Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bethe for Beth

This past weekend, I traveled down to Jacksonville, Florida to spend time with a woman I love, Mrs. Beth McCallister. She valiantly fought against breast cancer for nearly ten years. Mrs. McCallister was a beautiful, brave woman whose heart has an unlimited supply of love to give. I have been richly blessed by the impact this incredible woman has had on my life. She loves so well, and I am blessed enough to be a recipient of her great love.

I want to do something in her honor, and I want to invite you to join me.

The Bethe Rope Necklace, made of up-cycled artillery, is Noonday Collection's top selling piece. I took one of these down for Mrs. McCallister this past weekend, and we wrapped it around her wrist, where it sat until yesterday, when she went to be with Jesus, a reminder that she is a strong and special woman who has touched more lives than we can count.

So, I want to ask you to purchase a Bethe Rope Necklace and wear it with pride, or maybe give it to a strong woman you know. And I want to let you know that 100% of my commission for every single Bethe Rope Necklace purchased between now and September 30 will go toward a donation to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation made in Mrs. McCallister's name.

Bethe for Beth. 

Click HERE to place an order. Please make sure you select me as your Ambassador so that I can know to donate my commission from your purchase.

Thank you for being a part of honoring this incredible woman.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Rwanda in Photos: Day 2

Day two in Rwanda was a tough one. We started out at the Nyamata Genocide Memorial. I am working on a separate post about that, but it is slow going, as it is next to impossible to explain what we saw there.

 The Nyamata Memorial is a church. In 1994, an estimated 10, 000 Rwandans came here seeking shelter and protection from the Interhamwe. They believed that they would be safe here, because no one believed that people would commit murder inside a church. Sadly, there were almost no survivors. 
 Nyamata is a peaceful and beautiful place. It has stood, undisturbed, since the horrifying acts of 1994. Once inside the outer gates, you are to keep as quiet as possible, and inside the actual church, there is not talking at all. 
Photography is not permitted within the church, itself. 

 Behind the church, there is, what our guide called, a crypt. It lies beneath the white tiled memorials you see in this photograph. 
We went inside, and what I saw I will probably never be able to describe to you. Shelves and shelves, all the way to the ceiling, lined with human remains. It was the most horrifying thing I have ever seen. 
 Still, there is now a sense of peace that fills the courtyard. 
And it is beautiful place. 
 The back of the church, where you can still see marks in the bricks from the rebel soldiers trying to get inside. 
Stained glass windows that have been broken out. 
This morning was one of the hardest of my life. The massive loss of life, the terror these innocent people must have felt. To think that human beings would do this to one another. It's something I hope I never understand. 

 The beauty of this day came in the restoration we saw first-hand after we left the memorial. We traveled to Bugasera, a community where Africa New Life has a Christian school and community outreach. Seeing these beautiful children in school, learning how to read and write and hearing of the love of Christ right on the heels of our visit to Nyamata was completely overwhelming. I was able to see, with my own eyes, God's restoration at work. He is using the faithful workers of Africa New Life to raise up a generation of Rwandans who live and preach love, not hatred and violence. 
It was an honor to meet these sweet children. 
 To talk with them. 
 To watch them play. 
 To try to play with them. 
(I am not very good at hopscotch/rock soccer!)
To watch them be silly and just be kids. 

 To serve them lunch. 
 And to help clean up when they were finished. 

One of my favorite (and most nerve-wracking) moments is right here. 
I was given the opportunity to share my testimony with these precious children. Given the chance to tell them of Christ's redeeming work in my own life. It had been too long since I had shared my testimony in front of a group (and it was my first time to do so through a translator), and it was so, so, so good. 

And this right here. 
I have no idea why we are laughing. Probably something I mistakenly said. 
But I love this moment. This man and I, we do not know each other. But we both know Jesus, and he helped me share my story with a room full of sweet faces. 

 And then as we were leaving, they called the entire school together to pray. 
And this young man, Isa, got up and prayed in front of the whole school. 
I had been talking to him earlier and did not realize that he was such a strong young man and leader. 
Hearing him pray in Kinyarwandan was absolutely beautiful. 

And as we were leaving, God caught my eye with this little reminder. 


P.S. If you missed the first photo entry, just click HERE to get to it. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Unfailing Love

I love a good adoption conference. Time with women who just totally get it. Women who don't give you crazy eyes for sitting on the floor of a hotel hallway, crying. Women who just hug you because you look like you need it. Women who know what it is like to wait…and wait…and wait.

And I am so excited that in TWO weeks I am getting to go to Unfailing Love right here in Birmingham! I went last year with my doll of a mother-in-law, and this year I am going with my dear, dear friend and fellow adoptive mom, Laura Catherine!


I have a Noonday Collection table for the weekend!

I am so excited to meet over 100 beautiful adoptive and foster moms. To hear their hearts and share mine, too. And I am SO excited to share Noonday with them and show how Noonday can be part of their adoption stories by helping to bring their babies home!

So here's the skinny, you sweet adoptive mommas.

Come stop by my table at the retreat and see all of the Noonday treasures. Shop around and try on some lovelies. You can place an order right then and there. If you do, your name will go into the hat, and at the end of the retreat, I will draw and a name out of the hat and that pretty lady will be the recipient of the rewards for the weekend. That means you will get a gift card to shop online any time you desire. OR, if you are home study approved for your adoption, Noonday will donate that same percentage toward your adoption instead!

Adoption is the heartbeat of Noonday Collection. We actually came into existence BECAUSE of adoption, and the first ever Noonday trunk show was an adoption fundraiser.

And you can have a fundraiser for your adoption, too! All you have to do is partner up with me (if you are here in Birmingham) or your local Ambassador (if you are outside the Birmingham area) to have a trunk show. All of your lovely friends can come and shop with Noonday Collection, and then a percent of your show's total will be donated DIRECTLY toward YOUR adoption! How awesome is that? Please stop by to say hello. I can't wait to meet you.

So I hope to see you in two weeks. I hope to hug you and hear all about what God is doing in your life through the powerful work of adoption.

Ohhhh, and there will be some Noonday door prizes being given away throughout the weekend, so hang in there when it gets late!

Love to each and every one of you!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Rwanda in Photos: Day 1

So I know what you have been thinking.


Well, I have good news for you. Over the next few days, I am going to work on organizing all of my photos into separate posts by days. My hope is that this will give you a little taste of what my amazing week in the Land of a Thousand Hills was really like.

So, here we go.

Sunrise on our first morning.
I'll be honest. I woke up not knowing what to expect. And I was definitely not prepared to be swept away by the tidal wave of love that followed. 

 Noonday Collection's founder, Jessica Honegger, with all of our Rwandan seamstresses sharing with us how Noonday started in Rwanda. It is a beautiful story that wraps adoption, economic opportunity and female empowerment into one. 
 She shared with us that she sat in a room with these women three years ago, promising them jobs without knowing whether she could actually deliver. 
And now, three years later, these women all have dignified jobs, they have homes and their children are in school. 
 We gave them  picture of all of the Ambassadors from last year's conference for them to keep in their studio as a reminder that we are on the other side of the world working hard to sell their beautiful pieces. 
 And to reaffirm the Noonday sisterhood, we brought them some gifts from their sister artisans in India
And then we had a chance to hear from Charlotte, the co-op president, as she shared what Noonday means for her and how her life has transformed since linking arms with Noonday Collection.
Important side note: Charlotte had her baby while we were in Rwanda!!
A baby girl named Jessica Honegger. 

 Then we were able to go inside the sewing studio, and these blessed women tried to teach us how to sew. They are the most patient of teachers. 

 Our artisans do ALL of their sewing on foot pedal sewing machines. 
 So Lindsey and I got paired with Charlotte.
You know, the president of the whole co-op. 
Poor Charlotte. 
I won't speak for Lindsey, but I am a terrible seamstress! As in, totally hopeless. 
 I paid really close attention. 

 But, as you can see, I was not feeling too confident.

 But Charlotte, eternal blessings upon here, was a very patient and thorough teacher, and I loved every minute of learning from her. Watching her explain and teach something that is obviously so near to her heart (and something she has SUCH a talent for) was an incredible experience for me. These women are real. Their lives are real. Their stories are real. Their talent is REAL. And I get to be the one to share that with my little world over here? Are you crazy? This is my JOB? I am honored to work WITH these women. Honored to call them my sisters and my friends.

So after MANY false starts and Charlotte have to jump several times to prevent me from totally breaking her sewing machine,
I eventually, kinda, sorta got the hang of it. 
I am being very generous with myself in saying that. 

 Love this sweet woman!
And now I have a whole new appreciate for what she and all of our Rwandan artisans do for us every single day.

Serapia at her station. 
Talk about a woman who gives good hugs! 

 Grace and Solange (see her in our new fall look book!) helping Emily and Leslie learn how to sew on the foot pedal machines. 
 Beautiful ladies taking a break from trying to teach us. 
Apparently. we are exhausting students. Ha! 
The sewing studio from outside. 
The name of our Rwanda co-op is Umucyo (ooh-moo-cho). 
The name means "Light" in Kinyarwandan. 
And these beautiful women are full of light. 

 So then we were off to the fabric market! 
Talk about being overwhelmed. 
Beautiful market fabrics hanging all over the place. 
 So many to choose from! 
 Oh, and I don't speak Kinyarwandan, so this was all done with pointing. 
My final selections. 
All of these were taken back to Umucyo, where our artisans were going to create some gorgeous new treasures for us. 
Skirts and dresses and make up bags and aprons, oh my! 

Getting measured for my skirt! 
My first ever custom piece of clothing. 
And I LOVE knowing that it was crafted by these precious women. 

If you want to read my impressions about day one in Rwanda, just click HERE. I wrote about it that night when we got back to the Africa New Life guest house. This day stands as one of the the very best in my whole life. 

"If you pour yourself out for the hungry
    and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
    and your gloom be as the noonday."
Isaiah 58:10

Friday, August 15, 2014

Another Year

The start of school this fall has been kicking my booty. After the glorious leisure that is SUMMER, most mornings find me wondering, "What is that terrible noise that sounds like an alarm?" But I am back in the saddle with a whole new crop of chickens to tend for another year. 

Mostly, though, starting a new school year is tough because it coincides almost exactly with the day that, after months of working on our home study, our paperwork landed in Ethiopia. 

Two years ago. 

It is a reminder that we are farther into this process than we ever thought possible and that we are still SO far away from seeing their faces. 

When our dossier landed on September 17, 2012, I thought to myself, "By the end of this school year, we will see our child's face." I just knew it. My mind and my heart never entertained another outcome. 

But the school year ended and we were still in the 50s on the waiting list. 

In August of 2013, I headed back to the classroom just knowing that this would be the year. It had to be. We were in the low 30s. This was IT. 

And then the school year ended, and we had barely moved. And I mean barely. The 2013-2014 school year brought MONTHS of devastating silence. Everything stopped. Maybe even my heart for a little while there. 

So last week, I walked back through the door of my classroom, and I felt myself thinking, "Who knows if this is it? Who knows if we will have seen their precious faces by this time next year?" 

I sort of feel like we will always be saying, "Oh yeah. We're adopting." Smile. 

Even meeting with the insurance rep at school this week brought it up. He asked: "Do you have any children?" It caught me. "No. We are in the process of adopting." That is the third year I have had the same answer. 

I would ask, as I have so often, that you pray for us, for me, for my heart. I want so badly to see their faces, to bring them home. But God has us in this season of waiting, and I am trying to wait well. Heaven knows I do not always do that. But I am trying. 

And now the courts are closed for the rainy season, so we will likely see no movement until the end of October. 

So if you see me, please remind me to breathe. And remind me that God has ordered my steps and the steps of our children. 


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Fall Launch!!

Eeeeeeeeek!!!! The day is finally here! Noonday Collection's fall 2014 line launches TODAY! And I am so, so, so far beyond excited.

Scroll to see some of my new favorites!

Why, hello there, beauty. I absolutely LOVE this classic necklace. 
Dress her up or dress her down. She always looks good. 
Made with love in India 
A delicate take on our classic Funky Paper Beads. 
Bright colors to go with anything you might be wearing. 
Made with love in Uganda. 
Not sure why I thought I could live without this one. 
She came in my third (you read that right) sample order. 
Leather woven through up cycled metal. 
Made with love in Haiti. 
Made from hand carved water buffalo horn. 
A statement necklace if there ever was one. 
Made with love in Vietnam. 
I am ALL about the earrings this fall. 
Sterling silver plating with shell and semi-precious stone accents. 
Made with love in Peru. 
I am loving the gold this fall, too. 
Awesome geometric shape plated in gold. 
Made with love in Peru. 
Did you just think of The Emperor's New Groove? I did. 
Charming locket style earrings plated in sterling silver. 
Made with love in Peru. 
LOVE these new Ethiopian beauties! 
Disc charms hang from silver beads. 
Upcycled artillery. 
Made with Love in Ethiopia. 
For all you BIG earring girls out there. 
The hoop is back! 
Hammered brass. 
Made with love in Peru. 
Be still my heart. 
I adore these. 
Oxidized German sterling silver and chrysoprase. 
Made with love in India 
It goes with everything, and it's adjustable. 
Made with love in India. 
Perfectly named, as I have worn it literally every day since it arrived at my house. 
Upcycled artillery 
Made with love in Ethiopia. 
Intricately carved from water buffalo horn. 
This is Adam's favorite from the new line. 
Made with love in Vietnam. 
Named for one of our lovely Indian artisans. 
Glass beads in beautiful colors. 
Made with love in India. 
I love this. It's on the cover of the look book. Go get it. 
Made with love in Peru. 
The best date night bag in the history of ever. 
Upcycled VHS and cassette tape film woven together and finished with gorgeous trim. 
Made with love by our special needs artisans in India. 
These are precious! 
And made by the precious women I just met in Rwanda two weeks ago. 
This treasure has been my arm candy since she arrived. 
Real leather, beautifully tanned with adorable blue and white lining inside. 
Made with love in India. 
Hand woven by precious women in Ethiopia, seeking to leave lifestyles in which they have been exploited. 
Fine Ethiopian cotton. 
Raw silk. Hand woven. Beautiful colors. 
Created by men and women who have overcome leprosy and want to provide for their families. 
Made with love in India. 
Hand woven silk with beaded accents. 
It's a work of art. 
Made with love in India. 

That is all I have time to post now. I am off to a trunk show to share all of this gloriousness with a bunch of beautiful women. And I want to do the same with you. Join the movement; host a show! Email me for the details (

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