Inspiration

The Loewen Family Story

November 11th, 2014

I prefaced this blog post with an introduction yesterday here. If you didn’t see the intro yet take a look and then read about this awesome, awesome family. We will be giving 50% of our profits to this fund through November 16th.

Laura Loewen:

We’re a straight-up crazy family. Having three children under the age of five can get a little hairy. {Catch us out for dinner sometime – you’ll totally know what I mean}. I love our stage of life, and will honestly tell anyone that asks: being a stay-at-home mom to our cuties is the most rewarding and challenging job I’ve ever had.

Loewen Babies
“My little loves”, My little loves: Charlotte (3), Aiden (1) and Landon (4)

More challenging than the residential facility I worked at for those struggling with addictions and eating disorders.

More challenging than my high school gig of  picking up after entitled 8-year-olds and their mom’s at the Limited Too. {Oh, yes…Hannah Montana soundtrack and rhinestone-bedazzled sweatpants constantly in your face was a special season of life}.

I’m the girl who was totally convinced she was going to be a successful working woman: a therapist with an extensive client-base who wouldn’t dare dream of having children until the age of 30.

Target ruined everything for me. Truly.   Every time we’d sashay into the superstore, I’d pause just a little longer in front of the baby clothes. ‘Til one day I heard these words {at age 23} come out of my mouth: “Honey, I think I’m ready to have a baby!”

So, here I am – nearing my 30th birthday with three biological children and in the process of adopting from South Africa.

My adorable husband is a youth pastor and I totally feel like an unlikely pastor’s wife. I’m a little kooky and can be over-the-top {I prefer the term passionate over dramatic. Say what you will.} Jason and I met on a HIV/AIDS prevention trip to South Africa in the Spring of 2005. You can read our story here.

Jason is the sweetest thing and is honestly the most loving and patient husband and father you could imagine. Nothing means more to him on this earth than his family. He’s a thoughtful, dedicated man and I couldn’t be happier than to call him mine.

It was through our time in South Africa that both of our hearts really began to change. Our eyes were further opened to the issues of poverty and orphan care, and we left that place feeling like a piece of our heart would stay forever.

Before Jason and I even had children, we discussed adopting and knew it was something we wanted one day. After a series of events of trying to take things into our own hands, we really felt that it was God’s way of telling us that we needed to be patient and wait just a little longer before adopting.

Well, we’re so thankful we did because if we would’ve continued to press on with the adoption process, we wouldn’t have gotten pregnant with Aiden, our youngest, and had the joy of his sweet laugh and joyful disposition.

Jason and I believe that God is calling us to adopt and share the love {and craziness} that is bursting from our little family. We’re beyond thankful that we get the privilege of adopting from the very country we met in.

Funny how things sometimes come full circle, and in ways you couldn’t possibly have dreamt up yourself. This process is one that has been over 2 years in the making, and despite the crazy-high cost of an international adoption, we are seeing all our needs provided for, as needed, bit-by-bit.

Thanks for letting me share a slice of our story and I hope you’ll consider being a part of it! If you’d like to keep up with more our journey, you can follow my blogInstagramFacebook.

Through Unspeakable Joy,

Laura

XX Leigh-Taylor

An Adoption Story: The Loewen Family

November 10th, 2014

There is something so wonderful about the fall. I know spring is “the” time of renewal. Yet I find the turn to crisp air, over-sized sweaters, and time spent cozying up on the couch in great conversation helps to usher in a time of reflection alongside hope and excitement for what is to come. A time of thankfulness and joy. Can you tell I’m sitting at my desk with the breeze wafting through the window and the sound of laughter wafting around as children play on the (asphalt) playground across the street?

Much of my joy is held in the hands of my son, Xander. When Paul & I welcomed him into the world life as we knew it was over and life really began. I am hoping during this time of gratitude this story inspires you.


Sometime in the spring of 2004 I received a call from a dear friend imploring me to join her in South Africa over the summer to spend time teaching elementary, middle, & high school kids about HIV / AIDS. It turned out to be much more than the adventure I imagined it would be. It lit my soul on fire. When Lauren and I boarded our flight we didn’t have a clue who was picking us up in Johannesburg. On our return flight Lauren and I were so thirsty for just a little bit more time with those that we had met that we sat next to different people for those 17 hours. Turns out God always has us in the right place at the right time. With the right folks.

While we were there we were split into teams that dug into the lives of those living in rural African villages (unique to each groups). We armed the villagers with knowledge, fact-based knowledge, of AIDS – we planted gardens for them for sustenance. And then finally we were able to talk to them about our beliefs.

Without diving too far into details of the trip, because I could go on forever, I want to introduce you to two special people who were on the trip with us. Jason was on my team and Laura, while she wasn’t on our team, we were able to get to know pre & post village time. These two sweet souls got married! And have three babies! And guess what? They’re adopting another. From South Africa! 

I reached out to Laura this summer to ask if Craft Box could give 50% of our sales for a handful of days *TODAY NOVEMBER 10TH –> NOVEMBER 15TH* to their adoption fund. Laura was excited. I was excited. And finally  kicking it off.

Please check back in tomorrow to read Laura’s peek into her family and while you’re at it grab something from the shop and support their fund!

xx

LT

XX Leigh-Taylor

Bridesmaid Boxes : Round Two.

July 15th, 2014

After I posted the initial bridesmaid boxes I created when collaborating with my sweet friend Carlie I mentioned that I would love to do something similar. This was 16 days after little Xander was born. And while there were a couple of brides-to-be that wanted to bounce ideas around – which is awesome – this is the first full project completed since then. We have a couple more in the pipeline and are having so much fun getting creative with these.

Rachel shot me an email after I made the first post and I was so, so excited about her vision for her wedding. The tones, space, and time of year just have the best vibe. She gave access to her Pinterest boards which captured everything words just can’t seem to completely envelope. The images were organized beautifully. Lucky me! Rachel wasn’t in a time crunch which, at that time, was really helpful because my schedule was having no schedule at all {with a 2 week old}. Not only did I not feel stressed // rushed it also gave me time to allow the concepts to sit on my mind. I put together a concept board with variants and after narrowing those down I was able to firm up a packaging concept board and this is what we came up with!

Amethyst-Wine-Cork-Top-View2-with-Text-2

Amethyst-Wine-Cork-Side-View-Square

DIY-Heart-Bags-Single-Top-View-4-with-Text

Amethyst-Corks-Heart-Bags-Up-Close-Brighter

RW-BB-Champagne-with-Tag-2 RW-BB-Champagne-with-Tag

RW-BB-Products-1

RW-BB-Products-2

RW-BB-Box-1

RW-BB-Finished-Packaging-3-Text

Here is a recap of what we included: personalized tote, Moet Chandon Rose Champagne wrapped with a “cheers!” tag, a jewelry bag with a amethyst bottle stopper inside. And, of course, the “Will you be my bridesmaid?”, card!

I really, really enjoyed putting these together. And I’m SO excited for Rachel! Congratulations! {Insert hand-clapping emoticon here.}

Happy Tuesday, friends!

XX Leigh-Taylor

the round-up.

May 29th, 2014

Friends! I have some fun updates to share with you. So stick with me! {Like, read to the end.}

This past weekend we loaded up a rental and drove down to see my folks & family in Virginia! We had so, so, so much fun. And Xander got to meet his Papaw for the first time. It was awesome. {He even put down his beer to hold him. So …}

Xander-6

He also got to meet half of Hampton between our time at the yacht club Friday, Sip and See* on Saturday morning {told ya my mom is as Southern as Southern can get}, and on the beach all day Sunday & Monday. Literally. He slept in his bassinet on the beach both days! We hunkered down from 10:30am – 5pm on Sunday. He adores being outside! Don’t worry, he was under our tent the entire time. Well, other than when we took these photos:

Xander-Beach-1

And we started to get full on marathon smiles this week. My heart melts into a big, fat, puddle.

Xander 5

** Follow us here on Instagram for more project & personal images!

OH! My mom also had me help design the Sip and See invitation. She had a paper co doing it at home but then she fled town to come visit us here in NYC. So I took the concept she was hoping for, wrote a little ditty, cracked open Photoshop, and with a visit to Paper Source we had the invitations all sealed up in just a couple of hours. I take that back. My mom sealed them at home after she added a RHINESTONE to the tricycle, male bike, & female bike spoke centers. I mean, honestly. Here it is! Well, without our home address. I’m trying to drop the PSD version in the download but it won’t let me. If you like it, just email me and I will send it your way for use!

SIP-AND-SEE-FOR-CB-BY-LT

In other news: three more kits are hitting Craft Box e-commerce in the next 2 weeks! The first will debut next week and we will continue to add for the next ten days. We don’t want it all coming at you at once! But we promise, these are going to be great. I am so excited about them! I’ll be crafting away to get them to you & I’m really looking forward to it. Although I’m a little sad that I have to relinquish Mr. Xander over to a nanny a couple times next week to make sure we’re all tied up and ready to rock! But I guess I can’t be too sad. He will be, like, one room over.

Here are a couple of project hints: 4th of July Barbeque, Ombré Dip Dye, & Urban Gardening.

Okay, I hear him. And he’s teetering over the line to unhappiness. Happy Thursday, friends!

*A Sip and See is when you literally have a party, sip some drinks, and see the baby. So there’s that.

XX Leigh-Taylor