Still a family of two.

I wrote a post a few years ago about not being pregnant. I am still not and we are still a family of two. Before I posted that blog, Scott and I had talked a lot about expanding our family but the blog post increased the intensity of our thinking and conversations in a good way. I think it helped us go from each having a position—I wanted kids and Scott wasn’t too sure—to starting an actual exploration.

We know now that for us to have a child sharing our DNA would truly take a miracle. I pray for that and part of me still expects it. Because I know that while God may choose to provide us with that miracle bio-baby and I also know that He may not, I have gone through waves of sadness related to that loss. I think a child with our DNA would be really great—with a huge dose of quirky and hard-headedness. I believe God can do this for us, and we would delight in having a miracle baby. But we are also seeking other ways to expand our family. And maybe through those other avenues, however undefined they might be, our miracle might come. But the “other ways” just don’t seem that clear.

Our exploration has been slow and disjointed. God knows the end of our story. Only He does. And I am fearful that we will be too lazy, too antsy, too blinded by our own desires, too “something” to see God’s plan. I do not have answers.

We have explored various forms of adoption, basically on a quest to find something that feels right to us. I have no idea what that might be, but I am certain it will come. We went to a weekend at Christian Homes in Abilene, an agency that does domestic adoptions. I know some really wonderful parents and kids who used them. We went to a fostering-to-adopt orientation. Whoa. We walked away overwhelmed. But strangely I keep coming back to fostering to adopt. We just visited with friends who are hosting Ukrainian orphans for the summer. I am also intrigued with what is out there that would allow for a private adoption without going through an agency. I have heard some success stories like that.

Through fertility stuff and adoption research and just circling around it all to figure out our next steps, the private adoption and fostering to adopt things keep coming up. On the private-adoption-without-and-agency thing, how does one find a dear, brave birth momma who is considering such a thing? I think God works stuff like that out, but I can’t help but wonder who may read this blog, who knows of someone trying to make that hard choice, who might want to meet us and see if we might be a worthy family for their child? It’s worth a shot.

On the foster to adopt front, I have rejected it as too chaotic, but is it? I think I need to figure that out.

In the meantime, we enjoy being the two of us. We take advantage of just being two. We vacation.


We exercise on Saturday mornings, and sleep late on Sundays (you know, till like 8 am!). We have uninterrupted conversations. There’s more time to read. Scott can watch movies where people get blown up and not worry about traumatizing young eyes. But as time goes by, my heart continues to tug for a little person. I see people parent and dream of what a joy that would be. I want the honor of molding a heart and mind, and to point some little person to Christ, as their parents. What a big, dog deal.

Scott and I are together in our continued exploration. When fertility “stuff” did not work, I think being denied the choice caused desire to bubble up within him. In this regard, I see God answering our prayers to knit our hearts together. But he and I agree we are not getting any younger, and need to get going on whatever it is we are doing.

So I am casting questions to the blog world, and would love input on the following things.

Does fostering-to-adopt have to be as chaotic as I fear?

Has anyone used a faith-based agency in Austin that they recommend for fostering-to-adopt?

What agencies would you recommend for international adoptions? (I am intrigued but not sure it is for us, which is an about face from my thoughts last week.)

Does anybody have knowledge of an orphanage where we can adopt a child that is 2 or 3 years old?

Does anyone know of a brave woman considering her options with an unwanted pregnancy? I am interested but also scared of this. I am open to what God may have out there for us, but in reading about ethical adoption, I am struck by the need to keep my desperation for a family in check with a birth mother’s exploration toward adoption. I know, however, that God is big enough to orchestrate even something like this.

Thanks in advance for caring enough about our small lives to read and share. My email is chelseabuch at gmail dot com.

What happened to August?

The older I get, the faster time passes.  Perhaps that is normal, but I feel like I missed all of August!  We did some fun things.  I followed Scott to Park City, Utah for a weekend of riding bikes–he rode with his friend, Drew and I hiked, read, and caught up on “me” time.  It was lovely.  Then we both got sick and recovered.  That was August.

I have lots to update.  We finally ended our relationship with the City of Austin with our final remodel inspection.  I do not miss them.

To accomplish the final inspection, we built a railing on our front steps and porch.  We have some stone work left to do and then I will show off the final results.

We also have a huge punch list to complete the remodel.  We need to finish painting, hang some interior doors, build a few barn doors, redo a screened door, build a deck, do landscaping, hang curtains, and a few other fun projects that we are having a hard time starting.

In the meantime, I am one book shy of my 10-book reading goal for the summer. Jane, my niece, decided she would make it a competition.  I think she read 13 or 14 books, so she kicked my tail.  She is eight and fierce.  But I do have a few reviews to share.

In the Unlikely Event61LGf0TJ-FL._SX334_BO1,204,203,200_ is a Judy Blume book written for grownups.  But it still felt a little elementary.  It was an interesting read about a town in New Jersey close to the Newark airport where 3 plane crashes occurred within a few months.  The characters and story line are a bit predictable, but it was a nice, easy read.

Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home4177MUapjLL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_ is a charming book about a 28-year-old woman who had a brain aneurysm while running on a treadmill.  She was working towards her PhD  in Yiddish Literature and is a lover of food.  The book chronicles her recovery and the part food played in it.  She is a lovely person with a precious husband.  I appreciated her ability to share her own life stories in a way that made me reflect on my own.  And her recipes are inspiring!  She uses some ingredients that I rarely use.  Her plum tart and almond cake are amazing!  I am not a huge fan of most memoir/recipe books but this one was worth reading. The only thing missing for me in the book was God’s provision through her recovery, but I don’t think the author is overly spiritual–at least she did not talk about it in the book.  She also blogs here.

51lPLBb4nyL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_And lastly, I listened to Go Set A Watchman, by Harper Lee.  Reese Witherspoon reads it and did a beautiful job.  I loved the story.  I found myself grinning as I listened.  I am still trying to figure out the take away from the book, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It is nostalgic and more of the same from Mockingbird.  I hiked the mountains of Park City while I listened, which was quite a treat.

Since then, I have started a few books–Jen Hatmaker’s For the Love.  It is great so far.  And I am reading some adoption exploration books.  More on that in future posts.


Summer reading.

After reading on vacation, my urge to read continues.  I go in phases.  I won’t read for months, and then I can’t stop.  I heard someone say recently that they were trying to read 10 novels over the summer.  And when I thought about it, it seemed totally doable and enjoyable.  Scott watched the Tour de France this month and I basically have been reading by his side.  I have several books under my belt already.  Why not?  Vacation reading marked three.  And I just knocked out a few more.

51Y0eAmT1xL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_The Rosie Project was one of the most enjoyable books I have read in awhile.  I laughed.  I was intrigued.  I didn’t know how it would end.  Don, the main character, is a genetics professor at a university in Australia and though he doesn’t acknowledge or even seem to know so, he appears to be somewhere on the autism spectrum.  And he engages in a project to find a wife.  It is delightful.  And I am glad to know that there are talks of it becoming a movie AND there is a sequel that just came out.  Put this on your list.  You will love it.

51grMGCKivL._SX307_BO1,204,203,200_Next up for me was a second reading of To Kill a Mockingbird, perhaps with the rest of the world anticipating the Go Set The Watchman release.  I will admit, I did not remember the story, but enjoyed the reread immensely.  In reading the book, it was easy for me to see why it won a Pulitzer Prize and is such a classic.  Not only is the story so compelling and excruciating, but Scout tells the story is such a perfect child perspective.  It is one of the few books I have read that compelled me to write down a few lines for remembering later.  Its high acclaim is deserved.

515p3OrN1KL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_My sixth book of the summer was one that caused me the most angst.  The Nightingale is the beautiful story of two sisters living in France during World War II.  While reading it, I kept making the obvious statement to Scott that, “the Nazis were really awful.”  He looked at me like, “are you just now deciding this?”  Anyway, the story starts in present day, with a woman remembering back to her days living in France during the war.  Then the book bounces to the story of the sisters, who each act as war heroes in their own unique ways.  It is not until the end of the book that you understand who the present day storyteller is.  I cried, but was so pleased with its ending.  I had a hard time putting the book down, but when I was not reading, I found myself worrying about the sisters.  The characters are lovable and the story is incredible

I want to read Go Set The WatchmanJudy Blume’s new grown-up bookOrphan Train (though it sounds sad), and Stir.  That will get me to 10.  Let’s see how long that takes.

Master bathroom after.

When we moved into our home on Bonnie Road I was so grateful for it, just as it was.  However, over the next few years, I would stand in our tiny 3 x 3 shower and dream of something larger.  And perhaps something with counter space other than the closed toilet lid.  Gratitude is fleeting.

Our bathroom looked like this when we moved in, and from that post, you can tell that the dreaming of what it could be was already in full gear.

When we began the Great Remodel Project, we turned our master closet into more master bathroom (our shower to be exact), and moved our master closet to the other side of our room to be the buffer between our bedroom and the kitchen.  We added the space where our master closet, pantry, and kitchen are now located.  It is hard to picture unless you are walking through the house, but just trust me.  The change is 100% better.

Note: taking pictures of a bathroom is hard!  I now respect professional photographers even more than I already did.

The carrera marble came from our friends’ house.  They removed it from their kitchen when they first moved in and stored in their garage with no plan to use it.  I hired marble movers (my title for them, not theirs) to move and store it until we needed it.  Best money ever spent.  (Thanks, Sonya and Russ!)  The marble was really the basis for the bathroom.

The upper cabinetry is set into the wall, so that it is deeper than it appears on the counter.

My handy electrician (Scott) wired a magnifying mirror for me that turns on with a switch.


I love a white bathroom but hate white flooring (my brown hair sheds like crazy).  While encaustic tile was my first choice, I decided $10,000 or whatever crazy amount it was going to cost was not worth it.  I am happy with the honeycomb tile with contrasting grout with money in my pocket.


In the cabinet above, Scott installed a plug especially for his hair clippers, which I thought was brilliant.  He is one smart guy.


He also made the towel rods from plumbing supplies.  I love the size of them.


The star of the bathroom is definitely our shower.  My plumber (Scott) is a rockstar for figuring all the plumbing out for the four shower heads.  I am in love (with my husband and my shower).  It may be that we overcompensated for our previously tiny shower, but I am not sorry.


Scott’s side, ever the minimalist.


And mine.

I would not change a thing.