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2017 WENDY CORREEN SMITH. Powered by Blogger.

Homeless & Pregnant


I rolled down my window & saw her dirty hand reach out for the dollar bill I was offering. I looked in her eyes, I saw the gaps between her teeth, & I saw her round belly. I said, "I'm sorry, that is all the cash we have." Her response was a grateful one, she said she'd be able to get a cheeseburger at the Burger King behind her. Her sign read: PREGNANT & HOMELESS, anything will help. There I was on our beach getaway only weeks after I lost our baby & I couldn't hold back the emotions as I saw this woman carrying a child. At first I thought the sign was just to collect more money, we had only hoped, until we saw that it was true. She was pregnant.

We drove off in our rental minivan with our sweet Magnolia in the backseat. We went to a nice dinner. We went back to our hotel & slept in our clean white bed linens. We enjoyed the luxuries of our vacation. Since we've been home there has not been a single day that passes that I do not think about that woman & her baby. I have thought about every single detail from where she sleeps at night, what will happen when she goes in labor, is she doing drugs, will her baby be born addicted to drugs, will she get to take her baby with her when she leaves the hospital, will she even deliver at the hospital, what will the baby wear, what will the baby eat, where will the baby sleep? Her face & her situation has played out in my mind on repeat every single day.

image via

National Geographic has an article called, "Babies Fall Victim to the Opioid Crisis," in 2012 there were 22,000 babies born drug dependent, one every 25 minutes. Over the last five years the opioid crisis has escalated & surely the number of drug dependent babies has climbed as well. 
The babies shake, sweat, vomit, and hold their bodies stiff as planks. They eat and sleep fitfully. Swaddled, they lie in bassinets or in the arms of nurses, parents, or volunteers. The place doesn’t have the hustle or beeping machinery of an ICU. Instead there are dim lights and hushed conversations because the babies need calm and quiet. Many also need methadone or other medication to relieve their symptoms. They are weaned from it over days or weeks.
I rarely leave the safe world of suburban America. I'm hardly ever exposed to this dark reality that exists. I do not turn on the news because I cannot handle to see the sadness. One homeless pregnant woman is pulling at my heart to do something.

The book I'm reading at the moment, Be the Gift by Ann Voskamp, said something to me about all of this.
We can be concerned for the poor - but be no less concerned for us rich who claim not to be rich so we can excuse ourselves from giving. Go ahead and show concern for the poor - but be no less concerned if we've merely done enough to assuage our consciences, just enough to pat ourselves on the back, but not enough that we've ever felt true sacrifice, that we've every actually broken and given. Go ahead and live concerned for the poor - but no less concerned for avoiding suffering because someday we will face Christ. What if caring for the poor was more than just caring about easing our consciences? What if caring for the poor may mean sacrifice, and what if this is the way to be satisfied and know abundant living?
Hand raised. I'm guilty of this.

The thought of helping those in need can be overwhelming. I don't know about everyone, but for me & my circle, it's almost like if we cannot save the person, then what is the point? That is the mind shift I feel I need to make. Part of me feels guilty for only sparing enough to buy the homeless pregnant woman a cheeseburger, and then the other part of me thinks if I did a small form of sacrifice every single day it may add up to something big.

I intend to spend more time in prayer about this topic. God is putting the vision of the homeless pregnant woman on my heart for a reason.

I was moved to share this story when The Recovery Village in Cincinnati Ohio reached out to me & asked that I share about them on my blog. My initial thought was, how is my Motherhood blog supposed to share about drug addiction? It didn't take long, maybe two minutes, for me to connect the dots to the homeless pregnant woman, to the book I'm reading, to sharing their resources.

In 2017 the state of Ohio has been the most severely affected by the Opioid crisis than any other state.  In 2016, opioids accounted for 42,249 deaths. The recovery from drug addiction is possible & thankfully there are organizations like The Recovery Village to help & provide treatment. To be equipped with the knowledge that resources to help with recovery exist is one way to help make an impact. To find a local rehab click here.  If you know someone struggling with addiction I encourage you to simply provide a resource for help.

xo
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Memorial Day


Memorial Day weekend was full of all things summer: splish + splashing in our pool, melting bomb pops at Papa's house, Magnolia running around & trying to keep up with her cousins, eating some KC BBQ, morning coffee on our back deck, & long cozy naps with the AC blasting! 
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Enjoy Life Eat Cake


It's almost the weekend & a loonng one! YIPPEE!!! I've got cake on my mind again. It's either cake or tacos for me 😉. This weekend we're having a little party with the family at my step-dad's house. I'm going to bake a chocolate cake for the gathering as we celebrate my baby sister's birthday. As for other plans --- poolside & deck time!


Before we roll into the long weekend, I wanted to share a few of my new favorite things for Magnolia & me.

Baby Girl Favorites First // 

Her over the rainbow purse has been a total hit & she carries it around like a little lady way more than I thought she would.

I never thought we'd need an umbrella stroller, but we do. I never thought I'd own anything Minnie Mouse (sorry Disney, I wasn't a fan for all my life), but now we do. This handy dandy cheap stroller from Target is darling & it worked fabulously in a pinch yesterday!

Magnolia's sparkly hair clips are used daily. Buy four get one free!

This one is a combo - toddler & momma favorite! Have you given up dairy yet, see the article I've linked below? Ben & Jerry's Almond Milk ice cream is just as good, if not better, than regular ol' ice cream. Magnolia & I eat a few bites every single night. The Coconut Seven Layer Bar is our favorite.

Momma's Favorites //

I've been on the hunt for a non-toxic facial scrub & I finally found a good one. This one is phthalate, sulfate, & paraben free - win, win, win! It's less than ten bucks & can be found at Target, Whole Foods, and on Amazon. Highly highly recommend it for a glowing summer look.

I'm going to admit to trying the Rowdy Mermaid because of the name. I'm a sucker for good marketing & I wanted to feel like a rowdy mermaid the other day. I tried the Strawberry Tonic that I found at Whole Foods - it was one of the best kumbuchas I've had.

This boho patio tour with all the adorable touches of pink has me feeling inspired to add a bit of boho to our deck.

Lastly, I want to share this article about giving up dairy. I can attest to all of it: skinny jeans (or cutoff shorts in my case), bye-bye bloat (heck ya), what's that amazing smell? (no more sinus issues), did you change moisturizers? (clear skin), smoothies-salads-sweet potatoes (no more rushed/thoughtless eating), another three miles? sure (plenty of energy, even with less sleep thanks to my baby)! Great read, check it out here. Giving up dairy has truly been one of the best things I've ever done for my health & I was always a lover of cheese, ice cream, sour cream, you name it. Thankfully, there are lots & lots of yummy alternatives to make the lifestyle change so much easier.

Off to have lunch with my baby doll now. Have a great weekend!
xoxo
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Puppy PAWty & Wizard of Oz First Birthday


We love any excuse to celebrate with cupcake frosting, balloons every color of the rainbow &  cute lil' babies. Our family, counting both sides, has three babes under two & their birthdays fall right in a row! I couldn't let my days get so far ahead that I didn't pause for a moment to share a few of the camera snaps I got at their birthday celebrations.

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My Spring Time Favorites


It's Friday & happy day to you! I've got a bottle of Rose chilling in the fridge as I type this. Madeleine Peyroux, a glass of wine, & family time on the deck is on the calendar every single weekend from now on! Pulling Magnolia's high chair out to the deck for dinner is my new favorite thing, the mess is so much easier to clean up.

Summer is so close I can taste it, and I'm already calling our spring days summer, because honestly I don't really know when it's officially a new season half the time! Today I'm sharing a few of my favorites for this time of year.

If you're a regular Target shopper like me then surely you've already swooned over all the new Opalhouse home decor items. It's got that Anthropologie flair & I'm in love. The peacock king size sheets are only $50. Cannot beat that!

I have an obsession with sunglasses & I've finally found a brand called Wildfox that is not crazy expensive & they actually mix mirrored lenses with stylish frames. Maybe I've been shopping at Sunglass Hut for too long, because they always have mirrored lenses in boring frames & vice versa.

My gold J. Crew capri sandals are a summer staple. That's all I have to say about them! & you need a pair.

I'm still carrying a diaper bag, a heavy diaper bag I must say, & if I'm not using the stroller it's just too much. I keep my crossbody bag in the car for an easy swap if we are just running in & out of somewhere. The misty mint color is pretty pretty!

Cute, comfy, easy - this denim skirt!

Ryan surprised me with this bracelet on Valentine's Day. It's extra special to me because it's not something I would have picked out for myself, but now I adore it & wear it almost every day. It's lightweight & nice to wear alone or layered with other bracelets.

Hot pink lipstick called Candy Yum Yum that screams summa' time fun with your messy sea salt hair + mirrored sunglasses! 

Shop my favorites by clicking on the images/links below! Hoping your weekend ahead is full of laughter & some hot pink kisses.

xoxo


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Field Trip to the Kansas City Zoo


Yesterday, Magnolia woke up bright & early, at 5:14 am to be exact. She must have sensed that we had fun plans for the beautiful day ahead of us. We tagged along on her cousin Lucca's preschool field trip to the Kansas City Zoo.

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Mother's Day


That's my mom in the summer of 1981 holding me, her first daughter. This was her first year being a mom. Obviously, I don't remember anything from that first year of life, not in a conscious way. It wasn't until Magnolia made me a mom that I was able to understand all that comes along with that first year of motherhood. 


I have new eyes for my mom now. I've been blessed with a deeper understanding of all that makes motherhood motherhood. From the intensity & depth of love for another human being to the physical & emotional sacrifices that are made on a daily basis. This year & every year my heart is full of gratitude for my mom. For all she did for me & my three siblings, for the woman she is, and the life she gave us.

She raised four babies (& a bunch of animals too) & to imagine what I do each day with Magnolia times four is beyond impressive! Mom, if you're reading this, Happy Mother's Day & I LOVE YOU! Thank you.

To all the other mom's out there, I want to wish you a day full of sunshine, flowers, & laughter.

I cannot end a Mother's Day post without a little note to all the women waiting to become a mom. Mother's Day was one of the hardest days for me before becoming a mom. The love & desire to become a mom is just as worthy as celebration today. To the ones having a hard Mother's Day, I hope you take the time to care for yourself & reflect on your life now. Someday, once your baby is your arms, you'll look back & find deeper meaning in the wait. Don't Waste Your Infertility is a refreshing & uplifting read. 

Happy Mother's Day to all the women!
XO
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Summer Fun with Head Wraps, Dry Shampoo, & Sunglasses


If you see me this summer you'll surely see me with my hair on top of my head with a bandana wrapped around it. I'll probably also be in cutoff jean shorts, a tank top & gold capri flip-flop sandals. I've declared my summer time uniform & it's a relaxed look that'll make fun times more frequent. Less time getting ready makes for more fun time hours in the day. My legs will have this organic self-tanner on them, my dirty hair will be fresh (oxymoron there) thanks to dry shampoo, & we'll be in this SPF that I realized I really like after our trip to Florida. And sunglasses too, of course!


I cannot tell you how many messages I've got asking about Magnolia's sunglasses & head wrap. I figured I should share the information here! Her sunglasses are from Janie & Jack and linked here. She wore them the whole time we were in Florida! Her head wrap that I call her "top knot" is from a small Instagram shop @poppyknots.co. I'm all about supporting small businesses & I think you should go get the baby girl in your life a Poppy Knot of her own right here.

I've linked all of my summer time favorites below!

XO Wen & Magnolia


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Our Family Trip to Daytona Beach


We've been home from our beach trip for over a week now. I can finally say I'm caught up with all 20+ loads of laundry (there was sand on everything), the floors are clean, & the house smells like lilac & fresh cut grass. And now I get to share all the photos I took & there were hundreds. Ryan had a business trip to Daytona Beach & Magnolia & I decided to tag along with. What better place than the beach to have to go for work?!. He was away working the first few days & the last part of our trip was our much needed family time.

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