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Friday, March 18, 2016

Stitchfix No. 32

For all the inquiring minds who love to see what's inside that box with the pretty teal circle...
Behold. I give you Fix 32.

I've been giving my stylist, Catherine, a run for her money.  I'm in between sizes and stuff that used to work for me doesn't work so well now.  I've gotten kinda picky because I'm only keeping the stuff I really really love.  My hashtag I created on instagram is catching on...#lovingwhatwewearandwearingwhatwelove.  I only want to wear stuff that makes me feel my best when I'm in it.  She's really listening hard though and paying attention.

This fix was good. But the one I got in the mail a couple of days ago is REALLY good.  I'll be sharing it in a few days to be caught up.

Sooo... this is February's fix.

First these jeans.  I like them and they were so comfortable.
I kept them but am totally regretting that choice. Here's why..

You know that wonderful, magical stretch fabric that I rave about in all their jeans? Well it's not so wonderful if the jeans are a tad too big.  I spend the majority of my time pulling them  up when I wear them.  Ughh.  I knew I was taking a chance but I never dry any of my jeans at any time, so I thought throwing these babies in the dryer would shrink them up perfectly.

It didn't. They fit nice for the first couple of hours and then they stretch out and it's tug of war for the rest of the day.  I've already lost some weight since these pics were taken so the situation is even worse.

Win some lose some.

but lets talk about this top.

It was a keeper.  I love the colors and love how comfortable and casual it is yet still put together.
I can see it with white denim skinnies and flip flops real soon.

And it has tabbed sleeves so you can wear them up or down.

Next was this top which I knew before I tried it on that I wasn't keeping it.
I'm not a fan of the poplar pico tops... at least on me anyways.  Some of you ladies look darling in them.  The fabric is not forgiving and shows everything underneath.

Loved the color but I sent it back.

Next was this sweater.  I had asked for some of those oversized, super comfortable boyfriend cardigans or long duster sweaters.

She sent this and it wasn't exactly what I had in mind.
It's cute and all but I was wanted longer, bigger and softer.
This was a lot like cardigans and sweaters I already have so I sent it back.

This necklace was gifted to me and I feel the need to share it's awesomeness before I move on.
It's a vintage whistle with an old hammered out coin with "live loud" stamped on it.
I wear it ALL the time. (thank you Tara. xxoo)  It's such a great reminder to me of that passage in Psalm 40

"He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.  He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.  He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see what He has done and be amazed.  They will put their trust in the  Lord."  Psalm 40:2-3
Love it!  He's given me a new song and I want to sing it and live it loud!

And the last piece in my fix was this cardigan sweater.
It wasn't exactly what I was asking for either but I liked that it had a lapel on a sweater.
It made it unique and a little funky.

I wore this and my SDJ tee to speak to a group of women last month about God's grace in my life and family.  I love sharing my story that He is writing in my life and I praise Him each morning that He's not finished.

Well there you have it.  Fix number 32 in all it's glory.
I kept three out five.  Not bad.

One awesome new thing about Stitch Fix that I want to mention before I go....

They now offer SHOES!!!

Woo hoo!  And not just any old shoes.  The good stuff.
They even carry TOMS.  SO make sure you go spruce up your style profile and let them know what styles you might want to have in your next fix.

And as always, If you'd like to know more about having your own stylist for $20 a month that will be credited towards anything you keep from your fix, then click the link below. You send anything you don't like back in a postage paid bag.  So much fun.

This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated for this post. But as always, I only share things I truly love and I give honest opinions about my experiences  and the products I share.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Meet the Stevens Family

I love how God burdens our hearts with new things as He writes our stories and our seasons change. I have always admired families who adopt children.  And I've always thought women who choose life for their babies and make the ultimate sacrifice to give them up for adoption are the most courageous women on earth. But I've never been involved or would consider myself an advocate for the orphan or the families who have been called to adopt them.  

Until now.

In the last several years, the community of friends the Lord has surrounded me with is saturated with the call to adopt.  I went from only having a few friends in my life who had adopted or were adopted to having dozens and dozens.  And that is awesome. I began to support these friends as often as I could. I mean, it was the right thing to do. And I'm a nice person.

And then He crossed my path with Tyler and Erica and sweet Evie Joy and my life was forever changed.  I saw first hand the beauty of adoption.  The process of what all these families go through.  The sacrifices, the blessings, the scary stuff, the hard stuff and the WONDERFUL stuff.  Nick and I both know that the Lord has not called us to adopt a child ourselves but He HAS called us to advocate for the orphan and the families who are adopting them.

This is why I have an extensive t-shirt collection.  hashtag... adoption fundraiser favorite.  And this is ONE of the reasons I love hosting Noonday trunk shows.  Noonday Collection's very foundation is built on the love for adoption. You can read about the founder, Jessica and her family here.

But Noonday not only supports families who are adopting, they support families all around the world by creating jobs for artisans who make the jewelry itself.   It's such an incredible company with whom I am so proud to stand beside and lock arms with and give my support. You can a little taste of what they are about here.

So with all of that said.... I want to introduce you to The Stevens...Casey and Chesney. 

  Chesney is young enough to be my daughter.  In fact the reason I know Chesney is because she is friends with Lydia and Marcus (my daughter and son-in-law).  I was so tickled when I discovered they were adopting and knew I wanted to help them in any way I can.  (By the way, When you purchase anything through our Noonday Trunk show, 20% of all sales will go directly to their adoption fund.  It's such a blessing and easy way to support them.)

I asked her  to share a little bit of her heart as to how they knew the Lord had called them to adopt.  Here is what she shared.....  

The journey of adoption is exhausting, joyful, frustrating, uplifting, hard, and whatever other words you want to throw in there. It’s a lot like your story, I am sure. Different, yes of course, but in so many ways its the same. That is one of the most valuable things I’ve been learning in this - that me and you, we are a lot more connected than the world wants us to believe.

Yes, we may from the outside have completely different lives. You may be the mother of five children and I am struggling to have one, or you may be 18 and marriage/children are the furtherest thing from your mind, or well you may be well past the child bearing years & you are still searching for so many answers. But in each of these stories lies so much goodness. So much to learn for each of us. Because struggling and waiting, though they are hard, are two common threads that the Lord ties us together with.

But for now, though I long to know your story, honestly, here in these moments I am going to let you in on my journey and where we are in bringing home our child from Kyrgyzstan.

First off, let me tell you about how we began this adoption process & why Kyrgyzstan. (read more about it here)

I don’t remember this one moment in my life where I was drawn to adoption, rather it seems as if the desire to adopt has always been there, like a fundamental part of who I am. Of course, a desire like that can’t come from myself, but only from the Lord. I believe He has written adoption into the hearts of his children. Ephesians tells us, “In love he predestined us for adoption as sons, through Jesus Christ..” As his children, I believe both Casey’s & my desire to adopt comes from being adopted into His family.

So, why Kyrgyzstan? (Go, look at a map, its over there squeezed under Kazakhstan & beside China).

Sometime around 3 years ago our church “adopted” a UUPG (unengaged, unreached people group) through the IMB. Our church chose a people group of Central Asia that has close ties with Kyrgyzstan. In these years of supporting this effort to engage & reach these people we have been drawn to them. Praying for these people to know Christ, learning about their culture, and sending members of our church to live among them.

When we began to research countries to adopt from and Kyrgyzstan came up, we quickly knew where the Lord would have us bring our child home from.

We are currently two months shy of a year of being fully immersed in adoption - paperwork, approvals, homestudy, fundraising, dossier, and more fingerprinting than any law abiding citizen should have.

May - December of this past year was a “hurry-up and wait” season of life for us. Then January came and a season of full on waiting came - and well, we are still sitting in that season. There is no more paperwork, there are no more approvals needed, we are waiting to be matched with a child! There isn’t much of a timeline of when we will be matched. Actually, there is no timeline at all. We simply wait, eagerly anticipating the day we receive an email with the picture of a face that will change our lives forever. Whether that is in six weeks or six months, is in the Lord’s plan.

When we first announced our adoption I talked a lot about adoption and its direct relation to the gospel. How nothing that I have ever done deserves the love and affection of God. Yet each and every day He shows me grace, He provides every need, & I remain adopted. How beautiful it is and will be when we have our child home, fully ours - no matter what he/she does, he will be our child. Just as I am Gods, he will be ours.

How my heart longs already that this child will know their Creator. My most fervent prayer for our child is that his/her heart is being drawn towards our Savior. That they will know even in all of the chaos of their present life, there is a God who loves and cares deeply about him/her. A God who will provide family, a mom & dad (us!), at just the right time.

I pray that for our child & I pray that for myself. That I will trust the sovereignty of my Savior to provide for us our child at just the right time. But until then, we hold fast to our own adoption through Jesus Christ as we seek to glorify the Father in our waiting.

“Rejoice in hope,  be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12).

Thank you for letting me share a glimpse of our story. More than anything we need your prayers. We have been so very encouraged by the prayers & words of so many - thank God for the gift of His church!

Thank YOU Casey for giving us a glimpse of what the Lord is up to in your lives!  He's writing a beautiful story and it's a blessing watching it unfold. And thank you for allowing us an opportunity to have a small part of what God is doing.  

If you would like to support her adoption AND support families in other parts of the world through fair trade and incredible unique jewelry, then please use click HERE and go get ya some Noonday. 20% of all sales will go directly to their adoption fund. 

Also, we've created a FaceBook page where I am sharing daily pics and ideas of all the ways I wear and style my own collection of Noonday...(which has unashamedly grown to be a pretty extensive collection over the last few years.)  If you'd like an invite,  please friend me on Facebook (Stephanie Cooper Holden) and send me a DM letting me know you would like an invitation)

Thank YOU!! 
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