Welcome!

Welcome! I’m Amanda Foust, a professional writer and certified life coach. I’m so glad you’re here! At Downs Ups & Teacups, I combine my writing and coaching professions — cultivating discovery and expression through storytelling. Relationships, collaboration, and the sharing of stories are life-giving to me. The tears cried, bubbling laughter, and genuine connection that occurs around the teacup is treasured. Life isn’t always glamorous, so it’s important to talk about the hard things–the downs– alongside the celebrations–the ups. Downs, Ups, & Teacups is a creative place to organize thoughts, explore trends, empower and encourage. Please engage and participate on this page! My hope is for this to be a community where we grow together and a place that provides a positive environment to come and stay awhile. You are welcome here!  

Continue Reading

The Fighter Who Gave Up The Fight

I’m a fighter — always have been. Not in the physical sense (probably obvious) but in the way I approach life. Limitations are kind of a joke in my mind. Sure, I notice them, and sometimes they scare me, but I don’t let them dictate whether or not I will move forward. Tackling hard things is my jam. Juggling three, four, five important projects at one time feeds the parts of me that desires variety and adventure. My purpose isn’t to look productive or accomplished, but that’s most likely the thoughts of those looking into my life from the outside — at least that’s what I’ve been told. What people don’t see is the over-extended, always wanting to escape, and ongoing restlessness I feel inside. What I have recently discovered is that these feelings aren’t from fear of being weak or fear of failure, the issue is from where I find my strength: myself. Drowning in projects? I’ll stay up later! Children struggling? I’ll fix them! Need to work on me and make some changes? I’ll set more goals and raise my personal expectations! Called by God to adopt at the worst possible time? Sure, but I’ll keep my plate full throughout the entire […]

Continue Reading

Uncomfortable Simplicity

Excited to have Lindsay as a guest blogger this week! One of my favorite things about her is that she doesn’t live a “typical” life as a military spouse who travels the world, yet she relates to ALL with her perspective and the lessons she teaches through her stories! I have no doubt you will enjoy! Our small family has moved from America to a third world country.  It is a tremendous opportunity to try life from a different angle.  However, even though we are willing and able, I am learning it takes courage to adapt to a new way of life.  Although I’ve always prided myself in being adaptable, I find myself discouraged on most days here. We do not have any internet yet.  It will be another two months before our belongings arrive. The power sometimes works and often clicks off randomly. We cannot leave the house for simple walks most days because it is not safe to walk by ourselves. Our life has been reduced to uncomfortable simplicity. Before we had a child, my husband and I were constantly living in a joyous state of discomfort. We lovingly boasted about our bouts of sickness on a trip […]

Continue Reading

Resolution. Schmesolution: The Story Of A Failed Resolution

My dear friend Katrina Sheaffer wrote a story about when her New Year’s resolution failed. I love her humorous storytelling, and I know you will too! For more from Katrina, visit her blog site here. Enjoy! Resolution. Schmesolution. After the champagne flutes are raised as the clock strikes midnight, the clock seemingly strikes far too early at 8:30 a.m. the following day. If you’re honest, you wake up with a guilty conscious telling you to get a jump start on whatever New Year’s resolution you selected the night before and promised yourself you should at least strive to meet during the months of January and February. My husband and I, like many others, set the resolution of increasing our weekly workouts. (By increasing, I mean moving from zero times/week to at least 2-3 times/week). We also resolved to spend fewer nights mindlessly parked in front of the television. Therefore, it’s ironic that we found out about Planet Fitness’ January deal via a commercial played most likely amidst an episode of “This is Us.” On January 9th,  (yes, we were a week behind…), I put my best, running shoed foot forward. We headed to our local Planet Fitness, spoke and toured […]

Continue Reading

How To Find Affordable Travel Options

**This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.** As most of you know, my family are big travelers! Last year we went on five separate trips to six different locations. We spent time in the mountains of Colorado, dipped our toes into the sandy, Bahama beaches, and spent time visiting great friends scattered across the U.S. The year before, my family hadn’t traveled due to welcoming two new additions to our family in a single year. I longed for an adventure, but the timing wasn’t right. We decided to make up for the 2015 Year of Isolation by planning a Year of Adventure for 2016. Traveling makes us slow down, be present, and experience diversity. If we never let ourselves explore, we get stuck in the mundane patterns and routines. I love to promote growth and learning in my family — both of which happen while traveling. Many people have asked how we make adventuring a priority while sticking to our frugal budget, and one of our favorite answers is Groupon Coupons. When we are planning a family vacation, we typically choose a long weekend so not as much time off is required. We then reach for our Family […]

Continue Reading

Help Us To Simply Love

Some of you probably saw this post coming. If you follow this site closely, you will have seen that my family is currently on another adoption journey. We are eager, nervous, fearful, yet confident. And a huge part of the nerves and fear are directly related to finances. Asking family and friends for money is not one of my top 10 or even 1,000 things I want to do. “Are you prideful?” You might say that. However, after our first adoption process, I learned that I had to let go of that. I’m sad to admit this, but before entering into the adoption process the first time, I looked down on people who sent out “support letters” for their adoption. I thought to myself, “Why are you adopting a child if you are unable to pay the fees?” Clearly, I have been humbled since! In fact, if people were solely responsible for funding it all themselves, only a very few people would ever be able to consider adoption — leaving many more children without homes. We are sharing our journey with you and asking for your help. So, why should you pray about giving toward adoptions? Well, adoption is seen all throughout […]

Continue Reading

Why I Forgave My Parents For Saying “No” To Pets When We Were Kids

Every now and then I like to throw in a humor piece that doesn’t necessarily leave you with a thought-provoking challenge, but instead, leaves you with a laugh. Enjoy! Enjoy! Growing up, I always dreamed of owning a pet. I would imagine what it would be like to come downstairs on my birthday and see a giant cardboard box with my family standing around in anticipation. Eagerly, I would open it and inside would be a small ball of fluff with a red bow tied around its neck. We’d exchange slobbery kisses and be the best of friends. But each year came with me begging and pleading for a dog, secretly loving those sad puppy-adoption commercials (because THAT would convince them right?) But every time the same response would be given: “NO!” How could my parents not understand my “need” for a dog? My dad was on board a couple of times. When I was older, he was the one who finally convinced my mom, and the cycle of pups as members in our family continued. But in the early years, my puppy dog eyes that were begging for a four-legged companion were no match for my parents stubborn “no’s” […]

Continue Reading

Tips On Improving Patience For Moms!

As someone who struggles with patience, I was excited to have Zara Lewis contribute an article about how moms can practice more patience — not just to benefit your children, but to benefit yourself! Enjoy! Patience. One small word and yet – such a powerful, all-consuming notion. With the children acting out (yes, they can drive us nuts and there’s no need for you to feel ashamed of it) most of the time, there isn’t much to do but pray they’ll just tire already and stop at one point. Or – we could all go on and practice more patience. Yes, sounds like a plan. What exactly counts as patience? Roughly speaking, being patient means staying composed and calm, even in the face of a child’s extreme acting out behavior. It means “being able to keep your emotions in check so you can respond in the most appropriate or effective way,” rather than cursing or yelling. To most parents, being patient seems more difficult than climbing Mount Everest successfully. But with a few healthy steps, it really can be an achievable goal. Even though I’ve been dreaming about climbing Mount Everest since I was a child, I’ll share some necessary […]

Continue Reading

What Happens When Resolutions Fail

Slow family living. This is the phrase I chose to represent how I wanted 2017 to look. A reminder to spend time cultivating every moment, living with purpose, and taking control over the busyness that wrecks havoc with its unwanted grip. I pictured myself waking up with the littles, pouring a fresh cup of tea, and billowing ourselves into the cushions of our couch for some cuddles and conversation — well as good as conversation can be with a two and four-year-old. We would get tangled up together with our limbs and laughter, and the minutes of the day would tick by without a care. The quality time in the morning would be the fuel for exploration in the afternoon. And as the kids turned on their curiosity and dug for knowledge the remainder of the day, I would spend time deep in my work pouring into writing. As the evening slowly approached, we would find ourselves in the kitchen. Together we would dust off the cookbooks, gather supplies, and experiment without pressure or expectation. We would transform a chore into treasured moments. The evening would welcome daddy home and embrace him into our slow family living equation. Dance parties, tickle monsters, […]

Continue Reading

Adoption Attachment

Growing up, I had preconceived ideas of adoption. One of these ideas originated from the well-known and loved movie, Annie. Annie was an orphan chosen to spend time with a billionaire, Oliver Warbucks, and through her adventure, she ends up finding her forever home. The classic line, “I love you, Daddy Warbucks,” and the strong embrace of father and newly adopted daughter is a moment engrained in my mind and my first, but not last, false impression of adoption. These false ideas continued as I met more adoptive families and followed their journeys. There were smiles, love, laughter, and everything else that points to an easy and rewarding journey to adoption. I had always known that I wanted to be a part of this journey. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of providing for children in need and offering them the love they have always deserved but never experienced? I still feel this…strongly.  However, after our first adoption and now beginning another, I see things through a clearer and sometimes painful lens. Attachment is a word that was never frequently used in my vocabulary but at one point took over my book titles, Google searches, and daily conversations with […]

Continue Reading

From Breakdown To Breakthrough

This past year felt like an ongoing breakdown. As I said in my When You Need A Fresh Start post, nothing particularly bad happened, but due to some health issues at the time, my mind was like a battlefield. My value of authenticity led me to write posts about bits and pieces of my breakdown such as the loneliness and anxiety I wrestled with, but there are many feelings that went on that I haven’t yet been given the words to explain. Fear, doubts, inadequacy, abandonment, and more plagued me. As a result, I took my inner light and hid it for awhile because I was afraid to claim power and worth while I felt defeated and alone. Truth became distorted and my mind controlled more of me than my heart. My heart knew the truth about my value and purpose, but my head told myself I wasn’t enough. So instead of sorting myself out, I chose distraction as my “drug” of choice (naturally). While most give themselves time to wallow in their mess a bit so they can navigate their way to the exit, I ran around in my own mess diverting my attention from one debris to another and ignoring the big picture. […]

Continue Reading