31 May 2009

Hat's off

Cowboy hat or sombrero?

Ode to Texas.

This is so us.

Silly vikings.

Amelia Earhart is found by Scotland Yard!

Fez.

The Captain and her first mate.

Morgan and I were finally able to go on a date night. We had been trying to go out for over a month now but with us being sick, it just wasn't happening. Yesterday, we ended up dropping off the kids at grandma and grandpa's and enjoyed an early dinner at Piero's Acqua Pazza. A wise person once said,
"You should marry someone that you can talk to. When we're old and grey, talking will count for more than we can imagine." Well you know what? When you're busy raising young kids, working, and life in general, having a leisurely and extended conversation with your spouse becomes a luxury, too. Actually, Morgan and I have been talking quite a bit lately with all that's been going on. It was just extra nice to be able to do that, while really engaging in one another.

After dinner, we walked around the River and found ourselves at the hat store. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am a "hat girl." We had so much fun trying on all the different hats. After 15 years of knowing each other (and almost 8 years of marriage), Morgan is still my favorite person in the world to hang out with. Thanks for a great night, babe!

29 May 2009

popsicles and pool

Enjoying a cool treat.

drip, drip, drip...

Our little mermaids.




Since it was 102 degrees yesterday, we put our feet in the pool and enjoyed a popsicle for our afternoon snack. Of course, since it was so warm outside, the popsicle started to melt. I first took off the girls' shirts and then came their shorts. Soon enough, I was changing them into their bathing suits. They ended up taking a dip in the pool to cool off and wash off. After one year of swim lessons (once a week), the girls are well ahead of where we thought they would be. Let's just say that they are incredibly comfortable in the water. I've done several drills with them where I have thrown them in the deep end of the pool with the vacuum going. They end up swimming under or over the vacumm and finding their way to the steps or the side of the pool with ease. Thank you, Miss Tanya! Swim lessons have been worth every single penny!


27 May 2009

Mom2Mom

Me and Kerri.

The feast.

Rhonda's table.
Jenny, Janetta, Emily,
Rhonda, Cat, Becky and Jackie.

Most of us who wore hats this morning.

Today was the last day of M2M before the summer break. The mentor moms lavished us with a fun tea party this morning. We had a beautiful meal, special gifts, lots of love, and true fellowship. I am so honored to be a part of such an amazing ministry. Not only do I get some alone time each week where I get to learn more about what God desires from me, I also get the privilege of using my spiritual gifts to serve the Lord. The added bonus? I have met some of dearest friends through M2M.

Over the last 2 years, I have served as a table leader and also in the role of publicity. Starting next fall, I will take on my new role as the Speaker & Devotion Coordinator. This is Hailey's old position so I know that I have some big shoes to fill! Although I love to see everyone each week and serve, by this time each year, I am usually tired and very much looking forward to the summer break. I will be praying all summer for what the Lord would bring us in the fall. And believe me, come September, I will be itching to get started again!

Thanks for another fantastic year, ladies! Glory be to God!

23 May 2009

A new chapter

Wow. I can't believe it's already Memorial Day weekend. This has probably been the toughest May that we've had on record; all compounded by the fact that I've been sick for most of the month. Yesterday was the first day that I actually had small glimpses of feeling "normal." I'm not one to dwell on tough circumstances but this month deserves some documentation. Here are some things that happened to our family in May...

-My dear 96 year-old grandma had a stroke.
-Both Faith and Grace were sick earlier in the month.
-I got sick- the worst I've ever been!
-My sweet aunt who takes care of my grandma, lost her job.
-Morgan is sick too and trying to get well.
-Both my parents got sick.
-Morgan found out this week that after 10 years of working at his firm, his company is being forced to close on June 3o.

Some big stuff, to say the least. I've decided to write about our challenges for a couple of reasons. We all go through different seasons in life and although no one likes to talk about them, hardships come and go. Learning to surrender them to God is what makes us into who He wants us to be. Secondly and most important, documenting our trials gives us an opportunity to look back one day and remember all that God has faithfully brought us through. I wholeheartedly believe that there is an amazing testimony in the works for our family. We are committed to trust in the Lord and praise Him for His goodness, both through our circumstances and when the blessings come.

Thankfully, Morgan has some tremendous opportunities with his business going forward and although the immediate future may seem a little uncertain, we wait in anticipation of the bigger plan that God has set before us. As one of my friends put it, we are trusting God to amaze us, as only He can. Isn't it true that God's dreams are much bigger than our own? We remain confident in His will and His provision to provide for all of our needs during this time.

Change can be extremely difficult but knowing that God is for us and not against us is the most comforting feeling in the world. As we embark on this new chapter in our lives, I can't wait to see how the Lord will grow us and bless us in our marriage, our family, and our faith.

Earlier this year, I wrote a post titled Dreaming BIG. Funny, I read it again today and it became a poignant glimpse into what God may have been preparing me for in the months ahead. I can now see that He was planting a seed in me and asking me to get ready to trust Him and experience Him like I have never before.

It is with steadfast prayer, that we turn the page and look forward to seeing what lies ahead for our family.

Here are some verses that I am claiming along the way...

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:4-7

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? ~Matthew 6:25-34

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! ~Psalm 27:1

22 May 2009

Laughter

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
~e. e. cummings

19 May 2009

Dance

Prima ballerinas in training.

Faith has really been a ham lately.

Adorable!

Grace, my little hunny-bunny.

They melted daddy's heart.

No divas allowed!

Even ballerinas have to take a nap.

The girls are so excited about starting their first dance class this summer.
In just a few short weeks, the girls will wrap up their swim lessons and then dance class will begin in July. We're also very excited that their friend, Vivien will be joining them in the dance studio. We put the finishing touches on their dance wear today by getting some real ballet shoes. The girls loved trying on the complete outfit and danced around the whole house. It was all I could do to get them to take off their ballerina clothes for nap time!

14 May 2009

A time to play

Faith stops for a smile.

Grace is having fun.

Painting away.

Grace shows me her purple.

Faith uses pink.

We also made hand prints.

Faith's hands.

Grace's hands.

Today I chose to paint with my children. I purposely made a point to spend some time engaging with my kids. I have to confess that on most days, time just slips away from me because I'm too preoccupied with managing my children instead of nurturing them. Don't get me wrong, keeping my kids fed and my house clean are important but taking time to nurture my children's spirit is something that they will remember forever. I also find that just because I'm a stay-at-home mom, it doesn't necessarily mean that I am actively entering into their world everyday. Too often, I find myself wondering where my day went and what did I really do with my kids today? Did I play that game that they like? Did I teach them something new? Did I speak about the Lord enough today? All valid questions and certainly not meant to bring on any guilt or blame. To the contrary, I'm beginning to use these questions to acknowledge what my heart's been nudging me to do. I also find that because they have each other, it's very easy for me to say that they are happily entertaining themselves. It's an easy cop out, I know.

Like most families, in our house, daddy is considered the unspoken "fun one." I guess that would make me the "un-fun" one?? My hope is that there can be a little more balance before too many years go by. I will always remember what my sweet friend, Jan told me. Jan has two grown sons and she is my mother's age. She said that her biggest regret as a mom was that she didn't spend more time playing with her kids. She was too busy fretting over what needed to be done and how everything looked on the outside. Wow, I could easily see myself with that same regret 20 years from now if I don't start making a conscious effort today. One day soon, my little girls will not be so little anymore. These are the kind of memories that I want them to cherish with me. There's no time to delay. It's time to play!

13 May 2009

Rylan's 3rd birthday party!

The birthday girl.

Faith gets her make up done.

Oh my!

Gorgeous!

Grace's turn.

All sparkles.

Cinderella & Sleeping Beauty.

Reese, Rylan, Faith & Grace.

Tea time.

Sleeping Beauty joins them.

All the princesses.

Faith does her best princess pose.

I am finally feeling better this week so I was able to take the girls to a Princess Party for their friend, Rylan yesterday. The party was held at Enchanted Memories and hosted by none other than Sleeping Beauty. The girls got to put on make up for the first time, have tea and snacks and play musical chairs. A good time was had by all!

08 May 2009

rain

It's been a rough couple of weeks. Grace was the first to be sick, then, of course, it moved on to Faith. Both girls had a low grade fever for a day or two, a slight loss of appetite, and a lingering cough that lasted for about a week. It wasn't anything terrible but it was enough to keep us all housebound. Once the girls had all but recovered, then it was my turn. I became really sick Wednesday afternoon and Morgan has had to take the last two days off from work to care for the girls while I spent most of my time in bed. Thankfully, I'm starting to feel a bit better today as I was able to sit up and watch the girls play in their sandbox for about an hour this morning. After two days, a shower is still alluding me so once I rest up some more, that will be my next goal. :)

The saying goes, "When it rains, it pours," and in the midst of tending to a sick house, my dear 96 year-old grandmother suffered a stroke last week that has left her right side paralyzed. We drove into Orange County to see her last Saturday and it was an emotional and difficult time for me to see her in this state. I guess I knew that at her age, she couldn't live forever but I had always thought that she would just go peacefully in her sleep. Nope, not my grandma. She is as strong-willed as they come. She tightly gripped my hand as I sat by her hospital bed and wouldn't let go. Her eyes were filled with a mixture of courage, fear, and the occasional look of apology that I had to come so far to see her. I had a hard time that evening leaving her as I wanted to hold her hand throughout the night. Morgan was so good and kind to say that she wouldn't be alone. He said that Jesus would be there to comfort her and hold her hand throughout the night. I'm so grateful for my believing husband who gives me great reassurance and comfort when I need it the most. It's been almost a week since the stroke and she has now been moved into a nursing home facility that is located next door to the hospital. She is being fed through a tube and still cannot speak, eat or move her right side. All in all though, she is making improvements. In spite of what may happen in the days to come, I am filled with great peace and comfort in knowing that I will see my grandmother again in heaven. My grandma is a woman of great faith and conviction. She is the only grandparent that I have left and she is a part of every family memory that I can ever remember. Your prayers for her continued improvement and strength for my whole family would be greatly appreciated during this time.

The Lord sweetly brought the words of this song to mind this morning...

"Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free

Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain." -Bring the Rain by Mercy Me.

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