Friday, November 1, 2013

Stalling Patterns


Well, here it is....I will lay it out before you.  I haven't blogged in eleven days....and instead of feeling antsy to post and share, I feel a burden.  It has been brought to my attention that I am busy.  That loved ones feel like I'm too busy for them.  Thus, without further adieu, I'm out.  I will be taking a long hiatus from blogging.

I pray that you understand and can honor that.  There are so many beautiful, lovely, amazing blogs out there, and I just don't want to feel the pressure to keep up.  I want to do it just for me and my family.  It's possible that I will create a private blog, by email only.  If you are interested in receiving that, let me know.  Otherwise, peace out homies.

For now.

Extra long hugs.....a



Monday, October 21, 2013

My baby is three




























Dearest Sam:

Ohhh, how my heart aches for you, I can't believe you are three.  You are no longer a baby!  When did this happen? Where did the time go?  I want to pause time and keep you just as you are today. You are truly a delight and joy to be with. Sammy, you are great company.  You are so very silly and love to have fun.  You have no fear and like to do things a different way, which can be challenging for me. You love to go anywhere with me and are usually up for the adventure.

You love hummus, spicy chips, and all berries.  Your brother and I are your most favorite people of all time.  You love putting strange things in small spaces, like stickers all over the place.  I find them everywhere.  You are all about Pete the Cat, snuggly soft things, and shaking your booty. It would always be your choice to never wear pants or shoes (and to pee outside).  You love our Friday night movie nights, chocolate milk, and "your" playroom.  You like to ride your balance bike from room to room in the house.

We struggled with discipline for quite awhile....you pushed every boundary and have a very high pain tolerance, which made it difficult for your dear old mom and dad.

But....you got it!  You conquered the potty too!

I can't begin to tell you how much joy you've added to our little family.  You are loads to handle, but worth all of it.  I pray that you always know how much we love and adore you unconditionally.  You have my heart always and forever.  You are a light my love, and you don't even know it yet, but I do.  You are going to turn this world upside down.  You are going to spread your light to everyone!  I look forward to seeing it.  I'm so thankful to be your mum.  I couldn't love you more...

Juicy kisses (that you will wipe off) and tight squeezes,
Mom

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Live Like That

Yesterday was a day heavy with the burdens of others hurt and sad hearts.  As I was driving into work this morning...I was jamming out to "Top Christian" on Pandora.  (Because I stink.  KLOVE is having their pledge drive and I don't want to feel guilty about not donating yet.)  This song came up, which I've heard a million times.  But today, as I'm putting my makeup on driving, I began to cry.  Cry a lot.   Mascara that I just applied is now running.
As the tears are rolling down my cheeks, 
I can only be filled with the glory.  
I was full again.  
Ready to pour it all out. 



Thank you for this day. I'm grateful for my health, my babies health, that I can pay my bills, that I have clean water to drink and had a warm shower this morning. Thank you Jesus for Mr. N. He is my rock and bestie. Thank you for a working car. It makes everything in this world do much easier. Thank you for the ability to get healthy food for my family and not worry about paying for it. Thank you for health care, Motrin to bring fevers down, and modern medicine. Thank you for my family, my childhood, and my parents.

Thank you for giving me my crazy huge heart and the ability to manage it. Thank you refilling my soul. I am nothing without you my love. Every single day I want to pour out all of what is in my to others, so that when I am at your beautiful feet I can say I have nothing left to give. Thank you for letting your light shine through me to others, so they can see your glory and know that you are so very good, especially when all they see in this world is ugly.

 Today let's will try to be Jesus to the least of us. Be the evidence that He is good.  Don't hold back.

 Balls to the walls people. Let's get it on.

 {PS: After the song was over, and if you know me, you will probably find this funny too, all I could say was "Sh**".  Like, holy crap that was rad.  Yep, that's right.  I love Jesus and cuss like a sailor.  I started laughing, because that's just friggin funny stuff that you can't make up.}

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ahhhhhh October


How I missed you sweet October!  You are my very, very favorite!  I don't know if it's because in October you get the first glimpse of fall, or the fact that I adore Halloween.  Or that I love all things warm related....I love Thanksgiving and Christmas as well, and October is like the start of all that is awesome!   Here are some of my top ten faves:

1. Honey crisp apples.  They are what an apple should be.  They are amazingly delish and remind me of being pregnant with Benno because I was addicted.  It wasn't past me to spend 10 bucks on apples. 
2. Pumpkin Spice Creamer (I found out how many calories are in PSL at Starbucks....400!  That's like a meal and cocktail!  Holy friggin crap.  Thus, I will settle for a little creamer instead.  It's happiness in a cup.)
3. Apple Spice or pumpkiny candles.  (Yes, pumpkiny is a word.)  Any of those candles that make my house smell like fall time.
4. Making chilli, black bean soup, or any other warm concoction.  Layer in some cheese and fritos.  It makes my heart happy.
5. Being able to wear tall boots and lots of layers, scarves, etc.  It's like wearing your favorite childhood blanket all day long.  Happy, happy, Joy, joy.  And, it covers all that cushion that the cheese and fritos have added to my midsection.  
6. That it gets dark when my kids are actually going to bed!  Praise God!  No more conversations about it still being light outside.
7. That football is always on...and that means Mr. N is HAPPY.
8. Fall time always reminds me of my childhood.  Of coming home to yummy smells, going for walks to find leaves with my sweet mum, and the smell of new school supplies.  But living in Texas means you don't feel "fall-time" until October. 
9. That I no longer have to get into a bathing suit. Can I hear an AMEN?
10. Driving with the windows down and having windows open at home.  I love the feel of cool, crisp wind on my face, flowing through my home.  Cleaning out the junk.  Ohhhh, Autumn how I adore thee. 

Happy day to you and yours my lovelies.  I pray it's a great one.  a


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Brewing

From Jess
I've been brewing on this for a bit....hence the long silence on my end.  What is there in my daily life that just takes up space and time but doesn't ultimately move me closer to my goal of living more intentionally and serving God?

I'm reading a new book called "Seven" by Jen Hatmaker who for seven months gives up seven different areas of excess in her life.  I also just read my sweet friend Allison's blog on On Eve and Eden about ditching Facebook.  I am convicted. Let's be real though.  I'm officially stirred up.  My heart is anxious with the thought of fasting anything.  No coffee?  I start to sweat at the thought.

I don't like to be uncomfortable.  If anything, I am the comfort queen.  If my shoes hurt, I will give them away.  No joke.  In bible study I've been pouring over the book of Matthew, and in chapter 6, Jesus tells us about our possessions and fasting.  It got me thinking....what do I ultimately treasure?  If you glimpsed at my day, what would my actions prove to you that I treasure?

I know in my heart that I treasure my relationship with God, my husband and children, my family, and my friends.  I relish loving on others and lifting them up.  I adore serving.  BUT....I fear my time would tell you that I like pinterest, facebook, style blogs a bit more than I should.  Not the picture I'm wanting to paint in my heart for God.  And that is ultimately what I will be judged on....not how witty my facebook status is, or how well I decorated my house, or how cool I can possibly dress.

Matthew is all about producing good fruit.  Am I?  Of is my fruit just rotten and full of disgusting holes??  Matthew discusses over and over about refining you, removing the chaff from the wheat.  I think I'm finally ready.

I don't know what it will look like.  If I'll follow Jen Hatmakers path, or if I'll get off Facebook.  I do however know that something needs to change.  In my heart, in my time, with my food choices, with my money, with every blessing I'm given.  But I do know this....

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else and live righteously and he will give you everything you need.  
Matthew 6:33





Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Raising Godly Kiddos


Good Morning my lovelies! I pray you had a fantastic Monday!  I've been thinking on this lately....how do you raise your kids to be prepared for this world, but not be OF this world.  Here is part of my strategy.

I love these flashcards below.  I put the link there.  They are free and you can print them on card-stock   With Benno, we just learn the verse for now, not where in the bible it is. That might be a cop out, but, it's just easier for a six year old. I like that he knows his ABCs and it goes right with that.  

In addition, it's super helpful, when something is happening that needs attention, I can through out a verse that he knows and make it applicable to real life.  Also, when he understands it's not just be being a "mean mom", but that what I'm correcting him about is biblicaly based, it's seems to have more meat on my words.  Like I have the big "J.C." behind me.  




I'm about to purchase this book, via amazon, for our nightly readings.  I'm stoked to branch out with him, so broaden his understanding.  It might be a bit advanced for him, but I think he can handle it.  I will let you know!

Ben will not rest at night until I pray over him.  And for some odd reason, it has to be me.  This is ultimate.  I try my hardest to really pour it all into him.  Sometimes, there is a little Sam yelling from the other room, so it's cut short.  But, it's a chance daily, for me to bless him, ask for forgiveness, and let Benno know how he is loved.  When you pray over your kids, I say let it flow.  If you want to express that you messed up that day being a mom, say it.  I feel like it helps Ben know that I need grace just as much as he does.  


And finally, and possibly, the most important...is to just love.  Love with all that you are. Love on anybody. Love on people that aren't like you.  Love on people that aren't christian.  Just love.

Your example will be stronger than your words for your children
Love is directly from God. 

I go for the easy ones first, like clothing and feeding people.  Which is ironic, because I'm not a great cook!  But, nonetheless, I like to feed people.  And hug people.  Anyone. Hug them tight like it's your job.

I am by no means an expert, but this is what is working for our family today.  Hope your day is full of blessing after blessing!  Hugs, a

Friday, September 13, 2013

Top Ten Movie Night


It's Friday!  Yahoooo!  We are of course having a proper family movie night at our house!

This is what it takes at my house:

1. Comfy clothes, and no pants for kiddos, no shoes
2. Sofa pulled out to full bed mode, for more lounging pleasures.
3. There is a major discussion of who's movie pic it is.  Straws are sometimes drawn.
4. Lots and lots of very soft cozy blankets and lovies.  Minnie is right there.
5. Popcorn and treats, usually M&Ms mixed in to hot popcorn, in cute containers!
6. Pizza in any form.  Sometimes its fancy delivery, or frozen.  Just depends on the night. Tonight I'm making individual pizzas from tortillas that I saw on pinterest.  We will see how successful I am.
7. Absolutely no bath.
8. Absolutely no homework or studies are to be done.
9. Mama makes an early cocktail
10. Pure bliss by my little tikes is amazing.  They look forward to it every single  Friday.  The only draw back is now, getting them fired up to change over to high-school football.

I pray your weekend is grand.  Do you have any fabulous plans?  Hugs, a

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Reading Material

What are you reading these days?  Anything amazingly great?  I would love to hear about your favorite book!
Stiff: It's absolutely nuts.  A co-worker gave it to me because I used to teach Anatomy and I like gross things.  It's really interesting and pretty crazy information.  Worth a read if you aren't squeamish.



Everyday Church: We are reading this prior to going to Guatemala this year.  I'm only in chapter 2, but it's a ton of interesting information if you are a christian.


Calmer, Easier, Happier, Parenting: I CAN NOT say enough about this book.  It's super useful and amazing.   I haven't even read the entire thing, but what I have read has helped me as a parent.  The first chapter, you will be like, "Yeah right Annie."  It's about detailed compliments.  It totally works!


Blogs that have my attention: 
From Hunted Interior. She does some amazing things and I like her taste. 

From: Housetweaking, this lady ROCKS MY SOCKS!  She's a mother of three and I love all her aesthetics.  She does things inexpensively mixed with diy items.  Always a winner in my book. 


From Damsel in Dior, she has really high end taste, but I like her mix and you-tube videos.  

If you have any fantastic books that you are diggin, share the wealth!  Hugs, a

Coffee Date


If we were to have a coffee date today, I would hug you tight, and order a pumpkin spice latte with extra whip cream.  We could sit without children and have an adult conversation.  That would be straight heaven!

I would ask you all about your heart and what's going on in your world.  I would tell you that I adore fall time and all that it entails.  I love the smells, the football, the food, the clothes, all of it.  I feel like a little kid again when that first crisp day comes.

I would tell you that I'm trying REALLY hard to cook better foods for my family and that it is absolutely frustrating to make a big awesome, healthy meal and for Ben and/or Sam to not like it, appreciate it, sit down at the table, complain about it, or all of the above.  Makes me want to serve boxed Mac n Cheese forever.

I would jump up and down and tell you that we finally got a new king size bed.  I'm in love with it.  I don't want to leave it.  Mr. Handy N made me two new, industrial night stands to go with it.  Go Mr. N!  You are my hero!

My crazy babies are doing pretty grand, Sam is officially potty trained and Ben is doing fabulous in first grade after that first melt down.  I'm one blessed lady.  I pray you get a grand cup of coffee today!  Hugs, a



Wednesday, September 4, 2013

First Row vs. Third Row


To lighten your load today, I found this so lovely.  

Are you in the first row or third row?  

Check out those ladies faces...I hope something blows your skirt up today!  
Happy, happy day to you and yours.....a


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Farts and Kids


We had a pretty rad three day weekend.    I didn't commit to a darn thing.  Which is fantastic!  There was lots of no pant wearing, dirt playing, water fights, smurf villages created, hoola hooping, balloon blowing, cartoon watching, movie nights, no bathing, chocolate milk drinking going on in our little home.

On my running "to-do" list in my creative little noggin, I had been wanting to make the boys a new tee-pee.  You know, a more modern, light and airy one. After much deliberation on pinterest, I found a list of easy directions.  Let's just say, mine is not "pin" worthy.  Mr. N walked in and said "Come on, Annie.  We are better than that."  Then declared a a "tee-pee off."  So, I did a crappy job.  I followed directions and everything.  He thinks (and I know) he could make one hell-off-a tee-pee. I immediately conceded.  I didn't stand a chance.    

Minnie loved it though!  Picture this.  Sam and Ben being all set up in there, with their pillows just so, little guys in there to keep them comfy.  A spot for Sam, Ben, Minnie and I.  They were so thrilled that we all fit just so.  That is until Ms. Minnie Pearl let a silent, but VERY deadly fart come out.  We couldn't get out of that stinky tee-pee fast enough.  We were all rolling in laughter.  Why are farts always funny I ask?  


Forgiveness


This is a long one, so stick with me kid.  I've been brewing on it for awhile.

Everyday I try to remind my kids to be brave and kind.  At times the world can be a scary, hurtful place and they will need to navigate it appropriately. The other day, we were in the "work" of just being a family.  It wasn't pretty, but it was real.

Ben was really struggling with some school work.  He was getting so frustrated, crying, and a bit hysterical.  I normally wouldn't share something so personal here, but I want to remember it, and if he ever chooses to read this, for him to truly know.

All his negative emotions came out of no where.  He was saying ugly things that we would never tell him in a million years.  They just flowed out of him.  He was yelling that he was a failure.  The truth is, I was failing miserably.  I couldn't snap him out of it.  I wasn't making the situation better.  If anything, it was escalating.  I wanted him to understand grace for himself and have confidence.  He wanted to be perfect. I was at a loss as a mother in that moment.  And to make matters worse, it was all VERY familiar to me. He came by it naturally.  I used to do the exact same thing.  I'm emotional and intensely hard on myself.  So, I felt even more at fault.

This is one of only the times that I haven't been able to "fix"  or "nurture" the situation to being better.  I couldn't love that child more, but at that moment my love wasn't enough.   We decided to take a break from it and come back to it, but  Mr. N came in at the perfect time and he "reset" Ben.

It was magical.

Ben later came to the dinner table having conquered the assignment beautifully.  He was happy and felt great about himself.  At this point I was thrilled that Mr. N was so successful.  And then, I realized that I had failed Ben.  I felt defeated.

I was thrilled for Ben's success, and I can't really explain it, but I was almost jealous that Mr. N could do it.  I wanted to be the saver.  I know that's not pretty or popular to admit, but it is true.  Mr. N even called me out on it.  I've been so used to being the one that could "fix" the kids, or who they would run to.  It makes me nervous and sad to see Ben fighting the same battles that I fought all those years ago.  It made me feel like it is somehow my fault that he got that "flaw" from me.  I remembered this....

"Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord.
Lift your hands toward Him for the life of your young children."
Lamentations 2:19

I realized this...I have to forgive myself.  I am so hard on myself first and foremost.  I can forgive anyone in a split second, and I'm over it.  I've moved on.  But, to forgive myself is just brutal.  Really brutal.  I just can't do it.  And now, I have a child that does the same thing.  What a lesson before me.  To be able to teach my child about forgiving himself, I have to do it first to show him.  I have some work to do.

As the kids are headed back to school, with new classrooms, teachers, and friends, I revisited "The power of the praying parent."  I was reminded that my children are not mine. God drove this home with me.  Ben and Sam are not mine.  They are His.  I will not have all the answers.  Thank goodness I'm married to the person intended for me, because Mr. N is the perfect ying to my yang.  He swooped in to handle Ben like he would handle me.  I'm not great in those situations,  but my gift is loving with all that I am. I am one lucky woman to be loved for exactly who I am.  One lovely, loving, hot mess.  

When Ben felt success, his whole heart shined out of him.  My light glowed for him.  This motherhood thing is only getting harder.  Thank goodness I'm not alone.  And tomorrow is another day to love and forgive.  


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