Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Onward to 2014

2013 was a tough year for us, but we made it through. We are a little weary, have been a touch withdrawn and have been waiting for the days to tick off the calendar. But we made it through. I don't know why we think with a flip of the calendar the new year will be a fresh start, but you have to hope, right? I am definitely hitting the reset button.

Last year at this time, I was bursting at the seams with hope and proclaimed that it would be our year. I had no idea. For Marlon and I, it was probably the hardest year of our lives. I know plenty of people have had tougher times than us, so I am thankful for a few bright spots - the birth of my niece, Renee', extra time with my mom and grandma (who have been battling that dreaded "C" word), good jobs, a roof over our heads and friends and family that love us. I have gained more insight about adoption and the nature of people. I have learned that I can get knocked down and pick myself up again, again, again.

We are making changes, hitting milestones and turning this ship around in 2014. We're moving to Brooklyn in a few weeks. It will be nice to have some new scenery. I will celebrate entering a new decade in February. I say good riddance to my 30s. Marlon and I will be happily married for 20 YEARS in March! He's my everything. Twenty years of marriage deserves a prize, so we are taking a trip to Scotland and Iceland. This trip has given us something to look forward to and kept our minds occupied during those rough days in 2013. Our home study will be renewed as soon as we move and will continue to pursue this adoption journey. We'll actively look for a match instead of waiting for an agency to find a situation for us. If you hear of anything, call us! So, big things for us in 2014!

It's another year, a year full of possibilities. I am not going to say that this will be our year. I am just going to say I hope that it's a little better than last year. Thanks for hanging in there with us. Happy New Year to all of you.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Winners of the Red String Good Luck Charm Bracelet

Congratulations to Angela, Karen and Robin! 
You've won the Red String Good Luck 
Charm Bracelet Giveaway!

I hope it brings a little luck your way!
Thank you for entering and reading Two Cats and a Cradle!

If you'd like to buy a charm bracelet of your very own and support our adoption fund, click here. The bracelets are $10 each on Etsy. Quantities are limited.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

My America Adopts Guest-blogging Stint

Not too long ago Lawrence from America Adopts asked me if I wanted to do a guest blog post. Hmmm, YES! The post could be on anything as long as it was open adoption related. Great! Then he asked if I wanted to write about our failed adoption match. Okay...

It's been four months and we are in a better place. I thought it would be helpful to others going through the same thing to share our story. Life goes on and your heart heals a little everyday. Your heart is not the same, there is a scar, but it heals.

So sat down and started to write about how we have moved forward. It was tougher than I thought. We have moved forward, but you see, those emotions still bubble up and the tears appear out of nowhere sometimes. I get up in the morning, put on a happy face and try to keep what happened in the past. But then WHAM!, something little will remind me of the babies or that we should be to doing xyz with them or there is a billing mistake with our insurance company and we were charged for the twins entire hospital stay and you receive pages and pages that say son and daughter. I am just saying moving forward is a process. Tears will appear. We have good days and some days that ache won't go away. That's the way it's going to be for awhile.

We are definitely at the "have hope" stage of this process. We really believe the child that is meant to be a part of our family will find us. What happened is just part of our adoption journey and it's not our final stop. So, onward to 2014!

Thanks to Lawrence at America Adopts for helping me move forward another step. Click here to read my guest blog post on the America Adopts website. While you are at it, follow America Adopts on Twitter, @AmericaAdopts or "Like" their Facebook page, facebook.com/AmericaAdopts.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Just Love Fa-La-La-La-La Coffee Winners

Congratulations to
Karen, Julie and Christina
for winning a bag of 
Fa-La-La-La-La coffee from Just Love!

Your holiday just got a little more festive!  Thank you for entering and reading Two Cats and a Cradle.

Want to order some Just Love Coffee? Click here to shop in the Two Cats and a Cradle Just Love Coffee store. For every purchase made a percentage goes to our adoption fund. Thank you!

If you are interested in adoption fundraising with Just Love coffee click here for all the details.

There are lots of ways to show Just Love Coffee some LOVE.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Red String Good Luck Charm Bracelet Giveaway

It's the LAST giveaway! It's been fun giving away neat things over the past six weeks. I hope you've enjoyed it too!

Last, but not least, this week I am giving away 3 Red String Good Luck charm bracelets handmade by me! I have been selling these on Etsy to benefit our adoption fund. Then I thought, what's more lucky than to win one?

This bracelet is full of luck! I'll be wearing mine into 2014. A little extra luck is never a bad thing. The red string and six charms each have a special meaning. Oh and the red string + 6 charms = lucky number 7! See what I did there. ;)

Red string – It’s believed that a person who wears a red string will see their life change for the good. It wards off all evils and negative energy.

Star – Wishing on a star and your wish may come true. "Star light, Star bright, the first Star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, Have the wish I wish tonight."

Evil Eye - Stares back at the world to ward off the evil spirits, envy and keep you safe from harm.

Angel Wing - Symbolic of the higher evolution of the soul, spiritual mobility, protection and love.

Four-leaf Clover - According to legend, each leaf represents something: the first is for faith, the second is for hope, the third is for love, and the fourth is for luck.

Amazonite - Enhances creative expression, aligns astral bodies, unity with life. It is called the "hope stone" because it inspires confidence and hope.

Wishbone - It is believed this symbol will "catch" your dreams, bring good luck, channel of "good” energy and make your wishes come true.

The bracelet fits a 7" wrist (measures 7.5" including closure). Enter via Rafflecopter below. Three lucky winners will be selected at midnight on December 24, 2013. Winners will be announced on December 26th.

Wishing you great happiness, all the luck in the world and wonderful new year!

If you'd like to buy one and support our adoption fund, click here. The bracelets are $10 each.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Kidecal Giveaway Winner Is...

Congratulations to Alvina for winning the Kidecals Giveaway!

Get your creativity flowing, your Kidecals prize package is on its way to you. Thank you to everyone for entering and reading Two Cats and a Cradle.

Want your very own Kidecals? Order these super cute, crazy durable, waterproof labels at kidecals.com and don't forget to use the 15% off discount code - kidecals15 at checkout! Did mention they do FREE SHIPPING? What are you waiting for?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Just Love Coffee Giveaway

Just Love Coffee is one of those organizations that makes you excited to share what they do. They are a roaster in Tennessee offering fair trade, organic coffees AND they help families raise the funds they need for adoption. By purchasing with them you are getting a great product and you are supporting a family during the adoption process.

I started our Just Love Coffee store soon after our home study was approved. Registering was simple and there were no cost associated with the starting a store. I just had to tell people. That's easy enough. Just Love Coffee sends us a percentage for our adoption fund for every item we sell through our unique web address. When you are raising funds for an adoption, every little bit helps. If you are interested in adoption fundraising with Just Love Coffee, click here for all the details.

Companies are always emailing me asking to give something away on my blog. Two Cats and a Cradle is not really a giveaway type of blog, but I figured the holidays are here and who doesn't like prizes? So I said yes to a few giveaways. I thought if I am going to give some stuff away, I would ask a company that has helped me along the way to participate. Hello Just Love Coffee! The "Keeper of the Bean Talk" over there said YES! He sent me a bag of their holiday Fa-La-La-La-La coffee to try AND three bags to give away! YAY for me and YAY for you!

We headed down south to visit the family for Thanksgiving and my bag was packed with Fa-La-La-La-La coffee and Keurig K-Cup reusable coffee filter. I was ready for the whirlwind trip! The family was all too excited to try the coffee and be famous on my blog!

The Fa-La-La-La-La blend is nice medium body coffee with a light citrus flavor and hints of spice. It's perfect for a holiday brunch or with pecan pie. It definitely made everyone a little more merry! Caffeine tends to have that effect.

Now here's your chance to win a bag just in time for Christmas festivities! Enter below using the Rafflecopter form. Just enter your email address, Like Just Love Coffee on Facebook and Follow Just Love Coffee on Twitter. Three lucky people will win a bag of the Fa-La-La-La-La blend of their very own! Giveaway ends on December 17, 2013. Good Luck!

If you can't wait to get your hands on Just Love Coffee, click here to shop in the Two Cats and a Cradle Just Love Coffee store. For every purchase made a percentage goes to our adoption fund. Thank you!

There are lots of ways to show Just Love Coffee some LOVE.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Outlander Giveaway Winner Is...

Congratulations to Marian for winning the signed copy of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

I hope you love the story as much as I do!  Your book will be on the way to you soon. Thank you to everyone that entered and for reading Two Cats and a Cradle.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Outlander from Amazon, click the link below. By using my Amazon affiliate link, a small percentage of the purchase goes to our adoption fund. Thank you.

Winner was selected via Random.org via Rafflecopter.