Fear, Faith, and Motherhood || On Thursdays I post from the vault. This post is from December 2008.

On Thursdays I post from the vault. This post is from December 2008.

I was directed to a blog post this morning at girl talk and it really spoke to me. The author was asked if she could parent her daughters all over again, what she would do differently. Her response:

“While I am aware of numerous ways I would want to be a better mom, one thing stands out far ahead of the rest. 

I wish I had trusted God more.

For every fearful peek into the future, I wish I had looked to Christ instead. For each imaginary trouble conjured up, I wish I had recalled the specific, unfailing faithfulness of God. In place of dismay and dread, I wish I had exhibited hope and joy. I wish I had approached mothering like the preacher Charles Spurgeon approached his job: “forecasting victory, not foreboding defeat.”

What mothering failures have you predicted lately? What fears about your children lurk around the edges of your mind—or even dominate your thoughts? Do you assume things will only get worse? Are you anxious about the future and tempted to despair?

As women, we’re all vulnerable to fear, worry, and anxiety. And few areas tempt us more than mothering. But faith must dictate our mothering, not fear. Faith, as it says in Hebrews is the ‘assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen’” (Heb 11.1).

Faith toward God is the foundation of effective mothering.

I can relate to this so much. It often feels like I am literally drowning in worry for my children. I spend way too much time trying to predict how I will handle future calamaties, many of which will never come to light and remain the figment of my fatalistic imagination. I have always been a worrier, even since a young age. It’s something I am constantly fighting, and just when I felt like I got a handle on it, I had kids.

It doesn’t help that I’ve got one child living in an orphanage, and one in my not-so-friendly uterus. I often think how relieved I feel once both these kids are HERE, in their own ways, so I can see them and hold them and shower them with kisses.

But until then, I will do my best to put my worry on the self, because it really does me no good. You would think I would get this by now, but apparently I am a slow learner . . .

Wednesday’s Child: Skye and Sherry

Every Wednesday I feature a child recently highlighted by a local Wednesday’s Child newscast to share the stories of children from around the country who are waiting for a family. My hope is that this can broaden exposure for the children highlighted, but also serve as a reminder that these children represent thousands of children currently in the foster-care system. Perhaps their stories will inspire you to consider opening your home to a child needing a family. For more information and to learn about other waiting children, visit AdoptUsKids.

Life Lately

It me.


     Rainbow x 2

Let’s say that hypothetically you had four houseguests and your hypothetically set out a collection of teas, not really paying attention just putting them out, and hypothetically they couldn’t read English and picked a laxative tea that produces explosive diarrhea in 2-4 hours. Would you tell them? Or let nature run its course?

                I guess there is one advantage to having to drive a kid to 6:30 am basketball practice.

We’ve got four visitors from Japan this week and its been fun showing them our version of life in America. Of course the boys wanted to show their skills at the skatepark.









We’re talking about great gifts for friends, for your sisters and moms, and for teachers . . . as well as some items you might want to put on your own wishlist. We’ve got recommendations on self-care gifts, cookbooks, candles, and skincare stuff, as well as gifts that give back.


Kosas is one of Sarah’s favorite green beauty brands and their Weightless Lip Color Trio is made from moisturizing ingredients like mango seed butter and jojoba oil. This set of three neutral everyday colors is $58. You can see all of the Kosas lip colors on Sarah here.

AHAVA’s Purifying Mud Mask is made of real mud from the Dead Sea, the most mineral-rich mud on earth. It detoxifies but also makes skin softer, and it’s great for all skin types. It’s also free from parabens, petroleum, animal-sourced ingredients, mineral oil, SLS/SLES, and phlathates.

Osmia makes incredible handmade soaps and their Simple Gift set for just $28 includes their best-selling Lip Doctor, your choice of one of their handcrafted soaps in fun scents like Lavender Pine or Citrus Pearl, and a soap saver to keep your soap from getting gummy.  It’s. a great “gateway” gift for someone who’s trying to use fewer chemicals.

SheaMoisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Hand/Body Scrub smells like a dream, makes your skin super soft, and is made of all-natural ingredients.

At only $9 a jar, it’s a great teacher gift or stocking stuffer.

MUN’s Travel Set is a great way to try the full line of this organic, 100% natural beauty line for $75. If you are wanting to change up your skincare to something clean and luxurious this is a perfect introduction. It comes with a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, body serum, and argan oil.

A jade roller is a great item for encouraging the relaxing self-care routine of facial rolling. It feels luxurious but Amazon’s $16 real jade version, which includes a gua sha scraping tool, doesn’t break the bank.



Personalized Address Stamp is a great, practical gift for just about anyone. Amazon has cute fonts and designs for around $30.

Make someone a surprise photo book by downloading their facebook or instagram photos and creating a book for them on Shutterfly (photobooks are currently 50% off.) You can use a chrome extension like DownAlbum to stealthily grab photos from the social accounts of loved ones to make sure it’s a surprise.





Capri Blue candles in Volcano scent poured into Mercury glass $19-40

Bisby Holiday Candles are hand-poured in Oklahoma with natural soy wax, chemical-free fragrance oil, and recyclable packaging. The new holiday line is only $12 per candle.



Danielle Walker’s Eat What You Love: : Everyday Comfort Food You Crave; Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes comes out on December 4th, and is full of practical, healthy recipes.

Dinner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark is a great cookbook for one-pot, one-tray meals. So many good chicken recipes plus stews and salads. Sarah’s favorites are Sesame chicken with Cashews and Dates, Paprika Chicken with Crispy chickpeas and Baby Kale, and Spicy Pork and Black Bean Chili with Sage and White Cheddar.

The True Foods cookbook by Andrew Weill features some of the best healthy recipes from the True Foods restaurant. We are both fans of the spaghetti squash casserole and the roasted fennel and sausage soup.



Coffee Table Books


The Finer Things

Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed The World


Gifts that give back

The ABLE phrase necklace can be customized with any 2-3 words (mama bird, it is well, let it be, etc). It’s a

great modern necklace with clean lines and a beautiful sentimental gift for $52.

Krochet Kids woven wall hangings ($50) are a great statement piece for any decor. They are made in Uganda by at-risk women who are trained and employed in Krochet Kids’ empowering program to help women find sustainable work. Monogrammed tee is super retro and fun.

The Chaltu Clutch by ABLE is the perfect-sized purse and comes in 4 neutral colors that go with just about anything.




Gifts that keep giving

Six months of spices from Raw Spice Bar’s spice subscription  are $72.

The Art of Tea offers six months of tea for $102. The teas are seasonally selected and alternate each month.

Petit Vour Beauty Box subscription is only $18/month and provides great vegan and non-toxic beauty products and samples every month. Great for young beauty enthusiasts.


Other things we love

Affirmators! 50 Affirmation Cards, We love these cards because they are fun and witty and not at all self-helpy. At only $12 this is a great self-care gift for anyone.

Madewell scarves (under $50) are gorgeous scarves at such a great price point.

Audible gives you access to a huge selection of audiobooks on everything from self-help, modern fiction, motivational books, thrillers, memoirs, and more. They make it easy to stay well-read with audiobooks that you can listen to in the car, or Kristen’s favorite: while cleaning house. And it’s timely we are talking about Audible today in our gift guide episode because it is SUCH a great gift. Right now, for a limited time, you can get 3 months of Audible for just $6.95 a month. That’s more than half off the regular price. Membership includes 1 free audiobook a month, exclusive sales, and 30% off all regularly priced audiobooks. It’s a great gift to give yourself,  and while you’re at it . . .  think about giving the gift of Audible to someone on your list. For more info go to audible.com/selfie or text [SELFIE] to 500 500.



Friday Finds: Holiday Gift Guide 2018


  1. Craft Beer Making Kit 
  2. Gringo Bandito Hot Sauce
  3. goSili to go coffee tea cup
  4. Raw Spice Bar Subscription – Build Your Own Spice Sets
  5. KYVAN Mild Honey Apple Salsa
  6. Pic’s Peanut Butter


  1. Custom Photo Album by Shortcake Albums 
  2. UnPlugged 10K 
  3. J-Pillow Travel Pillow
  4.  Flipshade Black Dot Phone Shade Hero
  5.  This is Us Sign by Knot & Nest 
  6. Wonder Forge Yeah NOPE Board Game 
  7. BT2200 Volume Limited Kids’ Bluetooth Headphones
  8. SABRE Personal Alarm with Clip & LED Light
  9. Illustrated Greeting Cards – Thank You Cards

  1. Glow Getter Gift Set – EDDIE FUNKHOUSER® Cosmetics
  2. Be Your Own Hero Inspirational Message Bracelet
  3. Kanio Ice – Creativity and Self Expression Kanio Love Bracelets
  4. Babo Botanicals Lip Tint Conditioner SPF 15
  5. Yeast X – Organic Anti-Yeast Supplement
  6. Wee Likey Baby & Me Bangles
  7. Isabelle Grace Jewelry Mama XO Necklace
  8. HAPPY Organic Mood Supplement

  1. “Excuse Me, I Have To Go Be Amazing” Tee Shirt | Saylor Design Co
  2. Covered Goods Multi-use Nursing Cover
  3. Pro Brush Collection – EDDIE FUNKHOUSER® Cosmetics
  4. PURenergerizer™ Nano Solutions Skin Infuser Kit
  5. Anjou 12 Bath Bombs Set


  1. How to Dress: Secret Styling Tips from a Fashion Insider
  2. Dress-Up Jane Austen: Discover History Through Fashion
  3. Kawaii Doodle Class: Sketching Super-Cute things
  4. Prettycitylondon: Discovering London’s Beautiful Places
  5. Mary Berry Everyday: Make Every Meal Special
  6. If You Can Cut, You Can Collage: From Paper Scraps
  7. Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave
  8. East by West: Simple Recipes for Ultimate Mind-Body Balance
  9. Dress Up Meghan by Georgie Fearns

  1. Martin and Bobby: A Journey Toward Justice
  2. Riley the Brave by Jessica Sinarski
  3. Elmer and Wilbur (Elmer series) by David McKee
  4. B is for Baller
  5. The Nerf Blaster Modification Guide: The Unofficial Handbook
  6. Oliver the Ornament Christmas Story Book
  7. Read Your Story – Personalized ABC Book 
  8. Dawn Sign American Sign Language Baby Series 
  9. OwlCrate Jr Subscription Book Box

  1. DojoBoom Extreme Air Sports | Trampoline Park Stocking Stuffer
  2. Professor Maxwell’s 4D Science Augmented Reality Lab
  3. Cry Babies Lala Baby Doll
  4. Gravitrax Starter Set
  5. Cuddle+Kind Ethically produced hand-knit dolls
  6. SoapSox Scorch the Dragon Baby Bath Toy
  7. HABA Kullerbu at The Construction Site Play Track
  8. Brain Blox Wooden Building Blocks for Kids

  1. Wonder Forge Disney Villainous Strategy Board
  2. An Illustrated Ornament Set
  3. ThinkFun Shadows in The Forest Play in The Dark Board Game
  4. ThinkFun Cat Crimes Logic Game and Brainteaser 
  5. Edushape Ez- Grip Magic Brix
  6. Hacker Cybersecurity Logic Game
  7. Eliminate U
  8. Capture the Flag


  1. Jack & Lily Footwear
  2. Baby Smile – Organic Soothing Diaper Rash Cream
  3. MAM Newborn Gift Set
  4. Kid’s Probiotics And Colostrum
  5. ergoPouch Cocoon Swaddle and Sleep Bag
  6. b.box Waterproof Smock Bib
  7. bbluv Multi Reversible Play Mat
  8. Feltman Brothers Holiday Knit Dress
  9. aden + anais classic swaddles







What I want you to know about having a dad in the KKK

When I was five years old, in Kindergarten I had a best friend named Yonnie. She and I were inseparable on the playground, sat next to each other for activities and chose each other as partners on field trips. I loved her so much. We always had so much fun!

Then one day my father came to pick me up from school (usually it was my mother). As I got into the passenger side of the car I noticed my daddy had an open beer container between his legs. The moment I was in he started yelling at me. He seemed so angry and full of hate when he screamed at me: Who’s the little ni**gger?

I was overcome with fear. I had no idea why my daddy was so mad or what he was even talking about, until he continued and said: “The little ni**er I just watched you wallowing with all over the playground!” Taken aback, I answered him with a question: “Yonnie?” Did he mean my friend Yonnie…..the little black girl that was my best friend in the whole wide world?

See, my father was the Grand Dragon of the N.C. Ku Klux Klan, except I didn’t find it out until that moment…or soon afterwards when the alcohol fueled weekend parties started up in my family home. My mother stood idly by, complicit as my father joined a racist organization as a
“leader” of sorts. As Grand Dragon, recruitment and initiation of new members was his primary responsibility to the organization. But he didn’t draw the line at recruiting and initiating. He took things a violent step forward and began loading my mother and I up into the family car to go
terrorize our county.

Once when I was six years old, my father told me to lay down in the back floorboard, while instructing my mother to take the wheel. Then the next thing I heard was a barrage of gunfire. I looked up overcome with both fear and curiosity as I witnessed my father shooting up a car
parked in front of someone’s house. I saw cross burnings, initiations and oath takings. I saw alcoholism destroy my father and my father destroy our family.

I grew up to be a teenage girl filled with rage and hate, but not the kind my father tried to teach me. The traumas I had incurred in childhood, were followed by rape in early adolescence by a 44-year-old man. Abandoned by my mother at age fourteen, I had been left in the clutches of a pedophile. By sixteen I was so filled with pain, anxiety and depression that I acted out of rebellion to pretty much life in general and by age nineteen I found myself in prison.

That’s the beginning of when and where life changed. I was an adult now. I did not want to repeat the vicious cycle of dysfunction that ran so deep through my family. Gradually life tookme further and further away from that horrible upbringing and I truly broke free when I became amother myself. Becoming a mother is what saved me most, in that I had another human being to take care of and think about the well-being of while going forward in life. This was good for me, as I got to experience unconditional love for the very first time, as a mother. My only parenting skill: vowing never to do any of the horrible things I saw my parents do.




I went on in motherhood to adopt a second child who is biracial. My son knows all about his KKK grandfather and he knows that I had a very traumatic childhood. In fact, he knows that was part of what inspired me to become an adoptive parent. Knowing what it was like to be abused and disregarded as a child, I wanted to pay my love forward into a child’s life that needed love.

So what I want you to know is this: Love trumps hate. You can overcome even the worst traumas by embracing love and letting go of hate. You can change tomorrow by breaking free of the cycles of dysfunction that may be weighing down your today. Your life is worth improving and you do not have to accept toxic circumstances as your own, not even from family (especially from family). Family are the people who love you and love is an action, not just a

Jvonne Hubbard is the author of the memoir “White Sheets To Brown Babies” (available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle Ebook). She is a fitness and yoga instructor and mother to two special needs children. Writing is her passion and unity is her goal.

How a handfull of cheerios ended India’s modeling career || On Thursdays I post from the vault. This post is from November 2008.

On Thursdays I post from the vault. This post is from November 2008.


{at the rehearsal before the show. notice: Cheerios in hand = compliant toddler}

India had her first (and last) modeling gig today. It was a runway show for Simple Shoes at a swanky hotel in Laguna Beach. She had one task: walk down the runway, turn around, walk back. Let’s just say things did not go as planned, and I don’t think we will be asked back.

In truth, I really haven’t pursued any kind of modeling stuff for her, even though people often tell me I should. But I heard about the show through a mommy blog contact, and thought, what the heck? It sounded fun, and I thought India would be a perfect fit. And literally, she was a perfect fit. They were looking for kids who wear size 7 shoes, and she does. Voila. India books a runway show.

I would be lying if I said I had no ulterior motives about the day, though. Of course, in the back of my mind, there was that little dream that she would be so dazzling that a talent scout would walk up to me and offer her a Target commercial that would pay for her college. But alas, that did not happen.

What DID happen . . . well let’s just say it was not pretty. We arrived at the shoot early (as in, I had to set an alarm and freakin’ wake her up). When we got there, wardrobe gave me an outfit for her to wear, which was an adorable wintery outfit with lots of layers and a fleece hat that was as tight as a swimcap on her 97% percentile sized head. It was so tight it pushed the skin on her forehead forward, giving her a kind of neanderthal look. She was not happy with the hat, but I kept coaxing it back on her head. We did a few practice runs, and everything was great. India was adorable, she walked down and back and even pretended to be a ballerina. She was pleased with herself, and everyone thought she was really cute. We had a little breakfast, and then they rallied the kids for what was supposed to be a 9:30 fashion show.

This is where things went wrong. Apparently, there was a little presentation before the catwalk, and this gal was going LONG. So the huddled the kids into a dark backstage area that was seperated from the audience by a curtain and a screen. The presentation was still going on, so we were urged to keep the kids really quiet. This went on for a HALF HOUR. You can imagine how 30 minutes of sitting still and being shushed went over with a tired 2-year-old. Things got so bad that I finally pulled out some Cheerios, thinking I could keep her quiet for a few more minutes that way. The talking lady didn’t seem anywhere close to finishing up.

Oh wait. Turns out she was finished. As soon as I pulled out the cheerios, I hear the lady say, “and now let’s have a look at our toddler shoes”. And suddenly the room becomes chaos, and we’re being told to line up. Which means that I have to take the cup of Cheerios out of India’s hand and try to get her to line up and walk down a runway.

She was not having it.

She lunged for the Cheerios.

She started screamed.

She threw herself on the ground.

She went boneless.

She kicked her legs and banged her head on the floor.

It was a full-blown tantrum. I tried to pick her up to calm her down. I carried her to the stairs of the runway, at which point she starts hitting me, hitting herself in the face, and crying even more loudly. I’m told to please just go back out into the hallway if she won’t cooperate. But at this point, I am determined that we will finish this thing.

I have to carry her down the runway myself. She is still crying, and alternately hitting me in the face and then burrowing her face into my shoulder from embarrassment. Meanwhile, I am walking down the runway with a smile plastered on my face as if to say, “this is fine. This is all fine. Just focus on the shoes, people. Focus on the shoes”.

We escape to backstage and I hand India the Cheerios, at which point she morphs back into a charming, delightful, adorable little girl.

I leave in shame.

Oh well, I guess she will never live out the dream of becoming one of the ultimate runway models:

Just think, this could have been India!! Don’t these girls look so well adjusted?

Wednesday’s Child: Jacob

Every Wednesday I feature a child recently highlighted by a local Wednesday’s Child newscast to share the stories of children from around the country who are waiting for a family. My hope is that this can broaden exposure for the children highlighted, but also serve as a reminder that these children represent thousands of children currently in the foster-care system. Perhaps their stories will inspire you to consider opening your home to a child needing a family. For more information and to learn about other waiting children, visit AdoptUsKids.


Life Lately

I’ve just given in on making them keep these around. The fun is in the process….and in eating it the second you’re done I guess.
You can dress them up….
It’s adoption month and I thought it would be interesting to host a conversation with my boys to talk from their perspective as adoptees. We will be answering questions over on instagram tonight, so leave your questions here or pop them into my stories. •photo by @loveisaphoto


I gave my kids full control of planning and executing the food. Behold my Thanksgiving meal. You can pin that if you want.