--> New Digs <--

We moved. 

(It's not the cutest thing in the world but it's ours. Hoping to add mums & a pumpkin out here ASAP... Oh & that door is SCREAMING for a wreath!!)

We didn't really want to move but that's a story for another day. 
So we went from our little two bedroom apartment (that we just moved into in MARCH) to a little townhouse around the corner. I could list 8,000 negatives about how unfair this move was -- but today I just want to focus on the positive. This little townhouse has a lot of perks.
Teeds & I have a bigger bedroom with two closets! It also has a little half bath which is strange but cool because I've never had a master bathroom before. It's great to have it right there for us when we need it. Small bladder Sally over here really appreciates that half bath. 

The kids now have their own rooms. Before, we split their room into two using IKEA shelving. I was really proud of that tiny room but this situation has shown itself to be much better. Bedtime has been a lot easier now that the kids have separate spaces. Little Dude's room is almost as big as ours which is cool because he likes to build tracks for his hot wheels cars. Now he can keep his huge track up without the room feeling cluttered. 

 (Can't wait to see how this space will look after we've decorated a little more. PS this is only one half of his room.)

Baby girl has a big girl bed (we had her in a toddler bed before) & she's loving the fact that she can line up ALL of her stuffed animals on it AND still have room for jumping. We were also able to set up the teepee that Susan made for the shower in her room. That teepee is my favorite thing EVER. 

The kitchen is also much larger. We have a little window in the kitchen which makes the room super bright and airy.  I have dying plants crowding that window right now.. Maybe the sunshine will bring them back to life. I only wish my thumb was green. 

My absolute favorite room in the house is the laundry room. We haven't had a washer & dryer readily available to us for two years. We would have to let laundry pile up and then take it down the street & pay for it. If we wanted to wash a rug or a thick blanket, we'd have to wait and take it to my parents house in Delaware. Since moving in, I have been spending a lot of quality time with my new washing machine. I'd insert a picture of it in here right now, but I don't want to scare anyone.  It's a little too full of towels and blankets right now. We now have a lot more storage than we ever did which could be a blessing or a curse. Sometimes when I see empty space, I feel a need to fill it up immediately. Here's hoping I'll be inspired to embrace the open space.  Maybe when this house is completely unpacked & decorated, I'll post some more pictures. Who knows?! Right now it's a work in progress. I can't wait to see how it all turns out though. I have some cool ideas thanks to Pinterest!

Like I said before, this move wasn't what anyone of us really wanted.
There's so much about this journey that I can't control & it's really hard for me. This foster care thing is scary & I feel out of control more than ever. 
But we would move again tomorrow, and again the next day if God told us to. Just as He moves for His children, He has called us to move for ours. We have not been called to be comfortable. 
“This is the unavoidable conclusion of Matthew 10. To everyone wanting a safe, untroubled, comfortable life free from danger, stay away from Jesus. The danger in our lives will always increase in proportion to the depth of our relationship with Christ.” - David Platt 

--> changes <--

Safe to say that our adventure has begun.
I'ts 7am & there's a sick four year old cuddled close to me on the couch. 
The kids we've been praying for are finally here & all of our lives have changed completely. 
My morning routine used to consist of walking Daphne, packing my lunch, and getting ready for work with a podcast playing.
Now my mornings are a mess of running around trying to feed and dress sleepy kids, take them to day care, and still be on time for work. 
Our evenings are full of disney shows, quick clean ups, & meals I have to be creative and make. 
Do you know how long it's been since I cooked meat? When I cooked chicken for the kids the other day, I had to cut through every large piece to make sure it was cooked through. 
This is crazy ya'll but Teeds & I are loving it. 

I truly hope to update this blog more going forward.
Ideally I'd like to post once a week.
let's see how it goes. 

Lynn Raye. 

--> Is this really for me? <--

When you take me to an amusement park, you can always count on me to hold your bags. I'll let you have all the fun soaring through the air... I'll stay on the ground. I'll stay where it's safe. 

Rollercoasters are NOT for me.

I hate the ups & downs. I hate the twists & turns. & I hate not knowing what's to come. 

Choosing to become a foster parent is like choosing to spend the rest of your life on a rollercoaster. 
Taylor & I received our foster parent certification in the mail a few weeks ago.
We have given our "bags" to God, strapped ourselves into the seats, & now we are raising our hands in anticipation. 

On Tuesday we got the call that we have been waiting for.
When I got off of the phone with the caseworker, I did a full blown happy jig around my office.
I was squealing like a little girl & bashing my head around.
When I told Taylor about our potential placement, he insisted we head straight to the store to get some special treats for our potential kids. I told all of our close friends & they got all excited too--- joining us on this ride. 
There we all were... at the top of the rollercoaster. We were at the highest peak & we couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. 

& then we dropped. 
I spoke with the caseworker today and the kids we have longed for aren't coming.
They might come in the future.
They might come and stay for a week.
They might come and stay for a while.
They might not come here at all. 

This is why I always remain on the ground cuddled close what's known. Because the anticipation and and that fall leaves my stomach feeling sick... & I don't like that feeling. 
 I am heartbroken & I feel foolish for getting on this ride in the first place. I have lost sleep over these children, I have cried for these children, and I have prayed fervently on their behalf. 
This rollercoaster is not for me. 

Foster care is not for me. 

In Pennsylvania alone, there are over 15,000 children currently in the foster care system. 
These children are ripped from their homes & are forced to journey on a rollercoaster they did not choose to get on. 

My heart is broken and I am uncomfortable, but if a child is not here, it means that they are safe where they are or they are going some place better. This rollercoaster ride is not about me. 

Foster care is not for me. 

So I will buckle my seatbelt and venture up the steep hill again & again.
I will dance with all my might when we reach the top & I will cry like a baby if we end up falling because these children are worth it. 
There will be ups & downs-- twists & turns-- & we won't know what's to come 
But we have been called to this rollercoaster 
by a God who loves these children much more than we do. 

Foster care is not for me.
Rollercoasters are not for me.
We are on this journey for them. 

xo, Lynn Raye 

--> The Foster Shower <--

My close friends & family threw us a Foster Shower right before Easter. 
It was such a beautiful day filled with love. 
Every detail about the day was perfect.
By throwing us this shower and listening to us speak about our hearts for orphans & hurting children, my friends proved that they were with us 100% in this parenting journey. 
I've read multiple articles about foster families feeling alone & I've shared that fear with our friends. 
As our friends laid hands on us & prayed, I knew that this crew would never let us feel alone in our journey. 
I teared up as we opened thoughtful presents for our future babes.
I was emotional because I knew that these kids won't just be getting foster parents, they will be getting a foster village. 
They say it takes a village to raise a child.
& our village is the best.

love you all. 
i am so thankful for each of you. 

xo, Lynn Raye

--> Where Dora lives <--

I was off sick the other day so naturally I spent the day watching DIY videos on youtube. There were a lot of DIY toy videos and I got stupid excited. As soon as I felt better, I rushed to the thrift shop to try to find a treasure that I could fix up. I totally hit the jackpot because I found this Dora doll house that was in pretty good shape. I looked online and found that there are ways to completely renovate plastic dollhouses and I got totally inspired. My goal is to make this house a little more gender neutral. I love the latin flavor that Dora adds to this, but I think the colors are a little too bright for my taste. The best part of this purchase is the fact that it was .99! So if I never get around to renovating it or if kids never use it, I only wasted a dollar. 

I simply can't wait to see what will happen with Dora's casa. 
Taylor & I are slowly preparing for the day that a child or children (eek!) arrive at our house. 
Because we don't know the age or sex, it's hard to prepare their bedroom. 
This is the first toy that I have purchased & it makes it soooo much more real.

We can't wait to meet these babes.
xo, Lynn Raye

--> Adventure <--

I like the trend of people choosing a word for the year. 
This year I'd like "adventure" to be my word & theme. 
Taylor & I have been in NEPA for over a year now and it's finally starting to feel like home. 

After months & months of searching, we found a church to grow and serve in. 
It feels like home when Taylor and I drive up to the little A frame sanctuary. 
The outside is pretty sweet, but the people inside are even sweeter. 
I foresee God leading us on MANY adventures this year with the VCC community. 

Another big adventure that we are about to embark on is the foster to adopt process. 
We chose our agency & have started completing the mountain of paperwork that comes with it. 
As the Christmas season approached, Taylor reminded me that this would most likely be our last Christmas just he & I. I've been dreaming about adoption my entire life. 2016 will likely be the year that I become a mother. How terrifying & amazing. I've been hanging onto Taylor a little tighter this season & thanking God for allowing him to be the man that I share this adventure with. 
Please keep us in your prayers as we embark on this journey.
It will not be easy. 

God has also brought new faces into my life. I had been praying for gal pals for quite a while & God delivered greatly. 2015 brought a coworker that quickly became a close friend & a sweet soul that I met while thrifting. There will be many adventures with these two ladies this year, I can feel it! 

Agh. The new year always brings resolutions and goals.
My goal in 2016 to embrace this upcoming adventure with a positive heart. 
I always look at the glass half empty & I'd like that to change. 
There are so many small blessings I don't see. 
My goal is to see those blessings. 

Here's to the great adventure to come. 

Hello 2016.

xo, Lynn Raye

-- worthy --

The story is always the same.
I log into instagram & bloglovin. 
I look at tons of women who have it all together & I long for their lives.
I want their perfectly manicured nails.
I want their boyfriend jeans, DSLR cameras, chubby babies, natural beauty products, beach hair.
I want their ministries & their pure perfect hearts, their lovely walks with God. 
I close my eyes and wish for a life worthy of a re-pin on pinterest. 
I wish for a life that's worthy--
but when I open my eyes… I'm still me. 

9 out of 10 days I don't even brush my hair.
My acrylic nails are falling off.
My succulents are dying.
A small child (not my own) wiped his boogers on me today & they're probably still on my blazer.
My job leaves me feeling drained emotionally & physically.
My messy buns look a little too messy & my smokey eye is borderline emo. 
My heart dwells on negative things & my temper is a little too short.
I have to force myself to spend alone time with God & even in those moments… my heart wanders. 

Who I want to be is so far from who I am.

But in the moments of wishing I was someone else
I hear God whisper that I am worthy. 
That this grumpy/messy girl was bought and paid for.
This mess was washed clean. 
Who I am is His.

This is enough.