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Lily Jade Love!



This bag.

It’s SO perfect!

As you may or may not know, bags are kind of my thing. I have always been a collector of bags and becoming a mom made it even worse! Now I can collect diaper bags too, LOL!

I have been seeing all kinds of buzz about Lily Jade on social media for months now! I was so excited to get a chance to try out one of their bags! Before I go any farther, I need to tell you the number one reason I love this company… they have a heart for adoption. Once a month they give away a bag to an adoptive mama and it melts my heart every time!

Okay, moving on to the bag! I chose the Madeline in Black, and boy is she a real beauty! The quality surpassed my expectations! I love how worn it already feels.


As a mom of five, with two in diapers, I still carry a fair amount of “kid stuff”, however the compartment insert also allows me to carry my DSLR! Which is HUGE for me! I LOVE not having to carry two bags (a purse and a camera bag) when I want to bring my “big camera”. Such a game changer for me. I’m starting to bring my camera with me more on regular outings, which is my favorite time to get candid shots of my kids!

I also love the various ways you can carry this bag, my two favorite are on my shoulder, and as a backpack! Yes, you heard me right, this bag has a strap to make it a backpack! (all the heart eyes)

It’s not uncommon for me to need BOTH of my hands when I’m out and about with the kids and this option to wear it is my favorite of all!


 Be sure to check out Lily Jade…they have so many stylish and functional bags to choose from!




Noah’s Adoption Story


Because there are so many new friends around here and on our Youtube channel, I thought it would be a fun idea to share the kids’ adoption stories! As I mention in the video, we aren’t sharing details of their stories, but more about the journey to bring them into our family 🙂

Here is the video from our channel that explains how Noah came to be in our family…



And here is the video made by Kristin Timmerman of his airport homecoming!

Welcome Home from OurBrokenHearts on Vimeo.



We are so thankful to be Noah’s parent’s and we can’t wait to see the amazing man he becomes!


Yummy Food

FETA-RONI PASTA RECIPE – (kid approved!)


If you are anything like me, then you are always on the hunt for dishes that everyone will eat! With 5 kids and a hungry husband, it can be challenging to please them all. This recipe, however, is a crowd pleaser! And bonus, it’s SO easy! I’ve been making this since the girls were toddlers, which seems like ages ago, and it’s still much loved around our house!

Here is all you need to make this yummy, Feta-Roni Pasta!


I told yall this was too easy! Just boil and drain your noodles…

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Dump the drained noodles back into the pot. Add in 2-3 tbs of butter (Kerrygold is my FAV butter of all time!) add in the bag of mini pepperonis and a box of feta cheese!


Mix it all up and voila!


Serve hot and ready to your crowd of hungry ankle bitters! This dish also tastes good cold, in our opinion, so it would be great to pack in a school lunch too!


Thank y’all, hope you enjoy!

Kid Stuff

5 Fun Boredom Busters for Kids!

“Mooooooom, I’m bored!”


The dreaded words us moms hate to hear. My mom always said, “then I’ll give you something to clean!” and sure enough my sister and I found something to entertain us, lol!

But if you are looking for fun activities that don’t involve cleaning 🙂 These are for you!

Almost all can be done with items you would have around your house, and they keep my kids busy for a long time! win-win!

(as you can see they also work for my husband 😉

Homeschool Motherhood

A Day in Our Life… (Mom of 5, Homeschooling)


People have so many questions when they find out we have 5 kids and homeschool, plus work and blogging/vlogging etc. I know I am always curious about how others find time to do certain things, so I thought I’d lift the veil and give you a peek into our day!

This is a pretty normal day for us, other than the fact that my husband was out of town and had been for a couple days… I was a little run down at this point in the week! LOL!

Anyways… here is an average day in our life 🙂

Adoption Kid Stuff Motherhood Rosie Ru

Rosie’s Airport Homecoming!

Oh man, it has taken me way longer to post this than I planned. I guess that is life with 5 kids! Nothing really happens on my time frame anymore 🙂

After almost 24 hours of travel, I was SO happy to be HOME!!!! It was overwhelming seeing all our friends and family, in a good way! Well, Rosie was kind of in shock, which is to be expected!

Thank you again to everyone who joined us to celebrate her homecoming, and a HUGE thank you to Erika from ELM Fotographie for taking this photos for us, they are such a treasure to us!DSC_5087 DSC_5091 DSC_5098 DSC_5103 DSC_5107 DSC_5112 DSC_5114 DSC_5118 DSC_5119 DSC_5125 DSC_5130 DSC_5133 DSC_5138 DSC_5143  DSC_5147 DSC_5153  DSC_5157 DSC_5162 DSC_5166 DSC_5170 DSC_5177 DSC_5217  DSC_5257 DSC_5282 DSC_5293 DSC_5331 DSC_5337 DSC_5353 DSC_5358

Adoption Motherhood Rosie Ru

Rosie’s Winter Wonderland | This Gathered Nest

It’s snowing here, well, it’s icing here with some snow on top 😉 I kept Rosie inside yesterday since she seemed to show no interest in going outside to play in the white fluff. She was content to hang with mom by the fire, which was totally okay with me!

But today we got even more snow and it really looked so beautiful outside, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bust out my camera. Snow makes the most beautiful natural reflector!  I figured it would be the perfect time to get some nice pictures of Miss Rosie Ru!




I just love her joyful smile 🙂


And then the snow touched her…. HA! She did NOT care for it anymore!



It’s funny, sometimes she looks more like a 2 year old. Then other times, like the photo below, she looks like a little girl. I can’t wait to watch this girl blossom and grow. CR and I are pretty lucky to have front row seats <3 Welcome home Rosie Ru!


DIY Kid Stuff

DIY Wall Initials – This Gathered Nest


I made one of these fun wall initials for Rosie’s nook, and when the girls saw them, they insisted they have one too! It was so easy to make and turned out really cute, so I thought I would share a quick little tutorial on how to make them!

All the supplies are from Hobby Lobby (don’t forget your 40% off coupon!) Here is what you need!


First thing you will do is paint the whole letter white! It takes two coats of the paint I used to get a good opaque white! Then you use a ruler to make your lines, I chose to do 3 inch thick stripes based on the total size of the letter. Easy Peasy!


Then you just paint the alternating stripes black, again you will need two coats. I also used my ruler to make sure the lines stayed straight!


While that is drying, I cut the flowers from the bunch and hot glued them together at the tip, you kind of have to play with arrangement to get the look you want. Then I hot-glued them on the letter once it was totally dry!


The nice thing about the letters from Hobby Lobby is that they come with the holes drilled and ready to be hung!

Here’s the final product!



I hope you enjoyed this quick and easy DIY!



Adoption China Trip Motherhood

China Day 7&8 – Shamian Island/Lazy Day

On Thursday we met up with our guide and another family to go to the famous Shamian Island. It is beautiful place! Not really an island, it’s kind of surrounded by a moat. There is such incredible architecture and a ton of fun shops, restaurants and little statues to check out.

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I was feeling pretty awful that day, my vertigo and motion sickness was in full swing! I tried to enjoy our time there, but to be honest, I felt like I was on a boat the whole time. Rosie and Ashleigh had a great time though!

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We did find some really fun souvenirs for the kids, and I found a super cute t-shirt for Rosie that says “Made in China” 🙂

I went to bed extra early that night since I was still feeling queasy…


The next day we were supposed to go to the Chinese Cultural Center, however I was feeling awful when I woke up! We decided to lay low in our hotel room all day. I took some Dramamine to see if it would help with my seasick feeling. I’m pretty sure Rosie thinks Ash and I are the most boring people on the whole planet, lol!


We still had fun though, and basically watched super hero movies all day!