Getting Crunchy with Essential Oils

I am many things, crafter, painter, dreamer, whiskey drinker, jewelry maker, coffee consumer, kitchen dancer, iphonographer, silly face maker, misfit lover, knitter, snow shoveler, and occasional cooker.  But one thing I never considered myself to be was a crunchy. Mostly because I don’t like to associate myself with labels that describe a system of belief, I will describe what I do but not who I am. Like Ferris Bueller said “A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself.” I agree I don't like to be put in boxes, no two people believe the exact same thing in the exact same way. But lately I’ve been finding myself becoming a little crunchier around the edges.

Sure I always use reusable bags, I loathe using paper plates and cups,  I follow Max around the house turning off all the lights he leaves on,  I try my best to buy ethically sourced meat, coffee beans and honey. But honestly I never put too much effort into the other things, I either didn’t feel they were necessary or I scoffed thinking that some of those were nonsense. One of the things I never really considered to be necessary in my life were essential oils, but boy was I ever so wrong.

I don’t know why I originally ignored essential oils, maybe because I didn’t think they had a place in my life or weren’t really suited to my lifestyle. About three years ago though when we moved up North a woman at a lotion shop suggested I buy some almond oil for my face to help with the dry winters I was about to enter into. I bought it on a whim and I’ve been using it ever since, but never really put much thought into other oils.  Until a couple of months ago when I was having trouble sleeping, I either couldn’t quiet my brain long enough to get to sleep or I would constantly wake up in the night from horrible nightmares.  I'd read a few places that lavender oil helps promotes relaxation and sleep, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I honestly can't believe the results. To be honestly it works a little too well, sometimes I diffuse a little oil and I'm asleep before I even put down my book. 

After my lavender success I decided to explore other oils. I've tried clove for a midday energy boost, bergamot oil for a fabric refresher and sweet orange oil for an air freshener. I'm happy to say that I've loved them all and have felt they really hold true on their promised properties. So far lavender has been the most effective and clove has been my favorite smell. I think I'll keep exploring these and trying new ones.

Are you a little crunchy? Have you tired any essential oils?

Cheers to a good night's sleep.

Foster Care: It Found Us

How we ended up going from international adoption to domestic adoption through foster care is a story that could only be described as destiny or an act of God or if you aren’t a believer in any sort of higher power then a lot of weird coincidences happened that lead us to this place. I personally like to believe that some higher powers are at work.

Let’s rewind a bit and start at the beginning of this story.

We were searching (desperately) for a social worker in our area to do our home study when we were in the Ukrainian adoption program; we thought all hope was lost. Then one snowy afternoon we got a call from an Angel (for real) that she was ready to start our home study. After months of searching there she was, the sweetest, kindest and most lovely lady ever arrived in our lives just in time. When we arrived to her office she said to me “Look at your smiling face, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone quite as happy as you. You haven’t stopped smiling for a second.” I knew we were on the right track then, she got me.

A few weeks later I was waiting around in an airport during a layover for another work trip, and to my surprise I see here there. We chatted for a while about her life and her children. It was nice to get to know her as a person and learn her stories. Then I showed her the attachment theory book I was reading and we started talking about adoption. I had secretly been dying to ask her tons of questions because this lady is so knowledgeable and experienced. I wanted to get inside her brain.

She must have sense my eagerness to know and learn so she just started talking. As I was getting up to catch my flight, a little sad we couldn’t continue our conversation to my happy surprise we were on the same flight! And it was so empty we got to sit together! Tell me there aren’t greater powers at work here, I dare you.

As I sat there in awe of her, wide eyed and trying to take in everything she was saying about international adoption. Then she sensed it, my weak heart for the misfits. So she jumped on the opportunity to talk to me all about local foster care that could turn into an adoption. It's very clear she has a big heart and cares about the kids, so she couldn’t miss an opportunity to plead the case for the kids in our own area.

So I listened.

I resisted the urge to cry.

And I know that all kids in orphanages and foster care have backgrounds you wouldn’t wish on your greatest enemy. But to think of the kids in my own backyard suffering the way they were. To think that no one was stepping up to take them in. That even the group homes were filled.
But then the flight ended and we got off and went our separate ways. I told her that even though my heart went out to those kids, we were moving forward with the Ukrainian adoption. But the next day I received a paper at my hotel door with a cover page of Ukraine on fire.
Not to be deterred we moved forward.

A few weeks later she came over for the home study. When I wrote about her first visit I mentioned how hard it was, how much we had cried and this is why. When we sat down to start she said “Before we go on, I need to say my piece about foster care if that’s alright. I just want you to be aware about these options and I won’t press you about it. I know you have this project, but just in case you someday are open to exploring this option too.” Then she started, she told us about the kids. She told us how many. She told us how bad. She told about the neglect. She told to us about the need. She told us how she could see our good hearts.

Then we went on with our home study. And when she left we cried. We cried for all the babies who will never have a home, who will never know stability. We cried because we want to help them all. We cried because our hearts were no longer clear as to what we should do next.
And the next morning war broke out in independence squared in Ukraine.

Did you follow all the signs and connections?

And that’s how the fosadopt program chose us, destiny or no destiny. But I believe this is exactly where we are supposed to be and this is where we will start our family.

Have you ever had some weird coincidences that you knew had to be destiny or a greater planner at work? Or do you think everything is random?

Cheers to destiny, destiny. 

365 Days of Gratitude

Top: Max singing, iced coffee, new mobile
Middle: dinner party, full house for open mic, Max goes Ice fishing
Bottom: watching tele, ice scraper, sweet cards

Other Things to be Grateful for... 
This awesome hair- The Perfect Messy Bun...if only there was a tutorial
This awesome project- New Hair Pieces for Spring...super cute
This awesome recipeDark Chocolate Cream Pie
This awesome tattoo- Girl in Water...I love the soft colors
This awesome quote- Messy Life...I love it

What are you grateful for this week?

Cheers to late Saturday nights.

The New Adventure

I want to thank you all for the heartfelt emails and comments supporting our decision to go through the foster care. To be honest I was a little apprehensive of sharing our new decision as I know that foster care is a tricky business and I've had a couple of accusations lobbed at me of being weak for not pushing for the Ukrainian adoption during war time. So thank you for all the love, I feel it and bask in it. 

Here are the quick answers to the initial questions before I go down the rabbit hole of explaining the process of foster adopt. 

1. Yes, we still want to have a sibling group. We are still hoping to adopt 2 or 3 little ones.
2. No, this is not going to be a quicker process. Unlike the states where foster care can move soo fast, this is probably going to be a bit of a wait.
3. No, these children are not going to be the same race as we are and no we don't care but we are aware that lots of other people will. 
4. Yes, we have carefully considered our options. We not only want to start a family but we want to help children in need. Where better to start than in our own community? 
5. Yes, we are extremely excited. 

We are really at peace with the decision and are trying to take this new wait period in stride. Trying to make plans and enjoy this new period of just the two of us. It's a special time, even if the waiting is hard. 

Cheers to embracing the wait this time around.

Whole Heart Answer

Max and I talk about our hearts a lot. What’s on our hearts, where we wear our hearts and what we’re doing with our hearts. Like when we offer the other person the last banana, cookie, cup of coffee we say “goodness of my heart”. We are offering the other something we’d take, but we sincerely want the other to have it instead. It’s a no guilt rule, instead of offering someone the last something then being grumpy about it.

But more seriously though when we need to give an answer to a question we need to do it with our whole hearts. When we moved up North we need to think about it and give a whole heart answer, not just say yes because the other wants to do it. If things had turned out poorly here and I just went because Max wanted to it could leave room for blame. I could have felt like he had put us in a terrible situation, instead we would have made the mistake together. It may seem like silly things to say and do, but it’s worked so well for us. We give each other the opportunity and space to say yes with our whole hearts and not just follow the other person. We are partners in this life and we get no do overs, so we better both be on board with our major life decisions.

So I’ve been waiting for our next whole heart answer.  We had some opportunities open up to us before our Ukraine adoption went sour, and to be honest I wanted to jump on board immediately. My heart instantly said yes, but Max wasn’t sure.  The project was complicated, difficult and would leave us vulnerable. But he agreed to get more information, which really only served to complicate things. When we finished getting all the details, I was so terrified but my whole heart said yes. So I’ve been waiting for Max, letting him stew in this next big decision, letting him grieve and giving him space to make up his own mind. This morning he gave his whole heart answer of yes.

We have decided to try our hand at foster adoption (called Banque Mixte in Quebec). This is a terrifying and complicated new world and I am eager to share with you our whole adoption journey 2.0 so far.

Thank you for all your love and support so far on our difficult journey. I am blessed to have your encouragement and friendship.

Cheers to whole hearts.

365 Days of Gratitude

Clockwise Left: one rainy day, coffee and knitting, ice clouds
paper flowers, kitten, funny Max face, Friday Selfie, glorious sun

I went a little MIA last week  because I had a deadline at work and after some long ass days I didn't feel like opening up my computer again. Actually I didn't want to do anything after work last week. I hope to swing out of this lull period and feel full of vigor and inspiration soon. 

Other Things to be Grateful for... 
This awesome project- Growing In Your fun!
This awesome recipe- Pumpkin Vietnamese Ice Coffee...I'm loving ice coffee right now, even if it's still cold out
This awesome tattoo- EE Cumming gorgeous, so so gorgeous
This awesome quote- .Never Apologize

What are you grateful for this week?

Cheers to feeling a spring in your soul.