Happy (Grateful) Friday!

March 18, 2016

elderflower Happy Friday, everyone! Michael and I are enjoying one last weekday of his spring break. It’s been such a nice week having him home and spend time as a family of three. When Maya arrived he wasn’t able to take any time off work, having only started a few weeks earlier at his school, so this time together has been extra special.

It’s also been even more special because we come so far toward reaching Maya’s adoption fundraising goal – like 3/4 to the goal in just one week! It’s the first week we can remember when we haven’t had a fraught and worried conversation about how to make it happen. And for that – the generous donations from so many of you and the perfect timing with Michael’s week off, we’re so grateful. It has been a quiet, peaceful week full of lots of Maya’s giggles and family walks around the block.

Little did I know when I started From China Village five years ago that it would end up being such a big piece in the puzzle of growing our family. The number of people who have commented on our fundraising site to say they’ve followed along from their little corner of the world and have been inspired by Maya’s story brings me to tears at least several times a day. Or the grade school and high school friends I’ve been able to reconnect with and plan summer visits through this part of our journey to adoption. Or Michael’s former Irish students who have donated or shared our story. Or my sweet sister-in-law in Dublin whose classroom full of fifth graders decided to designate half of the profits from a school entrepreneurial project to Maya’s adoption fund. Or even the complete strangers – Michael and I look at each other in disbelief and say “But we don’t know that person, we don’t know them at all!” It’s been quite a week and our cup of gratitude runneth over.

And now, gushing over (for the moment), here are a few things I found around the interwebs.

I’ve started writing occasionally for a lifestyle site here in Houston called Urban Swank. I have my first post up about European spots that are more enjoyable in the off-season.

A short video about a program in Texas taking care of teen moms. So much heart in this – and let me tell you, so much need.

Incredible wall murals make for great one-day house inspiration.

A visit to pretty pastel Estonia.

And a little trip to Shakespeare & Company in Paris.

A heartwarming story of strangers scooping up a woman who had just learned her father had died in the grocery store.

The Dublin Science Gallery is hosting a Mexican feast with my favorite Mexican chef!

Just reading the word posture makes me sit up straighter! Here are tips for improving your posture and why you should bother (hello, 320 extra calories burned a day!)

Our favorite store for baby lovies is having an Easter sale through Saturday!

I have long been a Modern Farmette fan – although Imen and I have yet to meet in person! – and she has just released the most beautiful cookbook.

Happy weekending, everyone. I hope it’s downright lovely!

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