Wednesday, November 30, 2011

4 days apart.

Okay, so like I mentioned in my last post, the story of baby Hawthorne on the way is really quite fascinating and it has been driving me a little crazy holding it in for the last several weeks.

I guess I kind of wanted to give myself a bit of time through the first trimester before announcing it, but, finally I realized, I would rather tell people sooner and ask for prayer for a healthy baby than not tell anyone and if for some reason God had other plans for the little love the size of a blueberry inside me, then well, at least I would have a lot of other shoulders to lean on. Just my preference I suppose.

So here goes, the story I've been holding in for weeks!

And like I mentioned... if the talk of baby making, menstrual cycles and the such make you want to run for the hills, go ahead and do so now. lol! The rest of you, I'm so excited to share!!

Okay, so this goes back to October...before Halloween to be exact. Hubby and I have always talked about having another baby, but we never really knew when God's timing would be. Addyson was a bit of a surprise 6 months into our marriage, and Sawyer we tried one month and that was all it took. So after Sawyer, we knew we really had to be careful unless we were hoping to be the next Duggar family. Which as far as I know is not God's plan for us. lol.

So one evening after kids were in bed, we had a glass of wine, and were talking about the thought of having another little love running around and really got excited about the idea...and well... in so many words... we decided to give it a whirl. The next day we kinda laughed, and thought, well... maybe we should wait a few months before really trying because we just don't know yet what God's plan is for another baby for us. Let's just say, there would be no more waiting. lol. And just for the record I have no idea why for some people God allows them to get pregnant by basically looking at each other, and for others it takes all kinds of methods, even medical help to do so. I just think we all have our own battles, and lessons that the Lord is teaching us, and he uses different circumstances for different people. One of those things we will never fully understand.

Well, this is where the idea of being pregnant kind of took a different turn. My sister and her husband {and yes I have full permission to post this} with whom I am best friends with, had been trying for a baby for several months at this time... 8 to be exact. My sister and I live in the same community, are 14 months apart and have been attached at the hip our entire lives. Along with our youngest sister, who we are desperately are trying to get to move to our community as well, that just got married in September. 

The morning I got the two pink lines was a Sunday and it was the first time I actually got to tell John in person that I was pregnant! I told him over the phone with Addyson, because I was basically in a panick when I found out, and with Sawyer, I was actually out-of-state visiting family on the east coast when I found out, so once again it was over the phone. So this time around it was an exciting moment that we shared and we just kind of hugged and stared at each other and laughed. That's all we could think about doing. We couldn't believe that one time in "danger zone" and here we were.

Then it set in.. all I could think about was how nervous I was to tell my sister. I was so excited, and yet, so torn that finding out I was pregnant was probably going to discourage her greatly. I know in talking to several friends over the years that there comes a point when you are trying to get pregnant and the more people you find out about that are getting pregnant around you, the harder it gets for you to feel excited. It just makes you want that so much more... I have always felt their pain, even though I couldn't relate. I could completely understand their emotions though. It made sense. All in God's timing takes on a different meaning. You wonder if it ever will be God's timing..

So I told her first thing and we both had a lot of silent moments on the phone. She was so happy for us, and like I feared, so discouraged. It was bittersweet. I wrote a post called bitter vs. sweet that day. You can read it here. I cried. A lot.

Then the thoughts started coming in like waves... why did we even "try" knowing my sister was trying? I have a lot of friends that have been trying... am I just being insensitive? Why am I the one being blessed with another baby when all I want is for my sister and her husband to have this joy? I just knew the enemy was trying to rob me of my joy, but I couldn't stop the guilt. I spent a day crying and battling it out with God. I felt like the waves of questions were attacks. I felt horrible. Not exactly the way you think your first few days finding out your pregnant are supposed to go. Plus, not to mention the hormones that are completely out of whack now. Oh Lordy!

I just started praying. 

My husband started praying. 

My mom, my dad, my youngest sister and her husband started praying. 

A handful of friends started praying.

I truly felt the only way that my sister and I were going to feel peace in that moment was for her to be pregnant. Soon. Maybe before I was in my second trimester I was hoping. Or at least before I had the baby.

Like I said, I found out I was pregnant on Sunday and I knew her cycle {of course us sisters talk about this kind of stuff, and funny thing was how close our cycles have gotten since living .7 miles apart} and she would know on Wednesday if she was. All I could do to stop the attacks of guilt was to pray..

Tuesday morning came and by God's will alone, my sister got PREGNANT written across her digital test for the first time ever. Shocked is not the adequate word. This was even a day early!

God answered our prayers with YES, NOW. I am crying just thinking about it. 

I cannot tell you the emotions of that day. Words don't do it any justice. Our family rejoiced and praised God and laughed. It was the most amazing thing to see a prayer answered that quickly.

We calculated our due dates and found out we are due FOUR days apart. How insane is that?! We just started laughing imagining that we very well could be in the hospital at the SAME time! Imaging our families running from room to room... the husbands checking in on each other seeing how the other is holding up... what the heck we could even share a room! Well, maybe a curtain in between for "GO" time. LOL. It seriously sounded like a scene you might see on reality T.V. Obviously we have no idea how that last month will play out for each of us, but it's going to be awesome. And I'm so, so excited that I happen to be blogging now so I can document this adventure, because that's definitely what it's going to be. An adventure.

It's amazing to look back at the whirlwind of emotions... God had this from the beginning. Like this little picture mentions so perfectly, in my time of utter despair and guilt and confusion, God had something better in mind. Us being pregnant together was something we had never really imagined. Something I don't feel like we ever could have planned ourselves. At least not successfully. lol.

Now we are texting and calling each other every day, checking in on each other's painful boobs and tired state. Sending each other pics of our bumps that hardly even exist yet, and reading The Girlfriends Guide to pregnancy together.

We keep telling my youngest sister to drink the water and join us... but as a happy newlywed she is determined to wait. Darn! ;)

You better believe we will be visiting this place again as our growing bumps demand more food! LOL!

I just am thanking God for this gift of giving us each other as we go through what is very likely my last pregnancy and her first TOGETHER.

And our hubby's are just a tad thrilled about it too....

They already are practicing their before and afters. Love it!  

 This picture even makes me forget my morning sickness for a moment because I laugh so hard looking at it. 

Oh man. Love those guys!!

This is gonna be a fun road ahead.


{Linking up here}

Monday, November 28, 2011

Advent Conspiracy

I was honored to be asked by the lovely Ashley of the world so sweet to be a guest blogger for an amazing series she is doing. 

The Advent Conspiracy? Never heard of it? I hadn't either. 

I encourage you to take a few moments of your time and watch this video. It will explain the meaning behind the Advent Conspiracy.

Pretty awesome huh? 

My heart was touched, and as soon as I saw it I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of. I was thrilled that Ashley contacted me and I will be doing a guest post on {Worship Fully} later this week.

Check out the rest of the line-up for the series. 

It's going to be good. 


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sawyer has something to tell you...

I can hardly contain it anymore...


I am still in shock, but the nagging, watery feeling in my throat just at the thought of certain foods reminds me quite quickly. The fact that I have to get up to pee 500 times a night and drop to the floor if I stand up too fast because I can't see due to extreme lightheaded-ness {is that a word?} is something that also reminds me. Or the fact that I can smell if Sawyer "dropped a bomb" as soon as I step foot up the stairs to get him from his nap. And if those weren't enough, even at 7 weeks I'm starting to feel the tiny indentation of what I liked to call my waist {I pretty much have a boy frame. ugh.} well... the waist I liked to pretend I had has already started to widen.  

And I couldn't be happier.

If you have been following me for a little while you might remember my little confession...if you haven't, you can read it here. Let's just say I had no idea that this little confession of mine would come to fruition so quickly. God truly had other plans.

The story is actually pretty amazing. And the crazy thing is that it's not only my story I have to share.

If you are a guy, or if you feel like even the talk of a menstrual cycle, or a pregnancy test is TMI, I encourage you to stop here. LOL. Wish me well and hop on over to another blog of choice, maybe even one of my lovely sponsors? hehe. I promise I won't be only blogging about my cravings and growing belly for the next 32 weeks. {Although I'm sure there will be a lot of that thrown in there!} For those of us that have been there, or might be experiencing it right now, it kinda takes over your life for those 40 weeks.

If you don't mind a bit of pregnancy talk and "girl stuff" on occasion, please join me as I'm honored to share this awesome story of how I found out, and the aftermath of the news.. and well, just the road to having another little miracle join our family! EEK! 

But first I really need to go eat something. Something without meat and something that is not leftovers. The food aversions always hit me first. It's not so much what I'm craving as it is what sounds okay enough that I don't want to hurl just thinking about it.

I am gonna go boil a pot of water for some pasta, so I'll be right back... ♥

{ Link up here, here }

Friday, November 25, 2011

Blessing While Giving {Part 2}

I decided back in September that I really wanted to do something different this Christmas

It sounds so silly that I was already thinking about Christmas in September, but I LOVE the holidays and pretty much start thinking about them as soon as we can officially say it's boot season here in San Diego.

I'm sure I'm not the only one that has had this idea, but this was my thought... every gift I give would be helping another person in need. You can read that original blog post here.

Someone selling something for a great cause. 

Supporting someone in their own journey to raise funds whatever it may be. 

Or a company that gives back a percentage, or gives another item when one is purchased.

Well, I've been doing some serious research and wanted to share some of my ideas. Some of these things I have already purchased, some I have not. I won't go into detail in case someone that I happen to be buying for stumbles across my blog. hehe.

♥     ♥     ♥

Here are 10 different ideas I have found so far.

1. Toms

Of course, most people already know about Toms, but for those that may not, Toms gives a pair of shoes for every pair you buy. Awesome. I own a pair of the wedge heels and can't wait to get my hands, or should I say feet, on a pair of the original ones.

How awesome are these for hubby, dad, brother, etc?

2. 31 Bits

This is a group of friends were determined to make a difference in Uganda.

They have committed to buying jewelry monthly from what started as 6 women in Uganda to now 99 women. They have helped these women that were in times of suffering feel joy and experience liberation. They even have a wedding line of jewelry!

3. An Awesome Book

This one I don't have to hide, because I don't think my 3 & 1 year old will be snooping around my blog anytime soon. I bought them each one of these books. They are awesome. For every book bought, the Awesome World Foundation gives a book. Books are delivered directly and distributed to schools, hospitals, libraries, camps and shelters both domestically and worldwide. You can even read the book on the website to see how awesome it is before you have the option to purchase the awesome book. Awesome. And there is An Awesome Book Of Thanks. Can't get much more awesome.

4. UNICEF {U.S. Fund}

Working in over 150 countries, UNICEF is a global humanitarian relief organization providing children with health care and immunizations, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF's humanitarian relief work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States.

All kinds of stuff, even soft toys from IKEA help this cause. From November 1 to December 24, for every IKEA soft toy and accompanying children's book sold, the IKEA Foundation will donate one euro (approximately $1.35) to support UNICEF and Save the Children Education programs.Awesome.

5. Ethical Ocean

This site doesn't give back monetarily, but it only provides items that are the best for people, the environment, and animals. So that is giving back in my book!

Each of the product pages includes a story: explaining what the product does, where it comes from, and what the seller is doing to positively impact the globe. Sellers are thoroughly screened before being allowed to sell on the site.

I found this amazing mustache reusable coffee cup and was hooked. Pretty sweet.

6. Children's Art Project

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center  started this Children's Art Project to generate revenue to enhance patient services through the sale of products created with children's art. They have all kinds of items and even these pretty awesome iPhone 4/4s covers. I just love that all the items are made with the art of children. Makes me want to cry! Everything from jewelry to clothing, to stationary. 

7. Invisible Children 

This one I have known about for some time and have always had them close to my heart. The 3 young men that started this organization are from Southern California. I remember going to a church service in SD and seeing these guys and they were just starting to speak out about the horror they found on their trip to Uganda. It was Invisible Children in the making. 

They created the documentary "Invisible Children: Rough Cut," a film that exposes the tragic realities of northern Uganda's night commuters and child soldiers.

All the proceeds go to their mission to rescue and provide a future for these children and their country.

"All of our programming is a partnership between those of us at Invisible Children and those in the Ugandan community. We focus on long-term goals that enable children to take responsibility for their future and the future of their country. Our programs are carefully researched and developed initiatives that address the need for quality education, mentorships, the redevelopment of schools, resettlement from the camps, and financial stability."

8. Throwing Our Arms Open Wide - An Adoption Place

This blog has a designated page solely to help families on their way to the adoption process and also for those raising money for orphans.

I fell in love with it as soon as I found it. Incredibly creative things and they are being sold for an amazing purpose. Not too much wordage needed for this one... check them out. She is even willing to add  your shop if you are also selling for this cause! 

9. 147 Million Orphans

This is all I needed to read when I stumbled on this website. Amazing cause.

"We are two moms who love orphans! We met six years ago as we were both going through our first adoptions (one domestic and one international) … Thirteen kids and seven adoptions later, we are bound together through faith and mission. We love “doing life together” and accepting the call to speak up for orphans everywhere. We want to help as many people as possible to see the 147 million orphans as scripture calls them, “…those who have no voice.”   We want you to see YOUR PART in helping change the life of an orphan. Could it be adoption, sponsoring a child, volunteering for orphan care ministry, rocking babies at an orphanage, financially supporting someone adopting, or buying these products?"

10. iGive

Connected with 944 stores, iGive is determined to make a change. The stores have teamed up with iGive to give a percentage to the cause of your choice when you shop with the iGive button.

The free iGive Button doesn't change your shopping habits. This tiny addition to your browser automatically tells participating stores that you want your shopping to support your favorite cause or charity.

If your charity or cause of choice isn't an option, you can add it! Love this. It may be a small percentage given, but every bit counts.

I'm in the process of adding the A21 Campaign, if you read my recent post on sex-trafficking, you know the cause I'm passionate about.

I'm thrilled that so many awesome stores are on board with this. Amazing.

♥     ♥     ♥

I hope this list may help you a tad as the Christmas craziness begins! 

I know there are SO many more amazing sites out there and it's so encouraging to know that we have a lot of options when we want to buy for a cause.

Feel free to post a link to a shop or site you know of in the comments! 

Love it.

Happy shopping!

{Linking up here, here, here}

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

We all have something.

Something that absolutely sickens us to the core.  

An issue going on it the world that brings us almost to instant tears when we think about it. 

We push the thoughts out, just to get through whatever it is we may be doing when it happens to cross our mind. 

Something we are insanely passionate about.

Most of us don't know what to do about it.

Last night at our weekly Bible study that we host, this topic came up.

On Sunday, the sermon was on the fact that God has set us apart for a designated purpose. Jesus knew this and prayed that we would be guarded, and protected by God in order to be sanctified, made holy and set apart to do His will.

God gives us an ability.

God gives us a personality.

God gives us a passion.

Over the evening we dug into this idea further and each took turns speaking about what our abilities, personalities, and passions were. It was amazing seeing the differences within our small group alone.

We read 1 Corinthians 12. This is the passage that talk about how the body is not made up of one part, but many. Explaining the need for different people to have different passions, abilities, etc.

"Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them as he chose." 1 Corinthians 12:14-18.

As we all got to talking, I was completely fascinated by the different passions in our little group alone. It ranged from abortion, to sex-trafficking, to bullying, to animal cruelty and more. My husband pointed out at the end of the evening, the one thing we all had in common was that we all felt a passion to help the helpless.

The thing that absolutely brings me horror is child abuse and sex trafficking. This is something that rips me to my ultimate core. Anger that sometimes I never knew I had is what forms when I think about these poor victims. I was explaining this to the group last night and the most interesting thing happened. My husband stopped me and said, "love, I know this sounds crazy, but that is exactly what I was going to say."

We just kind of looked at each other. I don't know why we have never talked about it. Probably because I push it out of my mind most of the time to keep myself from completely falling apart. I think for both of us, having children ignited this fire in us. We already support a few kids in Africa by a monthly donation, and don't get me wrong, I think all those organizations are fantastic. But the passion for the victims of sex-trafficking and abuse is where I feel myself want to fight someone. Yes, all of my 5'1 frame.

One of our friends told me about this organization called The A21 Campaign. Abolishing Injustice in the 21st Century. I quickly became an expert on the website within an hour.

Their website reads: Human trafficking is an organized criminal industry that affects every nation. While the statistics can seem overwhelming, it is important to remember that every number represents the life of a victim. The A21 Campaign has recognized a significant need in the region of Europe, and is committed to combating this injustice through rescuing one life at a time.

The statistics are overwhelming... 
  • Human trafficking is the second largest global organized crime today, generating approximately 31.6 billion USD each year. Specifically, trafficking for sexual exploitation generates 27.8 billion USD per year2.
  • There are 1.39 million victims of commercial sexual servitude worldwide3.
  • Over 25 percent of sex trafficked victims are trafficked from Southern and Eastern Europe4.
  • 90% of victims trafficked into the European Union member states will end up in the sex industry5.
  • Tragically, only 1-2 percent of victims are rescued, and only 1 in 100,000 Europeans involved in trafficking are convicted6.

This organization's is helping:

Instagram Friday {Thanksgiving}

Here it is, Instagram Friday!

{Thanksgiving edition}

I realized I took plenty of pics at our first stop and then once we got to my parents house, well, I was kinda over it! I wanted to just put down the camera and spend time with the fam. Of course that means not even one picture of my family and inside of my parents house. Or even any food! lol. Oh well, I promise I'll do better on Christmas! 

So here are some things I am truly, truly, thankful for. 

1. Jesus - He saved my life. 

2. My family - We are incredibly close, and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

3. My children - Bring more joy to my life than I knew was possible. 

4. My husband - His heart, his love for the Lord, his genuine spirit, the way he leads our household. 

5. Our home - The place where our own traditions are beginning. 

6. Our friends - We truly have some amazing friends. People that would drop everything at anytime to help us if we were in need. 

7. Health - I know being in a season of good health is so much to be thankful for.

8. Our jobs - although tough at times to run our own small businesses, I'm thankful for a job that allows us to never worry about food on our table. 

9. Our church - I have never learned, grown, and been excited about my faith as much as I have since finding our now home church, The Movement.

10. Blogging - Incredibly blessed by the inspiration, encouragement, and creativity I've found since my blogging journey began.

 I actually did it myself. Was a HUGE hit. Was even told I need to make this an annual occurrence. 

John's beautiful momma. Jack & Lobos.  

 I had total bathroom envy at my brother-in-law's house. LOVE that sink!! And wardrobe mirrors!

 All boy cousins at this house, means the only dress up is a Superman mask! Good enough for her. 

Love them. That's all. :) 

 Pointing out Uncle's truck of course! 

 The house I grew up in. Now "grammy gram and grandpa's." 

 Sawyer saying, "come on mom!" 

 Thanksgiving day hair do. She is getting too big. :( 

{Linked up here}

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Letter to my little loves..

Dearest Addyson and Sawyer.. 

I never knew how much my heart could be filled with absolute joy and unconditional love. You little loves are my world. I am so incredibly thankful that God has blessed me by allowing me to be the one that each of you call mommy...

Addy... you are turning into such a little lady. You are absolutely girl all the way through. You love playing dress up in your princess dresses and immediately run for the princess shoes and crown. I love how after you get dressed, all by yourself, you run to the mirror in my closet because it's the only full length mirror in our house. You look at your self dressed as a little princess and are in awe. I love how you run to get your step stool as soon as you see me sit down to do make-up. You want to be right next to me. You love when I do your hair each day. You always say, "mommy, let's get ready for the day!" I let you tell me what hair style you want. Usually you tell me two braids. Sometimes princess Belle hair. Sometimes a ponytail. You are up before all of us, and anxiously pulling daddy out of bed before he goes to work so he can get you some "cereal with milk." You absolutely adore your little brother. Sawyer is your best friend. You can't wait until he wakes up, and you always greet him with bubbly "awww... look at Sawyer brother! He's awake!" You guys play very well together. I have to break up the occasional quarral because Sawyer usually always wants to be doing exactly what you are doing. You can be very protective of your ponies, hair clips, buttons, what ever you might be collecting that day and Sawyer has no idea what a bubble is. He is constantly in yours.

Addy, your sweetness is gold. If I ever am not seeming extra happy you stop and say, "Mommy, are you doing ok?" You are always very concerned with if I am happy and if I'm okay. You don't ever want me to be sad. You want to see my smile. Then you know everything is okay. You absolutely love singing. It's one of your favorite things. I still can't convince you to so a forward roll, but you will do a handstand against the wall and attempt a cartwheel. You love going on "nature walks." You always want to walk to Auntie Channy's house. You love that Auntie and Uncle are so close to us. You love your friends. You love going to church. You love telling Sawyer that Jesus is in his heart. I almost cried the first time I heard you in the back seat of the car and casually started talking to Sawyer about Jesus. You asked Sawyer if he knew where Jesus was and Sawyer kind of grunted back at you and then you told Sawyer that Jesus was in his heart. Your favorite song right now to sing is Jesus Loves Me. You love how it talks about Jesus loving all the children. You know all the words to many songs. Even a few Taylor Swift songs because I named a song after you and you know it as the Addy Song. It's called The Best Day.

My Addy... you bring me so much joy. I love watching your little mind work. You are 3 1/2 and you know all your colors, shapes, numbers up to 20, letters, and can even write an A and an H. You love stickers and you love to use scissors, although I don't let you very often because then Sawyer always wants to try too. :) You are a wonderful big sister with a huge heart and lots of love. You absolutely LOVE when daddy gets home. As soon as you hear the key turn in the lock you look at me with the biggest smile and the widest eyes and yell "oooh daddyyyyyy!!" You love when daddy plays "I'm gonna get you." That's your favorite game.

I love you Addyson Marie... you bring our lives so much joy. I can't imagine the last 3 1/2 years without you completely capturing my heart.

Sawyer... oh little love you have melted me since day 1. You were such an easy going baby, much like your sister. Everyone told me the next one would be tough since Addy was so easy, but I'm pretty sure you were even more laid back! As a baby you wanted nothing to do with being swaddled, or put in a swing. You wanted to be moving. Jumping to be exact. As soon as you were big enough we borrowed a stationary jumping activity center and that was your favorite thing in the world. You would literally catch air you would work your little legs so hard. We have videos of you jumping yourself to sleep because you never wanted to stop, even if it was nap time! Eventually your little legs weren't so little and you didn't fit in the jumper anymore. You were too tall. You began crawling at 8 months and walking by 10. I couldn't believe it. You are now 19 months old and although you already broke my heart by breaking your little leg at 16 months, you are now back to your old self, as strong as ever. 

You love doing anything your sister is doing. You love puzzles and can put together a 12 piece puzzle made for 3+ in under a minute. You love sitting and doing things over and over until you master them. Puzzles, block stacking, anything like it. Right now you are in a major book phase. I sit on the floor of the playroom and you run and get a book and sit in my lap and we read it at your pace, which is usually very quick. You stop on pages asking, "what's that?" a million times. Then you put the book down, run to get another one and we do this probably for about 10 books at a time. I love this little time we share together.

Sawyer, you also love going on nature walks. But instead of pointing out much of the nature, you run up to every car or truck in every driveway and point to it and exclaim "car!" or "truck!" as if it was the first one you have ever laid eyes on. On Mondays the trash man comes and as soon as you hear him turn on our street you stop whatever you are doing, and run to me and say "up" because you want me to lift you up so you can watch the truck out the window of the upstairs playroom. You always get so mad when the truck leaves and I put you back down. I always have to explain to you that the truck went bye bye. You never like it. But your little fits are very short lived. Usually a puzzle or book will immediately snap you out of it. Or a snack. :)

 My little Sawyer, like your sister, you also have a huge heart. You run to your daddy when he gets home and cling to his leg. If I have been gone for even an hour and come home, you do the same to me. I love those moments. You run to give me a hug if daddy was the one that got you out of bed. You always try to help me by bringing me things you know are mine. If my phone is in my room you always run it over to me. Yesterday you saw my cup of coffee sitting in the playroom as I was on the floor with Addy and you went over and got it and tried to bring it to me. You spilled almost the entire contents onto my pants, sweatshirt and the carpet floor. I took a breathe and said, "thank you Sawyer." As I looked at the huge mess I was about to clean up, I couldn't be mad at all. You were only trying to be helpful. I loved that moment. No crying over spilled coffee in this house! {don't worry the coffee was cold. lol}

Sawyer and Addyson.. thank you for blessing me with your amazing little spirits. I love you both with every bit of my heart. Daddy does too. I look forward to every bit of the future together.

I'll never forget the first day I became mommy... this grainy camera phone pic will always be one of the most amazing memories for me...

Addyson 0 days old.


Monday, November 21, 2011

blog design update & WIW

My little blog is in the middle of a redesign by the awesome Danielle at Changing Lanes!! 

I'm beyond excited.

 I remember the first email I sent her and told her I wanted her to help me with my design. I was completely  clueless and she graciously offered to take on my blog with little to no direction at that point. 

Slowly, I started finding more blogs and I was inspired. I love simple. I love green. I love the combination of burnt orange and gray. {Those are actually the colors of my walls in my home!} Well, not green. But shades of gray and accent walls of burnt orange.

I feel like my little corner of the world just got a little brighter. 

She is incredibly talented. You can check her out here or click on her under my sponsors.

Please feel free to grab my button!!! YAY! I can finally say that! Or type it? LOL!

♥     ♥     ♥
So... while the design is still in progress why not a little WIW post?

I wore this outfit yesterday to church and then out for a little Christmas shopping trip with my sisters!! Okay, the part where I said "little shopping trip" was a complete lie. We were out for about 8 hours. WHAT? Yes, it was ridiculous! We had two different breaks for "snacks" and by the time we left our last stop at Target, at about 9 pm, we were so delerious we were laughing about, well... everything. 

Thank you hubby for hanging with the kids so I could get a serious start to the holidays!!  
Because shopping with a 3 and 1 year old is pretty much impossible in my book. lol.

Believe it or not, these boots that obviously I'm obsessed with if you have seen any of my WIW posts lately, held up the entire shopping trip and did not even get uncomfortable. You can't beat them! I think they were $30 at one of those cheaper shoe stores in the mall. Best purchase so far this fall. Hands down.

Shirt: Nordstrom Rack
Cami: Target
Pants: Jolt {black} - Nordstrom Rack
Watch: Michael Kors
Scarf: Cute holiday boutique {$10}
Earrings: Kaemaloche Jewelry 
Necklace: I won at The Anderson Crew!! It's the Stella & Dot "Together Forever Necklace." 
{If you love the necklace check it out here}
Spray tan: Raving Tans of course.

 And while at Target last night... I couldn't resist these cute toddler mittens and beanie in the dollar section!!

Can you tell we live in San Diego and the kids have never put on a pair of mittens? lol. 

$3 and I had some really happy campers this morning.

{Linking up here, here, herehere, here, here}

Saturday, November 19, 2011


So I decided to ask my husband to write his rendition of the "how we met" story. 

We don't have a wonderfully romantic fairytale by any means. 

To be honest we were two very different people than we are today. 

Six and a half years ago we were two incredibly self serving individuals that God had other plans for. 

He brought us together..

to change us...

to show us His glory...

to show us what His love really was about.

We needed Him. 

He revealed Himself to us. 


We give Him all the credit for changing our lives and trust me, we both still have a long way to go. 

So here is John's glimpse of those beginning days... I will be giving my version next. 

♥     ♥     ♥

I'll need to start off my "first blog" with a bit of a disclaimer:   My wife - great writer... Natural talent, eloquent, detailed, and fascinating.  I can easily see that she has the gift to inspire, based on many comments left on her blog over time... Even more so I know she is inspiring me personally through her writing, but also through the blessing of living life together.

Now, I on the other hand, am not known to be an amazing writer... But I'll give it a go.
Heath asked me to guest blog on her page the other day, in response to a couple "how we met" story requests.
Heather has always found entertaining my rendition of "our story" and I must admit, it is a bit silly.
The first time we met (yes, there was a first!) I was a hard working, future oriented young man.... At... Abercrombie & Fitch.  My job consisted of properly folding of purposely wrinkled clothes, spacing hangers equidistant from each other, and of course always trying to shoot rubber bands onto the "Moose" and its horns. Oh, and I can't forget... Hitting on girls that were shopping there was a must for most of me and my coworkers.
Needless to say, one fateful day, along came Heather with a friend of hers innocently shopping one day. They didn't know it at the time, but upon purchasing the clothes they wanted that day, they would be the selection (through happenstance) of my next flirtatious conquest.
Now I know I'm not exactly earning points with the readers here, but I *was* single, dumb, and working at A&F... What did you expect? :-)   But my "conquests" were rather harmless and silly anyways.  Mostly for fun.    

Now, when you're working retail and you only have a few precious seconds to get your one-liner across and hope for the best, you better have a good system down.  In my case, I figured "no pressure, be a bit ridiculous, and expect to be shot down.  Because, you're definitely going to come across like you're not trying very hard!"
Are you ready for my line that got me my future wife's phone number?

   ".... So.  Rager tonight, at my bro's pad.  You should come!"

Want to know why it worked?  Me too... I'm still trying to figure that one out! The only way I justify it was that I so oversold the "rager".... And there wasn't one, by the way.  Although if she/they would have said yes we totally would have thrown one together...  And so oversold it that it maybe didn't sound too threatening? I don't know... Like I said, still trying to figure that one out.
Moving one, so now I have Heath's number.  Wait a couple days (well past the Rager that never happened) and give her a call.  Phone rings. And a girl answers the phone... A girl that definitely isn't Heather!  A minute later, and I found out that heather had just moved to Hawaii for college, and I was then talking to her 15 or 16 year old sister, and recent recipient of Heathers "hand-me-down" cell phone.  Upon finding out I was speaking with a sophomore in HS, you must see why Heather and I had to meet *twice* to build our relationship.  Needless to say, I deleted her number from my phone...

We hardly knew each other anyways... I had literally just met her, hadn't spent any time with her, not to mention she had just moved to HI for college.

*delete* from phone... No harm, no foul, no hard feelings.

Then, a couple years later.... Good old fate stepped in.
Ironically, I'm still pretty much the same guy, but really trying hard to do more with my life.  So I'm out of A&F, and am managing my family's auto repair shop while going to college.  But... Still having ragers...
One night, my roommate invited this girl he had met over to our apartment. We were having a bunch of people over, it was a great time to hang with his new girl, and all was good.  So in she comes, with my future wife, Heather Marie.
And here is the mood I'm in this particular evening.
(Again, I don't always love telling this story because I was still in my particularly sleazy stage that most guys go through)
So here's the mood I'm in.  My date that night was in the bathroom when Heather walks in.  She had drank too much that night and was sick as a dog in the bathroom... Which was a major turnoff in my book.  

Needless to say, as fate would have it, in walks Heather, and the opportunist that I am, seizes the day to hit on her again!  And.... I got her number, again!

However, at this point, neither of us knew at the time we had met once before.... That realization would come months later.

So I get Heath's number.  And here's what I instantly like about her.  She hardly gives me the time of day.  

She wanted to talk to me, but on her terms (usually when she was bored at work... She'd want me to text her jokes). Oh, and while she doesn't shoot me down, she is next to impossible to spend time with!  These things drove me crazy, and made me really like her, and respect her even more.

Not long after meeting Heather, her disapproving cousin invited the two of us to church.  She and I had eventually started dating, and he could tell I wasnt a type that his family would like, and he decided the only way to save his cousin was for me to hear about Jesus.

Man... He was right.

Not only did he (and He) save our relationship, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior virtually immediately.... And needless to say there were some serious changes made.  Gone was the heavy drinking and reckless partying.  In came a meaningful relationship with my Lord and my girlfriend.

Over time, God changed my priorities to His.  The worldly lifestyle was now distasteful to me, and happily left in the rear view mirror.

It wasn't till Heath and I had been dating for three or four months that she came to the realization that I'm the guy from Abercrombie & Fitch... And I still to this day get made fun of a bit for it.
We can both laugh at it now.  It reminds us of when we were younger, and helps us keep a perspective of what it was like back then that and how easy it is to be completely worldly and how badly we need Jesus to change our aimless hearts and minds.

Now we are married for almost five years... And with kids!

God is good, he has blessed me more than I deserve. 

Thanks all for reading this, and sorry Heather for embarrassing you in any shape/form!


♥     ♥     ♥
Here are a few photos from our dating days. Notice my constantly changing hair color! lol!