Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Virtual Christmas Card

I’m usually a Christmas card kinda gal, but with our upcoming adoption, our card didn’t quite feel complete without our two new family member who should be joining us very soon. So in lieu of my card this year, here is a virtual Merry Christmas!

Merry-Christmas

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Love,

The Manloves

Stout Family

I’m thankful to call this mama a friend of mine. She signed right up when announced I would be taking clients again and I am so grateful to be the one to capture their family photos this year. Here are just a couple of my favorites. Check out these cuties.

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OH my word. Stop it.

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Thanks for stopping by the blog!

And thanks Stout fam!

-Mrs Manlove

Monday, November 27, 2017

I’m Baaaaaaaaaaaaack.

After a 2.5 year hiatus, I am SO excited to have a big heavy camera in my hands again. Your names, dear friends, are creeping into my calendar and I am beyond grateful to be trusted with your life images.

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We having been working for awhile to adopt two new family members through the foster care system. I can’t wait to get to the stage in our adoption when I can document and share that beautiful journey with you. Until then, just expect to see a lot of pictures of these two crazy beautiful girls on the beach.

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Love,

Mrs Manlove

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Around Town | Congaree & Penn

This weekend we decided to try something new and go to the you-pick Muscadine grape event at Congaree & Penn Farms. We were not sure what to expect, but we decided to make the drive to NW Jax and check it out. I am SO glad that we did! We were welcomed by the kindest people who cared a lot about the farm and were so knowledgeable about what was being grown and the land. We picked our basket of grapes, rode on a hay rack ride farm tour, talked to some random folks and played a little corn hole. The atmosphere was just laid back and nice. And Lou & KoKo loved grape-picking.

I know we are planning to go back in the fall for their you-pick pumpkin day and we will be keeping a look-out for other upcoming events as well.

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Check out this lovely dining + event space.

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Corn hole

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Thank you to the people at Congaree & Penn for the beautiful day!

Love,

Mama Sally


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Dusting off the Blog

Hellllllloooo!

It has been so long! The last post I can see is when we had our first foster placement and that now seems like it was so long ago. Since then we have had another placement of two sweet girls come and go and we have also done a few rounds of respite foster care (basically keep a foster child for a few days or a week while their foster parent takes a break or goes on a business trip or whatever else). If you follow along on Instagram you saw a lot of glimpses of what we were up to with our last placement. We miss them dearly but we feel confident that where they are is a really really great place for them.

For now, we are on a foster parent break. We have a few things we are working on that we can’t reveal quite yet, but it would be really exciting for our family. We will let you know what is happening next : )

In the mean time, here is some summer eye candy because we all know that Mama Sally is better at the pictures than at the words. : )

Backyard tree frogs

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Amelia Island ice cream & Sea World

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Lou turns 7 in epic rainbow unicorn fashion

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4th of July- A few days before we said goodbye to these precious babies.

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Mango flowers with friends : )

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Mama drove to Texas

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Whew! School started for Lou this week and KoKo starts preschool soon. I hope your summer was also full of memories!

Love,

Mama Sally

Friday, February 17, 2017

Foster Care Update

Hello friends!

Its been awhile, yes? We have an exciting update! All of our infrequent posts over the past months have been about our progress in preparing to be a licensed foster family. Well, not only are we officially licensed, we are 3 weeks into our first placement!

We currently have three sweet boys in our home in addition to our two daughters. Yep. We. Have. Five. Kids.

The boys are 6 months, 6 months (twins) and 5 years old. Thankfully the twins are not identical and we quickly learned to tell them apart. One likes to wake up and eat frequently and weighs quite a bit more than the other and has some very kissable chubby cheeks. The other is a champ sleeper but hates car rides. So the 3 big kids often sit with fingers in their ears during car rides OR sing Christmas carols (of all things?!) OVER the crying baby. Lord have mercy.

Overall, being parents of 5 kids is what we expected it to be. Hard. Crazy. Also fun. The big kids entertain each other a lot and the trampoline has seen many hours of bouncing and giggles.

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Our church and friends have brought us meals, diapers, wipes, and hugs. People are just so so good.

I have to say. Pushing twin babies around is somewhat like carrying a panda. Everyone stops you and wants to know if they are twins and you stop yourself from saying “duh.” My foster parent friend sent me this:

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I would say my top 5 challenges as a mom of 5 (two of them being babies makes a big impact here) are:

-LAUNDRY. So much laundry.

-Getting 5 people in and out of the car is like watching the clowns at the circus when they just keep coming out and your brain starts to go fuzzy because the amount of space and person ratio is messed up.

-So many feelings. Our girls of course have a lot of feelings about sharing us, sharing space, sharing toys, etc… Our babies sometimes have feelings that it seems unfortunately can mostly be communicated through tandem screaming episodes. Our other new son has feelings about us, feelings about where he has been, homesick feelings, on and on.

-Time to do anything other than taking care of kids. Someone is always pooping, having some sort of strange problem they got themselves into when I looked away for.5 seconds, or deciding to change their clothes and pull everything out of a drawer. Or someone is in their bathroom and the next kid has to go RIGHT THIS SECOND. I have decided that all foster parents should get weekly shipment of dry shampoo, IV bags filled with coffee (I am usually too busy in the morning and have to heat it up 5 times because someone needs my help while it is hot- They have hot drink radar), and laundry fairies.

-Navigating “the system.” As in , the foster care system. There are case workers, court appointed people whose titles are not supposed to understood by humans, Family service counselors, therapists, and a lot of emails/phone calls. It usually is advisable to not have two babies crying in the background of said phone calls so….speaker phone is my friend while two babies bounce on my lap.

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So, there are many challenges throughout the day, but thankfully I have the best partner who agrees to do these hard things with me. He loses a lot of sleep and then works so hard to provide for our fam. Also, we have seen God’s provision through others in such a powerful way. Several unexpected people have sent us gift cards. So many of you have sent us messages of encouragement or to let you know that you are praying. We thank you!

So, today if you will drink something hot for me and if you have some free time relish it so. I am happy for you! And I am happy for me. This is hard, but it is good.

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Love,

Mama Sally