Sunday, December 30, 2012

On That 25th Day

Christmas was one for the books.

As a child, there are those elaborate notions of what Christmas is like--the magic, the warmth, the beauty.

The glow of those twinkle lights intertwined with the pine needles of the Christmas tree. Crimson bows adorned on presents nestled beneath a proud evergreen.

Folks skip around, happy and joyful with never a stranger near.

There is something about the season, it has a way of wrapping you up in its grasp and refusing to let you go.

And this year, I experienced a whirlwind combo of a child's Christmas mixed with a Mama's love for her son.

There was a thought never too far from my mind, as I looked on at my growing son. I couldn't help but think of Mary and Joesph and the birth of their Son. The love you have for your children is one that far surpasses all understanding and comprehension.

 It is a love that runs deeper than any ocean, and stands stronger than any mountain. This love consumes you from the inside out, and all you can think to do is hold them close and never let go.

With the New Year upon us, many will be making New Year's resolutions, promising to better themselves, to eat healthier, to exercise more, to be more patient, to show love, to be happy, to be more fiscally responsible, to give more of themselves, to volunteer when they can, to donate what they have......and while each of these are respectable and positive in their own light, I do believe that we shouldn't wait til the beginning of a new year to better ourselves or the lives of those around us. The gift is nestled within the dawn of a new day.

 We have an opportunity to do what we can with the time we have.

Life demands that we seek it out.

That we strive for better.

That we go with gusto.

That we dare to walk where no one else has.

That we take the journey ahead.

That we do all we can with what we have.

Life begins each day, within each hour, within each minute that passes.

Life is waiting.....

And if the magic of Christmas wasn't enough for my already bursting heart, God gave me my first ever white Christmas, on my son's first Christmas nonetheless.

So we put on bear cub hats, and bared the blustery winds.

And there it was.

Another perfect day.

Happy 2012.....and happy 2013.

With sweet memories in hand, I say, bring on the days ahead.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

 There is nothing cuter than a kiddo with twinkle lights.....

 We wish each and every one of you....

A very Merry Christmas!

(Even if you think Santa is a little scary and refuse to let go of Dad :) )

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What Do You Say?

I wasn't sure if or how I would attempt to write this post.

My everyday life has gone on like normal. We went to visit Santa (at our library nonetheless since we don't have a department store of any sort) and then we got our Christmas tree. Our little family had a wonderful time, and together, we made Christmas ornaments. It was what memories are made of.

But there are those who don't have that normal anymore.

I'm sure it goes without saying, but what happened in Conneticut, brought us to our knees. My husband and I both couldn't help but think about the children and adults affected by that day. Heaven's gates were much too busy on Friday, and there will be a hole this Christmas for too many families.

We took extra time this weekend. We smiled more. We laughed louder. We held hands just because. We threw out the lists and chose to live in the moment. We decided to honor those who left this world with our lives.

And now, we are continuing to honor them by taking what we gleaned from this weekend and applying everyday. The arguments dissipate. Snide remarks go unsaid. We are relishing in the time we have together, the now and not the later. We have chosen love, family, patience, kindness, peace.

I couldn't help but think as I began to fret about getting everything done this Christmas that there are Mom's and Dad's who were fretting about the same thing, and now their kiddos will not be home for Christmas. That is an ache and a pain so deep that words would elude anyone trying to convey it. So I threw out the lists, and even now, we still don't have lights on the house and we decided to bake just one type of cookie. There is no rush, no hustle and bustle, only a peace that has descended upon our home. We are focusing our eyes on God, and thanking Him for this time together.

I hope and pray that this Christmas, you may also find peace, joy, and a love so deep that your heart overflows. Let that overflow spill over to those who need it, and may we all remember that we know not the time or the hour, and all we have is right now.

Merry Christmas my dear friends.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Breathing for a Moment

There is much to learn from the lessons our little ones can teach us. I find myself amazed at how such a little person carries with them so much knowledge.

I watch as he readies to take his first step. Each time he goes to walk, he isn't quite there, but he tries nonetheless. Perseverance.

His laughter bellows from deep in his belly, a sound filled with happiness and contentment. Joy.

He sits quietly with the sun's rays dancing around his feet. Peace.

Whenever someone walks into the room, his face lights up with excitement at the sight of you. Benevolence.

His chubby little fingers reach out and touch my face, singing a song straight to my heart. Love.

One of the greatest joys has been learning from my son to be patient and understand that things take time. Just the other day, I told him to be patient and to take his time, and no sooner did I finish saying those words, did I realize that I should take my own advice more often. I have grown impatient with some aspects of life, refusing to recognize that all I need to do is wait. We have grown accustomed to thinking that everything needs to happen now, or rather yesterday. I have been camped in this school of thought for far too long, and as I watch my son try over and over to learn something new, and rejoice in the moment that he figures it out, I want to do the same.

I want to keep trying, and despite failing, I want to get up over and over again. I want to have the moment of pure elation when I realize the very thing I worked so hard for has come to fruition.

There is much to be learned from 'taking our time'. When the days seem rushed and the hours flint by, remember to take a moment, to find your inner kiddo and just give it time.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Perfect Day

There are moments when upon completion of the day, when I take a moment to reflect, that I realize life is just as I had hoped it would be. Every so often, when diving into the recesses of my brain, it dawns on me that I had a perfect day.

Today was a perfect day.

To an outsider, nothing spectacular happened today, but for me, it was a day that I hope to always remember. I do believe that given the opportunity each and every one of us is capable of having the perfect day. On this perfect day, I did not go any place special or have any visitors, but I did have a moment when what I once thought was black and white came into color. You see, the past couple years came with their fair share of trials, and I began to feel that pang associated with a sadness that runs deep. My world looked black and white, and while I was happy, I was not the utter contented happy I knew I could be. I have been praying for God to heal my heart, to fill my heart to the point of overflowing so that I may love my family to the best of my ability.

And then without even thinking about it, God painted my world in the most beautiful colors. As I stood in the backyard, listening to hymns, and working the earth beneath my feet, I noticed the golden hues dancing across the setting sun.

Sweat began to bead up on my brow, dirt collected under my fingernails. My heartbeat picked up and my body warmed with the blood pulsating from within. I felt alive, from my soul to my body. As I worked, I prayed to God, thanking Him for all He has done and continues to do in my life and in that of my family's.

When the work was all done, I sat quietly on the front porch, content to just be. The wind whipped and whistled around me, the hymns played softly in the background. My heart filled with gratefulness for the life I have been given and for this perfect day.

There are days when life is a storybook.

And on these days, I hope my story reads that this one perfect day will forever be carried in my heart, as a reminder of God's promise and of His undying love. My Christmas gift will not come nestled beneath the tree, but you can bet that I will be relishing in all the golds and greens, reds and whites. I will be looking and living with a heart wide open, a gift too large to wrap up and stamp with a bow.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Step Forward and Step Up

I've debated saving this post until tomorrow, but I know that my mind will not rest until I have put the words down on paper. Today was one of those days you don't want to forget and lest you allow the day to pass you by, you share the experience with anyone who will read it.

My husband and I were having a conversation this afternoon. I was deeply engulfed in my own mind when he suddenly asks me what's wrong. I fumbled through my words not really sure of how to construct my thoughts, or even if they would make any sense. He gently coaxed me, and soon I began telling him how I wish we were able to do basic things like go to the optometrist for new glasses (I wear glasses) or see the dentist whenever we needed to or put new tires on the car. I told him how I worry that we can't afford to do certain things and that we have no means to do them if we needed to.

He quietly and calmly looked over at me and smiled. He whispered, "God will take care of us, and He will meet our every need."

Everyday, the faith of this man makes me proud to be his wife.

After a few more minutes, he looked at me and asked if I was alright. I told him that I was ashamed of how I've been acting. What really has been bothering me is my attitude of what I need/want when in reality, there are more who go without than not. Children go to bed hungry. Men and women are away from their families, fighting for our freedoms. Little babies cry out in the night, cold and scared. Families go without a place to call home.

And here I sit in my warm home. My son, contentedly sleeping in his soft, cozy bed. We all had a nourishing meal before bed. The dryer is humming as clothes are cleaned and readied for tomorrow. Biscuits are made for the morning's breakfast, and every night, I fall asleep next to the love of my life.

I don't want God to give me everything. I don't want to get too comfortable with life that I forget all that He has done. I want to diligently follow Him. I want to live with such a passion for God that at the end of my life, I am remembered not for who I was, but for who I believed in. I want to see the pain and hurting in the world, so that I may remember to always reach out to those in need. I want to have river of compassion etching its way across my heart, pouring from my hands all that I have to give. I want to reach out in the darkness and grab hold of a lost one, knowing that I too am lost, but together we seek out guidance.

I thought about this when the turkey leftovers were being tucked away in the icebox....I'm grateful for the hardships. Never before have I felt closer to God. Over the last twelve months, I have grown more uncertain about every aspect of life except for one--my faith. I want a faith drenched in passion, a fervor on the brink of exploding.

Through the pain and the suffering, He is there. Through the joy and the triumph, He is there. Through the minutes and the hours, the days and the years, He is there. And I don't want to waste another minute on mediocrity.

I'm all in.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mere Moments

I have only a few minutes to write, and yet, I find myself fumbling across the keys, begging my mind to slow so my fingers have a chance to catch up. In all honesty, I miss this little corner of the world. I miss leisurely writing, letting my mind wander, while words stream together in my mind. Now, I steal a quick moment here and there, begging time to halt if only for a breath. I crave writing, it's what I was born to do.

But right now, I am needed elsewhere.

The job is going along. Unfortunately, the training was unorganized and scattered, while the tasks of the job still demand that I perform at a certain level. This job is not one that I dreamed of nor thought I would take, but it was the job offered. And so, each morning I rise before the household, to sit with my thoughts and prepare the baby's bottle. I pray for God to quiet the uneasiness in my soul, that He may give me patience and perseverance. I go about the morning chores, minding the passing minutes, knowing that all too soon, I will sit in front of the computer, quickly striking the keys and awaiting when the clock strikes four, and I can call it a day.

Once those hours are over and done, joy returns to my spirit as I get to spend the rest of my day being a wife and a mom. Two jobs that I adore more than anything else in this world. Two jobs that I cherish beyond all belief, knowing all the while that my purpose is to do all I can to help my family, in any way I can. My husband tells me everyday how proud he is of me, and how grateful he is that I was willing to work, so he could focus on school and work on the weekends. I hear the laughter wafting down the hall, knowing that just in the other room, my husband and son are happily playing alongside one another. My son gets to have his Daddy with him everyday. My husband has the opportunity to bond with his son. They will have a bond stronger than any other, and I know, that by sacrificing my time and energy, I am doing my part.

The nights grow longer and longer, sleep becomes an elusive dream. And still, when I see how my son adores my husband, I know I am where I need to be. Sometimes, we have to stand outside the picture in order for others to shine.

Nothing compares to their love....

Monday, November 12, 2012

No Second Chances

Lately, I have been drawn to the Word, my heart is changing more and more everyday. Maybe it's the course of things, or maybe it's looking at the world through my son's eyes, but there are things that I aspire to be, people I admire, traits I want obtain. My admiration is not for those who have wealth or fame, but those who live with humility and kindness. I find myself being drawn to characters like Job and Joesph, living with a passionate love for God, their legacy resting solely on their faith.

I want my son to be proud of me for my faith, for having a love and heart for God. I want to be proud of myself for this reason.

I've been stopping myself these past few weeks, in those moments when I would be quick to anger and spout back with meanness and hatred. There is a movement happening in my soul, something telling me to stop, breathe, pray, and love. Tomorrow is not guaranteed and I don't want to whittle away the hours fighting or bickering. My husband and I have both felt this movement, in fact, many a time, we look at each other with downcast eyes, sorry and ashamed of hurting our best friend. We remember not to hold grudges, and tear down the barriers we build, to fill the moment with a loving embrace and kind words. To ask for forgiveness and to have forgiveness offered without hesitation.

I used to count down the hours and days I had to spend with loved ones, all the while, missing the time I did have with them. I was too focused, to zoned-in to what awaited me, the responsibilities that laid before me that often I let the memories go by. I was too focused on what could happen instead of what was happening.

Maybe that is one of the greatest lessons we can learn.

Maybe God has been working all this time in my life to teach me to strive to have a servant's heart. It isn't always easy to give up old habits. In fact, those old habits turn into crutches that we quickly turn to when things get a little shaky. But faith demands that we be willing to look beyond ourselves, to grow where no one else wants to, to reach out to the shadows and shine a light.

I would like to think that I have plenty of tomorrows. But that choice is not up to me. The only choice I can make is how I choose to spend my now. Do I want to leave a legacy? Will my life be remembered for who I was not what I did? Did I do all I could to live a life that honors God? Did I love with all that I have, and did I accept the love around me?

I read about men like Job, and know that his faith was unshakeable and admirable. I know I am flawed and I may never become something grand in the world's eyes, but I am perfectly made and seen in His eyes.

My legacy is living and loving God, and that needs no second chances.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what the day may bring Proverbs 27:1

With the new work hours, there seems to be a blur of hours passing me by. My day is dictated by my job specifications, but that doesn't mean that the day is wasted. There are the hours I spend with my son before and after the days work is done, those deliciously sweet hours we spend laughing and playing on the floor--it is in those hours that I find my joy. In those moments, when he looks at me and smiles, I can hear his heart tell my heart, it's gonna be ok and he loves me regardless of the time we have.

"Feed your faith, and your fears will starve to death"

I'm scared to think that I will miss something. I'm scared to think that this precious time is being whittled away at work, and that one day, my son will resent me for being gone. I'm scared of the unknown. But through it all, God will sustain me. He gives me strength and resolve to believe in His promises and to hold onto His grasp.

Just the other day, I was talking to my husband about this job and how much I wish my writing career was successful. I wish my writing could provide food for the table and the roof overhead. He asked me, "By whose standards are you measuring your success? Yours? The world's?" . With the new job, a lot has come to the forefront of my mind, especially when dealing with my profession and what I hope to accomplish in life.

There is a sense that something big is happening. God is working through this household, and we are waiting His promise and provision. It is exciting to feel God working through our lives, knowing that we are on the cusp of something big, something wonderful, something more than we could ever fathom.

And then I remember, I didn't ever dream my life would be the way it is. I never thought a man like my husband would fall for a woman like me. I never thought I would be the mother to one of the sweetest little boys. I never thought I would be living in a small town, surrounded by kind people and vast spans of land. I never thought my heart could hold this much love.

And yet, everything I never thought could happen, did.

There is a deep-rooted contentedness that stems from living with a grateful heart. I still tear up when I see full cupboards in our kitchen....they weren't always that way. My heart is overwhelmed by the goodness in the world, despite what makes the news headlines. Life is meant to be lived, not feared. People were meant to be loved, not hated. Peace is there, even in the darkness.

Yes, you had to know he would be a cowboy. Cutest cowboy 'round these parts (well, along with his Daddy!)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

When the Days Change

This week marked the beginning of a new path in our household. I started my official workweek yesterday, and with two days under my belt, I am trying to see the positive and the blessings ahead. I would be lying if I said it was all daisies and roses because here, in reality, it's hard to release the control I had over my days before, the freedom to get what I need to do done, and the ability to snuggle the little guy whenever I pleased.

Now, my hours are dictated by the time clock, and for the hours prior and following, I hold onto to every single second. Those grins and sticky fingers, those belly laughs and graham cracker smell, I soak it all in. I know I'm just down the hall, tucked away in my little corner of the house, but when I hear those laughs echoing through the walls, it takes everything I have not to join in.

And then I quietly pray, asking God to quiet my heart and help me find contentment. I ask Him to give me a grateful heart. It's difficult to do the very thing you know you need to do, but don't want to and fight the urge to. There are those who would be grateful to have a job, this I know. My husband tells me all day how proud of me he is and how thankful he is to be given the opportunity to work on school and be with our son.

So, for now, for this season, I work. The days are full, since with the close of one shift, another begins. My timecard for motherhood goes well into overtime, but it is the job that my heart finds peace and pure joy in. The days my be different, but my heart is unchanged.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Picture Palooza

Just a few peaks at the everyday.....

     Eating some tasty blueberries!

                                                             You lookin' at me, Mama?


Already my deep thinker.

Now to go snuggle him tons and beg the Heavens to slow time.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Generational Get-Together

My grandfather is in town this week, which means my son has been enjoying the company of his great grandfather.

I believe, there are moments in life, when we sit back and soak it all in, our breath can easily be taken away. I have had a few of these moments this week. You see, my grandfather lost the love of his life, my grandmother, a few years ago to cancer. She was his North, he sense of direction, his home. As much as I miss my grandma, my heart breaks a little more when I see him sitting by himself, looking off into the distance. I can't help but cringe when I think of the dinners he eats alone, the holiday mornings with no one there. I best stop there before I cry.

Anyways, this week, there have been a few moments that I will keep with me for all eternity. My grandfather was singing to my son, and together they let out deep, belly laughs. There smiles and giggles are forever etched in my mind. Then, there was the scene of my husband and grandfather gathered around the fire pit on a chilly evening, swapping stories 'round the fire. Even with the soft glow of the flames, I can still see the smile across their faces.

We have a few more days together. I plan on taking it all in, while cooking hearty, nourishing meals, just like my grandma used to make. I love having a houseful of men who need meals to be cooked, laundry to be cleaned, dishes to be washed.

This was my grandmother with my aunt and my mom. She was the epitome of a gracious lady.

Now if you will excuse me, I have much to make in the kitchen in preparation for tomorrow. Cooking is part of my love language. Nothing says 'I love my family' better than a warm meal.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Working as a Team

When I said my vows three years ago, the pastor talked about marriage working as a team and by working together, the couple can achieve greatness. But apart, a couple will whither beneath the hardship of daily life.

My husband has been working his tail off all summer at various construction jobs, doing whatever he could for those who needed help or had an odd job. The only difficulty with such work is the lack of a steady paycheck. We prayed over our bills, asking God to fill the gaps and to meet our needs. Then September rolled around and my husband started his college classes again. (He decided two years ago to go back after a ten year hiatus.) The classes are time consuming, especially since he is a program that demands two classes every six weeks. I am so proud of my husband; he is resilient and strong, unwavering and determined.

I pray everyday my son grows up to be like his Dad.

God has blessed us again, and this time, it comes in the form of a job for myself. That's right, I will be going to work. But rather than spend my time in an office 8 hours a day, I will be working from home! My office will be here at home, and I will be able to have lunch with my kiddo and my husband. Not only do I get to work alongside my two favorite people, but I don't have a commute nor do I have to take any business trips. I was so happy to alleviate the financial burden from my husband who already is working hard in school. He deserves the opportunity to focus all his efforts on school in order to do his best.

I figured it would be selfish of me to ask my husband to go to school full-time and then turnaround and work a full-time job. He deserves the chance to spend time with the family as well.

So we will be working as a team, pulling out the playbook and rewriting the game plan a bit.

I'm not sure how this will work out, or if the job will be an ideal fit. But I don't need to know.

The Creator knows our needs and He knows our capabilities.

Monday, September 24, 2012


I promise to hold you as long as you want me to. As long as those chubby, little fingers are wrapped around mine, I promise to fore go all other chores, dishes, phone calls, and unnecessary luxuries. If that means writing by candlelight with the moon illuminating overhead and sleeping a few hours to awaken with the sun, those few hours in the early dawn are worth seeing your sweet little face. I want to be present for all of it.

Each day, I try to figure a means to stretch the minutes, to freeze the daylight, to etch the memories in my mind forever. I relish the sweet baby smell and chuckle that this little babe smells like graham crackers.

Everything I do, every breath I take, is intentional and heartfelt. I live for God and family. I live for Him, my husband, and my son. In those twilight hours, when slumber beckons me, my husband reaches across and grasps my hand. I trace the outline of those hard-working hands, knowing he works without complaint and without reprieve. I only wish the bank thought that way.

Those older women in the market look on and say, "Enjoy it, it goes so fast."

They're right.

I'm not going to miss a second of it. At the end of my life, I'm not betting on riches. I'm betting on love, on family, on being there. This little family of mine is intertwined, interwoven without a beginning or an end. This legacy will reach beyond my lifetime, something that time cannot change.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

While He's Still Little

I must admit, while I don't want my son to grow up too fast and I am enjoying every moment of each stage, there are a few milestones that make my heart sing.

Recently, my son started to put his arms up whenever he wants me to hold him. It's so sweet to watch his face light up as I reach down to scoop him up, and he wraps his arms around my neck. The sweetest little hug from my sweet, sweet boy.

Every morning when I wake up, I make a cup of coffee and begin to warm his bottle. Once the bottle is warm, I go in to pick him up, and see these two precious blue eyes staring at me over the crib railing. No matter how much sleep I had (or didn't have), waking up and seeing that smile puts a smile on my heart.

As he grows from a baby into a toddler, a toddler into a boy, a boy into a man, my heart continues to pray a constant prayer of love and hope.

I pray that he always feels loved.

I pray that he has strong morals and convictions.

I pray that he is strong and hard-working like his father.

I pray he respects all people, despite differences.

I pray that he may know love, the kind of love that has written my own fairy-tale ending.

I pray that he loves God above all else, following His path and trusting in it.

A mother's heart always wants the best for her children. My prayer is the same for all the children of the world.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Lamp Unto My Feet

This past week, we celebrated my birthday at our house. It was a perfectly wonderful day, full of well wishes, laughter, and good food. While it was quiet to most, I enjoyed my quiet time with the baby while my husband was out, and then a few family members gathered for dinner later. I was completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of gifts, feel rather silly for my mentality earlier this week. You see, I had been looking around my home thinking I wish this or that was new. I wish that piece of furniture was a different color. I wish my home had hardwood floors, new appliances, pristine windows with delicate curtains, and a wraparound porch out front.

My heart was in the wrong place. That was until my husband reeled it back in for me.

It has been a few years since my husband and I exchanged gifts. For some reason, there is always something else that takes precedence over gifts, something like the water bill or the electricity or car get the point.

So this year, I was shocked to find that he had a gift ready. When I opened it up, I found two cherry red kerosene lamps! For most women, this gift seems like a buyout, but let me give you a little background info.

I have been talking about kerosene lamps for a year. There were ones in red that I adored, and I kept telling my husband how wonderful it would be to light lamps outside around a fire pit. (He just so happens to be building one in the coming weeks on our property!). I imagined the ambiance, the gentle glow of the lamps illuminating the night air, whilst the stars twinkled overhead. I could hear the fire crackling, with the smell of wood and coffee wafting through the breeze. We could have a camp cookout here at home, and enjoy the beauty of being together.

(And as a bonus, they work outside for when we have a power outage, which happens frequently in the sticks!)

It was then that I realized how selfish I had been. I was focusing solely on what I wanted and what I didn't have rather than seeing what I have already been given. Sure the stove acts up from time to time, and the carpet is a hodge-podge of colors. There are some pieces of furniture that I am looking forward to painting to give them a face lift. With a little organization and a little love, all will be new again!

Those lamps will provide hours and hours of light and enjoyment beneath the vast night sky for the whole family. To think that my husband saved a little whenever he could, sparing a lunch here or there, pocketing any spare change. Those lamps will allow for endless memories, and I will always remember the lesson they taught me and how my husband saved all he could to give me something worth every penny.

Since no post is complete without a picture, here is the latest one of the little guy. He can officially sit up all on his own.

And that is why life is in the details. Beauty is in the details.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Standing Outside the Spotlight

I was offered a job this week.

A dream job.

A forty-hour work week job.

A retirement fund job.

A job I would have jumped to take a year ago.

Before I became a Mom.

I struggled over these last few days, just to make it into town for a meeting, and then this morning, with spit-up on my t-shirt, slobber on my fingers, and a hungry baby in my arms, I realized that I have a job. The best job in the world.

So I politely called back the place I would have attended Monday through Friday, and turned down the position. It was the best decision, and the gentleman I had been talking to, told me that if I found myself with some spare time when the little one gets older, to give him a ring, and he would give me some part-time work.

The thing is, this job would have been one of those titles that parent's brag about in their yearly Christmas letters. It was the job you tell your kiddos about. It was a job that placed you in the spotlight.

Sometimes, we are not meant to be in the spotlight. I believe there are some of us who are destined for quiet work, for work that goes unseen by everyone else, except Him. In order for others to shine, to have their time in the spotlight, it takes the support of others who stand outside the limelight to help them reach their potential.

I will continue to write from home, and I will continue to look for a job that I can do from home, while looking after my little one and still taking care of my family. God answered my prayer when He showed me the importance of my daily chores. Whether the day includes laundry, cleaning, cooking, or taking time to love on my family and friends, the need is filled when I am home. My heart is here, and as much as I may enjoy the thought of a wee little fame, my biggest fans are here at home.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mom Strength

                       (From when I was a wee one, with my older sister and baby brother...)

On those nights when the day's activities are done, everyone is tucked away in their beds, and you are left with a mountain of work to do, that's when you find the Mom Strength. The ability to push aside you own wanton desire to close your heavy eyelids, and press on to prep the morning's breakfast.

You go the extra mile to wash a favorite blankie or make your husband's sack lunch. You flip through the cookbooks and defrost the chuck roast. You load and run the dishwasher.

You prep the coffeemaker, so in the morning, it's ready with just the flip of a switch. You place the stamps on the bills, resting them by the side table, closest to the door.

You yawn and stretch, praying that time would stop whilst you sleep.

You fold blankets that were once the walls to the fort. You let the dog out on more time, and pick up a random shoe, looking for its pair. You put the toy trucks back in the toy box.

You let the dog back in, and together, the two of you walk quietly down the hall.

You know the morning will come too soon. You know the alarm will sound in a few hours. You could have waited to do this tomorrow, but then you would have missed time with them.

And that my friends, is mom strength.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

When a cold slows you down....

You know the famous children's book "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie", well last week the world gave the little one a cold and that in turn gave me ample time to think and reflect. Time to pray. Time to think.

I realized a few things about myself that I was too afraid to acknowledge before. Lo and behold, I have found myself seeking out God and His promises. I feel as though I fell into the 'safe zone' with God, not willing to jump off the cliff. Sure, I dabbled over the edge, even let my toes curl around the lip of the cliff and looked to the great void below. But I never jumped. I have held onto my own capabilities, tricking myself into believing that I was passionately living for God. More than anything, I want to throw myself from the cliff, believing that God alone will catch me. He will keep me from falling, but in order to fly, to soar above, I have to let go.

There are big things on the horizon, and whilst, I would welcome the change of events, it is up to Him. Like my husband told me, when you let go, when you truly give in, the sun feels different. The air is lighter. The world's colors are brighter.

 And you know what, he was right.

Sometimes, the daily go, go, go can keep you from realizing the dreams before you. The hours pass, and the days go by in a blur. Years pass and we realize the life we wanted is not the one we have.

I want to write another book.

I want to do something to change the world.

I want to love my family more with each passing day.

I want to support my husband in all his endeavors.

I want to leave a legacy of love, faith, and joy.

And it's all in the letting go.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Noted in the Baby Book

Well folks, it looks as though we can say the little man has had his first cold. My poor baby came down with something about three days ago, and today we took him to the doctor's to make sure his cough didn't settle in his lungs. I am happy to report that the doctor gave us the all-clear and said to keep doing what we have already been doing.

I've got to say, I am so thankful for our doctor. He is tall-bulky rancher with a heart of gold. He is kind and gentle, and the little guy just loves him. So really, going to the doctor is more like going to visit the grandpa in town.

There have been a few sleepless nights, but just knowing that the little guy is on the mend makes it all worth it. If you would pray for him, I would appreciate it. My husband and I are trying to stay healthy, but we both think we might have it too :) Lovely.

I'm so glad he is on his way to feeling better....

Friday, August 3, 2012

In This Moment

I have always been a girl who thrived off of to-do lists, checking off each task as I finished them up. I like lists. I understand lists. Lists give my day parameters, adding structure to the chaos.

Today, I threw out the list.

And it was wonderful.

The baby fell asleep in my arms at noon, and rather than set him down, I snuggled him close and fell asleep alongside him. He will only be little for so long. There will come a day when he no longer wants me to hold him close. When he is grown, it won't matter if the laundry was done, or if the house was clean, or if dinner was made by 6. What will matter is the time spent together, knowing that each moment is just as it should be, and that savoring those moments is what makes everyday moments forever memories.

So there we stayed, snuggling close and letting the day be what it may.

Sometimes you have to throw out the book, forget the to-do list, and just live in the moment.

And with that smile, my world is complete.

Monday, July 30, 2012

California Dreamin'

My parents left at high noon this morning, headed west to the place where I was raised, but no longer live. Yesterday, we took them on a tour of the surrounding towns here; all in all, it took us 4 hours to give the roundabout scenic expedition. You see, we live smack dab in the middle of nowhere....just past the plains and before the prairie. Ain't nuthin' much round these parts.

But, to me, this is God's country.

 As much as my heart aches for the home I grew up in, I have found my place here in the wide opens spaces, among the tall grass and roaming cattle, where horses graze and cowboys ride, with miles upon miles of untouched land, basking underneath a great big, blue sky. My heart swelled with pride as I was able to show my parents around, to give them a little taste of what I enjoy everyday.

There is something unbelievably special about working alongside my Mama cooking meals for the family while my little one looks one. Three generations talking and laughing, sharing smiles and making memories, both my Daddy and my husband grilling out back. In these simple moments, in what would normally pass without a second glance, I soak it all in, knowing that this moment will forever remain etched in my heart and I will carry it with me for all my days.

I thought my folks should experience a little bit of small town life before they headed back to the big city, so we enjoyed an ice cream social in town to help celebrate the museum and keep the funds going for the next year.

That's my Mama with my son, she's got the grandma touch as you can see!

There are times, when you start to think that surely your heart will burst at the seams, overflowing with love and happiness. As cliche as it may sound, life is truly wonderful. Today's good-bye's were hard to say, but just like knowing that you can't have Christmas everyday and still savor the special moments of a Christmas morn', you also must say a 'see you soon' to people who you hold close in your heart.

I have a life I never thought I would, a life I treasure deeply, a life that I pray pleases God, a life that I have done nothing to deserve, yet am eternally grateful for. Out of the millions of people, my husband picked me to be his help-meet, and God picked me to be the mom to my son.

 I could wish upon a star, but really,what more could I wish for.....

Saturday, July 28, 2012

When Family Comes to Town

My parents came to Texas on an impromptu visit this week....

We are enjoying a weekend sans chores and to-do lists, throwing out bedtimes, bath times, and adding extra cups of coffee and leisurely mornings.

We will be back to the regular scheduled programming in a few more days.

But for now, we have a little more time together, a few more meals, a few more cups of coffee, and plenty of hugs to go around. It's not about the days you have, but how you spend them.

Have a wonderful Sunday, I know I will.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Coffee Counselor

These last few days have been some of the most difficult and trying this house has experienced in quite some time. Or more realistically, in all time.

The Lord has been working in my husband's life and mine as well. We are starting to see how what we thought would be a test of faith, was nothing compared to the real deal. We have struggled, we have prayed, we have been left wondering, and we are waiting. Without going into too much detail, our family is waiting on the Lord to do something big. We are all healthy and happy, in fact, despite what would tear some marriages apart, my husband and I have 'circled the wagons' on our homestead. We are fervently praying and spending time talking things out. We are being patient on the Lord and kind to each other, and I must say, that no matter what happens, I am beyond thankful for my husband.

 He is a man who says little and loves much.

 He is harder on himself than anyone else is.

 He is patient and gentle, strong and gracious.

In the mornings, we share a few cups of coffee together, and in that time, we are able to bring our marriage back to center. We focus on God and we eager await the future. There is a greater lesson in all of this, and lucky for us, our faith has grown tenfold.

And that is far better than any 401K.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Real Deal

With social media the way it is nowadays, we are constantly being inundated with the everyday happenings of those going on around us, depleting our own accomplishments in juxtaposition to those who render more from the day. To simplify, it is easy to feel as though others are able to do everything while I'm unable to do most things.

I read blogs, ones about raising large families or homesteading or crafting for your home, and I start to wonder how they do it all. How do wives find the time to make the homemade meals, do the art projects with the kiddos, take care of the babies, keep the home clean, do all the laundry, and manage to have some sort of 'career'?

I have a few books I want to write. I have projects that have been waiting to be done around the house (a coffee table that desperately needs to be painted, among other things). I feel like I am constantly doing laundry at 3 am just in an attempt to stay on top of it, and most nights, I'm baking bread at 11 pm for the next morning. What this all boils down to is this--in reality, we don't do it all. We tend to say what we think others want to hear, shielding ourselves from the reality of the day to day.

I thought for so long that if I pretended I could do it all, if I worked from sun-up to sundown than I could fool myself into believing that I was one of those women who did it all. But, alas, I am just one person, and I don't do it all. The laundry goes unfolded sometimes, the dishes pile up in the sink, the books I have written remain unpublished since no one wants them others remain in the storyboard format, and the giant garden I had planned on planting will be attempted again in the fall.

But what it boils down to, the family sits around the kitchen table for dinner, the baby is played with all day, the house has a 'lived' in look, and our house is a home. And there is nothing better than home.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Through the Hard Times

This weekend was one of those weekends where every time the phone rings you cringe a little, fearing what could be awaiting you on the other line.

Family members hospitalized.

Friends talking about legal separations.

Loved ones on deployment overseas.

In the back of my mind, I kept wondering what would it be like to be in their shoes. What would I do if my husband left me? What would I do if he was the soldier overseas? What would we do if one of us was hospitalized?

I guess you could say I "what if'd" myself til I couldn't think straight anymore. In those moments when my head gets all twirly and there are no longer cohesive thoughts from one end to the other, my intention is to bring myself back to center and to realize the gifts in my own life. To focus on the now, not the future.

The future can be a scary thing. When I think ahead, I begin to wonder how we will afford the bills to come, or how we will buy the necessities for home, or if there will be jobs awaiting us next week, next month, next year.

I heard a saying once that read, "Do not fear the future, for God is already there". Knowing that God is waiting for me, to guide me and support me through whatever may lie ahead makes every 'what-if' a miniscule and insignificant lapse in time.

Despite the hard times, despite the struggles, there are moments when nothing can bring you down, when life seems to ebb and flow just as you imagined it, when you believe that if life was any better, your heart would truly burst.

On the Fourth of July, we set up a little pool and the little man enjoyed a dip in it. He is such a sweet boy, he makes this Mama proud.

He is such a good Daddy, I fall in love with both of them more everyday.

The little slugger...

Many blessings.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

In the Wee Hours

Ever since I had my son, it seems as though sleep is an elusive dream, a funny notion really.

When the house runs quiet and all are asleep, I find myself finishing the odds and ends that I was unable to finish with a wee one in tow. The final hour before I go to bed, I spend pumping the next bottle for the baby. Needless to say, my brain, my body, my energy is sapped.

I find myself wishing I could go to bed when everyone else does. I know my head will bob up and down as I fight to stay away during the midnight pumping session. This has been my schedule for the last five months, and while it is difficult at times, these long nights have given me ample time to pray. I have had time to think and pray for all those who come to mind, and in this time, I feel my body and mind relax as I am forced to sit still and just be.

And pray.

Before this time in my life, I would have been too upset and envious of those who are able to get proper sleep; however, through the journey into motherhood, my mentality is altered and a quietness has settled in. I'm edging out that hot-headed, jealous woman for a more understanding and patient-honing mom.

I know that tomorrow morning will come too soon. And I know that there will be moments where I am begging for a nap, just five minutes to shut my eyes. I'm sure I will pray for a moments peace, maybe even a longer shower. But as it stands, God has given me the strength to clean the house, do the laundry, prepare three meals, do some gardening, read up on a few skills, take care of my husband and son, play fetch with Molly, and squeeze in a workout.

Maybe if my eyelids stay open long enough, I will continue the search for work. We shall see :)

Night, night.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

From My Spot

This is what happens when your 4 month old is starting to let them sit around in their diaper and t-shirt, watching while they sit comfortably in the chair and you look on from your spot on the floor.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I'm Not Asking You to Like Me

I'm not asking you to like me, but please don't be mean to me.

Lately this seems to be the thought reverberating through my head. For whatever reason, maybe it is this stage of my life, the in-between phase of childhood friends and becoming a friend's Mom, but lately, there has been a loss. That void of feeling in which you begin to wonder if there is a target on your back, and if so, what you did to put it there.

Ever since my son came along, there is ample amounts of advice and little friendship. I have been told up and down and this side of Sunday what I should be doing and how what I am doing could be done differently. Our house has fallen under severe scrutiny as others look on in disdain for our want and desire to remain close together and tight knit. I have seen disappointment strewn across faces at my inability to do more than the share I do, and I have felt their lackluster enthusiasm for my 'simple' life.

There are the inevitable phone calls, announcing once again how I am failing to live up to my potential and whittling away my time here in the country. I feel the glares coming from all angles, family, friends, you name it.

I look at my son and pray he may remain aloof from the realm of bullies. It seems as though I never knew how harsh and hurtful bullies can be. As a child, I was free from ridicule, never feeling the meanness associated with bullies. But just because we grow up, get married, and have babies of our own, doesn't mean that we are invincible. I pray everyday, that my son will grow up to be the man who befriends the boy or girl who has no friends, that he may demonstrate kindness and love and friendship. I pray that he would be free of pain and meanness, and would instead harbor tenacity, joy, happiness, and companionship.

Despite age, despite growing up, there are a few things that will follow us no matter what. I only pray that it is different for my son, for all our sons and daughters, that they may know friendship and demonstrate kindness to those who need it, despite what they tell us otherwise.

Thank you for listening....and for always being a friend.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Photo Montage

My life lately....

Can you tell I'm smitten?

We hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, June 4, 2012

What Will Await Us

As I'm typing this, the little man is cooing away in his swing next to me. He is growing every day, becoming even cuter by the moment--granted I'm a bit biased.

I come to you, to this void of one-sided conversations, to the eyes of those who read this blog, and ask that you would pray for my family. We recently found out that the steady income we were able to count on will no longer be coming our way. Now, for most, this amount was nothing grand, but it was enough to sustain us, and keep the necessary bills paid. Right now, I'm not sure how we will pay next month's bills, but I am eager to see how God will work in our lives. Somehow, someway, those bills have been paid each month, and by God's provisions we have not gone without a home, food, or clothing.

I don't usually like to air such personal things here on my blog, but I have learned to be specific with my prayers this past year. Right now, I am praying for a job for my husband (ideally one he could do from home and still attend school), or something we could do together. My husband already works so hard at school and working any odd jobs that he can, I pray that God would provide something for us to do. Or if it is God's will, that we may be patient until He has something for us.

This is the time when we must sit back and wait, to lean upon God and His timing. There have been days when I wanted to throw my hands in the air and say I give up, and I'm done waiting for You to figure this out. But then I realize that I am questioning the ability of the Maker of the Universe, and well, that just seems plain silly.

Both my husband and I are eager to see what's in store for our family. We would love to start a business or a trade, we would love to work side by side, we would love for a form of telecommuting. We would love your prayers.

And because no post would be complete without a few of the recent pictures....

And my sweet Molly girl

Thank you.