Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Craziest year, ever.

2010 will definitely stay a memorable year for Aaron and I forever. Our hearts were broken in January when the earthquake hit Haiti. By February, we were beginning the process to become licensed foster care providers in case Haitian children needed homes. In March, we knew that God was calling us to continue the foster care process for orphans in our own town. April and May were full of checklists, documents, and signatures. I taught my last day of school in June, knowing I wouldn't come back in the fall. Looking back now, July was slow. Then again, all months of life before August now look slow! Then came August. August 2nd. The sweetest little one's were standing behind our front door at 8 pm that night, and our hearts were even more broken than before. Yet instantly, our hearts were also connected and longing to show love. September and October all blur together, but thankfully in a good way. We finally established a routine into our new life as a family of 4 and things were much simpler.
So here's the new, news for the Mullins' family. Aaron started a new job. A job that fits him so perfectly. After working for the last commercial contractor and supervising our new church campus being built, the company decided to part ways, and we were left wondering what we were going to do. I honestly can't remember how everything came together or was thought up, other than God had been working in Aaron's heart and planting some seeds years prior that would lead way to a new job. Our church, Austin Stone Community Church, began a non-profit for the city of Austin called For the City Network. It's goal is to connect those with a heart and passion to see the city of Austin restored by the grace of God. Aaron has started a construction non-profit through the network.
"Name to be determined" company (: will work to rebuild and provide affordable housing for families in Austin. Right now there are 39,000 families that could be living in affordable housing, but those homes just don't exist. While renovating and building these homes, people from the community will be brought on the jobs to learn a skill that will make them a marketable employee. They'll learn this trade to help them find a job to provide for their own families. Amazing right? Aaron just started his job this week, and I'm so proud of what's already happening.
So with this new job comes some life changes. We'll be putting our house on the market sometime very soon. We'll be moving to a town east of Austin named Taylor where we already have some fabulous friends living, and where housing is more affordable. We love our home, our neighborhood, and our neighbors, but we don't want to be owned by our home. We've also come to realize that we can live on much less than we have been and want the freedom to be able to use our money for more than ourselves.
When will all this happen? Not a clue! Really wish we knew, but we trust in God's timing because we've seen His faithfulness time and time again. We are looking for homes in Taylor, trying not to get attached, and working on getting the house prepared to go on the market.
Now I just have to figure out how on earth to keep this house together each day for potential buyers... Really considering putting a sign on the door when people do come that says "A family of 4 with 2 kiddos under 2 years old live here... Please show us some grace and realize that clutter doesn't equal dirty. Thank you, A Busy Mom". Will that work?
So, like I said we'll be sad to leave our first home, but we are equally excited about what we know God has planned for us. Our Taylor friends are also in the process of becoming foster parents and I'm overjoyed at the thought of being right in town to help them when their son and daughter comes along.
What's funny is the first time Aaron and I drove through Taylor probably the first year we were in Austin we both were really quiet in the car and then I said, "We could never live here". And Aaron said, "It looks just like Indiana..". Now don't get me wrong, we will always have a HUGE love for the wonderful state of Indiana, but when we compare the rolling hills of Austin to the flat farm land of Indiana, there's no comparison. Taylor reminds us a lot of our hometown LaPorte, which we find humorous :) We've had a huge glimpse into how God can take what you planned your life to look like and put it in a blender.. yet what He's had planned is far better than you could have imagined.
This would be where I would post a picture of the 2 cutest kids ever.. but sadly I can't do that. I can just tell you that their big brown eyes and cheesey grins (one full of random teeth and one still gummy) make my day, every day. Their little faces were never something I had planned, but thank the Lord that He did.

Here's what's going on..

In bullet points..
  • Kids are doing great! They had a court date last Friday (that we don't have to attend since they're so little), and all I can really say is that it'll be 4 months before the next one. Not sure of any outcomes as far as what 4 months from now will be like, but we just live each day as a normal day as a normal family.
  • And by normal family.. I mean still adjusting to life as a family of 4 for the past 3 months now. We're into the whole solid foods phase with little miss, which is always entertaining every night. And I should probably start looking into potty training since little man loves him some potty. He won't be 2 until March, so I think I still have plenty of time...
  • The fact that Thanksgiving is next week is cra-zy. We'll be staying here with the kiddos and celebrating with the wonderful Michners that are letting us crash their dinner!
  • Christmas will be spent here with both sides of our family. That's right! Both the Mullins' and Stishers will be heading to Austin for the week before and after Christmas. I extra excited because my family hasn't met the kids yet :)
  • The 2nd weekend of December, Aaron and I get the pleasure of going on a mini-5 year anniversary-vacation! Kind of :) Aaron's roommate from college is getting married, and he's in the wedding so we're extending our stay a little longer to make sure we get to celebrate the past 5 wonderful years of marriage. 5.. wow! Get ready for some sarcarm now... Guess where our vacation is?! Minneapolis, Minnesota! In December! De-cem-ber. Oh goodness, I'm expecting to be frozen the whole time we're there, but boy will we be excited to celebrate with old friends!
  • 2010 has been crazy, and the year isn't even over yet.. a seperate blog post will be coming about how the end of our year is looking.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Living like a movie star..

Or something like that.

I told Aaron the other day that I felt like I was living in the movie "50 First Dates". Have you seen it? It is a cute one... definitely a chick flick even with Adam Sandler in it. It's the one where Adam Sandler falls in love with Drew Barrymore only to find out that she had been in a car accident that causes her to wake up each morning thinking it's the morning of the accident.

The characters I'm currently relating to are actually the dad and brother of Drew's character. Every night once she goes to bed, they prep the house to look just like it did the morning of the accident. This involves re-wrapping a birthday present every night, painting an art room white every night, getting out an old newspaper every night. That way when Drew wakes up, she will never know anything has changed in her life.

Well, I do this every night. Or at least it feels like it! I'm not real good at keeping up with the house right now. Not sure if typing "right now" is smart because I'm not sure if that's going to change. So, every night once the kids are sleeping I pick up the toys, clean up the kitchen, rinse out all the bottles, and start the dishwasher. I've revolted against washing bottles. I run them in the dishwasher every night. I know some people don't put any plastics in theirs, but this girl does. I just hate getting sprayed by the bottle cleaner. And after a long day, popping them in the dishwasher takes the least amount of time.

So, as I'm going through this nightly routine I now think of that movie and have the urge to sing the Beach Boys "Wouldn't It Be Nice" at the top of my lungs. If you haven't seen the movie or it's been a while, you should rent it this weekend :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

3 weeks in!

I think this is an easier way to update you.
Here's the good, the bad, and the weird of what's happened!

  • We're learning how to live with 2 kids a little better each day, and they're learning to live with us
  • Baby girl rolled over for the first time the other night! It was during a 3 am diaper changing fit of rage, but then she continued to roll over back to tummy 3 times yesterday. So lucky to get to see one of her firsts
  • Big man has learned to take off his shoes by himself. He loves shoes or at least to say "shoooz"
  • I'm starting to have somewhat of a schedule throughout the day. It being 100+ degrees lately has really made it difficult to do things like.. well going outside, but if we stay home all day I literally go crazy. So we're setting up playdates and making unnecessary Target runs just so I can regain some sanity! Plus the kids are awesome when we go out which is a huge plus
  • Big man loves him some pool time. We've gone a few times and he just loves loves loves it, especially when Mr. Aaron throws him way up in the air to make a big splash :)
  • Unrelated to our lives, my best friend Rachel that lives in CT had a beautiful baby girl last Sunday and I could not be more excited for her and her family! The added plus is that Rachel now shares her birthday with not only my sister but her baby girl as well. What a perfect birthday present
  • Then we had another friend add a baby girl into their family of 3 yesterday! Can't wait to meet baby Shelby
  • Our sister-in-law and brother-in-law are in the process of buying a house! It's been a long journey but they have been faithful in prayer to trust that the right house would come along and it did :)


  • Let's just say I've been a bit emotional lately and leave it at that. My husband is a saint for putting up with me.
  • Aaron had the flu this weekend which meant no touching babies or anything to do with babies for a few days. BUT he's better now and that's all that matters
  • Big man's favorite thing to do is pull the on the dog's ears, tail, fur, and/or whatever he can get his hands on. We're working on this... Thankfully the dogs are being wonderful about it! Although, I'm guessing they are actually searching for new homes on the internet as soon as we leave the house
  • Baby girl's new favorite thing is to be held which clearly isn't bad! The bad is that I then have no hands to do anything else during those times, like pry tiny hands off of Cooper's ears. She doesn't like the carrier that we have so we might have to purchase something else if this continues
  • Our A/C went out 2 times last week and my amazingly handy husband fixed it as best as he could until the thing was finally defeated by the Texas heat. So that's one bad thing.
  • The next point deserved it's own line because you see paying for a whole new unit is not fun. Not fun at all.


  • I'm not at school. That's pretty darn weird. Aaron and I had planned long ago that when kids came along I would stay home with them. Having the first day of school come and go and not being a part of it was quite strange, although that was the day the A/C went out for good so it's not like I was laying around the house watching movies instead of enjoying the frantic first day
  • My baby sister is 18. 18! She started her senior year of high school and talks about things like college and ACT scores instead of Barbies and the Puppies movie (101 Dalmations was her favorite as a little one). I'm using all my effort to convince her to move in with us and go to the University of Texas next year
  • The fact that these kids have been in our home for 3 weeks! I can't figure out if it feels like yesterday that they came or if they've been here forever :)
  • Whipping a double stroller out of the trunk of my car is pretty strange. I met a friend at happy hour yesterday in a trendy restaurant bar.. except that I was pathetically thrown together since baby girl wanted to be held while I got ready, big man woke up from his nap a bit grumpy, and I now carry around a fully loaded diaper bag just in case of emergencies. Loved seeing Marie but definitely didn't fit in with the crowd

By the way since I've had some people ask, I sadly can't post pictures of our cuties on here :( You'll just have to come to Austin to meet them!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Life lately..

We are definitely due for an update since we have doubled the size of our family this week!

That's right, this Monday we opened up our home to 2 cuties.
16 month P and 3 month T.
We are all adjusting well and taking each day about an hour at a time as we all get to know each other. Both kiddos are making this pretty easy by sleeping through the night!

Big brother P is loving that he now has two doggies, which he walks around loving on all day long. He is very sweet to say thank you for snacks. It's been fun learning what he can do and all the words he already knows.
Little sister T is a typical 3 month old with the schedule of eat, "play" for a few hours, and sleep! She's very good at these things, and we love when she smiles during those play times.

Aaron and I are taking things step by step. The full nights rest has definitely been the biggest blessing so that we aren't starting and ending each day a bit crazed. They really are adjusting much quicker than we could have imagined.

Aaron said to me tonight, God is really showing us that this is what we're supposed to be doing. We know that this isn't an easy road to go down, and we're trying our best to start this journey realistically knowing that it is a long road. But I can't even begin to explain how blessed we already feel. Our friends and family have been a HUGE help with these sudden additions. The best part, complete strangers are helping as well. Here's some crazy stories:
-Customer of our brother-in-law that has gone through 2 adoptions wants to give us a crib (we were only prepared with one)
-After our friends ask a complete stranger in the diaper section of the grocery store about which diapers are good, the stranger says we can have a car seat that they are no longer using (we had actually just gotten a car seat from another set of friends that day)
-My sister-in-law found us a stroller on Craigslist (a double stroller, because that's how we roll now) and we went to pick it up tonight... Just so happens the husband is the pastor at a large church in Round Rock--they just happen to have a friend over that used to be a foster care case manager--they just happen to have a small playscape that we can have for free--and some crocs--and tell us that there's a couple from their church that live 2 blocks from us in our neighborhood that were foster parents and just adopted their foster kiddo--and they no longer want us to pay for the stroller.

I mean seriously. Seriously. How amazing. We are blessed. God is good :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ta da!

When I opened the paint I had a bit of a panic attack.
I always get this way right before I'm about to paint!

About half way through this wall I thought my arm was going to fall off.
You see. . .
I always tape and do the edging while Aaron does the walls due to my lack of upper body strength. Since Aaron was working on the shed, I was all on my own. I made Aaron come in and watch me so that he could tell me why I was having such a hard time. He then explained that the brush was practically dry and that you didn't have to use your whole body to lean onto the roller. :)

And ta da!

I can't wait to start moving furniture back in! I'm going to paint the twin bed we have white (hopefully soon). We're borrowing all the baby furniture from Linds and Kai, and then I'm going to get a bookcase as well. It'll take me awhile before I post anymore room pictures. We're not really decorating until we have kiddos with us. That way the room will fit them!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Saturday plans

Big working weekend here at the Mullins' Home.

Aaron's finishing up the shed.

And I'm painting our future kiddos room.
After 6 paint samples, I've found one I like :)

I'll post when I'm done!