Adoption Story: Lynch Family

Welcome to our 3rd Annual Adoption Week! You can read all about how this week came to be with Jenna’s very personal connection to adoption right here, and we’re so excited and touched to be able to share more stories. To kick it off a sweet story from the Lynch Family!

adoptionweek“I will always remember where I was the moment I got the call—in the Panera Bread parking lot. I heard our adoption counselor on the other end saying she was going to call my husband, Josh, and we would be on a three-way conversation. I knew what was about to happen, but that did not stop the tears from flowing when she told us a birth mother had chosen us. As car after car passed to get in the drive-through line, my husband and I laughed and cried and laughed again. I could practically hear his smile through the phone line. The most joyous words I had heard up until that point in my life: “You have been matched.”

Adoption Story: Lynch FamilyRewind to two years earlier when my husband and I became engaged. We knew then that having our own biological children was not going to happen, but we were still undecided about adoption. I had so many questions: Will I love this child as if I had given birth to him or her? What if a birth mother never chooses us? What if we are chosen and then she changes her mind? What if our child grows up and wants to find his/her biological family? The fears seemed endless, but not nearly as frightening as never having anyone call me, “Mama.”Adoption Story: Lynch FamilyI cannot believe I ever questioned the love I would have for this angel sent to us from Heaven above. There is no way I could love my Ryan Michelle any more if I had given birth to her. She melts my heart when she wakes in the morning and wants me to bend down so we can give kisses through the slats in her crib. She runs to the safety gate at the top of the stairs when her dad comes home and shouts, “Dada!” at the top of her lungs. She dances to every single song she hears, even in her highchair, if a particularly awesome tune comes on. She loves bubbles and swinging and reading books. She is our beautiful, perfect, funny, curious girl. OUR girl.Adoption Story: Lynch Family

I will not say the journey was easy. It was filled with tears, worries, sleepless nights, time spent on our knees in prayer, and many questions and doubts. But the second we got that phone call, it made every single tear and anxiety-filled moment worth it. We were there the moment she came into this world and I find that experience difficult to put into words. The first time I held her, I realized what unconditional love was. I was a mother—she was mine and I was hers. It was that simple and pure. And perfect.Adoption Story: Lynch Family

I still have worries: How will we explain things to her? Will she understand or will she be hurt? Will we ever be able to truly get her to understand how loved and wanted she is? Will she ever want to meet her biological mother? I know there are things and events in our future that many families will never have to face. There will be obstacles in the way and maybe difficult bridges to cross. But when we get to those bridges, we will cross them together as a family. Because that is exactly what we are: A FAMILY.Adoption Story: Lynch Family



yard organization

By Emily.

For our last day of Spring Cleaning Week we are heading outside! We teamed up with Lifetime Products to take control of my overflowing garage and the answer was simple, time for a shed! The situation at my house is this: my husband is not only a contractor (tools everywhere you look) but he’s also a hobbyist mechanic and a sports lover. Our boys have bikes and scooters and toys and then we have those little things called cars to think about, too. We have amassed a ton of stuff and here was our answer.. Ride-on toys, sports stuff and yard gear got upgraded to this beauty.Shed OrganizationMy number one reasoning for this split was a strong desire to get all the kids toys out of the garage and away from the cars. We’ve had a few friends and friends of friends deal with fatal accidents in their own driveways and I felt like if I could make it so my kids had no reason to be playing and running in and out of the garage all day (like they were doing!) then that would be a good improvement. So, their bikes, scooters, sports toys all came to the shed.Shed OrganizationYard OrganizationThe second plan for the shed was all our yard and garden gear! I started with this peg-board and added a little graphic element by taping off the triangle shapes and then spray painting the bottom half black. Garden tools. hoses, yard wellies, gloves, watering cans and my giant brimmed hat just like my mom wears in her garden. We spend a ton of time in our yard once the garden is sprouting so having the shed right there is going to a welcome change from trekking to the garage for supplies and tools.pegboard


Shed OrganizationI was so excited to get our scooter and dirt bike into the shed and still have plenty of space for whatever else we needed to add. Shed Organization  All our sports gear made its way to the shed as well. Balls, bats, rackets, nets, all things I am happy to be done tripping over! Basically anything we use outdoors is here now.Shed OrganizationIf you’re looking for a way to add functionality without losing curb appeal to your outside storage Lifetime is offering Small Fry readers 10% any of the sheds on their site! The code is good until April 24th, 2015 so don’t delay! Enter “smallfry” at check-out and view all their sheds right here.

Have a great weekend, everyone! We announced that next week is our 3rd Annual Adoption Week on our social networks (@smallfryblog) but realized we didn’t mention it here! If you have a story or are looking to adopt email us! hello at Also, we hope to see you locals at Design Mom’s Book Tour stop in Salt Lake tomorrow! Details here.

spring cleaning you forgot

By Nicole.

One thing we realized while we were prepping for this week is there are a lot of tasks that go undone around these parts. Small and simple jobs that seem daunting but when you break it down day by day, are not too bad at all! Basically exactly what the term Spring Cleaning was made for. Here’s what we’ve added to our list:

Spring Cleaning You Forgot


1. Change Air Filters: The filters on your HVAC (Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning) systems work hard each day to filter out dust, mold, pollen, dander and other particles that can irritate our systems. These filters get filled up with these particles and then your furnace has to work extra hard to circulate. Increasing your electrical bill and wearing out your HVACs many working parts. Replacing elements of your HVAC system hurts, but changing a filter is a cinch! It is suggested that you change these monthly, so add it to your list and see how your family’s congestion, allergies, and overall home cleanliness is bettered!

2. Scrub Window Screens: Similarly to your air filters your screen keeps out particles from the outside. With warmer temperatures increasing daily our windows are open a lot more frequently. They keep the bugs out, your kids in, and also filter out lots of allergens that irritate us in the Springtime. You can do a quick run over them with a lint roller, your vacuum hose if they’re a little worse, or a soapy water scrub down if they’re really bad.

3. Replace Batteries: Changing the batteries to your smoke and carbon monoxide monitors is a must! Nothing is worse to getting startled awake by a low battery monitor. (Why is it ALWAYS in the middle of the night those things go out?)

4-6. Can you tell allergies are a struggle for us? Dusting your fans, air vents and blinds not only makes your house look brand new and so clean, but it helps eliminate those particles that cause trouble in our homes.

7. Another overlooked task is touching up paint and patching wall damage. All you need is the right tools and a can of spackle and it’s actually a lot of fun! Repairing larger holes requires more work but after a quick YouTube video or two, you’ll feel handy as can be!

Obviously, lots of these jobs should be done more than just once a year, but as we’re really deep cleaning our homes, this is what we have found really makes the place sparkle! What Spring Cleaning tasks have you added to your must-do list?

beautiful organization

By Jenna.

I am an organization addict. It doesn’t mean I’m good at it necessarily, but I get SUCH a thrill from it! There are a lot of things in my home that can’t be put away: I either use them too much, or I don’t use them if they’re in a cupboard. I really think in this case you should purchase baskets and containers that serve a dual purpose. They’re both beautiful and functional and fit in to the aesthetic of your home. So, for today’s Spring Cleaning Week topic, here;s how I use these vessels in my own home!spring cleaning weekWe use our essential oils every day, so I found these little white containers that go in every room depending on the person’s needs in that room. I found these in the $1 Target bin…score! I’m addicted to beautiful baskets of any kind. I exchanged all my ugly plastic laundry baskets for beautiful woven ones. They somehow make the laundry pile up pleasing to the eye and I don’t get as angry looking at it :)basket5My all time favorite white container is from Ikea. It comes in several different sizes and best of all has a lid to hide the madness! I use large ones for diapers, medium ones for baby shoes and small ones for baby bows and accessories. I use them for my own toiletries, laundry supplies, spices, EVERYTHING. I love their minimal design and think they look gorgeous around my house.basket3

I also LOVE these clear plastic bins from Ikea. They have wheels at the bottom so we use them for a lot of our toys, wheel them out of the toy room and play with them, then wheel them back in! I love having this bin for our bath toys right by the tub. The boys play with them and know to clean them back up and put them away. Again, not an eye sore.

Next up is our obsession with Legos. I’ve found these lego bins to be so helpful with organizing plus they really do look so pretty! basket2

I did not style any section of my house when I took these pictures, just took them as is. So yes the shoe situation in my life is out.of.control! I’ve tried shelves, I’ve tried begging people to put their shoes away, I’ve tried throwing them out in the garage. None of that works. So, more baskets! The shoe situation is still a nightmare, but it looks nicer there in those cute baskets I found at Target and West Elm. Once a week I empty and organize the baskets up in people’s rooms.

Along with my addiction to baskets is one to blankets, so I love having a basket out for guests, friends and all of us to have blankets to cozy up with on the couch.basket1Hope this helps organize the corners of your life that you’ve been avoiding! I’ve rounded up some more of my favorite baskets and containers below! Happy Spring Cleaning!

zone cleaning

By Emily.

Switching over to a more eco-friendly cleaning supply line-up has been on my list and so I was excited for the chance to swap out my usual chemical ridden products for more natural ones! Babyganics sent several products to try and I worked it into my normal week of cleaning. For the last year or so I’ve been doing zone cleaning and thought it might be fun to share how it’s going! I had to do it for the sake of my home, and here’s why: deep cleaning, oof. I can tidy with the best of them, but I found myself putting off getting a really deep clean for weeks at a time. There are a hundred excuses and reasons, but I’ll spare you and just share how the zone cleaning solution is going.spring cleaning week

So,  what is zone cleaning? Basically, you choose a day of the week for a certain task and you stick to that schedule over several months, every job has its day and knowing theis and I will get to it comforts me for some reason. Being overwhelmed tends to paralyze me into doing nothing instead of something, so zone cleaning has been all about taking a daunting list of tasks and making them more manageable. I noticed most people do their zone cleaning room by room. I do a mixture. Bedrooms I do in one swoop, but living spaces get split into specific tasks because they’re such big spaces. Mine is super simplified but I shared a few more tasks you might be looking to add to your own weeks at the end of this post! Over the course of several months I fine tuned what works for me based on my schedule and the inevitable lack of interest toward the end of the week (does this happen to anyone else?)

Monday: Wash the floors. I have to do this first thing in the week when I am motivated and refreshed or it will get pushed down the list. So, Monday it is! I sweep, vacuum, scrub, wash, polish ALL the floors in my house. We only have one room with carpet so it’s a pretty big job. SO thrilled to switch out my Pine-Sol for this. It works just as good!Zone Cleaning Tips

Tuesday: Master Bedroom. Our room gets pretty cluttered, fast. Clothes galore, and not necessarily ready to be washed. I am totally sold on this Stain & Odor Remover Spray for refreshing clothes that are getting re-hung. I love going through our closets, linens and beds spraying this one! So much better for you and the environment then the leading breezier brand. 😉 Zone Cleaning TipsSo, after I get all those clothes re-hung, its time to re-organize the closet, deep clean, change the sheets, and launder the duvet cover.Zone Cleaning Tips

Wednesday: Hayes’ Room. No school today and it tends to be a slower paced day, so we take the morning doing his room together. Getting toys back in their place, organizing, going through clothes that don’t fit, taking an inventory of what he needs, new sheets. All the boys toys are in this room so Cal picks up toys, too. Zone Cleaning TipsSince Hayes is assisting on this one, I love having these super safe wipes. They’re perfect for little helping hands! They don’t have to wrangle a spray bottle and can do it all with one little wipe. He has white walls, too, so we have lots to wipe usually!Zone Cleaning Tips

Thursday: Cal’s Room. Same deal, and this one gets a vacuum. These kids are growing like weeds so I am going through their closets often and putting outgrown pieces into storage.

Friday: Surfaces. This is one word that I know means basically everything not on the floor gets washed. Cupboards, walls, light switches, doors, baseboards, couches, rugs, wood surfaces get oiled. Like I said before I totally lose steam at the end of a long week. So today I basically walk around with a wet rag and it’s all very lazy looking and probably inefficient but I know myself and I can’t muster the oomph I have early in the week. This Multi-surface cleaner transitions perfectly from room to room, surface to surface. I have loved carrying one spray bottle around and getting all the different materials in my house clean!Zone Cleaning TipsI used it on so many things but was apprehensive about leather,Zone Cleaning Tipsand wood, and was totally impressed!Zone Cleaning Tips

Saturday: Bathrooms. We do these as family as our Saturday chore. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but I just have a 3 and 5 year old and it’s working for us! I love how bathrooms are a small area with lots of different tasks. They learn how to do mirrors, floors, tub and tile, straightening and organizing, toilets and more.  Russ takes one kid to the master and I take one to the guest bath.

Daily: Obviously there a few things I do everyday. Sweeping, trash and recycling, dishes, the kitchen counters and sinks get a wipe down everyday. All these products got used daily (Tub and Tile worked wonders on my cement countertops!) and at first it’s strange that you can’t smell anything at all – they do have a citrus scent that is all-natural and amazing! – but when I thought of all the chemicals that go into giving cleaning products their “scent” I felt a lot better. Zone Cleaning Tips

Monthly: I clean out the fridge, clean the oven, the junk drawer, and other deep cleaning tasks that need attention. We do lots of projects outside together on weekends, too!

And here’s my secret to success: I use a pick-up and delivery laundry service (Washed for you locals!)  I send out about 40 pounds a week, except towels, sheets, and things that need to be air-dried. On Saturday I do one or two loads. I made it a point to have a few extra sets of sheets for all our beds so I can change the sheet one day and not worry about washing it for a few more. I can’t explain how not having to do my laundry has bettered my life. It was my LEAST favorite task of all tasks. I hate it so much. I wanted to own it, to dominate laundry and be good at it. But it owned me, week after week. So instead of hiring a cleaning lady like I was, I send the laundry out. It is my luxury and I love it!

Here are some other tasks you might want to work into your schedule, too!

Menu Planning, Grocery Shopping, Paying Bills and cleaning out mail, Clean Cars, Flip mattresses, Straighten books and movies, another thing I’m excited to try is scheduling all my appointments for a specific day of the week. Also, tasks that I can’t take kids to. Planning on a sitter or sending the kids to their grandparents is so much easier if there’s a set day that works for everyone!

Do you zone clean? If so, what works for you? What doesn’t work for you? I’m excited to hear, and fine-tune my own schedule!