1) How long have you been blogging and what/who gave you the desire to blog?
I have been blogging since 2006. I received an email from a new friend that had her blog address on the bottom. At that point I didn't even know what a blog was! Her link led to another and another and finally here. I read everything on Monica's blog in one evening! I started clicking on her links and was in in awe of the number of kindred spirits I found! When you don't live a "normal" life compared to the mainstream it isn't always easy to fit in. I loved the connection I felt to those who shared my love for faith, family and home. The idea of of connecting with like minded people and having a journal of my life was very appealing. I dove in with both feet and I guess you could say the rest is history!
2) How did you choose the name of your blog and why?
At the time I started blogging I was working full time, but my heart wasn't in it. My hearts desire was to be a homemaker. At the time we didn't think that would be possible. I tried to make the best of being away from home but no matter where I was or what I was doing my heart was always home!
3) What variety of topics do you post on your blog (examples - home decorating, family, gardening, recipes, adoption, homeschooling, crafting, etc....)
My blog is a hodge podge for sure! I post about life... my family, what is cooking in my kitchen, gardening, home keeping, decorating, crafting... like I said a hodge podge.
4) Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
I am 42 and live in the suburbs in Central Indiana. I have been married to the love of my life, Chuck, for 11 years. Our Megan is 6 years old and in first grade at a small Christian school. I fill my day caring for my home and my cousins 2 and 3 year old boys. I never intended to babysit full time. I received a call asking if could help her out. Three years and another baby later I am some days asking myself how this happened! :) Seriously, I can't imagine my days any different.
5) How would you describe your decorating style?
I am a country girl at heart! I like a little bit of prim and farmhouse. I know I will never win a decorating contest! I surround myself with things that make my happy.
6) What's your favorite color and why?
Brick red. I find it a warm color and it makes me smile when I see it.
7) Tell us a few of your favorite things (collections, things that make you happy, etc.).
Mason jars! I love them all and especially the old blue jars. They are so practical.
It doesn't matter if they are filled with home grown goodies, pantry items or a bouquet of flowers.
They are just pretty!
8) What do you like to do in your spare time (hobbies, crafts, etc..)?
Spare time? What is that? Most of my spare time is spent with my family. Doing fun, simple things together. I also enjoy gardening. Both flower and vegetable.
I am an avid reader and have been since I was a child. Fiction books are my favorite and I generally only read inspirational fiction. I like Amish and historical settings.
Spending time in the kitchen is a favorite activity. I enjoy cooking from scratch, baking, canning and the best part is having a cute helper!
I enjoy doing crafty things. As my time is limited most of my craft projects are now fairly simple or geared toward the children. Megan is developing a love for crafting and that makes this Mama very happy! I also work in the children's department at our church two Sundays a month. It is such a joy to watch little ones develop a love for the Lord!
9) What does your dream house look like? (Describe and/or include photo)
I dream of an old farmhouse, but since old houses equal lots of work I think I would build a new home to look like an old farmhouse. I dream of a big, bright kitchen with a pantry large enough to hold all of my home canned items. A porch large enough for a swing is a must!
10) If you could visit anywhere, anytime, where would it be and why?
The Vermont countryside in the fall. I imagine the beauty of fall colors and the fun of exploring little towns off the beaten path. Ahhhh... I can already feel the peace!
11) Would you share with us a favorite homemaking/organizing tip or recipe, etc..?
My favorite tip is to keep up on things. Not perfection by any means. Do enough laundry that your entire closet isn't in the hamper. Have a place for everything and try to put things away as you go. (I really need to take my own advice on this one!) When things are in their place it gives the illusion of clean. If someone stops by and things are picked up they might not notice you skipped dusting this week!
12) Tell us something about yourself that we might not already know from reading your blog. (something unusual, etc..)
I don't care for driving, especially on the interstate. If I never drove again I would be fine with it. I do drive in my little area of the world, but get anxious if I have to drive some place I am not familiar with.
13) Wendi, I know adoption is dear to your heart since Megan joined your family through beautiful adoption! Would you tell us a little more about how Megan came to join your family….about your experience in China……anything you’d like to share about your adoption/China experience or thoughts on adoption in general? (By the way I think your Megan is just adorable and I love how you two do so many fun things together)!
Thanks, I happen to think my sweet girl is adorable too! Oh, I could write a book here. I struggled with infertility and we were trying to do Invitro. I keep failing my blood test and was never able to get to the point of trying Invitro. I really struggled emotionally during this time and remember this moment like it was yesterday. I was in the shower crying and praying. I remember crying out that I just wanted to be a mom and telling God I couldn't do this anymore and that I was laying this burden with Him. It is a moment that I can't really put into words. I realized that I didn't ask to get pregnant that I asked to be a mom. I thought about it, prayed about it and knew that being a parent was the important thing. From that moment on little things keep leading me to adoption.
Our paperwork was sent to China October 2005 and we traveled to China in March 2007. Our time in China was amazing! We traveled with a very large group, thirty families. We spent several days touring in Beijing. We were able to visit places like the Great Wall, Tienanmen Square and saw the building of the Birds Nest for the Olympics. It was relaxing and felt like a once in a life time vacation.
We then traveled to Jiangxi to meet our baby girl. April 2, 2007 I held my baby girl for the first time.
It was instant love! The picture above is when I first took her into my arms. She smiled at me and that set the mood for our attachment. I am lucky enough to say we have one of those fairy tale adoption stories where we all immediately took to each other. A day doesn't go by that I don't thank God for bring us together as a family!
14) I also know that family/home is most important to you and that you try to keep the focus on simple moments. Could you share your thoughts on that or any ideas or tips to go along with living a simple life?
I feel that a big part of living a simple, full life is your attitude. I work at being positive and finding joy in the small, ordinary things. Is this easy? Not always. It is easy to let discontentment slip in. I try hard to keep my focus on the important things... faith, family and home.
We try to limit activities that keep us apart as a family. Other then school Megan is limited to one outside activity. At this time it is piano. I have always heard that a family that prays together, stays together. Most evenings before Megan goes to bed you will find us reading a Bible story together and sharing nighttime prayers. Most of our task are completed as a family. We built a fence around our backyard last year and Megan was working right beside us to build it. She may have only been playing in dirt or carrying a piece of scrap wood, but we were together.
Don't be afraid to say no. This is something that I struggle with as I don't like conflict and am a people pleaser. I can tell when I am letting to much of the world in our lives. I start to feel stressed and restless. Living a simple life is an ever changing journey. From time to time we have to step back and evaluate what is working and what changes we need to make.
15) Tell us a way God has blessed you and/or your family.
So, so many ways! I really feel that I am blessed beyond measure.
Losing my job was a blessing! I really, really wanted to be a stay at home wife/mother. Chuck keep saying there was no way it could happen. I worked in the mortgage industry for 10 years and one Friday we were all called into a meeting and told our office was closing immediately. We were four months away from going to China! I drew unemployment and we felt that I couldn't get another job until after we returned from China. It wouldn't be fair to a company to commit to a job and then take a month off. Here we are 6 years later and I am still home!
The biggest and best is bringing us together with Megan. We started the adoption process with a leap of faith. Not enough money in the bank to complete it, but we felt peace that we were meant to do it. Whenever we needed funds somehow we had them! We stumbled along the way, but every roadblock we met we were able to overcome. It is truly only by the grace of God that we became a family!
16) Share any words of wisdom and/or a favorite quote you'd like to leave with us.
"No matter how hard things are, tomorrow is a fresh opportunity to make it better." ~ Author Unknown
Words From Tammy: Thank you so much for being my guest, Wendi. I loved hearing your adoption love story and about your trip to China! And I love the way God worked it out in His perfect timing for you to be at home, where your heart was anyway, just in time for Megan to come home! You have a beautiful family and home. :)
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Wendi and I are so glad you joined us today. I love your comments (and thank you for them) and I know Wendi would love for you to stop by and visit her too at My Heart is Always Home!
♥ Tammy ♥