Day 1 of the 24 day challenge

I’ve tried tons of diets- yoyo’s, ones where you are starving, ones where you literally feel like you are turning into a vegetable, etc.

Today I’m starting day 1 of the 24 day challenge.

Dieting is hard for me, so instead I’m just making a lifestyle change of eating healthier. I use recipes from almost daily- my kids love them too.


Follow me me for the next 24 days to see the changes I make!

3 month. Same child, but you would never know it

Yes, I am serious. These pictures are of the same child, 3 months apart. People have told us we are amazing individuals, but we aren’t- we are just an ordinary family with a circus of children / family pets. I’m not kidding; we have 5 children and FIVE animals (2 dogs and 3 cats). Most days I think we possibly lost our minds and maybe are in over our heads but then I realize just how blessed we are. Not because we are amazing people, but because we have incredible children. They teach us new things every single day. They make us proud every single day. One of our children was so concerned about her little brother as we packed his bag for a ER visit. She has a huge heart and there is no doubt that she will adopt children in her future.


I never really thought about how adoption would impact our family. People told us it would ruin our older kids- they were so wrong and I’m so glad!

So here are two pictures to compare what 3 months time frame can do:

All we did was love him and care for him

Same kid. 3 months apart. Yes he was in the hospital today- briefly, but he is doing great! He is loved, cherished, and oh so wanted! We are so thankful we were chosen as his parents!

Earlier this morning his best friend and oldest sister played in a Soccer tournament- she was the one so worried about him tonight. She is a super star and we are so proud of her.

I’ll talk more about how much all his siblings are super stars in the next blogs. But really, we are the lucky ones as their parents- we are just two ordinary imperfect people making our life as full as possible. Never a dull moment. Lots of chaos. More laundry than you can imagine.





Have you ever felt alone in your battle?

I often wonder if anyone else is walking along side of me or if they are high winds trying to hold me from moving forward. One week ago I made a decision to get healthy, for myself and no one else. Making that decision lifted so much weight off my shoulders. I’m cooking what I know fits in my new healthy life style and it’s amazing, they all eat it because that’s what is ready for dinner.

Tonight I made jalapeño stuffed chicken breasts with okra on the side. I held the jalapeños out of the kids portions and one of our kids are numerous helpings of the okra. It was a win all around. I stayed within my WW points today and everyone was content with what was made. If they wouldn’t have been, I would have just let them make a sandwich or something and not worried about it because if I’m not healthy, then their mom won’t be near as awesome.

One day at a time, I’m getting healthy. I’m not worrying about tomorrow or yesterday, I’m focusing on the exact moment. One more hour without a unhealthy choice and before I know it the day is gone and I’ve been successful.


Yiu ou can find the recipe I made tonight here:



New year, new life, new goals

I usually blog about adoption. Now that Andrew is home, my focus is slightly changing- at least for now. So join me as I blog about our journey to get healthy, eat right, and excersize more often. I might even throw in some posts on how to survive Nursing school with five kids, plus a husband that could be considered a child.

For tonight, I’ll give you a snap shot of what life is like. Jared is a wounded warrior and is 100 percent disabled. I’m a nursing student with hopes and dreams to become a Pediatric Nurse Practioner. We have five children 8 and under, 2 girls and 3 boys. We also have 2 dogs and 3 cats- there is never a dull moment in our house.

We live in a small town in a house that fits us but isn’t quite big enough and we really need land to raise some farm animals and have a garden; but for now we are surviving.

Jared was retired from the Army almost exactly 1 year ago. During his 9 month process to be medically retired, I ate my emotions. Our whole life was changing, not necessarily a bad change but every aspect of how we were currently living was going to change. I literally ate every single emotion and gained 80 pounds. Life has stabilized and we’ve found a new normal. Now that new normal has peaked through the storm clouds, I’ve found my motivation and desire to be healthy again.

I’m basically following the new Weight Watchers Smart points plan, drinking plexus slim, and I joined gym. In December   2015 I graduated from the practical nursing program and in December of 2016 I will graduate as a RN. I’ve made a promise to myself to not eat my emotions this year. Instead, I’m going to exercise my emotions to another zone. Ultimately because I want to be the best mother possible and to be a healthy, energetic nurse the day I’m ready to work.

So follow me and my journey of changing our family, one day at a time. There will be a large variety of blog topics posted and I’ll try to post a dinner meal plan on each Saturday for the following week. It will be easy dinners for busy families just like ours- because trust me our life is nothing short of busy!




2 days and 3000.00 short

We are 3000.00 short of our needs. There is no beating around the bush. We need a small miracle and we need everyone’s help to make this happen! We leave in 2 days!

We are adding one more giveaway and it’s going to be a flash one. We need as many entries in the next 72 hours as possible. Every 10.00 donation will get you a entry!

The prize: a 64 GB iPhone 6, brand new!

Please spread the word!!

This face is worth it:


The 19 year old me vs the 28 year old me

imageHave you ever looked back on what life use to be like? I do. I am so thankful for every experience I ever had- negative and positive. I was once a spoiled, selfish, celf-centered individual. Today, my friends describe me as kind hearted, compassionate, funny, outgoing, loving, and a huge advocate. That didn’t happen overnight. It happened through experiences and over time. Little things in life are such a blessing; running water, 24 hour stores, abundance of food. These are minor things in America, but would be huge things in some other countries. We are blessed and sometimes we need to reflect on those blessings.

I am thankful that we get to share these blessings with our new son. That he gets to live a life full of luxuries. I am thankful that Jared and I have been blessed to be able to provide Andrew with things that will meet his needs.

Today is the last day for our giveaway and we just received a huge blessing! Every entry will be matched!! This could bring us so close to being Fully funded (15000)! Do want a chance at winning? Just click the below link and click the donate button under our bio. Then email your receipt to Winner will be drawn tomorrow!

He makes 5 and that makes 7


On October 9th, 2015 a judge 1000s of miles away determined that Jared and I were fit parents for Andrew and granted us permission to adopt him. He became a Stacey in a short few minutes but behind the scenes we had worked so hard to get there. When we committed to him, nearly a year ago, all we had was a picture of him as a baby. We knew he was our child and we knew we had to find a way to bring him home.

I have to give you some back story on how we were lead to adopt. Nearly 5 years ago Jared and I sat next to each other in a hospital bed wrapped in each others arms sobbing over two words that we though destroyed our lives. We were so wrong but in that moment, we didn’t know any better. Your baby has “Down syndrome”…. I won’t forget that day. Today I wish I knew then what I know now. I wish I would have realized that our life was over but not in a bad way. I was right that our life was over; we lost our selfishness, our ignorance, our disrespect for diversity, and we became two people who loved all of those around us. We grew as a couple, we grew as parents, friends, sisters, brothers, professionals, and we learned more from our little boy who has Down syndrome than anyone could have ever taught us. We became passionate advocates for other parents with children with special needs. We learned how health care works and I graduate in five weeks as a nurse. Those two words led me to be a nurse and more importantly they led us to Andrew.

They opened our eyes to a whole new life. We get to share that life with a little boy who hasn’t experienced life. God chose us to live this life and he had it all planned out. I just didn’t really know God when JJ was born and I was so confused on why he had chosen us- but I know now. He chose us because he had a plan and his plan is wonderful. Im forever grateful that in his plan he made us the parents of Andrew. We travel in less than 10 days and our FSP needs to read 15000.00 (, I know God has a plan for that too. I know he would never get us this far and he would never leave us. Are you part of his plan to help us get to Andrew? We have our final giveaway going and it ends Saturday. For every 10.00 donation, there is a entry in our giveaway. Three winners will be drawn for three prizes: a quilt, a iPad, and a kindle. Please help support us and get our baby home.image

Thank you,

The Stacey Family