait. 

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What’s Up Wednesday {8-31-16}

I’ve been a big fan of MixandMatchMama for a while now. She’s an adoptive mama, lives in the great state of Texas AND makes the most delicious (and easy) meals!

This morning I was reading her What’s Up Wednesday post and thought it sounded like a lot of fun, so I decided to join in!

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1. What We’re Eating This Week…

It just so happens I made one of our favorite meals by MixandMatchMama on Monday. It’s so simple and so delicious. Her Sweet Corn Chicken Tostadas are always a hit! Although I’m not sure why mine never look as pretty as her’s do. Oh, well. They taste amazing, so that’s all that matters.

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2. What I’m Reminiscing About…

Yesterday we celebrated John’s 37th Birthday! I’m a big fan of birthdays (even though my husband really isn’t). Jackson was so excited that it was his dad’s birthday. He couldn’t wait to help him blow the candles out. But the best part of the day (and what John said was the best gift) was when Jackson said, Happy Birthday Dad when John walked through the door after work!

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3. What’ I’m Loving…

That Jackson is loving PreK! I also love surprising him with a fun after-school treat! This week we made Sprittles. Skittles + Sprite = a yummy drink!!! I love making memories with him.

4. What We’ve Been Up To…

We’re still getting in the groove of Back-to-School schedules. Jackson is loving PreK and I’m beyond thrilled with how well he’s doing! I can’t believe he’s going five days a week. This week is HOWDY week, so he’s dressed up each day to show his school spirit. Monday was hat day, Tuesday was Oklahoma Team day, today is Wacky Wednesday.

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5. What I’m Dreading…

I would say giving Jackson a haircut, but we conquered that task last weekend. Honestly, I don’t think I’m dreading anything. My absolute favorite time of the year is right around the corner! The other day I caught a glimpse of Fall in the air (it’s just a feeling I can’t really explain) and I was giddy. Happiness is changing leaves, crisp air and the fun, Fall traditions we share.

6. What I’m Working On…

A new look for my blog. It’s in desperate need of a redesign. Something that reflects my heart and the words I write better than the current one. Yes, I still write about adoption, but there is so much more to the story God is writing for our family. I’ve found a designer and hope to get the ball rolling within the next few weeks. I’m super excited about the ideas I’ve come up with.

7. What I’m Excited About…

I ordered a new camera lens from Amazon and it will be here today! Don’t you just love Amazon Prime? Photography is one of my passions. I love capturing memories (although my husband gets sick of it!) I have a feeling I’ll be taking some photos of Jackson this weekend to test out my purchase.

8. What I’m Watching/Reading…

John and I just finished Stranger Things on Netflix. He begged me to watch and I finally gave in. I’m sooo not a sci fi kind of girl. But it was honestly a good show. A little creepy (I closed my eyes a few times) but I really grew to love the characters. I will say I was left with questions and mixed emotions after the final episode.

Lately my reading list has been pretty heavy. I’ve been doing some work on my heart. I found encouragement and truth in Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out and Lonely. I plan to share a review of the book on my blog soon.

9. What I’m Listening To…

I’m trying to listen to as much SiriusXM radio as I possibly can. My free subscription will be ending in September and I’m not sure I’ll renew. Although I’m super tempted because the Garth Brooks channel launches September 8th.  Thankfully, I have it through the end of the month, so I’ll binge Garth until the signal fades.

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10. What I’m Wearing…

This is my new favorite lotion from Bath and Body Works. I’ve been wearing it all summer. If I can’t be at the beach, I might as well smell like it! This is a seasonal scent, so I stocked up the other day because my bottle was almost gone.

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11. What I’m Doing this Weekend…

I am so glad it’s a three-day-weekend! We are going to take Jackson to breakfast at a small airport near where we live. They have a diner. You can eat your breakfast and watch the planes take off and land. It will be the perfect way to start our Saturday.

I also want to make these cute pumpkins this weekend! Gotta get ready for Fall y’all!

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12. What I’m Looking Forward to Next Month…

Cooler temperatures. Fall. A trip to Magnolia Market with my sister and cousin. The Apraxia Walk. A trip to our favorite pumpkin patch. So many fun things to look forward to in September.

13. What Else is New…

We might be putting our house up for sale soon (more on that later!)