My Everyday Featuring ... Wynne Elder

[#1] Share with us a snippet of your story.

hi y'all! my name is Wynne + my husband of almost 8 years and two kiddos live currently in west Texas.  it’s funny the thing you don’t ever expect to be a part of your story, becomes your story.  we began the process of trying to start a family over 5 years ago and never in my wildest dreams did I think that our journey through infertility would bring ultimately such good to us and glory to god.  We brought home our two kids, Camp + Asher, almost 2 years ago from Ethiopia after a 2 year adoption process.  They have changed our world and our lives.  During the process, we decided we wanted to go to Ethiopia on a mission trip because we didn’t want to adopt from there + then just go about our lives - we wanted Ethiopia to be a part of our family and our story.  What happened on that first trip 3 years ago was our eyes were opened, our hearts were broken, and our lives were forever “gloriously ruined” as we call it.  We can’t go back to the way it was before now that we know how so much of the rest of the world lives.  We are passionate about visiting orphans, clean water efforts, child sponsorship, and job creation in the third world.  We hope and pray that we’ll get the chance to move our family to Africa for some period of time in the future.  God has done immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine!  It hasn’t been OUR plan, but HIS and it’s better than we could have dreamed.  Now we walk the road of infertility once again, and are trusting yet again in His plan and not our own.  It’s been an emotional road, but one I wouldn’t trade.

[#2] What is your favorite part of the day with your little ones?

my favorite part of the day with my little's is probably the mornings that we have our “home days”.  While I love the days where we are out + about, I love our mornings where we have no plans.  We usually stay in our jammies a bit longer, I have an extra cup of coffee and we play on the front porch or I sit in the backyard and read my bible while they jump on the trampoline.  Usually we have friends in and out for either breakfast or lunch, and I love that my home is a revolving door of friends.  I know the time where we are just all home together will be short, so I want to enjoy it and not wish these days away!  The other best part of the day is when daddy comes home from work!  We are usually waiting for him on the porch :)  Love being together with all 4 of us. 

[#3] Name three IG moms who inspire you.

This is so hard to pick just three - I’ve loved the relationships I’ve formed on Instagram.  I tend to have a big tribe - and friends from so many different seasons of life, and IG is such an easy way to keep up with everyone.  Through adoption, infertility, and missions, I have met and become real life friends with some of the gals I’ve followed and that is just the beauty of being online.  Ok, here we go:

I met my friend @ashercollie at an adoptive mom retreat several years ago, and have since gotten to follow her and her husbands work with Sole Hope in Jinja, Uganda [and gotten to visit too!].  I love her IG feed because she shares so much of the real life in Uganda.  She finds beauty in the ordinary, and is always story telling from her life as a mom to 5 living and serving in Jinja.  I want to be like Asher when I grow up!

My life long bestie @brynngustafson is so inspiring!  She lives every day to it’s full, and is always thankful for the time she has at home with her two sweet girls.  She is so gifted at crafts, baking, hospitality, gift giving, photo book making, seriously she is amazing and scrolling through her feed always makes me want to go have a fun intentional adventure with my kids.  and she is always giving me ideas on how to bless others with all her fun ideas! 

I met @laragwilliams last year at a blogging conference (Declare!) and have just loved following her feed.  She takes beautiful pictures, and finds a way to incorporate scripture or an encouraging thought with every single one.  I love her perspective on life and how something ordinary can be a beautiful reminder of Gods truth in her life. 

There are so many more!!!  

[#4] What challenges have you faced in balancing motherhood and your passion for creativity?

I think the challenges I’ve faced in balancing motherhood and my passion for creativity is mostly TIME!  Before I was a mom, I ran my own photography business full time and now that I’m a stay at home and working mom, it’s hard to just find time to have a decent thought, ya know what I’m saying?  I’ve had to be really intentional about making that time for myself to be creative.  I have time at least once a week that I go to a coffee shop or the library by myself and write.  Writing is my therapy and while I could totally say I don’t have time for it now while my kids are little {sorta like I’ve done with photography biz} I can’t do that with writing.  I need it, and I will make time even if it’s only 1 hour a week.  The time of day I get to be creative as a mom has changed, and there have been some late nights ;)  But it’s worth it, and I think my kids only give me the inspiration I need to let my creativity out.  They push me to want to be better, create more, and inspire others.  My sweet Asher girl is quite the artist, and I look forward to getting to explore that more as they grow!

[#5] What is a family tradition you love sharing with your kids?

Oh we love family traditions in our household!  Most of the weekly ones revolve around food, but don’t the best traditions?  We have continued a tradition that my parents started when they first got married in having pizza night on Sundays!  My kids know when we get in the car from church, “pizza night!”.  My husband makes waffles once a week, usually on Saturdays when we are in town and that is a fun time for him to get to be the chef in the kitchen, there usually is a dance party involved.  When we sit down for breakfast or lunch, me and the kids have made it somewhat of a tradition to talk about some of the kids we sponsor around the world.  I usually bring 1 or 2 pictures off the wall for a month or so and we talk about that kid, where they live, and we pray for them.  It’s been so fun to see them catch on and know their names.  Most of our other traditions revolve around holidays: big birthday banner and decorations and a scoop of ice cream for breakfast on birthday morning, hot chocolate and looking at christmas lights after we pick out our own christmas tree….we love traditions and are always coming up with new fun ones to celebrate with our little fam!

[#6] If you could give us a peek inside your home, which image would you share & why?

I think I love this image so much because it’s not pretty or well lit, but it’s just LIFE at our home.  One thing I've tried to make a priority is just putting the kids first and have fun!  When dad gets home and I’m cooking dinner, we often have dance parties.  I remember one day we were having neighbors over for dinner and I was trying frantically to pick everything up and make everything look perfect.  My family was having a dance party and I had this moment: continue to try to make my home “perfect” or forget it and have fun playing and being silly with my family.  I want to always chose family and having fun over trying to have a perfect home.  I want my kids to have those memories, of opening up our home & being exactly who we are with no apologies and loving & being loved by our neighbors. Our home is well lived in, so therefore it’s messy but I wouldn’t trade it!

[#7] Share an image you wouldn't typically post on IG but depicts real life happenings.

Well, actually I did post this on instagram haha. I recently was on a road trip with just me + the kids we called #wactour and I kept telling the girls that people would ask, “are you really having fun?” and we really were having fun.  but we also really did have melt downs, and I was saying “I need to post a picture of the REAL” and just after I said that my daughter had an epic meltdown smack dab of downtown St Louis, so I snapped it and posted it.  Ya know what?  later that weekend I had a dad come up to me + say that really helped him as his wife and daughters were outta town and he was taking care of the little boys alone - he said “every picture you post camp and asher look perfect, so that picture was really powerful.”  I don’t want to always post perfect pictures, I want to post more real life happenings. 

Be sure & follow @wynneelder on Instagram! You can also keep up with the series by following @kelliandvanessa and #myeverydaymoms