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I love getting to share my thoughts + writings on other people’s blogs! Last week I had the opportunity to be on Jamie’s new “happy hour” podcast – check it out if you haven’t yet..and this week I’m guest posting about living in the “in between”

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I was cruising down I-20 recently, headed to another Noonday Collection adoption trunk show my friend Kasey was hosting in a small west Texas town about 90 miles from my west Texas town.  My mind wandered as I messed with the radio, mentally went through my “check list” in my head, and looked at my clock as I was running late, as usual.  I decided to make a few phone calls, and managed to get a hold of my good friend [who I just traveled to Uganda with], Cara on the phone.  Don’t you love those friends that you just jump right into what’s on your heart?  Hardly no small talk, but straight to the heart talk.  I love it.  She started telling me about this book she’s been reading by Jeff Goins, In Between.

 

Honestly, I haven’t read it yet.  But as she spoke about how it had been teaching her more and more about those “in between” moments, I had this picture in my head.  Cara was sharing with me how the book was teaching her that life isn’t about the “big moments” but really more about the little everyday moments that happen in between the big moments.  The picture in my head was getting louder…

 

keep reading here.

 

There’s a phrase I’ve gotten quite used to people in our small town saying to me, “y’all are ALWAYS GONE!”  I used to get offended, like it meant somehow that I was less committed or intentional about our commitments and relationships here [and maybe that's true sometimes] but now I’ve started taking it as a compliment.  When friends say those four words, now I feel like they say them in a way that says “y’all are so fun and adventurous!”  and why, yes we are.  I love this about us.  I love that my husband and I are so opposites in some regards, but his spontaneous adventurous side has rubbed off on me.  We are a fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants kind of people most of the time, and while that has been challenging at times for my first born/type A personality, it’s also been really good for me.

My oldest friend is getting married in North Carolina next weekend, and we decided to take the kids and ROAD TRIP up there.  I mean, why not?  Just so happens my parents will be there, and have rented a house and it will be just a delightful action-packed wedding weekend together.  Also just so happens, that for the second June in a row my sweet husband will be leaving [last time we were coming home] for Ethiopia on fathers day.  Why would we not drop him off at the nearest big city airport, and then take 12 days to road trip home and visit friends along the way while he’s gone?

yep, friends.  we are about to embark on a crazy road trip adventure.  I’ve been crazy trying to think of everything before we leave so I don’t have to go to the store alone with two kids somewhere in Tennessee, and by the time you are reading this we will be all packed up and on the road.  I’ll be documenting this adventure on social media with the hashtag #wactour   [Wynne/Asher/Camp] so follow along on instagram!

Here’s some pics to document my packing, organizing and fun tips I found via pinterest!

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We are going to have a cooler in the back, but I also pre-packaged snacks and put them in these clear tubs.  hopefully everything I packed will last the whole 2+ weeks and will be easy access especially when I’m driving solo with the kids.

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shower caddy to keep all of our “lunch on the go” stuff: paper plates, spoons, wipes, sanitizer and napkins.  I have another empty one to keep food in that we might pick up on the go.

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I decided to pack our clothes in laundry baskets, and just brought a big tote bag so I could throw in there what we might need for the night so I don’t have to take all of our stuff in every place we go.

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I also had several people tell me that the best advice they have, is to get little gifts and wrap them up to give to the kids every hour, or when they are doing a good job in the car.  I raided the dollar tree and dollar section at Target and picked up a few things around the house they hadn’t played with in a while and wrapped them all in brown paper bags!  I think this will be so fun + a great distraction for the hours and hours we’ll be in the car at a time.

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Also in my search for info, I came across this fun podcast by my friends Kat + Liz on the Inspired to Action podcast.

what advice do you have?  share your fave podcast, pinterest board or idea in the comments! 

  • The Gray Matters - They’ll do great! We have done a few long trips with H, and he always does much better than I think he will–even last summer when he was newly potty trained! Y’all will have so much fun and make so many memories. Love it! (My only tip: don’t let them see the snacks unless you are doling them out, otherwise–at least in my experience–they ask for them just because they know they’re there.) ReplyCancel

  • Jodi Chris Boyle - I have done road trips alone with my 3 kids. we have so much fun. Sometimes we get to where we want and other times well we stop someplace because we all needed a break. I learned to just go with the flow. Enjoy your time.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley Howry - They will do JUST FINE!!! I have found that the more I travel with my kids…the better they do the next time. They know what’s expected and I love building that sense of adventure in them. ENJOY the traveling!!!!!!! :) Proud of you!ReplyCancel

  • Allison - I love all your convenient travel ideas!!!! You’ve given me the itch to road trip! What fun memories you’re creating with your sweet family!!! ReplyCancel

  • Carey Clemons Bailey - This last road trip rather than doing one big snack box I did a snack box for each kiddo and it worked so great and they loved it. They knew exactly what they had and there was no asking a billion times for something because they knew if it was in their box they could have it. Yours might be a bit too young to self regulate but for future notes… oh, and story books on cd/dvd/itunes and magna doodles are winners!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah Bunker - This is genius! I’m tucking these tips away in my noggin for when we go on trips with G+C!ReplyCancel

  • Andrea Worley - these are such great tips! we’re taking a 6 hr trip soon, gonna use some of your ideas!ReplyCancel

friends – I was floored last week as I heard from so many of you after I posted my “missing out” post.  My friend Robin, from back in the day high school youth group, said she was interested in sharing some words with us about infertility.  I simply said “yes”, and this is what she sent me 24 hours later.  beautiful.  I know it will touch you.  I’m thankful that she can “visit the ravine” for friends to let us know we are not alone down there.
I would love to share different fertility stories, encouragement and wisdom on the blog.  Not sure how often or what that looks like, but here we go for another “fertility friday” as I just named it.
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Where God Is.
It’s true. No matter how impressive your imagination is, you can’t really imagine the suffering of a woman longing to conceive a child. When I tried to explain my words, behavior, or feelings to loved ones, this is where I ended up when I couldn’t adequately describe them: you can’t understand. This was hard for people to comprehend who hadn’t experienced it, and I was told I was shutting people out, isolating myself, and being selfish with my pain. Yes, maybe I was, but I think there are different kinds of suffering. Some people have zero human rights, some are abused, neglected, suffer the unexpected or slow and sad death of loved ones, lose jobs, marriages, friends, reputations, and more. I wouldn’t compare the various types, but I will attempt to explain infertility for women – every neuron in our brains from childhood has been wired to care for little ones and/or others, every cell in our physical body is designed to support the development of a tiny human, our very existence – being born to a Mother – suggests this is where we are headed, and to be…thwarted by your own body (or your chosen beloved’s) is a threat to your identity. It’s not the leaking shallow pipes that you’re dealing with, it’s the deepest pipe, the one that is the biggest and hardest to get to in terms of recovery.
Every relationship was affected, whether they knew it or not, but there became “safe” people and “unsafe” people to talk to, depending on their general attitude. For me, the people who reflected my feelings and joined with me were the safe ones. The platitudes, encouragements, and assurances were nothing. I realized after a year that if the infertility lasted forever, I was headed down the rabbit hole and might not have friends in the future. I became someone I didn’t know. Jealousy, rage, anger, isolation, depressed, self-righteous, to name a few of the rotted fruits of my life. I started praying about that, asking God to protect my relationships, and allow them to survive my infertility, and to change my heart. I had no idea how I was going to overcome those feelings.
And then there was God. Where was he, by the way? While I felt alone in the ravine while all my friends were atop the mountain celebrating their pregnancies and babies, I knew God was somewhere. What I was tempted to think were from some idiotic fundamentalist ideals from an unfriendly voice in my head -
Robin, God is teaching you a lesson. You won’t get pregnant until you learn the lesson.
Robin, God has perfect timing. He’s waiting for that time to come, be patient.
Um, no. That doesn’t feel like a loving Father to me. If I HAD a child, what would I be doing through their struggles? I’d be his/her biggest advocate, fighting until I found answers, solutions, peace, something conclusive.
My Mom tells me this story: She and my Dad were driving home in the dark a few years ago. They’re in the country. An animal ran across the road and they hit it, hard enough to kill it. My Mom said it looked like a dog or a wolf. She cried and cried. She decided she could not bear to think that they killed someone’s family pet, but could be at peace if it was a wolf roaming the neighborhood attacking smaller pets and farm animals in their neighborhood. She chose to believe they hit a menacing wolf.
I decided I had the same choice. I could believe that God was at arms length and withholding blessings from me (I did not know that God, and did not want to continue to submit my life to any God who didn’t care about me) OR I could believe that God wanted the same thing for me. God wanted me to be a Mother, He wanted that as badly as I did. So, while my body was a mess of the consequences of chemicals prescribed by former doctors who didn’t do enough research, God found another way through the obstacles of my body. He led me to the holistic physician who recommended the reproductive endocrinologist who figured out all the specific needs I had in order to have a shot at conception. For other people, where there are no answers about their bodies, God finds ways for them to be Mothers and parents, too, like Wynne shared. He works hard for these desires to become gifts.
We live in a fallen world. I probably won’t ever spontaneously get pregnant. Instead, I get to set multiple alarms a day to remind me to take vitamins, pills, take shots, etc. We are limited by so many things, and from what I know about God, while He can work miracles instantly, some miracles have a process, and I choose to believe He’s working very, very hard to help us through the process. One of my favorite quotes refers to the beauty of Heaven: It will all be alright in the end. If it’s not alright, it’s not the end.
So, where is God? Where is always is. With us.
If you would like to connect with Robin, you can do so here: robin.cohagen@gmail.com

  • Suzanne - Amen and amen.

    In tears reading this. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Blair - ‘He works hard for these desires to become gifts.’ What a beautiful picture of our loving Father…that we tend not to give ‘credit’ to when things don’t work for us as expected. He is always for us. Always with us…but we have the choice to believe that. Robin, thank you for these words, for sharing your heart, for being open-handed with your pain so that God turns it into something beautiful. My perspective has shifted…thank you. ReplyCancel

Hey friends!  These past few weeks of the #styleforjustice contest have been so fun and exciting!  I’ve been blown away by the vulnerability and bravery of all the 250+ women who entered the contest.  Every single day I click on the website and read about the women, and now we are down to THREE!  Now, it’s all up to YOU to vote who comes with us!  Until June 9th, you can visit THIS LINK once per day to vote for your favorite!

I don’t know how yall will pick between these three amazing ladies!

 

 

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I had probably my last big Midland show for the summer, before I head off to a crazy 2+ week and multiple state road trip with my family next week [more on that soon!], family trip to the lake, this Rwanda trip and another family road trip to Colorado in August.  Such a fun night with my good friend Ashley.  I love when people catch the vision, and love to HOST!  We set up in her beautiful backyard with sparkly lights, wine, and music and had great conversations!  pss- there’s some amazing stuff on sale while supplies last!

 

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shop online here.

loved listening to my friend Jamie Ivey’s happy hour podcast this week with my good friend + Noonday founder, Jessica Honneger.  You can listen online here!

hi friends;) so I am no fashion blogger, and really not much of a fashion girl.  Most days you can find me in shorts or a maxi skirt and some sort of seventy or adoption tee.  however, my love affair with Noonday Collection and my thing for Stitch Fix + Altar’d State has me trying a little harder these days.  it’s so fun when I travel, go on girls nights, or date nights to kick it up a notch!  [let's be honest, I wear "workout clothes" to go to the grocery store] so….who knows if I’ll do this again in the near future, or never again, but I bring you my first ever what we wore: new orleans style.  because you’ll get to meet my beautiful sisters too!

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top: stitch fix

shorts: american eagle

sandals + shades: TOMS

bag+ accessories: Noonday Collection

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dress: Free People last year

dress slip: Altar’d State

Shades: TOMS

Necklaces, bracelets + bag: Noonday Collection

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my sister Mary Helen

dress: Anthro

bag:Louis Vuitton

Necklace: kate spade 

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my sister Rachel

dress: Anthro

shades:

watch:

flower crown: vendor in Jackson Square

  • Melissa Blair - You are beautiful and now I want to go to NOLA with you. (PS I kind of think you are a fashion blogger, too…look at you!) I love you!
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