our adventures in life, love, faith and adoption

Sunday, March 1, 2015

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Knit Mittens by Lauren

A little while ago I showed you my awesome knit hat by Lauren, and I wanted to show you the mittens she made for me to match! This post could alternately be titled, "The time I dressed my mom up and dragged her through three feet of snow into the woods while holding a purse." She's such a good sport :) Midway through taking the photos, and while I was concentrating on various details, I hear her exclaim, "Ouuu! These mittens are so niiiice. They're so warrrrm. I think I'll keep them!" What?! No mom, you can't have my mittens! Although I suppose that is a perfect testimony to how amazing Lauren is at what she does.

I am so grateful to have these hand-crafted beauties, and with how long winter stays around here, they will be put to good use for a really long time! Thank you Lauren, they are absolutely amazing. And I suppose I should keep a close watch, since mom has made it perfectly clear that she wants them. ;)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Andy and I had grandiose Valentines plans that included a trip to a butterfly garden so I could practice using my macro lens. When Valentines Day came the weather was so terrible that we decided to postpone. Thankfully, just a couple days later we both had the day off and decided to take a trip up there.

The visits inside the garden are timed, so we only got to spend 15 minutes in there, but it was still such a welcome relief from the cold. The atmosphere is set up to mimic a tropical environment, so as soon as you walk in you feel a wall of warm wet air and it was SO WONDERFUL!

What we didn't think about is that everyone and their sister would come to the butterfly garden on their day off as well. When we walked in the museum was PACKED with families and their kids. It made butterfly viewing extra hysterical, because just as I would get my lens focused on a butterfly, a small pudgy toddler finger would enter my frame wanting to poke it's wings. Ha! That made for some challenging situations (and lots of fleeing butterflies), but we still got a few good shots and I was thankful we were able to go.

Excursions like this make living in sub-zero temperatures a lot more bearable for me. That reminds me... the orchid show must be coming up soon again, right mom? We should go to that again too :)

What do you do to survive the long dreaded cold? There might be some more butterfly 'poking' in my future...


Thursday, February 12, 2015


Life Lately // Tundra Edition

We are thigh-deep in some heavy snow with no end in sight to the madness. I have to say, despite the ridiculous temperatures we've had, the view has been amazing. There is something about every square inch of the landscape being completely encapsulated in ice. It's quite breathtaking.

What's even more breathtaking is walking around in this madness with heels on. My high-heeled boots are so worn on the bottoms that there is absolutely no traction and the heel part came off on the right side. That means there is a hard metal screw popping through, which only adds to the leap-of-faith walk I take down a hill every morning to my office. Added to that is a gait that sounds something like, "click, CLING, click, CLING." Never a dull moment over here.


I bought my lunch at work the other day and the checkout lady asked me point blank if I thought my food would make me fat. Certain I did not hear her correctly, I asked her to repeat herself, and then she proceeded to ask me with a straight face if I thought my food would make me fat. Well then. Mark that one down in the books - I was speechless.

The 'crazy' must be contagious, because although I do not walk around asking insulting questions of others, I did rip apart the guest room at the most in opportune time the other weekend. I just decided  in the middle of the day that it all needed to come out and the walls needed to be repainted and the clutter had to go. God bless Andy. He's gotten quite smart because his response was, "Have fun babe, I'm leaving for the afternoon." This time he didn't let me rope him in to my spontaneity. I finished it though... in 5.5 hours that sucker was all redone and put back together, and the next day I could barely bend my lower half. That's what squatting with a paint brush for almost 6 hours will do to ya. #workthosebuns

Andy and I have a date planned to a museum nearby that has a butterfly exhibit in an enclosed tropical paradise (glory glory hallelujah!). I called the lady today to buy tickets and she was so crabby it was hysterical. Please spring, come swiftly... the cashiers and the butterfly keepers can't.take.it.ANY.MORE! (And neither can my painting hand.)


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Last time I left off in the dining room we had just finished giving it a little refresh with new paint and curtains. I've been wanting to do something with the lighting for a while. I loved how the light fixture looked when it wasn't on, but as soon as we turned it on the bulbs turned orange-y and left a strange coloring in the room. Now, I totally acknowledge this is a petty thing in the grand scheme of things, but it was also driving me a little batty for way longer than I care to admit.

We were in home depot the other night for something completely unrelated and I wandered into the lighting isle. (Andy knows this is extremely dangerous.) I had been looking for over a year for something that caught my eye but never saw anything just perfect. Low and behold this beauty was hanging there and I knew she was the one!

The aged brass goes perfect with the lighting finishes in our living room, and the petite swirls with clear beads are just the little touch of elegance I was hoping for without it looking like I had gone all Cinderella in here.

When the light is on it casts this beautiful twinkly *white* light, which brings me so much happiness I cannot even describe it. Andy has caught me turning the light off and on just for the fun of it.

I think that concludes all my shenanigans in the dining room for now! If Andy knows what's good for him he'll stop taking me on late night home depot runs to price out tools. ;)

What fun things have you all been up to? Does anyone find home depot as dangerous as I do?! Uy!


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Despite things being up in the air with our adoption process, there has been another little adventure brewing that has kept me a little quiet on the blog lately. I am humbled and excited and scared silly to share that I have started my own little photography business: Kristen Fuest Photography, LLC. I have so many people that I owe thanks to for putting their confidence in me and for sitting me down and encouraging me to do something like this. I've always loved photography. Ever since I can remember I was riding my bike down side roads a few miles from our neighborhood and capturing pictures of horses in a neighboring field with my disposable camera. I took a black and white film photography class in high school and another in college, and then I harassed my family for years at our gatherings by putting a lens in their face and documenting our holidays. ;) It wasn't until I spent some time with my niece this past summer that a new spark ignited and I found the thrill of capturing something deeper.

At times I'm a little bit naive when it comes to realizing what is happening around me. After I had the privilege of doing a few sessions this summer, family members who are well-versed in accounting and business suggested I set up an LLC. Before I knew it I was sitting in banks and signing legal documents and even then I don't think I ever really wrapped my head around what was happening. In the middle of it all, I went on a shopping trip with my mom and she said something to the effect of, "I just want to say how proud we are of you for starting your own business!" I almost puked. (And Mom, that's not your fault. :) ) I just hadn't put those words to it before and all of a sudden the whole thing seemed to hold so much weight. Sometimes I wish I didn't feel things so deep - it would save me a lot of nausea.

At any rate, I have had time to process and I am still flabbergasted that I get to say I have my own business. My hope is to take it slow, to somehow find that ever elusive "balance" between my full-time job and my second passion, and to capture small moments in time for people that they can cherish and be proud of.

Feel free to check out my website. Oh! And my LOGO!! An amazing friend and someone who I adore to bits worked on it for me, Joanna Walters Design. I love it more than words can say.

I have so much more to add and so many ideas to build, but I'm trying to remember to take it one step and a time and to preserve that disposable-camera-passion that started it all in the beginning.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

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Adoption Update: Reflecting On Four Years

This month will mark four years since we began our adoption journey. I can't even believe it's been that long, and yet there are days when it seems I have felt every waking hour. International adoption has changed so much in the last few years, and our journey has taken place directly in the thick of it. I wish I could write this post with good news and a hopeful outlook, but unfortunately it seems quite the opposite. After talking with our agency before the holidays and hearing more about the in-country climate, we were told it would be very surprising if we received a referral even in the next five years. It seems our dreams of adopting a child from Ethiopia may not happen the way we envisioned.

We've had several weeks to process this and we certainly recognize that slim hope is different than no hope. However, we are also trying to be realistic and take into consideration the information we are being given from people who work in this area on a daily basis.

Despite not knowing the outcome of our adoption journey, we firmly believe that this time spent waiting has not been a waste. In fact, it's anything but. We have learned so much. We've had beautiful days, and heart wrenching days, and joyful days, and messy days, and days where we've simply been in awe of the privilege to live this life and this journey. No matter what happens, we know this time has not been in vein. God clearly called us to this season and it has been an honor to trust Him in it. He is good, He is faithful, and we have absolutely no regrets.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

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Knit Hat by Lauren

A good friend of mine and I have been doing some creative exchanging over the last several weeks and I wanted to share this amazing knit hat she made for me. Lauren is a Master Knitter, which I learned recently is quite a feat. She knits absolutely beautiful things and this hat is no exception. There is a coordinating scarf and pair of mittens coming soon and I can't wait to try them all together!

What have you been creating lately? I am always so impressed with the amazing things my friends can make or do that I simply don't have the talent for. I often wonder what sort of amazing shop we could put together if our powers were combined. ;)

I hope you have a stupendous Monday!



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