Football + Family Traditions

My husband has been graciously nudging me back to this old blog the past few weeks. He keeps reminding of how much I enjoy writing and that I need to just start writing again. And he’s right, even though my creative juices feel like a thing of the past right now, I know that the desire to write and share my heart with you, my friends, is still here…somewhere…so I just need to write. He even gave me a blog topic to write on this week, just so I didn’t have to try to brainstorm one (he’s super sweet). So here it goes…

Jason moved to Tucson three years ago this coming September! I can’t believe that it’s been three years already. It feels just like last Fall I flew down here to help him move all his stuff into the apartment, but in reality, a lot of life has happened between then and now. A Lot.

That first weekend I came down to visit Jason, he had found cheap tickets to watch the U of A football team play their home opener against The Citadel. Jason knew that I LOVED football and spending a night watching two college teams play with the pigskin would make me feel SO much better about leaving him in this hot desert land for four months without me. So we enjoyed our first ever college football game together and it was wonderful. HOT, but wonderful to experience something that I had loved since I was in my mother’s womb with the love of my life.

First UofA game

Fast forward a year and I had moved down to Tucson after the wedding and it was the start of football season again. I was aching for something familiar, so Jason once again purchased tickets to the U of A’s home opener. We learned that year that you can park & ride much much cheaper, so we got to the parking lot early and grabbed Chic-fi-la for dinner and rode onto campus. And If I remember right, the Wildcats crushed Northern Arizona and it was so stinkin’ hot! (one of the downsides of living in the desert is that football season doesn’t feel like football season till almost November)

Football game with friends!

Football game with friends!

Fast forward again to 2012,  a client of mine gives Jason and I tickets for one of the best seats in the house because he and his wife can’t make it to the home opener. We parked at Reid park, grabbed Chic-fi-la and rode the bus to the stadium. That night is one that we will remember for ages because it was about 110 degrees, with thousands of people surrounding us, and we had forgotten to bring cash for water…so we were hot, dehydrated, and maybe a little grumpy! To top it all off, the Wildcats decide to let NAU get in the game and the game goes into DOUBLE overtime! We got home close to 1am (did I mention that we are diehards, even if we are hot, dehydrated, and grumpy?!).

wildcat football

 

And It was at that game, that we realized that we had created a family tradition for the Wood family! A tradition that we both love and enjoy. Traditions have always been an important part of my growing up, so when I realized that we had created something to pass on to our family, my heart was full.

Tonight we are headed to our 4th home opener! We are looking forward to parking at Reid park, grabbing dinner at Chic-fi-la and taking the bus to the stadium (and hopefully a great win for the Cats!)

With being married 2.5 years ago, this is the longest standing tradition we have as a family! I’m looking forward to the days where we can take our sweet girls to the home opener and share with them our family tradition and love for football!

What long-standing family tradition do you have? Or what tradition are you hoping to cultivate for your family?

Advertisements

Small Change for G & M!!

Many of you may have seen my Facebook, twitter, and Instagram photos of the new fundraiser that Jason and I have started. For those of you who don’t follow me on any of those social media avenues, here is what this little fundraiser is all about!

For the next four weeks we are asking people to fill a jar, mug, baggie, shoe…anything that can hold change…with your spare change from the end of the day. A few months ago I made a coin jar out of a mason jar with the outline of Africa. We’ve been filling it up with our loose change and cash ever since. I thought that this might be an easy way for an entire family to be a part of helping bring home our little girls.

If you want to make a jar here are the easy-peesy steps to make it happen:

Items needed: mason jar, sharpie, Africa cut-out, chalkboard paint, small paintbrush

1. Find a mason jar at a grocery store or in your cabinet

2. Print off an outline of Africa from the internet. I downloaded this outline and resized it to fit my jar.

3. Grab a sharpie and outline the continent.

4. Use a small paintbrush and paint inside the outline.

5. Let it dry and you now have your own Africa coin jar!!

photo-7

 

On Monday, September 16th dump out all the change and count it with your little ones (or you can do it on your own :)) and take it to the bank. As a way to help you out, I’m asking you to donate your change to our online tax-deductible account with AdoptTogether. Once the spare change is in your bank account, you can go online and donate your change to our account! If you do want to give us the change, you can mail a check or if you live in Tucson, give it to me in person.

adoptTogether

Our hope and prayer with this simple fundraiser is that more people will hear about how God is working in our lives and in the lives of our children on the other side of the world. Please share this post with your friends, family, co-workers, etc. We want God to receive the Glory in giving our small change to help make BIG changes for our little girls who are waiting for their mommy and daddy to come take them home to a forever family!

As a side note, we received new pictures yesterday of G & M! oh. my. heart. They are getting so big and they are SO beautiful! The change in their pictures from February to now is unreal. I am thankful every day that we have the ability to provide food, medicine, supplements, and clothing for our girls through their foster home while we all wait to be united!

Keep praying that we pass court by September!

And start filling up those jars!!

Thank you from the bottom of this mama’s heart!

Life Lately: Monday Edition

Today I’m linking up with Blaire at Wild & Precious 

Last week was a blur of movement but it also felt like it moved at a snail pace. Do you ever have weeks like that?

All week long I was waiting for an email with photo updates of our girls because I knew that they were supposed to be on their way. I was seeing other adopting mamas announce that they received their pictures and every day I was disappointed to not hear that notification on my email. It’s been three months since we’ve seen their faces and I wonder how big they have grown and whether baby M has hair! I know that many adopting parents don’t get any photo updates and I am thankful that we have had three different sets, but it’s hard when you know that it’s supposed to be coming but never does. I  let the disappointment control my outlook on life last week, which caused a lot of hurt to fester. I was grumpy and weepy all week, not the way that I want to live my life. Today, I’m committing to be thankful for the gifts I have with me now and to not hit the refresh button on my iPhone email as often.

Last week I also started helping an old friend jump start their workout routine before she travels to Europe for vacation. It has been fun creating workouts and encouraging her to reach her goals. It also felt good to know that I can still kick butt! Many of my old clients used to look at me and think that I looked too nice, but as one of my clients from Iowa once said…”Behind that pretty smile is a devilish desire to make you feel pain”. At least I do it with a smile right? 🙂

We are well on our way to completing the renovation in our third bedroom! Painting the room white and laying flooring has done wonders in making the space feel roomier and calming. I can’t wait to start decorating it to be our guest/office room. As of right now it’s just a toy room for all the children we have in our house on a weekly basis (and it’s the dogs’ room too). We are still deciding on the color scheme…any ideas?

bedroom renovation

The Fall catalog for Thirty-One came in the mail and I’m excited to share their Fall line with people. The prints are fun and the new styles of bags are beautiful and practical. If you want to host a party (catalog or “real life”) contact me through my website: http://www.mythirtyone.com/sarahwood

A few months ago Jason and I began sponsoring a child through Amazima ministries in Uganda. If you’ve ever read Kisses from Katie, this is her ministry. Our sponsorship will provide a year of schooling, three meals a day, clothes, medical care, Christian mentorship and much more for a child in Jinja. In Wednesday’s mail I received quite the gift from Amazima! We were given a picture of one of the boys in the school plus a handwritten note and picture that he wrote for us. Even though we didn’t receive pictures of our girls last week, having that picture on our fridge makes me smile every time. Knowing that we are helping bring redemption back into a poverty-stricken community makes me want to sponsor every single child. If you’re interested in sponsoring a child through Amazima, click on this link. It’s only $25/month!

photo-11

This week will be filled with more dinner dates, 31 parties, and what I’m most looking forward to….Missional Community! Jason and I are missional community leaders and host about 20 adults in our home every week. We love opening our home and our lives to live life in community with people from our church. We are praying that this season will be filled with hearts being changed, gospel stories, and many more memories made around the dinner table.

What has your life looked like lately?

what’s it really like for our waiting family?

waiting-for-you

Yesterday Ashleigh wrote a great post on what’s it really like for their family as an adoptive family. It made me start thinking about what is it really like for families that are waiting to bring home their little ones.

I get the questions, “Any adoption update?” or “How can you guys handle not knowing when the girls will come home?” ALL. OF. THE. TIME.

And I totally get it too. There’s really not much else to ask sometimes and I have great friends and family who want to show us they care. Often, though, the questions are hard to answer day after day. Most of the time, my heart is at a place where I can handle all the questions and truly enjoy answering them.

Last week was not one of those times and I’m thankful that I didn’t run into many people or else they may have seen a weepy, exhausted waiting mom and worry that I was going crazy!

When we get the question, “How can you guys handle not knowing when you’re getting your girls?”, I’m not always sure how to answer it. It’s hard to fully elaborate on because it would take me a half hour to explain all the ways God has shown us His goodness in this wait….most people don’t have a half hour and I often don’t have the emotional capacity to dive into it so I answer, “We know that God is in control.” Which is all very true, but there’s so much more to it.

We can wait because life still goes on here and now. We have people to meet with, responsibilities to uphold, bills to pay, and a life to live.

We can wait because we know that God loves our little girls more than we could ever imagine and He is caring for them on the other side of the world.

We can handle not knowing because there is absolutely nothing I can do to make this season go by any faster even though I wish I could fly over there and demand my paperwork be approved!

We can wait because we have an amazing community of people that surround us and pray for us. Just last night we had some friends over and before they left they prayed over our adoption and prayed specifically for our girls. I was in tears hearing a friend lift up our daughters in such a heartfelt way to our Heavenly Father. (If you have the opportunity, pray for your friends who are adopting WITH them. It is so deeply encouraging)

And finally we can wait in a very practical way because we still are gathering all of the finances for our adoption to be fully funded.

What can you do if you are a friend of a waiting mommy (and daddy)? Pray with them, spend fun time with them to help them take their mind off all the things they have no control over, and be sensitive to the questions you ask (it’s a good idea to ask if it’s okay to ask about the adoption process).

What’s it really like to be a waiting mama? It’s just like normal life, except you have a gaping hole in your heart that has been taken to the other side of the world.

This is a guest post I wrote for Mercy Found Ministries. An online ministry called to encourage and come alongside families in any stage of adoption.

life lately: crazy

How do you come down off of a crazy week? I’m in the process of that today…

Last week was absolute craziness for our little family of two. We went from 0-4 kids and thankfully when their grandparents picked them up yesterday, they were still alive and they still loved us (and we were still breathing)! Our time parenting 4 kids under the age of 8 gave us a whole new perspective of and gratefulness for our parents and our friends with kiddos! Jason asked me one night if I will always be this tired when we have kids. I told him that I hoped not, but it was highly likely for at least a season. Not sure if he liked that response…

We were so tired on Friday that we decided to treat them to DD instead of cook breakfast! Point for the Wood's for being awesome!

We were so tired on Friday that we decided to treat them to DD instead of cook breakfast! Point for the Wood’s for being awesome!

Today as I’m catching up on all the things around our house, I’m realizing how grateful I am for this season of just Jason & I. Tomorrow I’m sharing more about the struggles of waiting for our girls to come home, but today I’m thankful for the blessings of this season. We can sleep more, leave more often without packing up the house, and we have more quiet.

Speaking of quiet, as an introvert and a highly sensitive person (HSP-I keep saying I’m going to blog about that one day…) noise affects my ability to function well. I know that as a mom life will not be quiet, but I’m finding blogs of other moms who consider themselves HSP’s to help me find ways to balance home life so that both mom and kids are happy. 🙂

This week I also embark on another short term endeavor! I was asked by an old friend to help them get back into shape for an event over the next 4 weeks. I will be putting on my old personal training cap and be making a lady sweat for an hour three days a week! I’m excited to do this, but also nervous as it’s been almost a year since I’ve trained someone.

This week as I come down off of a full week, I’m hoping to find a little quiet, but I know that this season is just going to be a busy one. So, I’ll ask again-how do you find peace after a crazy season or week?

I’m taking notes…

Today I’m linking up with Wild & Precious’s Life Lately link-up party!

 

Last Week in Pictures

Right now I am sitting on a couch helping a 4 year old play my iPhone games. For the next week, Jason and I have moved into our friends’ house to watch their children while they travel to Ethiopia to meet the new son and have their court date to officially add another kiddo to their brood! My heart is full and excited for them to spend time getting to know him but also sad because I know that they will have to fly back to America without him this time around (Ethiopia’s adoption program has the family fly twice).

With watching 4 busy children this week, I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to write, so who knows how many posts will pop up on here over the next week.

All I have time for today is a little recap of last week & this weekend. It was a full week of dinner with friends, a wedding, and so much more.

IMG_1463I got this book in the mail last week and I think that it will be a perfect read for this ever-increasing season of living in the in-between. I’m really wanting to learn how to wait well and see growth in my character through this season. I’m taking a writing class that Jeff Goins has put together and I have loved learning from him, so I’m excited to read his writing.

IMG_1466

IMG_1470

My Thirty-One enrollment kit came in the mail! I’ve already booked three parties for the month of August and am hopefully well on to my first goal as a consultant. I wasn’t sure how I would really like doing this, but I’ve found that it’s been fun. It helps when people love Thirty-One bags already and want to host parties! If you’re interested in hosting, just shoot me an email.

IMG_1469

 I love the purse that came with the kit, it was super handy for this…

IMG_1485

IMG_1488

Some friends from church were married on Friday night. I love weddings, especially as a married woman now because it reminds me of the fun and joy of our wedding day (and I’m thankful that I won’t have to go through a crazy season like that again!).

IMG_1491

Saturday was major project day in the Wood household! I spent the day painting our third bedroom with a friend while Jason cooked all of our meals for the week (yes, Jason makes all of our meals…that’s a post for another day!) We decided to paint the walls white for a more clean and simple looks so that I could accent any color. And I’m so glad that we did it! We will be painting the girls’ room white as well. We got our paint at Home Depot and it’s called Falling Snow from Behr.

IMG_1500

The morning sun coming through the window gives the room such a soft, quiet feel. I’m going to love having this place as my writing office!

Well, that’s how our week looked in pictures! One of the boys is currently doing single-armed push ups…he wants to grow up to be strong like his daddy! I think a day of riding bikes and playing in the backyard is in order!

Have a great week!

Five Minute Friday: Story

Five Minute Friday is an idea birthed by the lovely Lisa-Jo Baker. The goal is to sit down at your computer and just write for 5 minutes on the word of the day. Today’s word is Story. If you want to join in, just write your post and link up to her website. Make sure to read the person post before yours.

So here I go…

5minutefriday

 

 

 

 

 

START

We all have a story to share. Some of our stories will bring us to tears, while others bring much laughter and nostalgia. Our story is who we are. It reveals our past, our present and gives hints to what our future will bring.

Our personal stories tend to play out much different in real life than they do in our imagination. I know my story looks nothing like how I pictured it as a 16 year old girl. By now I thought I’d experience pregnancy and childbirth, instead I’ve experience infertility and miscarriages. BUT what I didn’t think would be a part of my story was adoption. And how much more beautiful is that?!

That’s the beauty of it though. We can never anticipate how our story will be written. We can only live out our story with the faith that in the end it will all be a beautiful mess that we can pass down to our children, grandchildren, and those we meet along the way. Our stories are our testimonies to how God works in our lives. Whether we see Him in the pain of a season or see Him in the joy determines our outlook on the tapestry of life. What a beautiful piece of work God is doing in your life!

Today, think through all of the milestones and not-so-milestones of your life. How has God knitted that all together to create a beautiful story? Now share that with someone and witness the gift that brings to you and your listener.

STOP