Diaper Cake Extravaganza!

Many years ago I was invited to my first baby shower for a friend of ours.  Since it would be my first shower  I had no idea what exactly to give as a gift…..I knew I had to make something special!  (I still can’t find a picture of it, so Marlena send me one if you have it.)  That’s how it all started, my love/hate relationship with diaper cakes πŸ™‚

I have made quite a few since that first cake and I honestly do love making them!  Each one is different and it takes quite a bit of time to plan what I am going to do, what I will need to buy and then the actual time to put the cake together.  I have used either the theme of the shower or the nursery.  Many of my friends haven’t wanted to take it apart and have kept the cake all these years later.. .that is honestly what keeps me doing them.  I only say “love/hate” because I am a perfectionist and most of them take me quite a while to make  πŸ™‚  So many people have asked about my diaper cakes that I decided to do a post to show some of my work.  I am considering making them available for purchase, so email me if your interested and we can talk!  tarahttu2@aol.com

Mommy to be:  Megan Martin  (my baby sister)
This was a special diaper cake for me because it was for my precious niece, Jaidyn.  The bottom layer is a baby blanket (that has still never been used. πŸ™‚ )  Don’t you love the ironing board camera shot?

Mommy to be:  Lisa Mobley
This jungle themed diaper cake was for one of my best girlfriends.  Baby Jaxson’s cake is a favorite of mine because I will never forget trying to make that stinkin’ monkey hug that cake!

Mommy to be:  Melissa Hoppes  
Melissa is one of my big sister’s oldest friends.  My sister lives in Canada, so she had a diaper shower early for Melissa because she is only in the country a few times a year.  Baby Weston didn’t have his name quite yet πŸ™‚

Mommy to be:  Christy Dusek
This diaper cake was for one of my very best friends from high school.  It is so beautiful!  I love my sweet little Brooke πŸ™‚
These are the most recent diaper cakes since “Baby boom #2!”  I promise the photography is about to get better πŸ™‚


This is my new signature for my diaper cakes.  
“I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me”-Philippians 4:13

Mommy to be:  Audrea Coy
 Our good friend Audrea’s little girl, Alivia Grace Coy is due in March and we can’t wait for another little Coy to join this world!  If you don’t know anyone in the Coy family… you need to πŸ™‚



Mommy to be:  Erica Casas
Erica is a friend of ours and is expecting baby Carter in March!  I loved making this one and have a feeling it won’t be the last one that I will make πŸ™‚
Have a Blessed week!

Harder than expected…

I have thought about writing a post this past week (or at least post my pictures from my trip to LA), but can’t seem to get my thoughts together. I have been writing more and more in my personal journal. I am brutally honest on this blog, but some things just need to be voiced to myself.  Writing seems to keep my head straight. Things with my mom are getting confusing and we are having to think about the future more than ever before. And the adoption is at a standstill… it really is harder than I expected.

As the days and weeks go by in this process of adopting our son I am quickly learning that not a lot of people adopt from other countries because frankly…it is HARD!!!  Adoption itself is such a challenging and stressfull adventure and I now have a new found respect for ANYONE who has ever adopted and you really should too. In the USA or elsewhere the paperwork, time, patience and love for a child who is unknown is such a beautiful and honorable thing to glorify Him.

When we made the decision last month to adopt I assumed that it would all be a seamless process and we would fly through it faster than anyone before us, and do it with ease. Not the case. We were so excited about the decision, the announcement to our friends and family, the “public” announcement and then reality hit me with a ton of bricks. My post “Direction” from a few weeks ago documents my some of my frustration. Once we got the Home Study paperwork… (and don’t you worry, its a COMPLETELY different than our dossier that we send to Africa)… I freaked.
Wednesday after a swift kick in the butt from one of my girlfriends, I started diving into everything that needs to be done. We have a 10 hour online class to complete, 6 books EACH to read, Copies of our insurance, Drivers Licences, Social Security cards, marriage license, rental agreement for our house, life insurance policy, employment verification, 1040 from last year, physicals for both of us and MANY more things to do and sign. Then a social worker comes to our house for 4 visits and writes a 20 page paper on us. Not including the $2,500 we have to pay.  Wow, do we really have to do all of this to be parents?
 Part of my heart still aches that we weren’t able to have our own biological child yet and get pregnant and have those exciting parts of life that comes with expecting a child. Our journey of becoming parents is now much more challenging. I am confident that the Lord has put this in our hearts for a reason, and I pray He continues to give me strength and tenacity to keep doing the steps needed to bring our son home from Aftrica.

I have also found that even though last month I felt the emptiness of not having our own child had been filled by adopting, it has not. My heart still sinks when I get on facebook and find out yet another friend has gotten pregnant ( I need to stop getting on there), I still want to cry at baby showers and frankly I just long to be pregnant. Sometimes the pain and frustration wells up inside of me so deep that I just want to scream. Why not me!!??

The women’s church retreat that I signed up for is only two weeks away and I know I need it more than ever. I need continuious reminding that I can’t do anything in life alone and the only way to fill my aching heart completely is with Jesus.

Valentine’s Day Glee 1

This year for Valentine’s Day I had the opportunity to get out of town and head to LA for a week. This decision was not to be away from the most amazing man in the universe, (that just so happens to be my husband), but to happily run away from the memory of last year.

I honestly have never really liked Valentines Day. It is a stupid day that make men feel like they have to be rockstars for their significant other for just this one day. Then there are the people that do not have a lady/man friend that start dreading the holiday as soon as the Christmas tree is put in the garage. Stupid. Last year was the first year that I had actually ADORED the day, as it was the day that I found out for the first (and only at this point) that we were pregnant. I can still remember my heart racing… my stomach doing leaps of joy as somehow I made it out of the house without spilling all of the beans to my husband after taking a test! I wanted to surprise him. Over the last three years of trying to have a child I have had more ideas that I can even count on how to do it. Balloons, personal m&m’s, special dinner.. you name it, I had it planned in my head each month. I ended up at my little sisters house and she almost lost it when I told her her great news! The excitment was overwhelming for us both. Telling Chris that night was one of the most amazing moments of our life together thus far. That was then….

As I type this post hundredes of miles in the air on my way back home to Texas from Los Angeles, I feel that being away from my life on that day was a healthy decision. Our life has taken a new turn and we are now focused on adopting our son from Africa. The days of counting till ovulation, charting tempurtures, accupuncture, fertility medications….are a thing of the past. We are moving on to a new adventure of adoption not knowing if God does have us having our own biological child in the cards. I can honestly say both of our hearts are happy and complete because we know we are following God’s plan for us. πŸ™‚

I will try to post Part 2 about my trip to LA soon, as it requires uploading pictures and it is still a pain to do since I can’t use my ipad to do it πŸ™‚


Sometimes I slow down enough to really soak up where I am at this point in my life and get totally and utterly overwhelmed.  I know this is a normal occurrence of any woman this day and age, but I got to a point today where I just wanted to run… far away, from it all.

Mom is not doing any better and it seems the medication is doing absolutely no good.  I am still getting the 6x/day phone calls regarding the same thing.  And now calls almost daily of her crying over something that is not an issue.  It is so heart wrenching to see your mother so powerless and not in control of her mind.  Now my husband and I are going to really have to talk about what the future looks like for us.  Does it involve my mom living with us in another house where we have  a MIL suite?  Or do we start to research facilities that can care for her?  Seriously… when did I become a grown up and how do I go backwards?  Her follow up doctor appointment is tomorrow and I am praying he can help us because I know we both need it.  I am also going to push for the PET scan of her brain.  The intensity of her memory loss so quickly is really making me wonder.

We did get great adoption news on Friday as we were assigned our Family Coordinator.  She will be by our side the entire adoption process and now the “paper chase” of the adoption officially begins.  Sadly, I am now totally overwhelmed by it all.
Friday when I got the welcome email from the FC with all of the attachments on information of the documents needed, money totals, etc I started crying.  I wish I had the words to even explain how intense this process is about to be.  Then today, we were contacted by the state in which we do our home study process (totally different thing) with and we have a lot of the same paperwork to do for them, the in home visits and quite a bit of money to them as well.  Lord help me.
Then I found the “unofficial” waiting list with our agency and even if we got our home study and dossier done and mailed in tomorrow with $10,000 (not possible) we would be 77th in line.  Sadness.  I have read quite a few blogs in the past few weeks of families going through this process, but until you are in the middle of everything, you have no idea how it actually feels.  All of this, just to be parents of some sweet orphan boy in Africa.  Today I even asked Chris if he really wanted to go through with this, because I am just so overwhelmed.

I will be asking the Lord for direction and strength this week.  I know He has us on this path for a reason, but it is going to be one very hard journey.

“Do you not know?  Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”  Isaiah 40:28,29 NIV

Also, I ask all of my friends/family that keep up with my musings on here to stay tuned on a fundraiser we will hopefully be launching in the next week or so.  Our plan is to get the paperwork and large amount of money in as soon as we can, so we can get on that very long list to wait, as soon as possible.  He will provide.

Here’s to a great week,