Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Best Readers...

Thank you all so much for your prayers.  

I have the best boss I could ever ask for.  During our one-on-one meeting today, he and I had a fantastic talk about a lot of the things I've been struggling with.  I feel so much better today, so much more with purpose, and so much ready to change the world.

Thank you so much for your prayers, I know that it was because of you and your prayers that I was able to be rejuvenated today.

Monday, April 26, 2010


I love my job. I'm probably too addicted to my job. Yet I'm still struggling right now.

Sometimes my job really tugs my heartstrings a little too much. I'm torn. I want to get a tougher skin so that my job doesn't hurt my heart as much, but I don't ever want to "get used" to the idea of my kiddos living like they do.

One very special little boy, who happens to be my very first client, has been struggling a lot lately. I can't share many details with you due to confidentiality, but I can't help but feel sad for him. I can't help my cry for him on my way home from work sometimes.

My biggest struggle are my kiddos in foster care, especially my really little ones. I struggle so hard with finding a way to explain to them why they can't go home to their Mom and Dad. I struggle with finding the words to comfort them. I struggle looking into their eyes when they are so sad.

I can handle an angry child. I can handle a child that is misbehaving. I am finding it so difficult to handle a child that looks at me with sadness and confusion in their eyes because of the choices their parents make.

I'm struggling. It makes me so sad to see, and it makes my heart hurt. I'm ok most days, but sometimes it really gets me. I need your prayer. MOST importantly, my kiddos need your prayer. Pray for them, pray for their guardians, and pray for their understanding. Pray for them to feel love from somewhere.

Happy Birthday Riley!

I adore being an aunt. I adore my niece. I adore it when she calls me "My Paige." And I certainly adore celebrating her birthday!

I'm sorry I've been MIA so much lately. I've been busy trying to catch up with work, and now work is heavy on my heart.  Anyway, more about that later.  Tonight, I share with you the most beautiful girl in the world and her 2nd birthday party!

The Crowe family.  Aren't they beautiful?!

The top of Riley's Birthday cake.  She called the Banana Runts "Mac-and-Cheese!" Silly girl!

The entire cake.  Didn't my sister do a fantastic job?!
My sister's living room and the beautiful banner that wishes the most precious 2-year-old a Happy Birthday!
Riley's "Curious" food table.  My sister had all "monkey" themed food.  Monkey much, banana bars, banana nut-chocolate chip muffins, monkey bread, you get the idea.  It was fantastic!  All kinds of yummy sweet stuff!

Singing "Happy Birthday."  Riley loves to be sang to-she grins so sweetly!
Opening presents:
Her brand new "Basset Ball goal" from her Granny and Pappy!  She was all about this! So was her Daddy lol.
Jason and I got her this toy grill.  It lit up, sizzled, and was full of toy food (that was "sliceable").  She LOVES it! She keeps saying: "I cookin'! I cookin'!"
My Uncle Steve and Riley playing in some balloons.  Riley had a TON of sugar that day and a TON of fun at her party.
I made a sweet picture montage video for Riley during her party.  She watched the video, and then began to identify everyone in the photos with her.  When a picture of the two of us popped up, she said "There's Riley's Paige!"  I love it when she calls me that.  She always calls me "My Paige" or "Riley's Paige."  She's very possessive over me, which I absolutely LOVE.

Happy 2nd birthday sweet baby girl.   I adore you.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I have one more thing to share with you about my Houston trip...but I just wanted to announce that my beautiful baby niece, Riley, is going to be 2 years old on Thursday!
Nothing makes me smile more than hearing that face shout: "Love you Paige!"

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hello Houston!

I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to post since we've been back! Thanks for hanging in there with me! We had a great trip to see Jason's family.

Grandpa Orlando had no idea we were coming. Jason was so giddy, he literally skipped to the front door. Jason's aunt opened the door and called for him and said, "Dad I promise you are seeing right, come look who is here for you." He came to the front door and it was the sweetest moment I think I've ever seen. Big, huge tears came to Grandpa Orlando's eyes and all he could say was "Oh my goodness, my grandson has come home." Jason cried, Grandpa O. cried. It was so terribly sweet, that moment made the entire trip worth it. Grandpa O. then gave me the HUGEST hug and said, "I am so thrilled to finally meet my new granddaughter." He is such an adorable man.

Upon our arrival, we had a spaghetti (the REAL way) and a lot of family time. I, of course, decide to hang out with the kiddos:

It was a pretty exhausting first day, and we had to get rested up for Grandpa Orlando's 80th birthday party the next day! It turned out to be a great party, although I felt like there were paparazzi everywhere with as many cameras that were floating around. It was SO incredibly loud. Do you all watch Cake Boss or Everybody Loves Raymond? If you do, it will give you a great insight to how loud my new Italian in-laws are. :)

Some photos from the party: My mother-in-law, sister-in-law, husband, and me.

Jason with his two uncles. These two were definitely my favorites. Jason has a lot of qualities that his uncles have, so it was easy to get an idea of how my husband will be/look in about 20 years! I think he looks identical to the uncle in the grey shirt:

The Orlando Men:

The Orlando Women:

Grandpa Orlando wanted to take a picture with his newest granddaughter. That statement made me smile :)

Jason with Grandpa Orlando. This man is Jason's hero. In fact, he is the reason that we are carrying on the Orlando last name. Jason decided to carry on the Orlando name instead of his biological father's name, but that's a whole different story. Anyway, Grandpa Orlando is my husband's hero.

Grandma and Grandpa Orlando in front of a classic vehicle that belongs to one of the uncles. Don't they look so cute?! You would never believe they were 80 years old!
We did some touristy shopping while we were in Galveston, and this is what happens when Jason's aunts dare him to dress up. The coconut bra was definitely Grandma Orlando's idea.
My sweet husband and I on the deck of one of the souvenir shops. It was a terribly windy day!
It was very hard to see my husband say good-bye to his grandparents, but we plan on being back next spring to celebrate Grandma Orlando's 80th birthday too!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'm Back! A Blog of Fragments.

Had a fabulous trip.

Attempting to recover.

Dying to catch up on laundry, and your blogs.

Will read. Promise.

More details about Houston. Later.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Apologies and a Prayer Request

I'm sorry that I haven't posted in the past couple of days. Jason and I are busy preparing for our trip to Texas. Please pray for safe travels!

I will be M.I.A. until Tuesday night. Until then, please pray for my friend Britney and her family (@DaveandBritPlusOne) as her family is enduring some struggle. Her father has had another unsuccessful heart surgery and needs prayer. I know you all are the best, and she could definitely use some love! So please send up prayers, leave her some encouragement, or do what you feel your heart tells you to.

Have a fabulous weekend, and I'll see you next week! To hold you over, here's a few adorable photos of my puppy and husband enjoying a beautiful spring evening with the windows open:
Silly boys. :) See you soon!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

DIY: Guest Bedroom

I LOVE Do It Yourself projects! I have been looking for the perfect comforter to go with the purple sheer curtain in this picture:
That came from my parents house, and I have always absolutely loved it! We finally found the perfect comforter, and I was able to use that beautiful fabric to highlight our guest bedroom!  My Mom helped me get it just right, and we ended up cutting a lot of fabric off at the end for "other use."  I was super excited to play around with it, and now I want to show you all!

First, we found these frames on sale...

...but the color didn't quite go with our headboard.  So my husband taped off the glass (no, we didn't just remove the glass because the glass was so thin we broke two and had to return them):
Then, he spray painted them black:

Inside, I took that fabric that I just love and wrapped a piece of cream colored matte board like a Christmas present:

And ended up with something like this:

And THEN our frames dried, and they started looking like this:

LOVE it! I love how they look like framed watercolors.  Jason brought in a few extra frames that he found at work that weren't being used and we decided to do something a bit different with them.  They were already pre-matted, and I loved the idea of a black and white photo.

So Jason hung my panels on the wall over our guest bed...
...and hung the other right at the entrance of the room:
I love our completed look! So easy, and yet I think it turned out so classy! Do you like?

Warning: Easter Picture Overload

Holidays are just so much more fun when there are little ones around.  Jason and I are so thrilled to have Riley live so close to us so that we can smother her in hugs and kisses! I apologize for the large picture overload, but she is just too cute not to share with you!  These are just the photos off my camera, and when I receive the ones off my sister's camera, you might get ANOTHER post. :)

Riley was pretty cranky today due to some allergies and was not in the mood for pictures.  She was definitely happy to get to run around outside with her bunny purse!
We tried posing her again for pictures, but she was not having it! I love this shot though, and her adorable pigtails:

She starting picking flowers off the tree and handing them to me.  I think it was her way of saying: "If I give you flowers, will you stop taking pictures?"

How sweet are my parents?
My sister and brother-in-law (aka Riley's parental units)
Riley loves to pick up the eggs.  She wanted to put ALL of them into her basket at once.  Every time Mom would put them out for her to "find" she'd shout: "Gwanny! (Granny) You makin' a mess!" I love this picture of her holding as many eggs as she possible can, trying so hard to figure out how to pick up that other:
She managed. :)
Such a sweet face:
I love watching her run so intently on finding those eggs!
She grew tired of egg hunting and moved on to what was IN her Easter basket that the Easter Bunny left for her at Granny and Pappy's house:BUBBLES! Allergy crankies or not, those bubbles made her giggle!
This is my absolute favorite picture from the whole day.  How can you not melt at this expression?!
After bubbles, she decided that it was time for sidewalk chalk: another goody that the Easter Bunny brought her!
However, smearing it with her finger was not so fun.  She decided: "Dat's YUCKY!" and waited patiently for someone to wipe of her hands.  She's the cleanest 2-year-old I know.

That's all I have for you right now! Thanks for hanging with me while I disappeared this week! Catching up at work after 2 sick days was chaos! I'm finally back on track and ready to blog again! Happy Easter!