it’s here! [american blogger]

I just finished watching American Blogger and I am seriously a hot mess on my front porch.  It was so beautiful and I am so honored to be a part of it!  To watch my good friends give over a year of their lives, and sacrifice so much to chase a dream and make it a reality INSPIRES me.  I just told Casey that it is so so beautiful and only inspires me to CREATE MORE, share more, connect more, and love more.

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This crazy thing called the internet and blogging has been such a big part of my life the past 6 years.  I’ve shared so much of our lives, our adoption journey, our struggles and our joys, and I love that it’s something that I [and future generations] will always be able to go back to.  I process so much of life by writing, and there’s nothing I want to do more after the end of an inspiring evening/conversation/expierence than come home and write about it.  Life is meant to be lived.  then, for me, so much of it is to be written and shared.  I still sometimes pour through my old posts to read the thoughts I was thinking on the day I became a mom, or when I finally realized that I was thankful that my life isn’t “normal”.

Through this space I have connected with women across the country that I now consider dear friends and sisters.  This blog has allowed me to chase my dreams and tell stories on my African adventures, it’s fundraised our adoption, allowed me to spread the word about my beloved Noonday Collection, tell stories of people that are changing the world and who knows where it’s going in the future.  All I know is I am so grateful to be a part of this time in history where we can share our lives with the world.

 I want to be “brave and bold and dare to speak of life”.

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you can purchase American Blogger here!  

it’s worth it;)

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surprised.

last night was one of my favorite nights of my life.  and so of coarse I came home, and stayed up way too late writing about it.

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tonight after my birthday date night dinner downtown with my hubby, I walked into what I thought was our last week of the Freeway study we’ve been doing all semester, but to my surprise I was ushered outside and SURPRISED by my closest friends!  Y’all, I haven’t had a surprise birthday party since I was 21, and for some reason I had some sort of inkling this was going to happen, but I had speculated over and over with no party, so I had sorta lost hope.

but tonight, oh tonight.  it restored my spirit.  it brought joy to my heart to see so many of my friends that I have missed so so dearly as I’ve been traveling.  it was home.  One thing that I told them tonight, is when I was out of town, I often felt bored.  My friend Brynn said to me one day when I told her this, “well, what do you do in MIdland?”  To which I replied, “I have friends!”  and friends make all the difference.

the past few months have been pretty dreamy for me.  adoptive mom’s conference, leading my first blogger trip to Uganda, speaking at a conference, being a part of American Blogger documentary… and tonight reminded me, that those things + the way that I try to make those things make ME matter, or make ME significant, they don’t.  these people…they don’t care about all of that stuff.  they care about ME.  they love ME.  not the blogging, or the exciting opportunities for blogging trips or Noonday…they care about ME.  and it reminded me so much of what Shauna Niequist said at Hope Spoken – when she challenged us to make sure we have friends in our life who TELL US THE TRUTH about who we are.

my friends tonight told me who I was.

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Jenna and her group of friends have this tradition on birthdays, that whosever birthday it is, all the friends at the party will take turns going around and telling that person how much they mean to them, what they love about them, and it’s just an all around love fest.  I’ve been to Jenna’s birthday when we did this for her, and she totally caught me off guard tonight and started this “birthday love fest” for me.

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and y’all, it was my most favorite part of the night.  my love language [at least with friends] is words of affirmation.  I would much rather get a sweet card for my birthday than a gift, and so this little love fest excersise was right up my alley.

I have stored up the sweet words in my heart, and will hold them close.  during some of them I nodded my head when they spoke, most I cried, but some surprised me.  sometimes we just don’t even know what we mean to someone, or that one thing we said to them that meant a whole lot.  and tonight it was all out in the open.  as ackward and uncomfortable it was for some to share in front of 20+ people, so many did.  and it touched my heart more than they could ever know.

I wish I had a recording of them, so I could listen to them over and over again.  but i’m trusting that the Spirit will reveal them to me at the right time.

I’m thankful for friends.  for love.  for being celebrated.  for being real.  for being known.

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w25w27w33w57a BIG thank you to my friends who planned, hosted, cooked, baked, brought wine, coffee, and gifts to this shindig.  y’all are amazing.  and mucho gracias to my girl Alison Holcomb for being my personal paparazzi!

Ann - I love that you are loved so well, Wynne! Friendship is indeed a gift from God. Thanks for sharing your voice and your story with us. And glad you’re home–although I loved connecting with you in Dallas! :)

Wynne - thanks so much ann! I’m so excited about your writing wednesday series!

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won’t be like this for long.

it won’t be like this for long.

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that song, you know, the country one, came on the radio the other night as I was driving away from just putting my babies down after a long long day.  I needed out, I needed space and time without two toddlers hanging all over me, scratching me, biting me, pulling my hair and threatening to rip a hole through my ear.  I was beat up, exhausted, and at my witts end.  ever felt that way? 

 

then that song came on the radio as I was driving to meet my friend for a glass of wine.  and I cried.  I let out the ugly tears.  and I was also encouraged.  it WON’T be like this for long, and yes one day they will be all grown up and gone and that breaks this mamas heart.

 

even in the hard days, the days where you have scratches all up your arm and your daughter now thinks that it’s her job to spank her brother, I can know that this is just a phase, and it won’t be like this forever.  they won’t always run around half naked at the food truck trailer park, and try to go swimming in a water feature, and run away every time I call them.  they also won’t always want to hold my hand, sing me the birthday song over and over, and give me kisses on the mouth.  so tonight was a reminder that I need to CHOSE to enjoy every moment,  the good ones and the hard ones.  Being a mom is the best job, and I don’t ever want to take this gift for granted.

sure, somedays most days I might need a little of this…

image copy 2cheers to raising babies, and knowing that this phase [good or hard] won’t be around forever, so let’s enjoy it!  live well, play well, love well, forgive well.  chose to enjoy every moment!

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BE the change.

The week before I left for my Uganda trip, I had the honor of participating in challenge day right here in my city, with a group of freshman students.

it was powerful.  it was amazing.  it was emotional.  it was freeing.

It was a place I got to be myself.

I might have gone into the day pre-judging people simply by the image they were potraying, but I left a different person.

sitting around, knees to knees, with a group of students I had never met before, I learned something.

no matter our race, our gender, or our age…we all struggle.  and if you really dig deep and open up to answer this question, “if you really knew me, you’d know…” you can find you all have a lot more common ground than you think you do.  I walked into the room that morning being a stranger, and left a friend.

there’s so much power in speaking life into each others dreams.  and dreaming big!  dreaming confidently, like your dream has already come true.

our words mean so much…with them we can tear down, or we can build up.  I want to always be someone who speaks life into young peoples dreams.  I want to encourage and affirm the big big dreams young people have on their hearts.  if we are for them, they are for themselves!

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I also learned that I can be the change.

so often I want to influence people in a way that causes them to act.  which I still stand by, I don’t want to just inspire you, but inspire you to action.  but I think a lot of my life I’ve held that responsibility.  like somehow it’s my job to make you see things differently.  like it’s my job to be perfect so you will know god.  but ya know what? IT’S NOT!   MY job is to BE the change.  for me to lead by example.  to lead with vunerability.  it’s not up to me to change your mind.  it’s just up to me to change MY mind, and act accordingly.

what do you think it would look like if we ALL just decided to BE the change in our neighborhoods, our churches, our schools, and our places of influence?

read more about Be the Change + Challenge Day  and see if it’s something you can help bring to your local community here.

Melissa Blair - Sister. Over here. I hear you. Thank you for this reminder and ALSO…I am leading our youth girls on Sunday and I LOVE the transparency and movement of the Challenge Day…I think we will get the party started here. I love you!

Wynne - ou should TOTALLY get challenge day going! it’s an amazing thing girl. love you!

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lighting candles + american blogger trailer

A candle doesn’t lose it’s flame by lighting another candle” – anonymous

beautiful and humbling words spoken from my dear friend, Casey last weekend from the stage at Hope Spoken.  I cried telling her on Sunday that those words meant so much to me.  You see, SHE has been that candle for me.  I can’t even believe that God intertwined our paths in early 2003 when she picked me as her little sister in our sorority at Baylor.  We laughed this weekend that God was probably laughing back then, just seeing us standing around at a frat party and Him just laughing and shaking his head like, “you girls don’t even know!”

I’m so thankful that Casey has been one of those friends that has LIT my candle.

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she has been a beacon of light to me in this whole blogger/instagram world.  She has encouraged me, answered all my dumb questions, pushed me to be braver, and held my hand at times when I was scared or hurt.

She took a chance on me, and has been one of my biggest cheerleaders in me sharing the story God has written for me.  I can’t thank her enough for giving me the honor of sharing my story at Hope Spoken, and for sending her hubby way out to west Texas to interview me for his American Blogger film!!  Seriously, so much love for you + Chris and the way you are lighting so many candles across the world!

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American Blogger Official Trailer from Chris Wiegand on Vimeo.

The American Blogger trailer is HERE!!!  [you might see Chris in my studio at the beginning!] check it out + visit http://www.americanblogger.com for more details of the early June iTunes launch!!

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Kari - Wynne, I’m so proud of you & your big heart to share your story! You’ve touched the heart of so many bloggers! I can’t WAIT to see the film!

Wynne - kiki! you are amazing! thank you for all of your encouragement and cheerleading!!! YOU are a candle to me too my sister! love you!

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