needs for haiti

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We are planning another trip to Haiti in few weeks and we are looking for some items to bring with!

Here’s the list of the things we are looking for the orphanage and surrounding areas. We can accept donations until July 3rd.

If you are willing to help please send me a note at

Thanks in advance for anything you can do! And if you don’t have time to pick something up, you can always give financially so we can get the items before we leave!

*    Peanut Butter   28oz.
*    Jelly   14-16 oz.
*    Canned chicken  10-12 oz.
*    Canned tuna        10-12 oz.
*    Cereal
*    Liquid hand soap  8 oz.
*    Diapers size 3-5
*    Baby wipes
*    Parmesan cheese grated
(ex. Kraft)
*    Maple Syrup
*    Salad dressing
*    Toilet paper (6-9 rolls)
*    Paper towels (2-4 rolls)
*    Dish Soap
*    Powdered coffee creamer
*    Disinfectant wipes (ex. Lysol)
*    Sponges
*    Bar soap

Gently used or new shoes of all sizes

Gently used or new clothing….


18 months girls

3t girls

8-14 girls

8-16 boys

Mens Small/Mediums



march visit to haiti

Luke and I just returned from another great trip to Haiti.

We love our family there. There is just something about that place that warms our heart and fills our soul.

This time we were able to bring all of the shoes Ellie collected for her shoe drive. Just over 200 pairs! Boy, did they go fast. And a special thanks to WPTV for sharing about the drive and to Rachel Shoes for donating 50 pairs of new sandals. Make sure you scroll down to see how happy these kiddos were to receive these! I think we are going to make the shoe drive an annual thing.

It’s always a blessing to spend time at Haitian Christian Mission. They have so many exciting things going on there from the hospital to the school to new businesses booming. It’s awesome! They are even building a new surgical center next to the hospital. If you are a teacher or involved in the medical field.. you would LOVE to come a visit this place! Really anyone would…

We loved getting to spend time with Thony who runs the Play it Forward program. The teams are growing and the lives they are impacting is incredible. You must go and learn more about this program! Sponsoring a child to play sports is so much more than you think.. it’s three meals a week, discipleship, and the opportunity to travel and be on a team. See how you can get involved!

And last but not least, we spent time with our precious family at Wholehearted Orphanage. We were able to celebrate Easter, birthdays, and just spend some quality time together. We also stopped by the property to see the progress! So awesome to see the wall started and a drill now going in. Please go and check out the site to learn more about this orphanage and their future plans. It will be an amazing home for so many orphans… and a chance for them to live in a family environment. Incredible!

And I know I am really plugging these organizations…  but it’s only because I believe in them so strongly. I have seen the impact they are making. And your money… it can go SO far here.

For example.. the well being put in at the orphanage… the cost was $7500. Sounds like a lot.. but it isn’t when you think of how fast that money can go here. There, that well will change lives. It will provide water for the community around the orphanage. People walk miles with buckets to get water right now…this will completely change that for them. So exciting!

Just think, pray, and consider what you can do to get involved! Maybe it’s taking a trip with us… maybe it’s donating money or goods… Whatever it may be, I know your time, money, or prayers will be well spent.

(Speech over 🙂 )

Here’s some of the images from the trip…

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2015. yowsa.

New Year 2015 formed from sparking digits over black background

I was joking with some friends yesterday… that yes, we made it folks!

2015, the year to which Marty McFly travels into the future. But, no flying cars or dehydrated pizza here.. haha.

Still, isn’t it crazy we are already in 2015? I feel like it really has been hitting me that I am getting old. A mom, three kids, a business for 8 years.. yikes!

Life has flown by. And while I have been incredible blessed to do and experience so much in these 30 years… this new year holiday has given me an urgency to strive to be more proactive, productive, and intentional about my time.

2014 was a crazy, amazing year. Luke and I were talking a little about it yesterday…

We started off the year with my little sister getting hitched and my little brother having his first child. So fun to see my Lawler family grow! Luke and I were able to travel overseas to Costa Rica, Haiti (a couple times), and Mexico. I was spoiled rotten for my birthday this summer by my husband. I unfortunately caught a virus called Chikungunya this summer as well… which was a struggle for months, but praise Jesus that’s over! In July we rented a lake house for 3 weeks as a family. It was an amazing time. While we were there this summer, we went and viewed a property. We fell in love.. and by God’s grace it ended up being something that fit our savings and budget. Craziness. So in September, we bought our first lake home. Which we lovingly call, The Schartner Lake Shack. I am going to post about some of the things we have been working on at the lake soon. So stay tuned for that. This place has been incredible for our family. Having a get away and a place to just be together is amazing. In November we were officially asked if we would like to adopt our foster son that we had with us for over a year and a half. We, of course, said yes! And he was officially adopted in December. And then just last week… we were able to refinance our home and officially close on that. With the new rate we received, we were able to shave ten years off our mortgage. Incredible! I also finished my business year strongly as well… and God has used my business to teach me so much about Him and how He provides just when we need it.

In the midst of so many blessings… there were still times that were hard. Luke and I are still learning how to love each other better and to grow in this thing called marriage. Believe me, I have not perfected being a wife.  And, I am also still learning and growing as a mom (Parenting can be so hard sometimes, holla if ya hear me moms). I lost some dear friends this year that went home to be with Jesus. Luke also lost his dear grandmother. We had moments where we really had to just look up and trust. I think those moments have grown our faith and in the end I am thankful for them.

2015… who knows what you have in store.

I do know.. that He knows the plans He has for us… and His plans promise a future and a hope (Jer 29:11). So I am ready for whatever it may bring!



why there’s a big place in my heart for haiti


Get ready to meet some incredible people that I have the privilege of being friends with.

I was able to introduce them to my my sister and her hubby Derrick  back in June (you can see some images of our trip to Haiti in this post). While they were there they put together this amazing video explaining more about Wholehearted Orphanage and what it is they do.

Please take a minute and watch this. These people are so precious to me! They have inspired my husband and I in so many ways to live our lives differently.

I am working on getting a dinner here in South Florida together for anyone who may be interested in learning more about these incredible children and this orphanage. You may be able to help in so many ways! Believe me! There’s something that everyone can do. So stay tuned for the details on that.. and if you would like to sign up to receive the info once I have it.. please send me an email at or leave a comment here on the post!


Wholehearted Orphanage from Wholehearted Orphanage on Vimeo.

places i love: haiti

My husband and I are so blessed to be able to go to Haiti a couple times a year.

To read about our previous trips click here and here.

Here are some photos from our recent travels there. Some are shot on film, some digital.

And scroll down to the end to meet some of our favorite children on the planet!

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And here are the beautiful children at Wholehearted Orphanage. Please go and check out their unique family-style orphanage and see how you can get involved with what they are doing.























We love these children so much and have been so blessed by them each time we visit.

The amazing house parents that care for them, Marcelin and Lucia have also become our dear friends. They are actually who inspired us to become foster parents ourselves!

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Until next trip!

the breakers

Last week I had an awesome opportunity to go the Breakers… yes THE BREAKERS…  with my group of girls in Belle Glade.

It was an amazing time and so fun to witness these girls experience so many great things for the first time.

It was their first time in a hotel.

Some their first time in the ocean.

Their first time watching a sunrise over water.

First time swimming in an infinity pool.

First time seeing a draw bridge.

Here are just a few pics from our time.

(And thanks again to Angela.. for hooking us up with so many perks during our stay!)

And if you are a lady and interested in helping out on Wednesdays with me in Belle Glade… I would love to have more gals involved! Send me a note a

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places i love: the lake part 2

This is the last week of summer… sniff sniff! My favorite time has come to an end..

But, when I think back on the all of the amazing things we were able to do these past few months, I feel super blessed and thankful.

I wanted to share just a few images from our time at the lake this summer. It was a great combination of time together just as a family and time with awesome friends and family.


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Luke bought a really old jet skit for cheap.. it was such a blast to have at the lake!

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The girls spent almost every day catching minnows… they called this bucket “minnow town”


It was great to see these two really bond this summer. They played all day, every day together.


Ellie and She-She showing off.

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Ellie and Kira did such an awesome job skiing and kneeboarding.

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This guy took his first steps while we were at the Lake!


My girls from Belle Glade came up for the day. This was their first time in a lake, fishing, riding a jet ski, and going on a boat with a motor. We had a blast.

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Some of the guys from Luke’s small group came up for a couple days!


Sunrise on the lake was my absolute favorite. That time each morning was priceless.


We spent and entire day trying to catch this spotted minnow. Finally, victory! We named him Cookies and Cream.


We had some great friends come to visit!

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My family came up for a couple days too. So fun!




I am sure this is just the beginning of many more lake vacations to come 🙂

places i love: the lake

Our little family rented a lake house for a few weeks this month. It has been such a blast so far (and it’s only been about a week).

We are just having the best time.


And come on, these have to be the cutest kids on the lake right?

Now that we are here, I am realizing more and more how priceless times like these are. Spending time together as a family just being together.  It is so great to take a step back from our crazy lives and just do things at a slower pace.

Not only has it been great for our family as a whole.. but also individually.. at least for me. I have a lot of time to spend with Jesus… clear my head… and just be still.

Which normally isn’t that easy for me to do… but I am seeing that it was needed.

I have this horrible habit of going, going, going and not taking time to process things like I should.  Anyone else with me on this?

And while my life is incredibly blessed… and I don’t have too much to worry or complain about.. I realize now that I still need to take those moments of quiet.

Two big things I have been thinking and praying about alot this trip so far…

Fostering.. and all of the fears, anxiety, happiness, sadness, excitement, and questions that go with that. I mean it is a crazy emotional ride! Having time to pray for our family and the toll it takes on us and our daughters is so needed. Praying for my foster son’s future and development. Giving the Lord control daily over it all. Trusting HIS plan.

My business. Whew, that’s been a-whole-nother thing on my mind a lot lately. Don’t get me wrong, owning a business has many perks (like getting to take off three weeks in the summer to spend time with your family at a lake house). But, it can also be incredibly stressful and burdensome. I not only have to keep enough business to pay my salary, but also my best friend’s who works for me full time. It is a pressure sometimes that I don’t even realize is there. And even though it’s tempting to worry when things aren’t booking up quite as quickly as they have in the past.. this time away has given me an opportunity to give it to the Lord. Trust that if this is what He has for me and my life. He will provide.

Please join me in prayer for these things! And, my encouragement to you my friends… take time to get away. It is one of the biggest investments you can give your family and yourself!

I look forward to posting more over the next couple weeks. So stay tuned!



places i love: zumba

Do you remember that Molly Shannon SNL squit where she talks about liking to shake it, shake it, shake it? Such a classic!

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So, I really do love to shake it.

This is why I love ZUMBA!

And not just any Zumba class with any instructor… but Tuesday Night Zumba at Community of Hope. 

One, it’s free. Holla! 

Two, it’s all girls. So I can really shake it.

Three, my BFF teaches the class. Heck yes! And she is great! And by far my favorite dance partner.

There she is tearing up the dance floor…


So… if you aren’t doing anything on Tuesday nights at 6pm…. come and join us!

I would love to dance and laugh with you!

And because it’s always fun to have some images to give you a visual… here are some more from a friend’s wedding where Shelly and I actually got to be guests (and not there photographing it)!

Thanks to our friend Kalia, who was the photographer, for these funny-kinda embarrassing-but totally awesome shots! They are unattractive… but they make laugh so hard every time I see them!

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spoiled rotten

So this birthday month has pretty much been the best ever.

I am so overwhelmed by all of the love I received. It definitely made turning 30 a great thing!

This past month… I was able to do a short get away with my mom, going salsa dancing with my girls, paddleboarding with my sisters, spend time in Haiti, then a family trip to St Pete Beach…. and finally… a cruise this past weekend! Yowsers. Spoiled right?

And this guy had a lot to do with that… (so handsome, right?)


He gave me 30 days of gifts leading up to my birthday. They were special little thoughtful things that brought huge smiles to my face. I am not sure I have ever felt so loved by everyone! I am truly blessed to have so many precious people in my life.

My last present from Luke was a surprise 4 day cruise to Cozumel. We just got back… and *sigh*… It was restful, beautiful, fun, and so nice for me and the hubby to get away. Not to mention we got to spend a day on one of my favorite islands eating delicious Mexican food… yes! (*Side Note.. I am also thankful for our moms and friends who helped care for our babies while we were gone. We wouldn’t be able to do these things without their help)

I honestly didn’t take many photos during the trip… oops. But, I think that was part of the relaxing for me (since taking photos is what I do for a living).

I did manage to snap a few the day we were in Cozumel with our little point and shoot. So enjoy a little peek in to the trip.

It is a beautiful place!  I highly recommend a visit there one day.

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