On this site and even on Twitter I'm known as 'Bloggy Mama'. But in real life, I am called 'Holly' by many. Or 'Mommy' by a precious three. Or 'Honey' by a loving one.
I've been blogging for many years, having started my first blog back in 2005. Back when I was single, living alone in a walk-up apartment in Chicago that I helped to renovate. Way.back.when.
A lot can change in 5 years! Just six months after the start of my very first blog, my long-time on-again/off-again boyfriend/fiance (that's a story that will end up on here someday!) professed his undying love and asked me to be his wife (again!)...and I didn't hesitate to say YES! We'll be celebrating 5 years married this December and in those short 5 years we've packed about every stressor possible...and have come out alive and thriving!
In 2006 we adopted our pup PJ. Little did we know then that he was the precursor to a much bigger adoption...one that would happen quicker than we ever imagined!
Knowing we desired to add to our family by way of adoption, we decided to pursue that route when the 'traditional' way of adding children to a family wasn't working for us. After doing a lot of research and going to several adoption seminars, we submitted our application to pursue a sibling group adoption from Colombia. That was in February 2007. On November 7, 2007 we met our children for the first time and brought them "home" with us that same day! (home at that point was a guesthouse in Colombia...one we would stay at for a full month with our kids before our adoption was legally finalized.)
All of a sudden we were outnumbered!
But our kids are amazing and they transitioned better than I could ever imagine myself, as a grown and well-adjusted adult, could transition to a new country, learning a new language, food, culture and more. They've now lived with us for over 2.5 years and it seems like they've always been a part of our family!
In the midst of all those positive changes, we went through some significantly challenging ones too...including the death of loved ones, some court battles we never expected to have to face (and went into fighting and came out surviving!), major health issues for my husband, a layoff for me and a significant drop in income from my husband's business (it hasn't exactly been prime years for real estate agents...) and more.
But there is beauty from ashes...and there certainly has been from ours!
Since my layoff we have learned to live on less. To be frugal beyond the occasional coupon. I have brought my children home from public school where they struggled to close the tremendously huge educational gaps they had and began teaching them at home where they have thrived! I have learned more about myself...when I had thought I already had myself figured out. Ha! And our marriage has been tested beyond belief in 5 short years, but we've held strong.
I spend my days homeschooling, keeping house (I am definitely Homemaker Challenged...but learning and trying!), loving my Lord, my husband and my kiddos...and doing a lot of writing. I've recently started doing some freelance writing for local non-profits and other local publications. I hope to start on some novel and children's book ideas that are burning holes in my brain and need to come out SOON! Stay tuned...
So that's me...Mommy, Holly, Bloggy Mama
professional pics taken by Jamie Larson Photography
Thanks for coming around...I hope you stay! Become a follower or sign up for an RSS feed so you don't miss a post!
If you want to know even MORE about me, check out the History of Holly, Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3