Monday, February 24, 2014

Adoption Update...

So, the questions I get asked a lot are...."How is your adoption going?" or "Any news on your adoption?"

And really the truth is that there is rarely anything new to report. The process is long and the waiting is endless. As those of you who have done the journey can attest to...there's a lot of space where there is simply nothing to report.

We have been in our adoption process for 13 months now. It seems crazy to even say that because it feels even longer then that. Part of it is because Chris and I have dreamed about adopting since we first got married and even before we officially started our Cameroon process in January 2013, we had been talking and praying for months.

All that to say, our process has been long and we have much longer. Our home study process was trying to say the least. We changed jobs, moved houses, and invited someone to live with us all while doing our home study...needless to say this made the process much longer then normal.

Our home study is being processed here in Illinois. Then it will be sent to USCIS for approval. And THEN......THEN we get a referral!!! A referral is that small photo and scattered info sheet on the child that has been selected for you. And that, my friends, is when it all becomes real for this mama.

People ask if it's just so hard to wait. And yes, it's hard to feel like things take forever to move forward. But, my heart has not been connected to a specific child yet. There is no name or face or paper saying that she likes playing soccer on it. There's simply the dream of her. And when that picture is in my hand and beside my bed...that's when the waiting gets hard. That's when the tears come. That's when it feels endless and the ocean between us seems so big.

And that's when GRACE steps in. I'm excited to receive depths of God's grace that I've never known. It's my word for the year. GRACE. Abundant, undeserving, sufficient grace.

So, there you have it. The adoption update with really very little to report. HA!

We will be having fundraisers in the coming weeks and months! We need all the help we can get! I'll be selling things in my Instagram shop soon and we're partnering with Raising Up 1 for an awesome fundraiser in March. We can't wait to see all the ways God provides and all the ways we can partner with Him to bring our daughter home.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hope Spoken Link Up

Well, hello there! My name is Christie Otts and I'm so excited for Hope Spoken! I can't wait to meet some lovely ladies and experience all that The Lord has for us!

Ok, how about a little "get to know ya"?

Let's see...

I'm a mama to three boys. We are currently adopting two girls from West Africa. I'm married to a preacher man. I'm passionate about justice and being an advocate for the voiceless.

I'm a born and raised Texas girl who moved up to the Chicago area about two years ago! 

You can take the gurl outta Texas....


I'm a lover of all things thrifted and vintage. I love creating a bright, colorful home for my family! I love to bake...when I find the time. One of my favorite times each day is when I start dinner, the kids are playing outside, music is playing and I've got a glass of wine nearby. Perfection! Ha!

I'm so excited for Hope Spoken! Really I'm only nervous about the social part. Even though I love meeting new people, it can sometimes feel overwhelming meeting so many people at one time! Ha!!

I'm mostly excited! And I really am just looking forward to some focused time away to be with Jesus and to be encouraged. As a mom, these times are so few and far between, so when I get these times I really want to cherish them.

I'm hoping to leave fueled for the season ahead and envisioned for being the best mom, wife, servant, and friend that I can be through His grace.

Cannot wait to meet you! I'd love to chat before-hand!! Feel free to comment below and please follow me on IG @storehousecrafts!!! I'd love to get to know you!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Time for "Bread and Wine"!!!!

This book releases today...

Bread and Wine

I have been a fan of Shauna Niequist ever since I read Bittersweet.
I'm a fan of writers that are real, honest, and open.

Writers that when I finish their book I feel like we could have dinner together,
grab a glass of wine and talk like friends.
You know that feeling? Or am I the only one? HA!

If I finish a book and don't feel like I know the person who wrote it...
TOSS...I'm a lover of stories, real stories, people's raw and real stories.
And Shauna does this so well! I think she might be one of the best today.

So, needless to say...I loved this book.

It's about sharing life with others, letting people into the heart of your home,
opening the doors of you soul and bearing it all.

Bread and Wine is stories and recipes.
But, more then that it's about finding community around the table.

Nourishing your spirit and your body.
I love this! Because Jesus throughout scriptures married the two.
Sitting at a table he told stories, sitting on a hillside he broke bread
and made a miracle, sitting in an upper room he gave
the first communion.

I very deeply feel that the two are connected.
That gathering people to your table will allow them to feel safe,
allow them to be themselves.
And magic moments can happen there.

I'm challenged after reading this book to open my table.
To my neighbor, to my church friends, to my leaders,
even to my own children.

To make our time eating together as meaningful and connected 
as possible.

Practically, I just bought this...


It's a box of daily scriptures...promises from the Word of God.
We're going to read one at dinner, talk about it
(which will be about two minutes for my squirmy boys!)
and we'll pray.
We'll ask about the highlight and lowlight of the day.
And we'll be done.

Right now, that's all my little ones can handle. HA!
But, the habit will be there.
We share, we pray, we feed on the Word.
And my prayer is that when they are 15 the table will be a place
they linger at, that feels like home to them.
A place where hearts are shared and uncovered.
A place to find nourishment.

So, there ya go!
Read the book.
Gather people around your table.

And try the recipes!!!
They are so good! I made the dark chocolate toffee...
and it was amazing!!!

A little sea salt on top...mmmmmm.
I wish I has some now!!

So thankful to get to preview this book and share my thoughts on it!
It is released today!! Go get it!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Inching along...

We are inching our adoption process. 
Sometimes it feels so far away.
And some days I'm okay with be honest.
I've got three little ones right here, right now, that need me.
I've got a husband who needs me.
My plate feels full.

Right now I fill out paper work and get fingerprinted
and log countless hours of online training.

My heart wonders. My heart dreams.

But, there are no little ones in a picture by my bed yet.
There are no letters to write to them, no room to prepare for them.

My grace right now is for what is before me.
When it's time to open my heart to these little ones in Africa,
when I see their faces for the first time, hear their names,
my grace will expand. 

My capacity will expand. 
I know this with absolute certainty.

It will begin to take root.

Today at our home study appointment the case worker asked me
what I have learned from the training about adoption.
I told her and then I talked about what I'm learning from others.

Others who have gone before me, paved the way, in my life.
And what I've learned in parenting my biological kids.

I've learned that His grace is enough.
That my portion is pleasant.
That He gives wisdom when we seek Him.

That just when I think I can't take on any more...
God calls me to step out in faith.
And my grace "pasture" expands.

"The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; 
surely I have a delightful inheritance"
Psalm 16:6

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

So long Google Reader...

Oh, man! I have about 10,000 unread blog posts on Google Reader. HA!

Do you love reading blogs? I LOVE them and I've had seasons where I've been following way to many blogs. So, I'm streamlining a bit and pairing down to the blogs I really truly love. I used Google Reader to keep them all in one place...

Then I used my top sites in Safari...but that didn't allow me to follow all the blogs I love.

So, Bloglovin it is!! I've had an account forever and never used it. But, now it's time to make the shift!

What do you use to read your blogs?? Have any favorites that I NEED to add? : )

You can follow me on Bloglovin..

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Things I love right now...

I am a sucker for blog posts
 where people share their favorite things!

I love knowing what people can't live without 
and hearing about new products. 
So, I thought I'd share a few of my new faves.

1. This stuff has saved my hands this winter...
Praise the Lord for Satin Hands...and a big thank you to
my mother-in-law, Vickie, for giving it to me for Christmas!
It has saved my hands during this winter! Ah-mazing stuff!
The Satin Lips is great too!!!

2. This awesome new lipstick...I may have four tubes of it...

I'm pretty sure I first heard of this from my friend Liz when
she talked about her favorite makeup items.
I am a hater of lipstick, ya'll.
I love the color it brings, but hate the feel of it on my lips.
(i know, weird.)
But, this stuff gives bright color like lipstick while feeling
like chapstick. Hallelujah.
Love. It.

3. Coconut oil. Smells like heaven...

I've heard all this talk about Coconut Oil in your beauty
routines I figured I'd give it a try.
First, I tried it on my hair...ewwww. 
It was disastrous. Not pretty.
Then, I decided to try it on my face! What?!
It is awesome! The perfect light moisturizer and
it has worked wonders during a Chicago winter which says a lot!
And the smell....smells so yummy.

4. These dolls!! Be still my heart!

I am ordering two custom dolls from this lovely shop. Sophie Dolls.
Aren't they adorable???
I'm partial to the little brown ones (*wink).
We hope to be able to take them to the girls on our first trip to Africa
and they can keep them while we're apart from them.

5. These pillows were my birthday gift from the hubs...

And I luuuuv them!
Allison of Paisley Sprouts makes such pretty pillows!
They are beautifully sewn and come in such happy colors.
Go check her out and then "treat yo' self!"

6. Last, this necklace...

I'm not kidding when I say that I've worn this almost every
day since I got it! It's perfect!
I'm digging a longer chain these days and this one is 26 inches.
Hannah from Happy Days makes beautiful things...
it is dangerous how many things I love in her shop.

So, there ya go! 
A few of my favorite things!
What are you diggin' lately??!!

Any new product I shouldn't be living without?
A cute Etsy shop I have yet to stumble upon?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A New Look and Asking for Help...

Hi, there!
Do you like the new look??
The lovely Danielle helped me out with a new blog design.

And I love it!! 

Same style just a little cleaner, which I'm all about lately!

I've been crazy busy around here...
mostly with the amazing work of making and selling items
for our adoption!

I've been so overwhelmed by people's support of our adoption,
and just general love of what I've been creating!
(which is always encouraging for creative types! HA!)
If you haven't seen some of the things I'm making, here's some pics!

I've been making tons of custom "hoops" and selling them on Instagram!
Do you follow me on IG? @storehousevintage for my sale items!

It's been so fun to hear people's words for the year or 
words they find important to be reminded of...

We also had Danielle design us some sweet cards to put in with each
hoop purchase!

"Bringing our girls home one hoop at a time!"

Love it!

I have also been doing some thrifting and going to estate sales to find
vintage things to sell as well! I do little insta-sales on Instagram sporadically!!

So, there's been invoices to make, items to wrap and ship,
post office runs to make, and every time I do it...
I think...
"We're getting one step closer to bringing our girls home!!"

It's been an adventure for sure and I'm so thankful for people
all over the country that are becoming a part of our story!

I also had a chance to set up a little "shop" table at a local
Chik-fil-a event the other week too!
It was mother/daughter night!

I made a few sales, which was awesome and I got to connect
 with a few local moms who have adopted and who I have
run into around town before. That was fun!

Chik-fil-a is so generous and we're planning a fundraiser night
 with them for some time in the spring!

God has continued to amaze me at how He has abundantly provided has laid to rest all lies and fears that "it's impossible!"
Because on our is...but with Him...

I'm so thankful that we're IN HIM!
That I don't have to "pull this off"!!

So, if your interested...
come check out items for sale on my Instagram!!
You can pay through Paypal and I ship all over the States.


I'd love to ask for help with supplies!
If you have scrap fabric that you'd like to donate for the hoops
(preferably in long pieces that can become strips and colorful prints),
or wooden embroidery hoops, or packaging materials that you don't
want or need...I would love to have them!!
You could even donate to our Paypal account for us to be able
to purchase mailing envelopes, bubble wrap, etc in bulk on Ebay!

Any help with these type of things, means that more of the proceeds
from sales go towards our adoption!
And i also realize that some people might want to jump in and help,
but don't necessarily want to buy anything. 
And that's great!

So, email me if you have materials you would like to donate!
Thanks so much!