Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Welcome Wagon

over three years of waiting.  
over three years of fighting.  
2 different families.  
2 different cities.
2 different news crews.
1 lacrosse team, in uniform.
dozens of welcome home signs.

11 children altogether.  

one giant homecoming.

some of us stayed in nashville and some of us drove to kentucky to evenly disperse TRS love, but we were all in it together.  checking each airport's arrival times, texting updates and pictures and videos, and placing face time calls to allow people across the country to join in the celebration.

stories of abuse are now stories of love.  histories full of oppression are now futures full of hope.  childhood's are being handed back to children who deserve them, and families are slamming shut chapters of resistance.

i am overflowing for the pyle and jones families today.  you can breathe now.  they are home.

welcome home jones family!
that's 8, yes 8, children coming home to make an even jones dozen.

josh at the nashville airport anxiously awaiting the the great 8's arrival.
these kids make up 4 of the 5 nashville rust children.
all adopted out of sierra leone, the youngest 3 just a month ago!
left to right:  nash, capri, jayda, maddox.

welcome home pyle family!
lori jumped so high off of the ground when she saw her children walking toward her!  her oldest son sam took off running straight toward her and hugged her so hard i thought they were going to fall over.

the louisville welcome wagon

waiting on his brothers and sister!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Damn, It Feels Good To Be A Garrett

it's monday and i'm coming down off of the best weekend.  no alarm clocks, a spontanious friend sleep over, home made pizza, a celebration for a sweet friend and her soon-to-ber baby girl ryman (is that the most perfect baby girl name or what?),  and a wedding shower of our very own.  i even washed my hair for it.  this is a big deal, people.
if you thought these hats didn't light up you'd be wrong.
i ate that cake for breakfast the next day.  obvi.
drove around running errands like this all day sunday.  welcome to the south y'all.
bling it home girls.  plastic rings are still fun even when you're 30.

thank you to my sweet friends liz, heather, siebe, and jenn for throwing us the most perfect party.
damn, it feels good to be a gangsta garrett.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tuesday's Best: Married Style

as soon as we connected this morning i heard mohamed yelling, 
"mom, mom, MOM!  i heard about the married!!!"

in sierra leone everything is a married.  'we are going to the married', 'how was the married?', never a wedding.  and if the other side of the world has heard about our married, well then i guess it's official.  josh and i had our second ceremony, a little less sweaty and a lot more legal, in our backyard here in nashville on saturday.  it was perfect.  just our families.  a couple of friends to make sure our mimosas stayed full.  absolutely no stress.  just perfect.

in the spirit of our tendency to do things a little differently:

my dad walked me down the driveway.  aisles are so 2012.
the neighbors stood on their side porch silently holding hands and watching.
josh surprised me with an engagement ring after putting my wedding band on my finger.
because of this i got a little excited and accidentally kissed him before the whole 'kiss your bride' bit.

like i said, just perfect.

a handful of aunties at the covering popped in to our skype call to wish us well this morning.  lots of mrs. garrett's and laughter and ooooh's over my bouquet that is still sitting on my dining room table.

i give you tuesday's best.  married style.

gerald lost his second tooth.  

who doesn't like looking at life sized cardboard cutouts of themselves?

auntie love.

floral, cheetah, and stripes.  we love our patterns.


prettiest things i've ever seen.  coolio braid included.

happy tuesday's best.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013


i never thought my life would look like this.  never ever.

i spent the day writing with my good friend, sean.  we wrote a song that i am so very proud of, which is a big deal in itself, at his home studio which meant that we got to take breaks downstairs with his wife mae and their sweet baby abi.  abi made her way home to tennessee from ghana, the place of her birth, this last fall.  a sweet reminder of what josh and i are fighting for ourselves these days.

i got an e-mail this afternoon from my friend ashley, who is exactly who i wish i had been at her young age. she is living at the covering for 6 months and working primarily with the special needs kids.  she is also one of the most courageous people i know.  and she just turned 19.  yesterday.  she sent a snapshot of a hilarious moment she captured between our twins, gerald & geraldine, who were digging into a box of chalk in their underwear.  i can't tell you what it means to get these kinds of normal life updates from her.  i am beyond fortunate to not miss these sorts of moments.

i spent the evening with three of my dear friends who are in the thick of this africa business with me.  one of them founded the raining season, one of them is our travel coordinator, and one of them is our marketing and merchandising coordinator.  see?  the very thick of it.  after dinner we made our way back to our founders home where we were greeted by her 5 children, 3 of whom are the first children to leave the covering since the adoption ban was lifted last year.  these children have been fought for, prayed for, wanted, missed, and loved for years on end waiting for their arrival.  and they are thriving.  they cuddled with me, hugged me, danced for me, and force fed me brownies.  ok.  no one has ever force fed me brownies.  they might have forcibly removed them from my death grip to save me from myself, but that's the only way the words 'force' and 'brownie' have ever been used in a sentence together where i'm concerned.

i came home to my husband.  well, husband on african soil and in my heart.  he'll legally become my husband this saturday in a small family only ceremony that we'll hold in the backyard of our first home together.  my dress is hanging in the closet in a bedroom that will, God willing, belong to our children before the year is up.

i want to play this day on repeat.  i want to bathe in the accents that our founder's children share with our own.  i want the song sean and i wrote about this adoption boat we are in to be the soundtrack to every day i have left to live.  i want to laugh with my friends that truly understand my every move.  i want to always come home to my husband greeting me at the door reminding me to pick up his pants from the tailor so he isn't half naked at our wedding.

tonight, for the first time in awhile, i feel... well, full.

chairs are for wimps.


melissa and rosemary.

maddox and nash.  dance party time.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Peach Truck

i had the sweetest friday afternoon with my friend and old roommate today.  a mini tennessee snow storm, leftover baked spaghetti, and a sweet reminder that the lives of old friends can be so different than they once were, yet still so intertwined.

big things are happening for the lovely jess, her 5th generation georgia peach farmer husband, and their deliciously homegrown mom and pop dream life at the peach truck.

check them out here, and get your taste buds ready for peach season y'all.