a winner. and my ramblings.

i'm quite confident that alone time is one of the best things a mother can get.
i am sitting here at starbucks, people watching and blogging with my chai tea latte (made with whole milk---as the barista tells me, i like mine with 'extra fat'---whatever dude, it's better that way).

i have lots of things rambling through my head, but first things first...
a winner of the give-a-way!
thanks to all 333 of you for entering---wowzas.
the winner is:
who said:
I love all of the giveaways, you have some pretty great sponsors! :)

congrats to you, my friend!  your morning just started out great!
email me to claim your loot :)
thanks to ya'll for entering---if you didn't win, fret not.  there will be more give-a-way days in the near future :)
(if you'd like to be a part of our give-a-way days, then email me for sponsorship info!)

so moving on...this might be a random post.
i keep meaning to add some things to my "answers, finally!" post.
in regards to our finances, i forgot to mention that we did get money from mr. andersons job (how could i forget?!)  also, the money i've made with my photography business has gone to our adoption fund too.
we have also applied for a grant from steven curtis chapmans program...waiting patiently on that.
and amy made a great reminder that there is a $13,000 tax credit that you'll receive...that'll be nice :)

$30,000 IS a lot of money...but God knew how much we would need...and He has provided.
in fact, just a few days ago, we got an unexpected check in the mail for $1,000...for our adoption fund.
i mean, sha-what
 if that's not God saying "I AM BIGGER THAN THIS" then i don't know what is.
God is bigger than all of this...bigger than the finances...bigger than our court date...bigger than the details of our plane flights...bigger than it all.
we just have to keep trusting...

speaking of trusting God...most of you know, we moved here to florida (from kansas) nearly 3 years ago.  it's been a looooooong 3 years.
mr. anderson has an amazing job, and for that, i am so grateful.
but as a mom of small children, it's been rather lonely.
we (and by we i mean myself) tend to isolate ourselves in our homes, when we have small kids.
sometimes, it's just the easiest thing to do.
well, i'm severely paying for my lack of motivation in the "get out and hang out" department.
3 years and still lonely.
can i have a pity party for a minute?

okay.  i'm back.
i have no doubt that we moved here for a reason and a purpose.
i'm quite confident that this reason was elsa
 i have a feeling that if i was back in kansas...feeling comfy and cozy with my family and best buds around, life looking good, then i wouldn't have heard (or obeyed) God's calling on our life.
when God really moved in my heart, regarding adoption, i was at one of the lowest points of my life.
i felt abandoned by God (and some days, i still do).
a thought that continuously popped up in my head was "lord, you brought us here, but where are you?"
i felt forgotten.
but in those broken moments, He spoke to me.
and for the first time in a really loooong time, i felt God's presence.

and you know what?
He continues to speak to me...even though i'm not deserving of it...even though i continue to ride this roller coaster of denial with Him...he still speaks to me.
and most times, he uses my children to communicate with me.
case in point...the other day, i asked caedmon to pick up his jeans and put them in the dirty clothes basket.
for the first time EVER, i was like "make sure to check that nothing is in your pockets"...i honestly don't know what prompted me to say this, because i never do.
lo and behold, he pulled a tiny folded up piece of paper out of his pocket.
he said "oh here, we wrote this in church today."
and here's what it said:
(excuse my chipped finger nail polish - which kind of looks like the continent of africa if you look closely.  huh.)
how to deal with loneliness:
1.  remember God is always there
2.  stop building walls, start building bridges
3. worship

seriously lord?
i literally had just gotten done, sulking in my room, about how much i want to move home, and how i'm tired of being lonely out here, yada yada yada.  (i'm getting really good at the sulking--ha)
and then this.
i just love when God uses one of my kids like this.
and i'm quite confident that God loves using them too.
thanks for letting me ramble...


  1. hehe you are awesome! LOVE caedmon's note !

  2. thanks for this…i needed it. i too am a homebody away from my "home" & it doesn't look like living close to family is ever in my near future-- what with my husband becoming a chaplain in the navy & all. God is really working on my heart thru this time as well. praying for you!

  3. So why is it we do not make a mandatory playdate? Not like I am sitting at home by myself. BOO.

  4. Oh I love this what a precious little man you have on your hands. God is good :)

  5. That's awesome... Although I'm kinda torn.
    On one hand I don't want you to be lonely but on the other, selfishly I'd love for you to move back here so I don't want you to get too cozy there in FL. Love you and miss you...
    Ps. At least maybe come back for a visit... My treat :)
    Pps. How annoying is this... The word verification word is "sperp" and my iPad keeps wanting to automatically enter "sperm". Eww. Too early for that.

  6. Oh and our first one can be manicures. Unless you like rocking The Cure look.

  7. How perfect is that! God really does work through everyone. Keep your chin up! - sarah

  8. Awesome. That note is a keeper.

  9. i totally related to this post! i'm also a stay at home mama far away from my family and friends and it can get sooo lonely if i let it! it is such a blessing that god has called you to adopt sweet little elsa and i will be praying for your family and that the adoption process will go smoothly.

  10. Thank you for your honesty. Sometimes we (By we i mean myself). Lol. Forget that God is BIGGER then all of this. All of this stuff that will fade away. Thank you for reminding me.
    I love when God uses our kids to remind us .... every night at bedtime our 3 year old insists on singing My God is so BIG. How true.
    Your little girl is lovely. What a smile. What a gift from God.
    Be blessed today, thanks for sharing. I struggle withthe exact same issues!

  11. Oh Emily.. I HEAR YOU! We up and moved to a small town, MN and I'm the furthest away from the people I love and "need" the most. It took some time to adjust, but like you said... God doesn't give up on us, even when we've questioned His every intention for our path. He is worthy to be trusted. I often have to have a chanting party in my head though "Not my will by Yours be done!" Over and over and over. This is a beautiful reminder of my path over the past year and you're not alone.. even if you feel like it. Be blessed today!

  12. We moved to a new state at the beginning of this year and I am feeling everything you said. All of it.

    Thanks for writing this today, I know it blessed me.
    And the part about God being bigger, looks like I needed that reminder too.


    Minus the finding the letter. But other reminders. . . not quite as direct as your finding :)

    I am to the point where I will move anywhere, because I want to move "home". Sounds odd huh? I guess moving somewhere feels like we aren't stuck here. That one day we will be able to move back home. Weird. But dude it totally makes sense in my head.

    And DUDE I really have to stop using the word dude.

    Takes me back to elementary school. Riding the bus. There were some high school kids. We thought they were too cool for school. We called them the dudes and the dudettes. And we would stare in awe. Yeah I was that cool :D

    How's that for ramblin'

  14. Nice reminder that God does speak to us. We just need to listen! :)

  15. love that! what a precious reminder of God's love for us. it is always amusing to me when God uses my 2 year old to teach me something!!!


  16. All I can say is, WOW! God uses the smallest for HIS biggest purpose! What a blessing...

    We moved from Kansas City to Des Moines eight years ago...boy, was I ever lonely, so I totally get how you're feeling! Do you have a MOPS group near you? such a wonderful way to meet other fun moms. We also got plugged into a small group at church, and that really made a turn around for me.

    And, #2 on Cademon's list was a huge one for me...I had to put myself out there and extend the invitations to have people over instead of waiting on them to make the first move...Now, I love to entertain and use my home to bless others...

    Sorry, I may have just offered unsolicited advice! Praying for you girl! You're awesome and anyone would be blessed with your friendship!

  17. This just gave me chills. How AMAZING!

  18. Well thanks for making my makeup run. lol You are so inspiring to me. You really have no idea...

    My favorite line: "God is bigger than all of this...we just have to keep trusting..."

  19. My family is only 2 hours away but being a stay at home mama is isolating and lonely all the same. I feel that way often.

    Kids are awesome. God is amazing. Love it when he works through them to speak to us. What a cool story of God at work.

  20. New friends can never replace the old friends. They will never share the same history, laughs, and amazing times that you've had with those people, but they can add to the good times yet to come. Don't be afraid to let them in. :)

  21. P.S. I should stop reading your blog while at work... people look at you funny when you're crying at your desk.. :)

  22. So totally needed to hear that! My hubs is a missions guy and we have moved more in the last couple of years than I ever wanted to. Yesterday, I completely melted down with him, poor guy. It was God I was really upset with. There are so many good things in our lives right now, but I want to hold on to my idea of "home" and find myself a bit lost in this new place. I'm gonna' follow Caedmon's #3 this morning and see if that helps! Your honest generosity is brilliant and powerful!

  23. He does work in mysterious ways, huh? I needed to hear this today because I ride that same roller coaster.

  24. i really needed to read this blog this morning. recently, my husband and i moved to canada from texas. just temporarily(1-2 years) but i quit my teaching job so we could come up here for this amazing opportunity and it will help us out tremendously when we have kiddos. but i'm not working and have this feeling of loneliness constantly. some days it's worse than others. i miss texas, my friends, my family, my job, my coworkers, everything. we are so ready to have kids but really want to be back home for that so that's something else that i'm struggling with. i'm so ready to be a mom. anywho...thank you for writing this little blog this morning. it helps to know that i'm not alone and just need to trust that He's doing what's right for our little family right now. : )

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  26. I have been feeling those same feelings you are going through and my sister reminds me periodically that God doesn't leave me alone but instead, because He physically can't be here, He uses others to be His hands and His voice.

    Thank you again for this sweet reminder.

  27. i can totally relate to this. I am in the town i have lived in my whole life but i still tend to isolate myself, esp since we moved 20 miles outside of town. i look back at the last year and think the same"God i know you brought us here for a reason...could you please clarify it???"
    and yes, a sweet glance from my kids and I am reminded at all the blessings in my life, that come from Him:)

  28. When I was struggling to get pregnant, I had many car conversatons with God. One day I burst into tears while driving saying out loud, "God, please just give me a sign that I will have children one day. I am so sorry for anything I have done wrong in my life." I then came to an intersection and no kidding here..the car in front of me had a bumper sticker that read, "I love you, I love you, I love you...God" My mouth hung open and I started laughing and crying happy tears. Even though it took some time, I did have my 2 beautiful children.

  29. That is seriously awesome. God is so cool. I love surprises like that. WOW! :)

  30. tears in my eyes...sniff! Lately i've been questioning whether or not God has been using my kids to speak to ME, so this just confirmed it for me. I am humbled right now. Love this note. So powerful.

  31. i want you to move back home. ha...just being honest. but god is doing mighty things in your life right now. he's growing strong roots in you and your children. i hope that god will tell your children, like he has told me, that they were born into a strong stalk. and god is forming that stalk in florida right now. does that make any sense? i'm not very good with words.

  32. make me cry reading about caedmon's note! God is good, for sure!

  33. I can totally relate. Having moved from a different country almost 3 years ago, I have been isolated a lot. I got depressed but then I realized it is only God who can sustain me so I sought Him more and I am definitely making progress. God is just amazing!

  34. I feel ya girl! We just left the only home we've ever known to move to Oklahoma (where there's no IKEA or Container Store or even a Home Goods!)for my husband's job and for two girls who are used to running the roads constantly, our world has been turned upside down. We are bored and lonely as all get out, but I know things can only get better from here.

  35. thanks em for your honesty. it's hard to be completely open about the topic of being lonely. you know i needed to hear this as much as you did, so thanks. love ya.

  36. Wow. That is seriously amazing.

  37. Another testimony how God really is at work. Thanks for sharing this (what you thought as) random post.

    I have been struggling all day because my daughter is starting a new in-home daycare next week. And that gives me anxiety on so many levels: will she be okay with the rough older boys? will she be okay with the little girl who screams when she doesn't get what she wants? will this new lady love her like the last? But even more than that, God did you forget about me? My heart longs to be with my daughter every day. I want to hear her sweet voice and have her sweet hugs and kisses every hour... God, did you forget that?

    I know He hasn't though, even if there are days that it might feel like it. As much as it hurts, I know there is so much more to be grateful for. And He must be calling for me to grow closer to Him now.

    So, thanks for sharing your story with me today. It's made me feel better already.

  38. you totally spoke to me in so many ways. tears rolling down my face. my family is getting ready to move away from home...1200 miles away, to be exact. so scary. on so many levels. trust. i need to continue to trust in Him. i say i do, but deep down i'm not sure i do. i'm mad at Him and i'm mad at my husband for taking this {wonderful} job opportunity. i needed to read this today. did you write it specifically for me? thanks if you did. =)
    - your ETC friend.

  39. your heart--it's beautiful. thanks for sharing with us some of what we all feel.

  40. Thanks for posting this!! I have been sulking a little this week...I stay at home with my 8 month old twin boys and live 20 mins from town on a dirt road...kinda feeling like I NEED A BREAK! Where's MY time?? That note made me smile and remind myself that I am lucky to stay home with them and adore them every day. What an awesome miracle God gave us...two crazy little men...what more do I need?!? maybe a few mins of alone time that doesn't include walmart, groceries or searching for Similac Soy formula (which is apparently hard to find). :)

  41. What a great blessing for your child!

  42. Loved hearing your heart today. At the lowest point in my life, I felt God's presence and it was the strongest it had ever been. Amazing. He's really there. And when we're quiet (and usually, broken) is when we hear Him. Oh, and btdub, its 9 degrees here right now. So even if you WERE here you (like the rest of us) would not be seeing any friends. :( Yeah, it sucks. Why don't you just stay THERE, and we'll all move to YOU!! :)

  43. Loved this post. So, I'm going to be in Orlando on a vacation in May and I'm trying so hard to convince my husband that we need to do a photo session with you!!! I'm crossing my fingers and toes!

  44. Thanks you for sharing this. I definitely needed to hear it. I recently got married and moved away from my family and hence have become good at sulking as well. Thank you for the encouragement!

  45. AMAZING! It's so crazy that right when we need god the most and we think he isn't hearing us he shows us he is. I totally understand the loneliness thing. When we were in Louisiana I felt the same way, that's why we moved back to KC. But even here I am without my family. It's good that you have so many amazing cyber friends, hee hee :)

  46. aww that is presh! Nothing like a little kid putting you in your place! lol :)

  47. Emily,
    I am a new follower to your blog for about 2 months. I haven't left a comment before, but I feel I need to now. My husband and I were in the same position as you. We moved 1000 miles from family for a job. After a couple of years only seeing family maybe 2 times a year. God spoke to us by telling us that there are a million of jobs in the world and not only one you will love, but there is only ONE family and you only have them for a short period of time on earth. It is essential to be close and have your children grow up with them. We moved back home and our life is so much better and we are so happy. My husband found that 2nd wonderful job and he is so glad his wife is so happy.... As for Elsa, maybe moving to Florida was your calling to get your daughter and now it is time for you to let Elsa experience family, since she is so far from her home. Having extended family surround her will only make her feel so much more loved. Sorry for my ramblings but I feel your pain.

  48. I moved from Kansas to Florida three years ago too! It has been a bit lonely, but I think that's because we are used to that good ole Mid-Western vibe. Anyway, hooray for solidarity! Home, home on the range.....

  49. a little dusty in here.
    God is good and ,wow, he knows how to get right to our hearts!

  50. BOO! Even though I didn't win, I still posted this:
    I had the idea before I lost though ;) lol

  51. Always at the perfect time he answers and gives! Prayers to you!

  52. LOVE that!

    actually, i love all of this. AND i wish we were neighbors! =)

  53. I have followed your blog for a while now. I have loved reading about your adoption journey and creative ideas. I am sorry that you are experiencing this loneliness and isolation. I am single and moved hundreds of miles away from my family too for a ministry and somehow got stuck. I know that God is worthy of any cost but I will share that although I hate for anyone to feel like that it was an encouragement to read your post today and to know that I am not alone. Not alone in wanting to serve the Lord but feeling like I might need to point to where I am on the map to remind Him where I am. Anyway, I just wanted you to know that I prayed for you tonight. I pray that He will lavish you with the experience of His love today.

  54. ah, this brought me to tears today.

    i feel lonely all too often, but know that i could be more proactive in socializing outside of my family. but hey, when you have a hunky husband and an oh-so-stinkin-cute daughter, you kind of get wrapped up in all that they are.

    i resolve to get out there!

  55. I loved this post. I don't know why it amazes me every time God comes through for us with financial matters because He has always provided, but it still does.

    My husband and I just graduated from Bible College and are in the process of looking for a church to pastor at, and in the process of looking we are relying on God for financial needs (not to mention our huge student loan debt load). But the great thing is I know He will provide.

    Thanks for the post.

  56. God is awesome isn't He? So glad he put that note into your hands.


  57. i love your honesty. it's good to hear that another mom really struggles with loneliness. i love your son's letter-- such a good reminder. can i use the pic on my blog?

  58. That's amazing. God is so good! Thank you for sharing.


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