Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Movin' On Up

I've been a faithful blogger user for a few years now. I recently started a couple of wordpress blogs and have fallen in love. Wordpress is SO much easier for me, and the formatting over there is a breeze.

So this little blog here is moving over to wordpress. I've switched over the archives even, so I'm not starting from scratch. Make sure to update your RSS feeds (Dave and Lillian) and any links you have in favorites bars or whatever.

AND, I posted today! So, check it out friends!


Friday, April 15, 2011

Small Vacation

So, I'm going to be tinkering around with something over the next few days. If this site looks wonky, or goes missing all together, sorry 'bout that. Hopefully I'll be back and all will be right in the world in a few days.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


If blog stats have taught me anything, it's that you folks care quite a bit about my "journey to parenthood" which sounds so stuffy, but that's exactly what it is. Whether it's a post about infertility and adoption or just ranting and complaining, if it's related to me becomming a mama, you read it. So thanks for that.

I recently gained two new friends who are going through a difficult "journey to parenthood" as well, and they've just decided to take the steps to adopt, and I am beyond thrilled for them! So if you care so much about ME becomming a mama, you'll like to hear about the Chalos's as well.

Chad and Kristle are super fun, super nice, and super funny. You would really like them. Here's their blog. http://thechalosadoptionjourney.blogspot.com/ Please read it! And definitely donate to their adoption fund; they will be amazing parents and every donation helps. Consider $5. Or $500. Because, comeon! Look how fun they are!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Girls Night Out

Last night, my good friend Angie and her husband Dan were playing downtown, so Lillian and I gussied up and made a night of going to hear them play. I don't often get to hang out with my friends when their kids aren't around, so it's kind of an adventure when it happens. My gussying involved my fancy new shoes which involved me being a giant. After we heard Dan and Angie play, we went to Taco Mamcita. HOLY COW that place is good. It was absolutley the best way I could have spent my first evening out to eat in two weeks. Their guacamole - amazing. Also, the carnitas taco. I wonder if they serve breakfast... It'd be ok with me if Girls' Night Out happened more often. You hear me, girls?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Anti-Blogger

There's a popular blog feature called "What's In My Bag" where bloggers empty out their purse and take a few pictures of what's inside. It's usually super cute. Like this one that Katie from Skunkboy Creatures did and this one that Elsie from A Beautiful Mess did. Sometimes I think I should do that. And then I realized that I have 2 bananas, a take-out menu, several pill bottles, 3 notebooks, 5 nail polishes, and 14 things of lipgloss or chapstick in my bag and no one cares about that. Did you think I was joking about the 2 bananas?

I totally wasn't. Which leads me to believe I'm not exactly "a blogger" in the way I picture most bloggers. Ways I'm not "a blogger."

-I only go to Starbucks a few times per year.

-I use a PC most of the time because my mac confuses me.

-I don't take pictures well.

-I've never been to a Renegade.

-I've never initiated or attended any sort of 'meet-up' for bloggers.

-My husband hasn't ever hijacked my blog to wish me a happy birthday or congratulations for something.

-I have very few items of vintage clothing.

-I've never been cyberbullied. (Thank you for that!)

-I don't bake.

So, what else? What do you think is true about bloggers? I'll help dispell the myths. It's what I'm here for.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Baby Stuff

This is not a sad post! I promise! Now you can continue without trepidation.

I know a lot of pregnant women, which is really fun. I'm completely intrigued by pregnancy. So, in honor of all you mamas-to-be, I'm going to post about some of my favorite baby finds around the web. And if you're not pregnant, chances are you know someone who is and you need a shower gift, so read on!

This sunsuit makes me weak in the knees. Sassy little hipster baby.

Everything in this shop is amazing. Every. Thing. These little circus stickers are adorable. Would be great for a nursery, boy's or girl's.

This stuffed octopus is such fun! A great idea for the DIY mama.
I need to snuggle the baby that's wearing this onesie. Stat. And some of my favorite shops for amazing baby stuff: Zara (for really chic clothing), Gilt Groupe (for great deals on more expesive baby items), and of course Old Navy and Target both have great baby finds and they're normally super cheap!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Dinner for 18

I haven't eaten out in over a week. My "no eating out for two weeks" thing is going really well, so far! We won't discuss the longing in my heart when I drive past the gyro place.

Do you know what helps? Having a group of friends who are willing to do pot lucks with you several times a week. I'm a lucky lady.

We've had turkey, pizza, black bean tacos, jambalaya, southern beans and corn bread, yum yum yum. I could get used to this.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fun Facts

My brain isn't forming cohesive thoughts these days. I assume it's allergies or some such nonsense, but a fully functioning brain, I have not. So I'm doing another fun facts blog post because they're fun (for me) and it involves little thinking or planning.

1. I have a secret blog. Yes, another blog. It's therapy more than anything else, so I don't feel like sharing it. Maybe someday I will, maybe I won't.

2. Food facts: I've never had a macaron. I like my yolks broken and cooked all the way through. I like my food pretty spicy, but my husband likes his food REALLY spicy... so because I'm a lightweight in comparison, I forget that my hot food tolerance is higher than the average bear's.

3. I have no idea how to categorize my personal style. Part of me really wants to decorate each room of my house in a totally different style. Preppy, bohemian, industrial, cutesy chic, etc. My wardrobe is already like that.

4. Things I'd want to study if I went back to college: counseling/psychology, graphic design, and making shoes (I sadly can't find any courses on making shoes. I've wanted to do this for years!).

5. I will kick your butt in Mad Gab. There's also a good chance I'd kick it in Bananagrams. But I guarantee I won't win in Clue, Risk, or Checkers.

6. I'm more proud of Dave than most wives are of their husbands, I'm pretty sure. I say that Dave is good at things so often that it's now a running joke in our group of friends. "Do you know who's good at that?" Dave. It's always Dave. It's not my fault he's good at a lot of things!

7. When people start talking about politics or most current events, my brain starts acting like a TV with no signal. It's all static and fuzz. This probably makes me a bad American. Or at least not a good one.

8. In two weeks, I'm going home to Missouri! We might be able to meet up with some old friends, see our lovely families, and hooopefully make a quick trip to Red Velvet in Springfield! I'm SO ready for a tiny vacation.

9. I love planning parties and group activities, but I don't ever plan anything else. If I didn't do things on a whim, I just wouldn't do things.

10. I "collect" journals. I have so so many, but I'm always wanting to add to my collection. I have tiny ones and huge ones. Lined pages, blank pages, hardback and softback, the list goes on. If you ever need to get me a gift and you have no idea what to get: journal.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Surprise Spring Date

You guys. I took real pictures this weekend. With a camera! That isn’t attached to a phone! Are you so proud? I sure am. It was totally worth it to drag that thing around with us. Sunday afternoon, I planned a Super Fun Surprise Springtime Date Day for Dave and me. Sunday morning, he was running sound at church. While he was there he received this picture message on his phone: We live close to a playground that is surrounded by lots and lots of open space. Perfect for picnics. So, I was busy packing a picnic lunch when he got home. He changed clothes, got the second text, and relaxed for a few minutes before we were off.

Also perfect for flying kites, which was the next activity. Dave, being the goober he is, decided to hook his kite string to my kite string so it would get twice as high. He then sprinted across the park to try catching his kite. It didn’t work.

We Hagens have a rich family history of Sunday afternoon naps, so that was next on the list. I have this thing about sleeping in public (people could TOTALLY sneak up on you) so I just took pictures and relaxed while Dave slept. Isn’t he so cute?

Then we went to see a movie. We’re lucky to live in a town that has a second run theater. $1.50 for a movie? Twist my arm… We saw Black Swan, which was really creepy, but pretty.

The last activity for the day was a neighborhood grill party. It started getting dark around the time the food was put on the grill, so we don’t have many pictures from that.

The day was totally fun. I think every day should be Super Fun Surprise Springtime Date Day. Or at least hang out with your spouse day. That could work too.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Patience, Friends

I have a really fun blog post coming up. Here's a hint.

But I have about 50 pictures to go through and edit and crop and such. Which means 2 things. 1) That I actually took real pictures! and 2) That you'll have to hold your horses.

Ok, I couldn't help it, here's another hint:

Noooow you can hold those horses.

Friday, April 1, 2011


Today is my mom's birthday. She's a beautiful woman, inside and out. She is now the mother to 6 - if you include children's spouses, WHICH WE DO! And if you count all of our friends who call her mom and have been truly impacted by her generosity, her willingness to put others before herself, and her bulldog attitute that will show up in a flash if someone is hurting one of her "kids" then it's definitely more than 6. A lot more.

She is all kinds of awesome. For example, one time I was at a friends house spending the night, and my friend decided she was going to watch Beavis and Butthead AND Interview with a Vampire. No amount of me saying, "I'm not allowed to watch that" would stop her. One call to my mama, and she was there to rescue me from what I thought was the television equivalent to getting a tattoo and smoking a cigarette.

Happy Birthday to a wonderful, wonderful mama who will do anything to show love to her children. Children you birthed, and "children" who chose you. I love you, mama!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's my party and I'll go completely overboard if I want to

The other day on Facebook, I took a poll. I asked, "Am I allowed to plan an elaborate 25th birthday party for myself? Or is that weird?" Lots of people seemed to think that was ok.

I'm a self-diagnosed blog-hopper and several of the blogs I follow put up fun party ideas. Because Dave doesn't always want to be fussed over, and I don't have children to throw elaborate parties for, this is the party I want to throw for myself. Luckily, my birthday is a few months away. I have time for elaborate.

Rainbows, sparkles, balloons, streamers, unicorn cookies, and a holi color fight. Because 25 is NOT too old for that. Right?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Let's Do This Thang

Do you know what's weird? I love cooking. I generally enjoy grocery shopping. I like eating meals I have just cooked, and I really like making food for other people to enjoy too. But I've fallen out of those habits for some weird reason. Busyness, sure. Laziness, yes. Who knows what else. Once upon a time I decided I would go without TV for 10 days. It was a smashing success and I'll do that again sometime. And after a few "you've got to control yourself, woman!" pep-talks from myself and a few "you really shouldn't be eating that" comments from Dave to which I replied with a head turned around backward and turning my eyeballs green, I decided to try that with eating out. I keep asking him to help me with this and then being not-so-kind when he tries to help. What's up with that? So, I decided yesterday that I was in serious need of an eating-out fast. I put the word out there into the "universe" also known as twitter and Lillian B. was on board. We then asked our friend Amanda and SHE was on board. So now, here we are. 3 families in the neighborhood deciding to do an eating-out fast for two whole weeks. Hold on a second. TWO WHOLE WEEKS! (that's better.) Do you know what? I think you should do it too! It will save you money, it will be a great way for your family to be together, it will be healthier, and it will be a grand adventure. If you're up for the challenge, leave a comment on this post. If you have a blog and will be documenting the challenge at all, leave the link and I'll post them later on. I love a good group effort. So, who's with me?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Heading Home

Nashville is a wonderful place. I love living here. But do you know what Nashville is missing? Family.
It's been over a year since Dave and I have gone back to Missouri together. That is TOO LONG. Thankfully, our families have visited here, so we haven't gone completely without. In 24 days we're FINALLY going back for a visit. It's going to be a too-short visit, but some is better than none. Talking to my sister the other day, I told her I'm so excited about going home that I feel like I should make a paper chain to count down the days like we used to do for Christmas. She said, "DO IT!" and that's all the motivation I needed. 26 days, guys. Not only will this be the first time Dave has been home in over a year (or the first time I've been home in almost a year), but my brother and his wife are moving back to Missouri in just a couple of days - so the ENTIRE FAMILY will be together in Camdenton for the first time since Christmas '09. Crazy. We're going to try to relax, have lunch with some old friends, take a small family trip to visit my grandparents, eat my very favorite pizza of all time, sit and talk, play games, and celebrate Easter at worship on the Lake. Trips home to visit the family are never ever long enough.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pearl and The Beard

Dave and I went to a house show last night for a band called "Pearl and the Beard" and it was SO SO good.
We bought one album there, and I already bought the other album on iTunes. I wanted to also get their EP, a t-shirt, and a tote bag. Dave is kind of the voice of reason in our relationship. I don't know if you knew that or not.
This was shockingly the first time I had been to a house show. While I kind of get overwhelmed in large groups of people in smallish areas (like the time I went to the Alamo and almost had a panic attack) I really had a great time. We got to sit close to the band, talk to them afterward, and meet some new people. I'm going to have to make a habit of attending house shows. Maybe I'll try to get this social anxiety thing under control first...
If you like excellent music that's quirky and cool, you've got to check these guys out.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lillian B

I have talented friends. Seriously. One of those friends is the lovely Lillian B. She's a photographer based out of Nashville and she does AMAAAZING work. This weekend, Dave and I headed to an old farm in Franklin, TN and she took some pictures of us.

I wanted some updated headshots, since I've lost quite a bit of weight since my last ones. And I wanted to get a few of Dave and me as well, for the same reason. Fun fact: the last time Lillian did pictures of Dave and I was when I broke my ankle! I promise she doesn't do that to most of her clients.

I'm pretty insecure about myself in pictures (which is true of basically everyone, I think) and every.single.picture Lillian sent me is a picture I'm proud to show people. To make ME feel CUTE in PICTURES! Pure talent, folks.
If you're in the Nashville area and you're looking for a photographer, definitely check her out. She's awesome.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Big Life Decisions

Tomorrow evening, the husband and I are going to a meeting about adoption. (!!!) We're still a couple years off from the whole thing probably, but we're ready to gather more information.

Dave was the one who was ready to adopt first. If you know Dave and I, this is a little bit shocking. He's a bit of a slow mover when it comes to life changing decisions. And I'm.... well... let's just say I am not a slow mover. The fact that Dave's heart was in it before mine is a huge encouragement to me that we're doing the right thing. We definitely want to get our lives a little more in check before we take off with the entire process; we're total newbies to the whole thing, but we're excited about taking a baby step forward. We've already got some things decided on.

We'd like to adopt domestically first and then maybe internationally for the next one or two... or 10. In the past several months my heart for domestic adoption has taken on a whole new life and I'm excited to look into it more. Lots of sweet American babies out there need some love.

We're both feeling VERY much like we'd like to adopt from Haiti, but Haitian laws say you must be 35 to adopt from Haiti. That's 10 years off for us, unless they change their laws. I'm personally hoping for a change of laws. I'm just not sure I'd want to be in my 40's and sending my kid off to Kindergarten, you know? It works for some people. Obviously my plans for my own life aren't always what God has in mind for me, I have noticed.

We're only slightly concerned about the finances. This is sort of crazy because our finances aren't exactly impressive. We know that God's plans have very little to do with money. We've seen it in the past and we trust completely that we'll see it in the future. That still leaves some room for concern. I've seen the fee schedule involved in domestic adoption. It's not pretty. It's probably unwise to leap into the process with very little savings available for application fees, attorney costs, and all the other financial things involved. It's SO expensive. (Straw Heart Project could help!) There are a lot of organizations that do grants and loans, there are a lot of people surrounding us that would be willing to help, and there are a LOT of ways God can surprise people, so though finances are scary, they're not a hindrance.

Though this meeting is little more than adding to the information we've got about adoption, I'm awfully excited. It's like saying, "ok. we're sort of more ready!" and that's a fun place to be.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


You may have noticed that I now have a "Donate" button on my blog. As icky as that feels, it's for a good cause. I'm going back to Haiti this summer and I need to raise about $1300 for the trip. Until the trip, all proceeds from my artwork are going toward the trip fund. That includes custom work! If you want in on that, go right ahead and place an order.

If you don't really like my artwork, I'm going to pretend like that's no big deal, and allow you to just donate to the trip fund.
Thanks friends!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Feeling Lonely

When I was younger, one of my favorite games to play went something like this: I was at home minding my own business, there was a knock at my door, and I answered the door and found a baby in a basket on the porch with a note that told me to take care of the baby forever. So I did. I loved the feeling that someone else trusted me to care for their child.

As a young married person, I have had probably 30 dreams in total wherein someone around me has a baby and that person is unable to care for the baby for whatever reason. So the baby is given to me to care for forever and raise as my own child.

When Dave and I decided to try to get pregnant, my prayer was always that God would give me peace through the whole thing. I don't remember ever once in the first year or so praying that I would get pregnant soon. It was always asking for peace with God's timing or comfort in the sadness. I didn't plan to pray that way; I just realized a few months ago that I had been praying that way.

When we told people we were starting to try to get pregnant, I always warned, "this could take a while, so don't go crazy just yet" or "who knows what will happen or how long it will take."

Maybe my own intense desires for children clouded my sight for the past 24 years, but I'm beginning to see that God has been preparing me slowly and surely for a struggle with infertility.

I'm not happy with this struggle. As a girl who grew up in church, a young woman figuring out her own faith and the way faith works in general, it's hard for me to say that I'm not happy with where God has placed me. There are days that I'm angry and sad, disappointed with myself, frustrated in my place in life, days that I'm searing with jealousy, days that I want to sleep it off and numb myself to 'infertile living.' There are days where I am lonely for a child in the very pit of me and it's too much to ignore. I absolutely have the desire to carry a child, to give birth, to experience pregnancy, and it hurts me to imagine my life without that experience. Maybe it will happen for me someday. Maybe it won't.

But there are days where I understand a small piece of God's perfect plan. Days I can look at the past and think, "even if I don’t understand it, I was made for this." There are days where I know that my timing wasn't great, and I am thankful I didn't get pregnant right away. I have great joy for friends who are pregnant. I have the desire to live my life to show God's glory, no matter what that means for me and my journey to parenthood. I can honestly say that if this is how God wants to use me, I can handle infertility. Some days it is hard. Very very hard. Some days it isn't.

I definitely don't want sympathy for writing this post; I just want to be completely honest with my life. It's not all perfect, it doesn't all make sense. Infertility is something that's not really talked about very much. So if there are even two people out there who read my blog and are going through the same thing, I want them to know I'm here. I get it. I'm sorry for what you're dealing with, friend. I'm praying for you and I wish so very much that you didn't have to go through this. As you're going though, know you're not alone. There are so many women thrown into this same crappy battle. If you're in the Nashville area and you're struggling with infertility and you would like someone to talk to, email me. We can get together for coffee. I will just sit and listen, if that's what you need. I will cry with you, if that's what you need. I'll pray with you and try to encourage you as best I can, if that's what you need. I have good days and I have bad days, just like you do. So let's do this together.

Tennessee Adventures

The best man from our wedding, Josh, was in town this weekend. Turns out, getting a friend of Dave's to visit is the trick to getting to go on weekend adventures. Since I love house guests AND adventures, I'm going to go ahead and invite you all over. You'll have to sleep on the couch for now, but we'll have a guest bed very soon. (More on that this week, hopefully.)

Saturday morning, we woke up and headed out on our grand adventures. We grabbed lunch and headed down to Lynchburg, Tennessee to the Jack Daniel's Distillery. If you know me very well, you know I don't care for alcohol, so it wasn't a big deal to me, but the boys were excited.

It ended up being a really cool tour. Lots of interesting sights... and smells... and tour guides... I'm glad I went. Plus, it was a road trip and I am all about the road trip. I sat in the back and got the brunt of the wind.

After we finished up the tour, we went to show Josh the studio where Dave interned and still does some work. It's a really beautiful building, so we like to bring visitors there.

Then we headed back out East for the drive-in theater. The weather on Saturday was absolute perfection, so the drive-in was an obvious choice. It's one of our favorite things to do together, so obviously we're always looking for a reason to go. We saw Rango and True Grit. Both good movies.

I kept saying, "next time you come we should go here!" and "you'll have to come back soon so we can show you this." I need more guests. I was serious about you coming to visit me.