A Sunday Hike

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This past weekend, summer decided to show up in full force. We all knew it was going to be short lived (it’s cold and grey again today) so we tried to soak up as much fresh air and sun as we could. The girls just love being outside. They live for it. Finley especially. I’ve mentioned on twitter before, but she is like a little indoor cat waiting for a door to open to leap outside before anyone notices. Yesterday I found her outside (our backyard is fenced) by herself just sitting on top of her slide. I secretly watched her from inside. She sat there for 8 mins just looking at the bird in the trees. Then she slid down the slide, took a little lap around the trees in the yard and then came back in. Goodness, it was cute.

We headed to one of our favorite kid friendly hikes on Sunday. There was some shuffling with packs and kids but it worked out pretty great. It already has me scheming up a summer bucket list of hikes and adventures I want us to do. Shouldn’t all weekends in the summer be 3 day weekends? Yep. That sounds like a good idea to me.

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Did you notice how blonde Finley’s hair is????!?!?! Where did my brown haired baby go?

Also, did you notice Kev and Rowan are making the same face in the second picture at the top? Hahaha They were really excited about the hawks that were flying around.

An Aching Heart To Do More.

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It was Mother’s day yesterday and as much as I had a wonderful day filled with love and life, this year was different. There was an ache in my heart that I just couldn’t shake. As you might have noticed I wasn’t up for much blogging last week. It was one of those weeks where every post seemed so trivial. Does that ever happen to you? A bit of that carried over into Mother’s Day I guess. I love my husband and my girls with everything I have, but there are so many children in this world who need so much more. My heart was thinking of all the children in the foster care system who really just want to be back with their own Mothers and can’t. My heart breaks for those children, for those families. Do we realize the need around us? In our neighboring, tiny, tiny county, they had almost 30 kids that needed to be placed in stable, loving homes in one week. One week?!?! That blows my mind. Can you imagine what the need is in an actual city? Let’s not just live in our beautiful bubbles, let’s get passionate about something and make some change. There is real brokenness, that needs REAL change all around us. That doesn’t just mean fostering, adoption or orphan care. I know not everyone is called to help in those areas, however, there are lots of ways we can make a difference around us. We are all busy. I get it, I do. It has just been so heavy on my heart lately that we need to do more. I keep thinking over and over how foster care is sort of a bandage for a greater problem. It’s such an important step to healing but what if we never got hurt and needed the bandaid in the first place? How can we support, love and encourage these families from the very start? I don’t want to see broken families.

I have been sitting on this blog post all day. So many thoughts are rolling around in my head. I just haven’t figured out how to get them all out. A blog friend sent over a link to this blog and I seriously can’t stop reading all the posts on fostering and adoption. Jason Johnson writes everything that’s in my heart. I can’t even come close to expressing it better than him. Here are a few excerpts from some blog posts that I’ve been reading over and over today…

“On one side of foster care is the need for us to respond to the plight of these kids and intercede on their behalf. It’s right and honorable and a reflection of the heart of God to secure and protect the rights of the helpless and hopeless. On the other side of foster care is the need for us to proactively respond to the brokenness of families and intercede on their behalf to ensure that their children never become foster kids in the first place. This too is right and honorable and a reflection of the heart of God to bring healing to what is broken and hope to what otherwise is destined for destruction.”

“This is foster care – interceding into dark stories in order to bring light into them. It’s advocating the cause of the helpless, seeking justice for the defenseless and maintaining the rights of the oppressed. This is nothing less than what Jesus has done for us. We, therefore, are compelled to do the same for them.”

“This is the essence of the battle we engage in and the platform upon which Jesus is presented as the true Hero. If the real enemy in the care of orphans is not the biological parents but Satan who kills and destroys lives and families, then the true hero is not those who foster or adopt or care for orphans in some other capacity – it is Jesus Himself. The heroic efforts of so many who fight for justice for the marginalized and even adopt children into new forever families only points to the work of the true Hero who redeems and heals and restores and transforms grievous wrongs into glorious rights. Any sense of a personal “hero complex” must be crucified on the altar of pointing to Jesus as the real Hero.”

“I know we can provide her a good home, a safe and loving environment, possibilities and opportunities that she may not otherwise have available to her if she were not with us. I know she will be loved here, cared for here and protected with every ounce of our energy from things that are dangerous, harmful or unhealthy for her. Yet, for all that we may be able to provide, God’s ability to be good to her in a difficult environment is far greater than any good we could offer her in a comfortable one. No amount of “good” we can give her can compare with the goodness of the sovereignty of God in her life, wherever she may end up living it. There are no guarantees in foster care, except one – God is sovereign in the life of this baby girl. He is good, and He will be good to her always, no matter where she lays her head at night.”

I want to be frank for a minute and say for some reason talking about foster care has opened up the flood gates for negative comments about our family here and on other sites. I have not read any of the comments other than the ones that have been written directly on my site. I am not sure why it’s happening and honestly I am not sure I will ever understand why. It’s ok though. I stand firm in our calling to become foster care parents. I trust what the Lord is doing in our family. I am no hero nor am I am trying to be a superhero out to “save” families. I’m not perfect (not even close!). I have my short comings and I fail daily as a parent. I do try my best though and I was tired of sitting on the side lines saying I wanted to help. You may not think I am a great person, mother, wife, whatever but I hope that through any of this you can respect that we are at least trying to do something. I am not looking for glory. If fact the whole notion of people praising us for this makes me feel uncomfortable.

Let’s love. Let’s get involved and let’s remember this is not about ourselves, it has everything to do with these kids and these families.

Thanks.

(I am not sure what kind of pictures you put with this kind of post?- anyway, since it was Mother’s Day and I do feel forever thankful for my girls. Here we are.)

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My Everyday Style | 05.01.14

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There were a few trends I was reluctant to jump aboard this season 1. The jumpsuit 2. Birks and 3. (even though it’s not new this season) white jeans. Well, I am now the owner of all three. Doh! I saw enough pinterest pictures of chic women and I caved. I decided to try all three if I found the right pieces- fit is everything right? Well, I was at Marshalls one day and there it was…. a black jumpsuit. I tried it on ready to laugh at myself but as I wrote on twitter the other day, it was if the clouds parted and angels were singing. Omgoodness it was so comfy and I felt so effortlessly cool in it. For $14.99- it was a no brainer (It looks like this). The other 2 items just sort of happened as well. The white jeans showed up in my Stitch Fix box as well as this black denim jacket and I took it as a sign we were meant to be. Have you used Stitch Fix before? I kind of love it. Fill out a style profile and monthly you get a box of 5 items sent to the house to try on. Buy what you like, send back what you don’t. So easy. So fun! You can even link to a pinterest board (if you have a fashion/style one) so your stylist gets a good sense of your style.

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OUTFIT DETAILS:

White Jeans: Stitch Fix (Similar)
Mavi Black Denim Jacket: Stitch Fix (Similar)
White Eyelet Shirt: Old Navy
Scarf: Target
Lace Up Sandals: Steve Madden (Similar)
Mint Crossover Purse: c/o Fossil
Reilly Sunglasses: c/o Warby Parker

Favorite Finds

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What up ladies? Did you have a great Monday? It was beautiful out today (finally after yesterday was freeeeezing) and we spent the majority of the day outside gardening. My Mom is here helping and it’s awesome. I’m so not a gardener, even though I am trying to be. I had quite the battle with a giant bush with ridiculous roots this afternoon. I have some battle wounds but I won in the end. We are trying to dig up some weird random bushes the people who lived here before planted. I like simple gardens that look nice and clean. Anyway, here are a few of my favorite finds and reads from the internet this past week.

Enjoy!

1. Did you know Kev has a new site? It’s awesome (of course!) and he just posted a sweet logo he made a while ago. Go (I mean run) and check it out.

2. My favorite bathing suit bottoms for the town pool. I have 2. Love them.

3. Kind of swooning over this makeup bag. Love anything with constellations on it lately.

4. Are these real? I don’t know but oh man! Kev and I were laughing like crazy the other night as we read them.

5. I may have just bought some regular black Birks but I kind of want these ones as well.

6. Luke Swanson is so dang cool! So happy we can call this amazing family our friends. So thankful for them!!

7. This bold striped dress is so simple, yet so chic. I think I would wear it everyday.

8. It’s a boy! It’s a boy!! So happy for Linda and her family.

9. I wish we had a little boy in the house so I could get them this dino bone raincoat. It’s too adorable!

10. Veronika looks so beautiful in orange. Loved this outfit on her!

11. The new line from Lou & Grey for the LOFT is AMAZING. Talk about being comfy and effortlessly cool all at the sometime.

12. Vegan chocolate pie! Mmmm Mmmm. It looks delicious.

13. This hat is so perfect for summer and the beach!

14. Omgosh! These Nike sneakers for little girls kill me. KILL ME!

15. Love this new series on Danielle’s blog. Also love that her first guest was one of my favorite ladies.

16. I’ve been on a major earring kick lately. Moorea has the coolest selection around!

Our Everyday Style | 04.25.14

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Remember my outfit post last week when I said I wasn’t fancy? Well this is me taking that same top and trying to get fancy. Fancy, but not. I think that is my M.O. for life. hahah. Last Friday we had a Good Friday service at church and I decided we would take the opportunity to dress up just a bit. Loved mixing a sweatshirt with my most favorite vintage skirt. I felt so comfy, it was awesome. We were very appreciative of Mon Petit for sending the girls some pieces from their new Spring/Summer collection. Aren’t they adorable?

Even though I wasn’t on twitter for most of Lent (I popped on at night to reply to messages), it’s funny (or sad?) how your mind is programed to write tweets subconsciously when things happen. I ended up starting a note in my phone when I found myself thinking out a tweet. Only me? Anyway, here is my past month in “tweet” form…

1. Grating anything has to be the one of the scariest experiences ever. #iknowiamgoingtogratemyfinger

2. Omgosh. It’s 6:15pm and it’s still light out. Hallelujah.

3. Finley just ate a rock.

4. R: Finley has a big belly. Is she growing a baby in there?

5. Sometimes I think “is there a better song than Us by Regina Spektor?”

6. I just ate my weight in blackberries

7. Remember the movie Powder?

8. The dance cam is the best part of any sporting event. Rowan just made it on to the one at the hockey game and I’m crying I was laughing so hard.

9. Just wasted way too much time looking at Hawaiian real estate.

10. “love loud, don’t lose out” oh Mates of State you are singing to my soul.

11. Rowan has been in the bathroom for about 15 mins singing Frozen to herself.

12. I just realized the peeler I thought was “broken” and didn’t work good is actually a julienne peeler #doh

13. I found a new band I liked. But then I realized they are probably barely 20. Not sure how I feel about that.

14. Kev just caught Rowan with scissors trying to cut her hair #soitbegins

15. Some nights I look at Finley and think “you’re already wearing a tshirt and leggings how are these any different than pjs?”. Then I don’t change her and put her to bed. #imtiredandlazy

16. I love long texting conversations with @littlehipsqueaks

17. Finley has mastered the art of the side eyes. Ooooh she is sassy. (side eyes emoji)

18. Date night! Driving around in our swagger wagon listening to Hot Water Music. #hardcorekidsturnedparents

Hahahahahahahhahahhh why do these makes me laugh so much? It’s so lame that I wrote them all down throughout the month, but at the same time sort of hilarious? I don’t know. Twitter is a weird, strange 140 count world.

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Happy Weekend!!!

OUTFIT DETAILS:
ME:
Raglan Crewneck: c/o Everlane
Skirt: Vintage (similar & similar)
Necklace: Wrenn Jewelry
Heels: Similar

Rowan:
Shirt: c/o Mon Petit
Skirt: Old Navy
Salt Water Sandals: Can be found at Zappos

Finley:
Dress: c/o Mon Petit
Tights: Target
Salt Water Sandals: Can be found at Zappos

Mon Petit is offering 30% off all the full price merchandise now unill 5/1. If you are looking for an outfit for a special occasion head on over and take a look at they super cute spring and summer collection. Use code: JENLOVESKEV30

Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

Jen Loves Kev
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