7 EXTRA Stunning Before & After Photos of Our Home

Lots of you loved when I shared 7 Stunning Before & After Photos of Our Home.

We've been in our fixer-upper for four months now, and it's still a work in progress. Minus the whole leaky-sink-pipe-turned-leaky-roof situation we had earlier this month, we're loving our home and the memories we make here.

Here are 7 EXTRA Before & After Photos of Our Home:
Before and After: Living Room
Before and After: Hall
Before and After: Laundry Breezeway
Before and After: Bathroom
Before and After: Hallway
Before and After: Nursery
Before and After: Bedroom/Reading Nook
Don't you love the girls' reading nook? We re-purposed the window boxes from the living room windows (you know, the ones holding the gaudy pink drapes -- see picture #1 for reference)!

Next up on our to-do list: A custom entryway/mudroom unit from our garage and planning our backyard garden!

Side note: If any of you have experience building shelving/storage units like these on Pinterest, will you let me know?
Pinterest Inspired Mudroom Idea

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All Women Are Worthy of Love

Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by Quidsi for this blog post. 

Somewhere right now, there's a woman learning she's pregnant and another yearning to know what that feels like.

One woman is calling her OB office to schedule her first ultrasound in 10-weeks, and the other is calling her RE to set up another baseline blood draw.

One woman will anxiously wait weeks until she sees the flickering confirmation of a heartbeat at her doctor's office. The other woman will nervously monitor her blood levels for an LH surge to trigger ovulation.

One woman is pouring a glass of water to swig down her prenatal vitamins with dinner. The other is icing an injection site on her right thigh for her third round of infertility treatments.

One woman -- exhausted -- trudges through weeks of nausea, grateful for the little miracle behind it. The other trudges through weeks of pregnancy announcements and baby showers, grateful to survive them.

One woman prays a follow-up ultrasound will provide clarity after a slight scare a few weeks ago; the other prays her ultrasound will show good measurements for the procedures ahead.

One woman is putting the finishing touches in her child's nursery, while the other is trying not to look as she walks passed the empty bedroom.

One woman is standing in the baby section wondering how she'll pick out the best baby gear for the baby tumbling in her belly, and the other stands brokenhearted and worried in a pharmacy wondering how she'll afford injections for another round of treatments.

One woman is eagerly packing her hospital bags -- her due date just two days away. The other is wondering if she'll ever know what that anticipation feels like.

One woman is timing her contractions.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

While the other is counting down the minutes until her two-week wait is over.

One woman has tears of joy celebrating the birth of her precious child. The other is slumped over on the bathroom floor clutching another pregnancy test, wondering when -- or if -- it'll be her turn.

Two women with drastically different journeys yet both with tremendous hopes for the future; both equally worthy of having others stand with them and love them through it all.

If you're one of these women (either one of them, both of them or perhaps a woman on a completely different path) please know: I am here for you. I support you. And you are worthy to be loved exactly where you are.

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This Book About Adoption Has a Horrific Title

I love Usborne books.

In fact, my daughters’ reading nook is filled with dozens of them. DOZENS.

I particularly appreciate the diverse illustrations and language.

No doubt about it my kiddos have fun reading, touching and flip-flapping through this line of interactive books. We make a lot of memories snuggled up in bed reading through the colorful pages together.
This Book About Adoption Has a Horrific Title
But boy, oh boy, did they get this title wrong:
This Book About Adoption Has a Horrific Title
I’ll be honest here: I haven’t actually read the book yet. According to Usborne consultants online, it’s set to be released sometime this year. Maybe the content is really great inside (I hope so), but I simply cannot get past its horrific title.

Babies don’t come from airports.

We all know where babies come from.

And sometimes -- for one reason or another -- babies can't stay with the families they’re born into.

Sometimes their first families love them so much they want to choose the very best for them, and sometimes that's simply not with them.

Sometimes babies travel on airplanes after meeting their new family. Other times they drive across the country with their new parents after saying sad goodbyes. In some cases, they live only a few hours away from their birth families. Other times, oceans separate them from the people who brought them into this world.

As a mom via adoption twice, I know adoption looks different for every family because it looks different within our own. I also know how complicated it is to talk about it with age-appropriate words, particularly with those who have little or no connection to the adoption community.

That's why I deeply appreciate the attempt to bring the subject of adoption into the inquisitive minds of young children through these books. I truly do. I feel like the sooner we introduce our children to important topics like adoption, people with special needs, the LGBTQ community, etc., the more accepting they will be of others and what makes them unique and special.

But babies don’t come from airports. Ever.

To imply they do is vastly inaccurate and a disservice to our children who learn from these very books.

Usborne Books, I hope you'll do better next time. I know we shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but it's hard for me to flip passed the cover of this one.

Meanwhile, here's some of the all-time FAVORITE books in our house (affiliate links):

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