Thursday, August 9, 2012

To infinity and beyond

The other day, I'm sitting at my in-laws and talking to my Grandmother-in-law about this blog, and how I haven't written in so long and how she was glad to see that I was back at it (even though it was only one post in a matter of months.) Regardless, it got me thinking about how I used to sit here, everyday, talking about the smallest things to my most precious memories. How more people than I thought tuned in to read about my completely normal, somewhat boring life.
And how I loved being able to share my life with the people that I love whom I don't necessarily see that often.

Naturally, I started to wonder why I stopped writing in the first place. Why I let go of the one thing I love to do so much. I can't even blame my in-the-works book. I haven't written there in weeks. I have nothing and no one to blame except myself and the fact that I can never finish anything.

This can be proven by the three different books I started, sitting in my Documents tab, that are all well over fifty thousand words.

I just can't seem to find the motivation to finish something that takes too much effort.
Working out?
Forget it.
Fixing up that yellow high waisted skirt that I made and absolutely love?
Eh.
Decorating our room?
I have more important things to do.

I don't know where to find motivation- or if it's something that can be found. Or maybe it's more like I don't know how to kick lazy. 'Cause I know that's what it is. You can say it. It won't hurt my feelings.
Is wanting something enough to change you?
No.
It's not.
You have to need it. Crave it. Breathe it.
You have to wake up one day and realize that it's not good enough to have good intentions. Or legit excuses. You have to get so fed up with your boring room and half painted wall that you want to kick your lazy ass into gear.

Or maybe that's just me.

Either way, I found a little motivation this week. Actually, more like today. And it felt good. I felt accomplished.
Did I get a lot accomplished? Now that's a different story. But it doesn't matter because I tried, really tried, and I feel good about that.

I know that most of the people that read this are friends of mine on Facebook and get frequent updates on my life. But it's usually a picture, or a short, one sentence proclamation.
Some of you see me on a regular basis and don't need an update, but some of you don't. So here it is: an update on my very normal life.




Aubrey. This kid seriously awes and shocks me every.single.day. He's so stubborn and smart it scares me. He's independent and has the strongest will, but he's so dang clingy sometimes that I feel like my hip might fall off from hauling around 27 pounds. 
He now communicates with me very well. He makes it very well known what he wants and when he wants it. He talks, says things like ball, birdy, go potty, the dogs names. He tries to repeat most words and gets kind of shy when we all smile at him and laugh. He's constantly asking questions, ending his little rambling sentences with a higher octave and a shrug of his shoulders. He's learning to listen and learning very quickly what happens when he doesn't. He hugs and kisses, still pretty freely, and says "Hi" to every single person we pass in every single store. Or waves. Or both. People cannot help but stop and talk to him and he talks back like they've known each other his whole life. When we're at play places like the one in the mall, or when he's actually running around free, he will walk up to perfect strangers and hug them or lean on their legs like it's totally normal. It's not really a good thing, what with stranger danger and all, but I can't help but laugh.
He has no fear. He walks straight into the oncoming waves of the ocean like he's done it all his life. He stands on the highest things he can climb and watches me, waiting for me to challenge his bravery. He refuses to hold my hand when he's on a mission, which is always, and he constantly reminds me that he can do it all by himself. "Me, me, me" is what he says. Against everything inside of me holding on to him as my baby, I let him do it on his own. 


Todd. This man is honestly, truly, the most amazing father and husband a girl could ask for. He's sweet and caring and understanding and every other word that can end in ing (only the good ones, of course.) He provides and leads our family, always aware of what we need and what I want. He manages to work a full time job, attend school full time and still have time for us. Whenever he gets home from work, Aubrey sees him and yells "Daddy!" before running to him and begging to be picked up. They wrestle and play until it's time for him to go again, and when that happens, Aubrey breaks into tears, repeating "Daddy, daddy," long after Todd has left. Needless to say, I cam completely blessed to have him in my life. And so in love. 

As for me? Well, I'm happy. Content. Satisfied. Merry. Pleased. Joyful.
Whatever other synonyms you can think of for happy, that's me.
Too good to be true, you say? Of course there are things I wish were different, like how I wish we had our own house, or how I wish I could shop every single day (just kidding...maybe...) But then I stop and think and realize how different our lives would be. We may be living with my parents but how many couples, with children, get to say that they get to go out alone at least once a week? How many get to say that their Mom taught their son how to dance and every time she plays her Zumba music he stops what he's doing, drops everything and dances, to the beat?! Or that every time their son sees his Grandpa, he takes his hand and leads him to the patio door because he knows Grandpa will cave in and take him outside in the blistering heat. Not many, and for that, I am blessed, to infinity and beyond.

And I wouldn't change a darn thing. 




Monday, July 30, 2012

Viewer discretion advised

    Facebook tension has been high lately. With all of this Chick-fil-a stuff going on, people have felt the need to speak their minds, some more politely than others. While I am a total believer in doing so, whether I agree with your viewpoint or not, I don't think that Facebook is necessarily the best place to put it all out.
     So here I am. Just a warning, I am going to give my opinion on a few somewhat controversial topics. You can choose to continue reading knowing that you may not agree and you may be offended, or you can click the little red 'x' at the corner of your page. But either way, nothing I say is meant to be taken offensively. I am not a hater, or an extremist. I believe what I believe because I believe (redundant?) it is right.

    So I'm strollin' along FB statuses the other day, and a friend of mine is protesting the fact that people who are pro-gay marriages can say so, but people who aren't get bashed (for lack of a better word) for speaking against it. Then a friend of that person comments that it is easy to be against it (gay marriage) when it doesn't negatively affect your life. I wanted to comment, in ALL CAPS, and say, 'How dare you presume that something like that doesn't negatively affect my life?' Yes, I am not gay and I may not understand what it is like to be denied certain rights, but the hell it doesn't negatively affect me.

It makes my job as a parent, to teach my children what I believe, harder. It makes it harder for them to understand the sanctity of marriage. It makes it difficult to understand that God meant marriage to be between a man and a woman. And what about when they go to school and are taught that gay marriage is okay? Non-believers don't want their children to be taught that the world was created by a God in seven days- I don't want my children to be read a book about Pete and Steve living happily ever after.

Now, with all that said, I do not hate gay people. Honestly. I am not the person to decide your fate or judge you based on your orientation. My beliefs come from a biblical standpoint, and if you don't believe in God, well then we're at odds, and that's okay. It happens. Life moves on.
But the problem is, no one wants to move on from this topic. Not the gay people who, while in the process of trying to become 'equals,' are demanding extra attention and special treatment. Not the Christian people, who are claiming to be Christ-like yet shunning anyone with same-sex preferences. Not even the people who claim to not care either way, refusing to take a stand for something, yet feel the need to continue talking about it.

I understand that this is the real world and there are a lot of things that I am going to be against/disagree with, and that I cannot shield my children from controversy. I am fully aware of that. And if my being against something makes me a 'bad person,' then so be it. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs. That's all I have to say about that.

Now I wanna talk about a man named Christian Grey. Where do I start?
I'm not gunna lie, I read 50 Shades of Grey. I picked it up under the impression that it was a great book with a to-die-for love story despite the strange description and questionable cover art. After I finished it, I didn't know what to think. I knew it was too much, it was over the top, and it sounded like it was written by a hormonal fifteen year old girl. I knew that it stayed with me, festering in my mind, and not in a good way. At the time I didn't think much of it, but then everywhere I went I heard women of all ages praising it, recommending it to their peers. And then I thought, is this what women really want? A man to abuse them, disrespect them and offer a sexual contract that allows them to be physically used and mentally harmed?

If that's what some women are into, then that's their prerogative. Like I said, I do not want to judge. But I couldn't stop thinking about how any of those woman would feel if their daughter or sister or best friend was Anastasia. Or if their sons were Christian Grey. Maybe that's too much to think about- maybe I should ask if you would let your daughters or sons read this book. If you would want them to support a relationship like that, much less be in one themselves. I hope all of you would say no. I hope that you wish for something better for your children, something pure and lovely.

I know it's just a book. I know that it is a piece of fiction meant to entertain, but it was not entertaining to me. It was disturbing and scary because one day, maybe even already, it will become something that is widely accepted. Abusive relationships, and that is exactly what that book is about, should never ever be accepted. I don't care how good-looking, rich or well mannered any Christian Grey is.

Then there's this whole 'gun laws need to be changed' thing going on. What happened in Colorado was an absolute tragedy. NOBODY deserved that. It was the doing of one man; one scary, psychotic man with too much anger and too much time on his hands. But I am not as concerned about one man with a gun than I am the whole government with all of the guns. The second amendment was put in place to ensure citizens have the means to protect themselves, not only from one another when necessary but also from their government. And whose to say that gun laws would stop people from obtaining guns? It's easy to get one from the black market and that wouldn't stop just because their illegal to own- criminals tend to disobey laws.

People will argue that maybe it should just be illegal to buy assault rifles, or so much ammo, and while that may seem to make sense, if you give the government an inch they will surely take a mile.

The world is a scary place. It's come too far from what it was founded on and the ideals of our forefathers have been shoved under mattresses to be better accommodate those that choose not to believe in God. If praying has been taken out of schools because it's offensive to non-christians, than why can they still teach Evolution if it's not what everyone believes? The freedom of speech and press and the freedom to believe and practice what you choose has to go both ways.
The best any of us can do is to try to be the best we can be, to be accepting of everyone despite their choices. It doesn't mean we have to be okay with said choices, or support them, but respect goes a long way in making the world a better place.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

You make me wanna say I do


If I ever came across a genie who asked me to make a wish, if a shooting star beamed across the night sky and promised to grant one single wish, if closing my eyes before blowing out my birthday candle really ensured my wish to come true, I would wish that I could remember every. single. moment. That I would be able to close my eyes and remember my life like it happened just this morning. These past two years have been the best years of my short life, my only complaint being that far too many little moments have slipped into time, forever lost to the continuation of life. 
This is the latter I gave to Todd this morning, my best attempt at describing how much he means to me, yet it will never be good enough because the proper words just don't exist. All I know is that I am beyond blessed and constantly thankful to have someone like him. 

~~~~

When I was just fourteen years old, and you said those three little words to me, my heart soared and my world changed. I knew, even then, that I was undoubtedly in love with you; that you were going to be the one I spent the rest of my life with. Even when we were apart, even when my time was spent trying to fix the hurt in my heart that nobody understood, I knew you would come back to me. I never believed in soul mates before; never thought that there was one person out there made for you, but now I know that I was wrong all along, for you are the other half of my heart. An equal part.
You understand my desire to be my own person, yet my need to belong to you. You take my dreams and spin them into reality; supporting them and encouraging me every step of the way. You laugh at my messiness and ignore my disorganization. You kiss me when I’m sad, love me when I feel so undeserving. Even when I feel as though I have failed in my responsibilities as your wife- to love, nurture, support- you look at me as though I am the only thing that matters in your life. And in the moments when you don’t know I’m watching, when I witness you lovingly kiss our son or tell him a secret only you two share, I fall in love all over again. Because while you are undoubtedly the other half, the better half of my heart, he makes up every space in between, and he would not, could not, exist without you.
I wish I could list all of the reasons I love you, but there are far too many to write; and everyday stands to unveil new ones. You have given me the best things anyone could ever receive from life. You have shown me a love that I had only read about in stories or heard about in songs, a happiness that shines brighter than the sun, an understanding that surpasses knowledge. While it may sound cliché, it is nothing but true. Everything I am, everything I want to be, everything I hope to have, belongs to you. You were my first, you will be my last, and all of those moments in between; the moments of pure joy, desire, happiness, bliss, pain, sorrow, frustration, understanding, I could not fathom sharing them with anyone but you.
Happy anniversary, my love. If the rest of our happily-ever-after goes by as quickly as the last two years have, then forever will never be enough. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

A letter to you

 My son,

Today you are turning one.
One year ago, you came into this world, perfect and beautiful in so many ways.
Nine months before that, you surprised us all with your announcement.
    You are everything we had hoped for and more. You fulfilled our dreams and desires, our longing for a family and a place to call home, for in your heart is where our home lies. We have seen your little eyes take stock of this world for the very first time. We have watched as you learned to grasp the things within your reach. We have listened as you spoke your first words, and we have taken advantage of your hugs and kisses while they are freely given.
    We hope that you grow to know how much we truly love you. That you will always know that we are here to help you, guide you, and be the support you need when no one else seems to understand.
    As your Mama, I pray that my hand is the one you reach for when you need to be steadied. That my heart is the one you search for when it seems that yours cannot keep going. Trust me when I say this, there will be times like that. But just know that they will never last long, and I am always here.
    I pray that you will always know how much your Daddy loves you. That he will always do whatever it takes to make sure you are safe. He will teach you how to throw a ball and a punch, how to treat a girl like a princess and how to love one forever. I pray that you listen to his words and let us make mistakes for you.
    I hope that you will come to us with your troubles. I hope you will know that we will always give you the benefit of the doubt. But bear with us, for we are human. We will make mistakes, but that will never change the way we love you. Forever; unconditionally.
    Above all, I hope that you will learn to trust God. Even in times of despair, in your brokenness, he is there. When we disappoint you, he is there. When you feel alone, he is there. When the world seems to stop, and you feel like you cannot go on any longer, he is there.
    My son, these simple words will never adequately describe the joy you have brought and continue to bring to our lives. Every little thing has a new meaning, a brand new silver lining. You have saved us when we didn't even know we needed saving. You have become our sun, our light in a world full of darkness.
    And even though you slap me when I ask for a kiss, or push me away when I squeeze you too tight, I know that you love me. I can tell by the way you smile when you see me, or how you lay your head on my chest, even if it's only for one small second. Even though your first real words were 'dog' and 'bird' instead of 'mama' or 'dada' we can see that you need us by the way you cling to our pants and climb our legs to pick you up.
    I can't wait for the days when we'll all be sitting around the dinner table, your daddy and I telling you stories about how crazy you were when you were younger, and laughing so hard it hurts. Then again, I can wait. If I could just keep you little enough to fit in my arms forever, I think I would. But I know what an amazing person you will grow up to be, I know the wonderful things you will do, and I cannot wait to watch you change the world. I am so proud to be your mama.
    Not a day goes by that I don't thank God for you. Not a day will ever go by that I don't love you. No matter what happens, we will always be here.
Happy birthday, baby boy. I love you with every single piece of my heart.

May 18, 2011

May 18, 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012

Let's set the world on fire

Here I am, after what? Two months? I wanted so badly to keep up with this, not for anyone other reason but the fact that I wanted to be able to look here years down the road and know that I can relive every single important thing in my life.
But we all know that life gets in the way of things, diaries get pushed under the bed, cameras get left behind, and our feet take us to crazy, unimaginable places way too quickly. I knew the days would come when my time would be filled with taking care of babies and loving a husband, but finally being here, after years of pretending at house- it's still surreal. I have a husband. I have a child. I have a family of my own. 
It's everything I have ever wanted and not a day goes by that I don't thank God for it all.

Speaking of feet going places, Aubrey started walking the day he turned 11 months. He was up and out of the room before I could think to be excited he was using his feet. Obviously my first reaction was pride, yet the silent tears forming in my eyes made me realize that I was also sad. Its just one more way that my baby doesn't need me. But I've noticed that he always comes back, he still needs my kisses, and he knows me by name. My hearts swells with love each time he stops as he is running past me and lays his head on my chest, just taking a second to make sure I am still there. I hope he knows that I will always be there, that I will always hold his sweaty little head until he breaks free to run around again.

Todd and I are... gosh, it's just wonderful. I don't often feel the need to brag about it, or to try and convince everyone how amazing our relationship is, but my man's got a way of making me want to shout it from the mountain tops. My husband is better than yours!
I'm sure every wife feels that way, as we should, but I am super blessed to have a Godly, loving man by my side.

There are so many things going on in our life right now, so many good things, and I seriously feel unstoppable. Like, set the world on fire, unstoppable. As far as I'm concerned, the sky's the limit, but it doesn't matter how long it takes me to get there. We have dreams and hopes and desires but as long as we have each other, than it doesn't matter if we fail. And I know that we will; Aubrey will face plant more than once, my book might get rejected, Todd might never build the bed that he promised to build, but we'll keep going, we'll keep living and breathing and loving and that's all that matters.

I just want to take these perfect days and bottle them to remind me how good I have it on those days when things are looking a little less sunshiney, 'cause I know that they'll come. But I'm okay with that, I'm okay with getting through the gray to find the light at the end. I'm okay with working a little harder to get my overly cliched happy ending.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The good, the bad, and the ugly

Im sure that all of you have seen, or heard of, the Kony 2012 video circling the internet.
I watched it, I felt it, and I wanted to do something about it.
In one of those, a-million-thoughts-running-through-your-head-in-one-second moments, I ended up feeling bad for everything I have when so many people have nothing. I mean, I complain about not having a car and having to be stuck at home all day. Talk about a self brought on guilt trip.
All day the images of those children ran through my head. And it's not just those children, because we'd be naive to think that things like that, and worse, doesn't happen all over the world. Every day children are abducted, raped, beaten, murdered, and sometimes just because there are too many of them. It's not fair, it's not right, and of course it has to be stopped. Everything I looked at in the abundance of my life made me feel like I was in the wrong to have so many things, to have such freedom. I thought about the people who give up everything to become missionaries just to have the chance to change a few lives, how at that moment they were choosing to bathe in streams instead of hot steamy showers, and sleep on dirt floors instead of memory foam mattresses. I felt like maybe I should be the one doing something, doing more.

Then, laying in my bed at night when my mind was too active to fall asleep, a thought hit me; I don't need to feel bad for what I have, for what I was given, and not everyone is meant to be missionaries in some far off country. We can use anything we do as a mission field if we choose to.
I don't know why things are they way they are, or why I was blessed with this life instead of someone else. But each and every one of us is exactly that; blessed, chosen. I'm sure there is a reason why we aren't the ones suffering in third world countries. Maybe it's because God is hoping that we use what we have to bless others. It doesn't have to be through financial means; each of us has talents or abilities, hobbies, that we can use to bless other people, to show how thankful we are that we were chosen to live such abundant lives.

My hope is that through everything I do I can glorify God. That I will have the instantaneous reaction to praise him in the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The amazing things in life

Oh, blogger, how I've missed you.
I must admit, I've been having a writing affair with a little book I started a few years ago and all of the sudden picked up again. I thought it was a pretty original/good idea then, and now? I think it's even better. Thus, the sudden writing affair.
In an attempt to feel normal again, I've started doing all of the things I love to do- reading, writing, singing, taking pictures, sewing, crafting.. And I've come to find out that it is very possible to get overwhelmed in enjoyable things. I have this tendency to bunch overwhelming things in the not pleaasant category, but these past few weeks have shown me otherwise. I should put some things down, focus on one thing, take it slow, but how many times in our lives can we say I'm totally overwhelmed with all these amazing things in my life..?
Not too often.
So for that reason, I am going to continue writing my book, blogging, taking way too many pictures, making lion costumes/nursing covers/hanging dish towels/heart pillows, practicing singing my songs for The Voice auditions, reading way too may books, and of course being a mom and wife above everything else.

It's picture time, people! Here's a recap of the past 2 weeks. Enjoy!

Healthy cooking


Blueberries' stain butts.. Just a warning.


Just hangin' with the dogs.


1st time shooting a gun. Not to brag, but I would totally survive the zombie apocalypse. 


Swimming

Sliding

Crawling

Shopping

Talking

Playing

After a long day of changing diapers, picking up toys, wiping faces, there's still nothing in the world I'd rather be doing. There may be times when all I want to do is get out- have some me time, but being here with him, seeing him learn new things everyday, is something that I would not trade for a million dollars.
Can I get an AMEN?!

Last, but certainly not least, Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad. 25 years... Wow. How many people can say that? These days, I feel like not too many can. But you have shown me that it is possible- for two people to stay faithful, happy, and in love, for 25 years and beyond.
My parents met when they were 14 and 18, and have been together ever since. To this day, they can remember where they met, what the other was wearing, and that they knew they would be together forever. When I found my forever at just 14 as well, they didn't scold me and tell me I was too young. They didn't laugh at me when I said I loved him. They smiled, and they nodded, cause they knew that it could be true.  
I know that through them, and Todd's parents as well, we have the best examples of lasting relationships. A relationship with God as the center, and a profound love. 
Thank you, thank you, thank you for never giving up on each other, and on us.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rolling with the punches

I'm sitting here literally typing the first thing that comes into my mind after staring at the screen for a solid 8 minutes. I don't know what to write. I don't know what to say. It's been a week, and I've missed at least 2 posts in between. Life has a way of wrapping it's tiny little tendrils into every crack and cranny, grabbing a tight hold, and not letting go. Not that it's a bad thing. I love my life enough to let it consume me, to let it take me away from the things I enjoy most. Reading, writing, sewing. 

But if I'm being quite honest, the whole stuck-in-a-rut thing has hit me once again. The monotonous routine of wake up, change baby, feed baby, play with baby... over and over again has started to wear a path in the tiled floors of our house. I don't want to sit in the house all day doing the same thing, but when I'm given the chance to get out, get moving, I chose instead to throw a pity party and sulk. It's the rut. Because honestly, my life is perfect. I have a perfect husband, a perfect baby, a perfect house, a perfect supportive family. So what do I have to do to get out of this said rut?

I don't know.

What I do know is that it won't last forever. Life is about changing, adapting, rolling with the punches. It's about the way you see things, and the way you let them affect you. Easier said than done, right? True story.

Anyways, since I haven't written- on here- I figured I would give you a little inside scoop on what I have been writing. It started as a short story a few years back in high school, and escalated into an almost 30 page beginning of a book that I hadn't touched since about 2010. I've been doing a few changes recently, but this prologue is exactly the way I wrote it almost 3 years ago. It doesn't have a name, the characters names still aren't set, and the writing isn't completely perfect, but I'll let you in on it anyways. I'm just too excited to keep it to myself.


Prologue

I remember I kept thinking about the blood. How it was everywhere, and how it would never come out of the carpet. I had just watched my parents die and all I could think about is the mess it would leave. How much of a mess my life would become. When you’re growing up, you never imagine that something like this would happen. It’s only in movies or in those nightmares where you wake up screaming. It’s not supposed to be real and you’re not supposed to wonder how to get blood out of your mother’s favorite rug. You think your parents will always be there when you need them. That your mom will help you pick out your senior year prom dress and that your dad will teach you how to drive the stick shift sitting in the garage. That they’ll be there to help you move into your dorm at college and then be there to bail you out of your piled up parking tickets. You never stop and imagine the possibility of them not being there. It never occurs to you that there could be one single night when someone takes that away from you, like they took it away from me. I got to experience the earth shattering silence that follows the last breath of the living. And right then and there I knew things would never be the same. I never really understood the extent of it, until now…

                                                                                 

Just a short post for tonight- hopefully I'll pick back up tomorrow, but I'm making no promises. And for everyone who reads this little blog of mine- thank you. You have no idea how much it really means to me when someone tells me how I put a smile on their face, or a tear in their eye. I hope I can continue to adequately write what you feel, and express my own thoughts at the same time. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Okay, I know I said I was going to wait until Wednesday to write this post, but I'm too wrapped up in all of the red hearts and stolen kisses to wait a-whole-nother day.


So, without further ado, Whimsical Wednesday: The Vow.


Yes, I am referring to the movie that just came out this weekend, with the lovely Rachel McAdams and the dreamy Channing Tatum. I was planning on going to see it with a girlfriend, since it's a chick-flick and all, and I know how much Todd hates enjoys those kinds of movies. But Friday night came and we were sitting in the room, and Todd says to me, "Can I take you to see The Vow?"
It took me a minute to respond while I was trying to figure out if he was being sarcastic or not. I finally decided that he was sincere, and responded with a smile on my face and a simple "Yes."

I didn't wear mascara- yes, I'm one of those cry-your-eyes-out girls, and I'm okay with that. I tend to put myself in their situations, and it's hard not to feel what they feel, to cry when they cry. Surprisingly, I only cried once, and they were happy tears. I won't give away much just in case you haven't seen it, but the movie inspired me to do something I didn't do, almost two years ago. It inspired me to write my own vows.

I don't know why we didn't write them. I think I just didn't want to add another stress to the three months of planning we already had. But, along with many other things from that day, it is one of my biggest regrets. Don't get me wrong, I think our ceremony was beautiful and heartfelt. The pastor did an amazing job and besides my nervous rocking back and forth, it was perfect. But I wish I had put into my own words how very much the man standing across from me meant to me. I think people thought we were a little crazy to be getting married. After all, I was only nineteen and in the middle of my college career. But some things are just too good to wait for, and we both knew there was no one else. So here they are, my vows. I hope I can put as much feeling in them as I am blessed to feel every single day.

I vow...
To love you, every day and every night. To look into your eyes and remind you that you are the only man for me. To kiss you randomly, and to whisper sweet nothings into your ear. To be supportive when you need me to be, and to question you when no one else will. I promise to hold your secrets in my heart, and I promise to always share mine. I promise to tell you when I'm mad instead of letting you figure it out. I promise to make you hot tea when you're sick and not get mad when you cough all night long. I promise to let you think you came up with that idea all by yourself and I promise not to say "I told you so" even though I was right. I promise to be patient and passionate. Kind and loving. And I promise to make up for all of the times I'm not any of those things. I promise to treasure every moment we have together. I know love is hard, and I know life isn't always easy, but I promise to be there, every step of the way, till the day we die. And if I can do anything about it, I promise to love you beyond this world. Always and forever.




Did you write your own vows? If not, today's as good as any to do it and give it to the one you love. You can never say I love you too many times.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone. Go show someone how much you love them.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Manic Monday: You win some, you lose some

Fail- No Friday post. I had every intention of posting. I had even started writing and was pretty excited to write about what I was writing about, but the husband came home super early, and then we went on a movie turned Barnes and Noble date night, and well, excuses excuses.

Win- This weekend. We finally got out of the house. The cool, grey weather delicately cradled our morning green market adventure, cold enough for little hoodies but warm enough for some comfy shorts.

Those lashes..


We walked, bought weird things like Honey Pepper sauce and fresh mozzarella, and ate one too many sweets. Breakfast? What's that? Bring on the dessert.

The best strawberry shortcake I've ever had.


The rest of the afternoon was filled with grocery shopping, which should seriously be a sport, or a job, falling right under the category of making plays in football, or strategizing war. Just sayin'.
We compared prices, read ingredients, compared prices some more, and still ended up spending way too much money. It's so easy to buy the stuff that isn't good for you when it's just so much cheaper.
I know it'll be worth it in the long run. I think. I hope.


We ended the day with family, the way all things should end.

 My beautiful mama


We want to make sure Aubrey grows up surrounded by his family. That he knows how important they are. That he knows that we are the only ones who will always be there. I've learned that even the best of friends can disappoint you, but family? They may not always tell you what you want to hear, but it will always be what you need to hear.

The next day included church, some more family, and some more grocery shopping. It was perfect.
Sure, there are several things I can think of that might have been more enjoyable, or more relaxing. But, as cheesy as this may sound, as long as I'm with my boys, I'm happy. They complete me.

And hey, huddled over a bag of gluten free elbow pasta in a crowded Whole Foods on a beautiful Saturday afternoon ain't such a bad place to be when the one you love is right there next to you.

Speaking of looooove, Wednesday's post is going to be all about V-Day. I'm extending a little challenge for all you couples out there, married or not.
Be prepared!


 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Faith like a child

I'm sure most of you have heard this saying, but have you ever stopped and thought about what it means? I grew up with it. In my baptist church, in my christian school, but like most things from that time, it was in one ear and out the other. Now that I have Aubrey, I see. 


I see his blind faith. I see his determination, his will, his love.
He knows that if he's hungry, he'll get fed. He knows that if he gets scared, I'll be there.
He knows that if I leave, I'll come back.



He looks at the edge of the bed like a minor obstacle rather than an immovable mountain. 
He fights for what he wants, and doesn't give up 'till he gets it.
It may seem like a bad thing, but dude's got determination.

I want to be more like him.
I want to always remember that if something's broken, God will fix it.
That if our money runs out, God will provide.
That if I sometimes forget he's there, He still loves me.

Leave it to a baby to teach you a few things about life.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Whimsical Wednesday: Healthy eating

Todd and I are about to make some drastic changes in our life; more like our diet.
It'll be slow going. It'll be hard. But it's much needed.

He's going gluten free, and I'm going all organic/non-processed/whatever you wanna call it. We're tired of feeling tired, craving bad foods, and feeling crappy when eating those bad foods. Don't get me wrong- we're pretty conscious of what we eat, and we try pretty hard to keep a balanced diet. But I crave McDonald's like nobody's business and Todd's in the bad habit of surprising me with a Twix bar about twice a week, which I absolutely cannot refuse. It's my weakness. My kryptonite.

Anyways, we're going grocery shopping this weekend and my plan is to have a weekly menu, making it easier to keep up with the cooking and such. Whatever's left over will be Todd's lunch the next day, and I will most likely make salads for myself.

Now it's idea/recipe time! First up- Salad in a jar.
Im thinking I could add in the veggies and dressing, making sure that the dressing is at the bottom, not touching the lettuce as to avoid wilting. And maybe, instead of jars, I could use those vacuum-sealable feeder bags from Ziploc? Who knows if it will last as long as in the jars (supposedly 2 weeks!) but I think it's worth a try. I seriously hate making salads, but love to eat them. Lazy? Maybe.

http://www.salad-in-a-jar.com/skinny-secrets/salad-in-a-jar

Oh lettuce wraps, how I love them. And not just any lettuce wraps, mind you, but PF Chang's lettuce wraps? Heaven. Anyway, that website has the recipe for them and be certain they are number one on my menu.

http://iowagirleats.com/2011/04/26/p-f-changs-lettuce-wraps-remade/

I know what you're thinking. Everything involves lettuce and veggies, I need some real food. Gimme meat! Okay, maybe you weren't thinking that but I know I was. 
How about some grilled balsamic flank steak? With a side of roasted broccolli, and some (gluten free) biscuits.

http://pointlessmeals.blogspot.com/2011/05/grilled-balsamic-flank-steak.html

Maybe some red wine and garlic pork tenderloin, accompanied by asparagus and quinoa pasta? Sounds delish. 

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/

I'm interested to find out how all of it tastes, since I'm not a cook. And when I say I'm not a cook, I mean it. I like to think I can follow recipes pretty easily, but truth be told, it could all end in disaster. I'll keep you updated on our healthy eating progress, and any other yummy dinner ideas are gladly welcome!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Manic Monday: Take it easy

As I sit here, I'm listening to the sound of the rain pitter-pattering outside of my window. It perfectly matches the weekend we had. Not that it was gloomy or sullen, some emotions commonly associated with rain. But just that it was one of those stay-at-home-eat-pizza-watch-movies kind of weekends.


Usually weekends are a chance for me to get out, get moving. Feel normal. I spend the majority of the week in the house, with no car, and a baby who gets just as bored as I do. We get restless.
Todd, on the other hand, looks forward to the weekends as a way to sit back, relax, chill.

Can you see our problem?

Well, not really a problem, but maybe more a chance to do what conflict resolution is all about- compromise. I suppose it all has to do with balance, yin and yang, that sort of thing. I've been learning a lot about this lately, in every aspect of my life.


Going out or staying in.
Twix bars or fruit.
Reading or cleaning.


So instead of insisting we do something, anything, to get out of the house, I bunkered down, grabbed a book and read while Todd dozed peacefully next to me. We spent a lot of time sprawled across the floor of Aubrey's room, legs entangled, making the perfect jungle gym for a baby with a new obsession of climbing.
And we finally got back to church.

It's something we've been meaning to do. Something that we said every week we were going to do. But excuses come easily when you'd rather sleep in or go to breakfast.
The baby's still sleeping.
I have nothing to wear.
We don't have time.

I don't know if it needs to be said, but we'll be making it a habit once again. It felt like home. It felt right.
The times we have gone in the last year, (sparingly, mind you) have always been communion. After the first few times, I knew it was no coincidence. Only God knew that I needed reminding of who and what we believe. It's sad to say it took me this long to realize, but with eyes wide open, we are slowly coming back.

Taking it easy, one day at a time.
Taking it back to when the weekends meant family and God.

Maybe all it takes is a slow and steady weekend to bring you back to the basics, to make you appreciate the little things, and make the big things count for something.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Formal Friday: Change happens

Sometimes I forget that I'm a mom. That I have a child who depends on me for life, for love. For happiness.


It's not that it's something that is easily forgotten; no, it is quite the opposite.
It's become so natural, that I stopped thinking about it as a difference from my previous life. It's as natural as saying I'm a woman, or a daughter, a sister, a wife, a friend. I'm a mom. He is mine, as naturally as the beating of my heart, and the blood that courses through my veins could very well be replaced with the love I have for him. It sustains
 me, revives me. I can hear it's pounding in my ears, feel it's throb beneath my fingertips. It's constant, flowing, never changing. It is always with me.


It's a different love than any I've ever felt. It's unintentional, never hard to come by. As easy as the breath that fills my lungs, and leaves it to be replaced by another. Without thinking. Without trying.



I never knew I could love like this. That it would be given to me in the form of one pink, little human. That the tiny, foreign body they put on my chest, that took his very first breath in my arms, would ignite this passion, this need to nurture. After loving like this, I can never look at anything the same. I see beauty in places I didn't notice before, and suddenly, the need to escape this place I was born and raised in subsides and is replaced with the realization of just how lucky we are to live here. Just a few minutes from the beach. Never far away from our parents, our friends.

I realize how blessed we are to be able to sink our feet into the soggy sand, and lick salty water off of our lips on an almost daily basis. That whenever we like, we can take a quick 5 minute drive to a place where people only visit once a year. If they're lucky.



All the whispered, this place sucks, comments that have escaped my lips were replaced with awe as I drove over the bridge to our perfectly placed oasis. The buildings of dowtown illuminated by the bright sun, the crystal clear intercoastal waters hugging us from all sides. I was reminded, as I am every time I drive that bridge, of how much I love the ocean. The fresh, clean air. The bright, hot sun.
While I love the mountains of Colorado, or the miles of green that can be found in Tennessee, I love the beach.

I love how I can smell it before I see it. And how I don't realize that the entire state smells that way until I've left it and come back. Sure, it's hot and crowded, expensive and kind of dirty, but there are places of pure beauty. Places where I can only sit and wonder how anybody can say there is no God. If it takes us going to the beach everyday to remember how blessed we are to live here, than so be it.





I know that I'm supposed to be writing about more important things, like maybe talking about Romney and Gingrich and their annoying adds. Or how the tobacco commercials talk about the formaldehyde in cigerattes, but no one worries about the formaldehyde in vaccines. Yes, these are important things that I will talk about, in posts to come.

But this has been on my mind a lot lately. How being a mom changes things, makes them whole, makes them different. How when thinking about where to live, I ask questions like "How are the schools?" or "Is it safe?" Instead of, "Any good bars around?" or "Where's the nearest mall?" Instead of looking for a studio apartment with a loft as the only "bedroom," we'll be looking for a house with a big backyard, and the perfect tree for a treehouse.

I've realized the little parts of my life that have changed. Sleeping schedules, having to actually pack a bag for the beach, worrying about feeding someone else before myself. It's not until you look at the big things that you actually sit down and take a long hard look at the path your life is taking.


Mine looks like it's going to be filled with a lot of kids, a lot of noise, and a big, full house.


I wouldn't want it any other way.







Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Whimsical Wednesday: Readers are Leaders

So maybe that statement would be true if the reading I spent my time doing was actually educating. I read purely for enjoyment, as an escape. It's my "me" time and I like to make sure I'm not learning anything important.
So this post will have 3 parts; Some reccomendations for uneducating books, a craft (or 2), and some really cool organization for those books.

Books- These are books that I've realy enjoyed and think are worth reading. If you're like me and like Twilight but wasn't toally convinced, what with the shimmering vamps and the lack of action, than you will love Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instrument Series.

Book 1

If you aren't into fantasy and are looking for something a little more realistic but still full of adventure, than look no further than Blood Red Road by Moira Young, or Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick.

 















If you're more of a sappy, love story kind of person, I got nothin' for ya. I don't really read anything that doesn't have some action in it, however, all of the books I have recommended have definite love stories included in them. Especially Cassandra Clare's books. I've honestly read them all more than a few times. Just sayin'.

Now for the crafts. All book related, of course.
Do you hate folding the corners of your books and end up using some scrap peice of paper as a bookmark? Which isn't a big deal, obviously, but wouldn't it be nice if you had a cute, practical book mark? Like this one, perhaps?


I also like to stack my books in order of authors instead of height, or color, or some other organizational way. (Maybe I'm the only one who thinks about how to organize their books?) Either way, the idea of covering the books with matching book covers is really cute! Here's an inspiration..


We all know how expensive books can be these days, so why not hit up the local library? If you have kids, bring them along and join story time while you're there!

I'm off to finish yet another book. I hope you'll start one soon!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Don't talk about it, be about it.

Besides this new layout you're seeing, nothing new has happened since my last post.
The baby's still teething, we're still not getting a lot of sleep, and I haven't sewn. Not once.

I've read enough books to last me the rest of the year (about 10 in total) and I'm finally all caught up on The Vampire Diaries and Revenge. And while those things don't necessarily make the "productivity" list, they most definitely make the "happy/relaxed/self indulgent" list. That counts for something, right?


It's just too easy to be tired and lazy, especially when being either makes you even more of both. 
If that makes any sense. 
Before you know it, the to-do list is twice the size as when you started it, and you've lost all motivation to get it done. Which leads to feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, all because you didn't want to clean the bathroom. I think they call it the snowball effect. 


But starting tomorrow, things are gettin' back to business. No more slacking on the picture taking, the craft making, and the blog posting. The pile of laundry sitting in the corner of the room will finally be tackled, and the baby's room will go back to being semi-organized.
I'm going to stop talking about working out, and actually work out. The billboard at the gym by my house house says "Don't talk about it, be about it," and every time I drive by I feel slightly guilty for my "talk about it" attitude.

From now on, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays will be my "blogging" days.
Mondays are going to be called Manic Monday, where I will talk about the weekend, post pictures that were taken, and talk about life in general. You know, the good ol' fashion normal stuff.
Wednesdays will be called Whimsical Wednesday, and on these days I'll post about anything I find on the internet that I think is worth sharing. This will include, but is not limited to; recipes, crafts, sewing things, books, movies, jokes, Youtube videos, photography, fashion.
And Fridays will be known as Formal Friday, where I'll keep it a bit more serious by sharing insightful things, like lessons learned, or what's going on in the presidential debate. I know you're not supposed to talk about politics and religion, but since when does anyone ever do what they're told?
If anyone ever has any ideas or suggestions on topics, please share them! I'd be happy to talk about things from a different perspective, or do a little research to answer some of your questions.


Hopefully this will help me to remember to write more often, and give me a few more things to write about.
Because as much as I'd love to talk about Aubrey 24/7, I'm sure you can only stand to hear about his being cranky and clingy so many times. But I may just throw in an extra post or two about how super cute he is, because, well, he's really super cute.

With all that being said, tune in Wednesday for my very first Whimsical Wednesday post. (I'd start Manic Monday tomorrow, but I have no pictures to share, and my new camera gets here Tuesday! More about that at a later time :D)

And because no one likes a post with no pictures, here's a picture!



See you later!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

This too shall pass

This is the third time that I've sat down to write this. If there's anything I hate more than feeling like I have nothing to write about, it's feeling 'forced' to write. I'll get a few paragraphs in, re-read it all and realize how fake it sounds.

Select all, delete.

I don't want to sound fake, and I don't want to feel forced. Writing is an escape, an expression of what I don't get to say while at home with an 8 month old. And I think it's been so long since I've written because I finally got back into my other escape- reading.
I almost forgot what it was like to get lost in another world. Almost.

The baby's been a little cranky lately, with the sleepless nights and the nursing strike he's now on. Things have been somewhat frustrating, and I've had to remind myself more than a few times how amazing he usually is, and that this too shall pass
And while he naps, I cuddle up in bed with a book and some Jack Johnson.
Some much needed 'me' time. While my days may not be filled with cleaning and cooking like most stay at home moms, there is hardly ever a time when I do something because it satisfies me, and me alone.
But reading... Reading makes my heart soar.
I can literally feel my stresses and thoughts, my concerns and ideas, lift away and leave me be. They cease to exist, and let me enter into my world of adventures and fantasies.
Yes, that is what I read. Paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, dystopian.. Because I like to escape, and how better to do it than enter a world where the ordinary cannot be found?

Once I start, I can't stop, and before I know it, I've burned through five books, over 2000 pages.
It's like a drug, addicting, enticing, relentless. 
The books sit on my nightstand, calling my name, revisiting me in my dreams. And eventually, I give in. Instead of writing here, I'm lost in another realm. 
Please leave a message at the beep.


Eventually duties call, and I bring myself back down to earth.
I remember how I always used to wish that these worlds existed. That there were adventures, and magical forests with cunning enemies and charming allies.
I remember the disappointment that came after finishing a book and having to go back to the real world. 
Now it's different. I read because I enjoy it, and sometimes I need it. 
But when I'm interrupted by a crying baby lying awake in his crib, I put it down without hesitation because my adventures include him.


And other things, like birthday parties and pizza cooks-offs. 




And that is quite alright with me.
I've finally found this groove, this being young and being a mom, groove
It's been good. It's been liberating. 

There's a new book, with crisp pages and beautiful words, sitting on my nightstand, waiting to be read.
I promise I'll be back soon.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Food for thought

Oh, 2 more things I forgot to mention that I think are worth mentioning.

1.) I got Aubrey this new toy, right? It's awesome. Seriously, it makes me LOL when he plays with it, and the packaging just made me chuckle with it's ingenuity.


The side says 'Never be embarrassed by "baby fat" again.' I'm smiling as I write this 'cause it's just so darn cute. 
I think it'd make an awesome gift for a girl or a boy. 

I work out!

2.) I've been, once again, doing a lot of research about organic/homemade products versus mass production/store bought products, and man, was I blown away. I've written a post once before, long ago when my blog was more of a research log than a personal account of my life, about the dangers of the ingredients in our body care products
For a while, I was following a strict regimen of all natural products, but honestly, it became harrowing. Reading labels on the back of bottles can make anyone go crazy. I started to slip, and I reaped the consequences. My skin went back to looking dull, blotchy and downright pathetic. 
Not only could I physically see the repercussions of my laziness, but I felt them too. My energy was gone and my desire to do anything productive was zapped. 
So I became determined to revert back to my natural ways. I started taking my vitamins again, tried eating healthier, and am now home making a lot of my own hygiene products.
It's only been a few weeks with the vitamins and the eating, but the difference is amazing. I've gotten less sleep in the past 2 weeks than I did when Aubrey was a newborn, and I still feel better than when I got more sleep.
Here are a list of the vitamins I take:

Vitamin D3, 2000 IU's- 2 capsules per day (Whole Foods brand)
Prenatals- 1 tablet per day (Whole Foods brand)
Zinc 50mg- 2 tablets per day (Sundown Naturals brand)
PB 8 Probiotic- 2 capsules per day (Nutrition Now brand)

As far as eating goes, I'm pretty flexible. After all, I love food and I'm always hungry so it's hard to stay on a routine with that. No excuse, I know, but I try to keep my sodium levels low and I try to keep the processed carbs and sugars even lower. I eat my veggies and fruits and drink plenty of water throughout the day.

I found out a few days ago that one of the main ingredients in deodorants and antiperspirants is aluminum chlorohydrate or aluminum zirconium, which have both been linked to Alzheimer's and breast cancer. Since I was fed up with mine, and hate having to find a new one that works, I decided to make my own. It's been 2 days and I've never been happier. I used;
Ingredients-
1/4 cup arrowroot powder (you can use cornstarch too, but it has been known to clog pores so be careful)
1/4 cup baking soda
5-6 tbsp of coconut oil
Mix ingredients in a bowl, and transfer to container of choice. Some people put it in an old deodorant stick, I put mine in a wide mouth mason jar. Up to you.
Also, i found it easier to mix when the oil was melted. Just put the jar of coco oil in warm water and wait a few mintues.

I also did a lot of research on the ongoing controversy with fluoride in our toothpaste, and unfortunately in our water, and decided it's best to do without it. Income homemade toothpaste.
Ingredients-
3 tbsp baking soda
3 tbsp coco oil
25-30 drops essential oil of choice (ie; spearmint oil, peppermint oil, cinnamon oil..)
Mix ingredients in bowl. Add more or less coconut oil depending on desired consistency, and add more or less essential oil depending on how spicy you want it.
Sidenote; This toothpaste is very salty and does not foam. If you're expecting it to be like regular toothpaste, you will get freaked out and disappointed and give up. But I urge you to stick with it. It's worth it. Also, I've seen some recipes where people add vegetable glycerin and/or stevia to sweeten it up. Once again, up to you but I chose to do without.


Anyways, if it's something you're interested in than there's a lot of different recipes available through the web. Find what suits you best and go for it!
Next up is homemade body wash and lotion. Best part about it? It can be used for the baby, too. Talk about saving money.

Now back to cleaning, for real this time. ;)

Yin and yang

Sorry for my 1 week hiatus. This week has been crazy and beautiful and absolutely perfect.

It included midnight feedings for a cranky baby, new adventures with the family, a girl's night, and beer pong.
It was a yin, yang type of week. Perfect balance of being a mom, and being 21.

There isn't much else to say about this week except that it has once again reminded me to be proactive and productive. To get out, have fun, and love like there's no tomorrow.
Cliche? Maybe, but it's too true for me to care.

The weather was inviting and enticing, willing me to play outdoors and skip laundry duties once again. I said yes without hesitation, and couldn't be happier that I did.

We helped daddy work on his car.



We frolicked in the streets and watched as passing neighbors gave us the stink eye.
A baby, in a walker, on the street?! Irresponsible. 




And then we crawled around, on the ground, without mama freaking out. Letting go of the germs, step 1.


We experienced new things, like animals other than dogs, and rides that we weren't too sure about.



Grandma, I think you're a little too big for that train. Just sayin'.


And boy, were we spoiled. My arms were free the whole day, and that baby didn't sit in his stroller. Not once.





And we were finally convinced that sand is not the enemy.


Even though I don't completely enjoy waking up at 1 a.m, and every 2 hours after that, to feed and change the baby, I don't really mind it all that much either.
It's my chance to snuggle him and kiss his little forehead. It's the few times he falls asleep nursing, the few times he lets me cradle him like a real baby.
And I wouldn't trade it for a full nights sleep any day.


Okay, I'm done procrastinating. You know how when you do a really good cleaning/organizing job, you have to make the room really messy first? Like it gets worse before it gets better, right?
Well, I'm in the worse stage right now, and it's taking every ounce of my being to find the will to finish it.

Wish me luck.