Fingerprints

10 Jan

It is hard to believe that we are already 10 days into the New Year! I hope and pray that all of you had a wonderful holiday season and an amazing New Year celebration. This year is already off to a busy start for me and I have so many new and exciting things to be thankful for.

A few years ago, I was introduced to a friend who God has used to ignite a love for the art of makeup within me. She is an amazing makeup artist  here in the San Diego area and I have learned so much from her. After many long talks with my mother-in-law, about what I want to do in life and how I was going to move forward as the babies get older, I decided to start looking into make-up artistry schools. After doing research, making phone calls and even talking with others, I found Bellus Academy. I made an appointment to meet with the school director and within minutes, I knew this was the school I wanted to attend.

I went home and talked it over with both my mother in law and my husband. They both could see that I really wanted this and told me that I needed to pursue this. I decided to really pray about it and weigh out all my options. Although the school is only 6 weeks long, for a mom with babies at home and teenagers in middle school, I began to worry about the timing of this all and if I could manage it all while trying to study and learn all I can. After much thought, it came down to this… If not now… WHEN?  So, with that, I called the school and made another appointment; this time with admissions.

At the same time I was making the decision regarding school and my future career path, I was asked by the leader of my Bible study at church, to co-lead a group with her starting the middle of January. Of course, school starts on the 21, just days after the study resumes from Christmas break. I once again found myself in a place of prayer and wanting to make the right decision not only for myself, but my family as well. This was also something I have been wanting to do and was honored to even be considered for such an important role. Although I was very excited about all these things, my heart kept going back to one VERY important role in my life…  The role of…MOM.

For me, school and co-leading a Bible study at a church I love, are both a dream come true, but so is being a Mom to these 4 wonderful girls God has so graciously loaned me. I remember thinking, when I was told I was having another set of twins, that God had to be kidding me. What was he thinking? I knew that he had a sense of humor, but this really took the cake. I was far to old to be starting all over with not one, but two babies… and I was out of practice FOR SURE. At that time, I was unable to see the “bigger” picture and although I saw God’s “fingerprints,” it was not until recently that I saw his “hand print.”

Wether I am going back to school, leading women grow in their personal faith or simply sitting on the floor playing with my girls, God’s fingerprints are all over my life right now. I am able to pursue my personal goals, but still pursue my daughters and be home with them, which is a far bigger pursuit than any of the others.  I am realizing more and more, to seek the “fingerprints” of God rather than the entire hand print. In His time, the hand print will be revealed, but you wont be able to notice the hand print without  seeing the fingerprints first.

Many Blessings ~ Summer

A “Picture Perfect” DIY Vase

30 Dec

6

A few days before Christmas, I received a text message from my brother-in-law, asking for my help with a gift idea he had for his girlfriend. He basically said that he wanted to make her a vase with pictures. That was pretty much the beginning AND the end of his idea. Great idea, but he didn’t give me much to work with. Typical man for ya ;)

I decided to call my “crafty” sister and get ideas from her. After we spoke, I hopped on Pinterest and started browsing through “pins” for some better ideas of what I needed to do. Everything I saw and read told me to print the pictures on vellum paper and then use modge podge to “glue” the pictures to the vase… PLEASE NOTE… This does NOT work, so to save you hours of frustration, I will do my best to explain in detail what I did… that actually worked.

You will need

WHAT YOU NEED:

- A Vase (I personally like a square-shaped vase, as it makes it much easier to attach the pictures to)

- Pictures (For this I used four 4×6 black and white photos)

- A paper trimmer

-Modge Podge

-Foam paint brushes

NEXT:

1. Trim the pictures (if necessary) to fit the vase.

2. Pour modge podge onto a paper plate and with your foam brush, lightly coat one side of the vase.

3. Place a picture onto the side of the vase you just coated.

4. With the same foam brush, coat the picture with the modge podge until the entire picture and side of the vase are covered.

It should look like this: (If you have never used modge podge before, do not get worried if your picture looks pasty and wet. This is typical until it has dried.)photo 1

5. Let it dry and then repeat the process on each side.

- After each picture has been added and the first layer of modge podge has dried, re-apply another coat or 2. (It is completely at your discretion as to how thin or thick you want the coating to be.)

photo 5

6. Let it dry and then you are DONE.

I was really surprised at how quick and easy it was to make this. Because this was the first time I had tried this, I made it very basic, but now that I know what I am doing, you had better believe I am getting out my Cricut and letting the creative juices flow.

These make for great gifts, home and office decor, even centerpieces for weddings or parties. You can also add water and floating candles for a more intimate look. The possibilities are ENDLESS!

photo 3(Yes, I know these flowers are way to big, but I wanted to give you an idea of what it looks like with red roses! My fav ;)

Again, I am not the best at describing how to do things, so if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them for me. I would love to hear what ideas you all come up with.

Many Blessings ~ Summer

A Mom’s Revenge

20 Dec

Prior to meeting my husband, I was a single mom working full-time. I loved my job but it was not until just recently that I realized how many things I have missed out on with my older twins. I missed school plays, field trips, helping out in the classroom and all the other things that happen in the middle of the day while I was working.

Monday night, Ashlyn told us that her school was having a “bring your parents to lunch” day. Immediately the wheels in my head started spinning. I looked at my husband and said, “Oh we are going!” I wish I could have taken a picture of Ashlyn when I said this, because instinctively she knew this was not going to end well for her. “Mom, please just go and be the cool mom.” With a very devious grin, I nodded and agreed.

I picked up my cell phone and sent a message to my friend Renee, who I remembered recently ran the Vegas half marathon dressed up as Mrs. Clause and her husband as Rudolph. I asked if we use the outfits for Wednesday’s “lunch” and she delightfully said, YES.

If you have teenagers or know a teenager, you realize rather quickly that this stage of their lives is always hard on parents. It seems as if almost overnight, your once sweet little prince or princess, grows horns, an opinion and makes it their personal mission to humiliate you. Mine are no exception. So, when planning my little scheme, I simply wanted to “re-pay” the favor.

I remembered that my step-dad usually dresses up like Santa every Christmas. I sent him a message asking if he, in fact, had a Santa suite. His simple response made my heart jump for joy, “Yes, I do.” I asked if Erik could borrow it, and he said of course. This was getting better and better. Santa and Mrs. Clause making an appearance at Ashlyn and Breanna’s middle school… Pay back at it’s finest.

 On Wednesday morning, I met Erik in the school parking lot with the Santa suit. It took everything I had not to wet myself as I watched him put it on. I was really enjoying this… So, with lunch in tote, Mr. and Mrs. Clause marched into the lunch area at Woodland Park Middle School.

erik santa

Within minutes, teachers, other parents and kids, were laughing and commenting. It is amazing to me how even 12, 13 & 14 year-olds can get totally giddy when they see someone dressed as Santa. With my giant bell wreath, I began to make a bunch of noise and started to search the area for MY kids. I brought a bag of goodies and within seconds, all the treats I made had vanish. Kids were loving this, as was I, and Mr. Clause, but what about my girls….

From the corner of my eye, I spotted them. I began to make my way toward my kids and Erik started to yell, “Ashlyn and Breanna… Ho, Ho, Ho.” It was pure comedy. I had to at least try to get this on video, so I did my best to capture the reaction of the girls, especially Bre, since Ashlyn already knew some of the plan. Although the video is not the best quality, I was able to get the moment Bre started to cry once she realized the large man dressed as Santa and the woman next to him with the loud bells, were her mom and step-dad. It was PRICELESS. (You can see for yourself here)

bre crying

Once the shock wore off, and they realized we brought them lunch from their favorite place, they actually enjoyed what we had done for them. I really wish that I had been given more time to plan, because I would have orchestrated a full on flash mob, to their favorite 1 Direction song, but I think we did a pretty good job!

santa

When they got home from school, I was pleasantly surprised when the girls came in telling me that we were a total hit. Even the Vice Principal made some comments to them about what we did. Kids were telling them how “chill” and “cool” their parents are.  In the end, what I really wanted was for both the girls to have a special memory about that day. Yes, I wanted to embarrass them for all the things they have done to us, but more than anything, I want them to look back at this day when they are older and smile, knowing that we did this for them because they matter to us. (Even if what we did was publicly humiliate them… that’s what counseling is for.)

I am taking advantage of the little things I can do to deposit special memories into the lives of my girls. I was not always able to show up in full costume at 10:20 for “bring your parents to lunch day,” but I can now and that is not something I will waste. Before I know it, they will be grown up and on their own and I know what we do now, will matter then.

Many Blessings ~ Summer

photo 2

Thanksgiving Vacation is Here

20 Nov

My favorite week of the year has arrived; Thanksgiving!!! Just the mention the word makes me want to dress in full pilgrim gear and strut around the next few days. However, that wont be happening!!!

I left this morning for my in-laws house in Manhattan Beach. This place has become home to me. If Erik and I had the means to move now, we would do it in a flash, but until then, I come up here for vacation.

After we arrived and got everything situation, the babies went down for a nap. You know what that means… Time for a run on the strand. It was the most beautiful afternoon and for any runner, a beautiful day equals… a run you don’t want to end.  5 miles was NOT long enough, but I am getting up in a few hours to do it again:)

After my run, I came back and went right to the kitchen. I decided to make dinner for everyone. MIRACLES DO HAPPEN :) Dinner was so good, easy and clean, I had to share.   So here we go!

Summer’s Speciality Salad

Ingredients

1 bag of organic Arugula

I Granny Apple peeled and diced

I cucumber peeled and diced ( I only use 1/2 , unless I am doubling the salad)

1/2 red onion diced

1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half

1 avocado cut in thin pieces

3/4 cup of almond & dried cranberry mix

Directions

* Wash Arugula and put in a salad bowl

*Dice the apple, cucumber, onion and tomatoes and pour over Arugula

*Toss the salad

*Top with the avocado, almonds and  dried cranberries

*Once served, feel free to use your favorite dressing. I personally like Trader Joe’s Vinaigrette. However, tonight we used Strawberry Vinaigrette and it was DELIC!

Clean Chicken Enchiladas

By replacing the chicken with turkey, you have a great meal for the left overs you will have in a few days!
Ingredients

8-10 Tortillas ( I don’t use flour, so I go with whole wheat or corn)

2 cups cooked diced chicken (Fresh chicken is the best)

1 can of salsa

1 block LIGHT cream cheese, softened (8 oz.)

1 green pepper diced

1/4 cup of milk

1 cup of cheese

Directions

* Stir chicken, bell pepper, creme cheese and 1/2 cup salsa in a saucepan on low heat until creme cheese is melted.

*Spoon 1/3 cup chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla; roll up. Place, seam-side down in lightly greased 12×8 baking dish.

* Stir cheese and milk in a sauce pan on low heat until smooth. Pour sauce over tortillas; cover with foil.

* Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Pour remaining salsa over tortillas.

Please note, you do not have to make the creamy cheese sauce that I did. I would prefer to top with cheese alone.

SERVE AND ENJOY!

Also, green beans are great with this

30 Days of Thankfulness-Day 15

16 Nov

Today I am thankful for: My mom!

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Growing up I never realized how amazing of a woman my mom was. I thought she was pretty embarrassing and dorky. She wasn’t concerned with the latest fashion trends or what kind of car she drove, quite the opposite; she cared what kind of mom she was.

It wasn’t until I turned 16 that I began to see her a new light. After multiple affairs and always coming and going, my dad left our family for the last time. She ran a daycare out of our house so she could be home with my sister and I. She finished high school, but that was her highest form of education. My dad was the “main bread-winner,” so I worried about how her life was going to change. I was afraid that she was not going to be able to provide for herself and that she would end up going back to him because that was all she ever knew. I under estimated this woman. I had no idea that behind a humble and modest outward image, lye a fierce, bold and courteous fighter inside. She was about to show me lessons in life, I will never forget.

When we lost our home and car, we were forced to move into my Grandparents house where the three of us shared a room. She was working three jobs making minimum wage, saving money for a new car and eventually her own apartment.  Nothing in life seemed fair or made any sense to me, but my mom never lost hope. She would constantly pray. She would find the good in a bad situation and everyday that she woke up, she was fighting. To me, she was fighting a battle I could not understand, but she did and that was enough to get her through some very dark days.

I can’t recall exactly how long after we moved in with my grandparents that she had saved up for her own apartment, but I wont forget that day. As she turned the key and opened the door to her one-bedroom apartment, she was beaming with gratefulness. Even though the journey that led her to that front door was paved with heartache, betrayal, suffering, loss and brokenness, she remained thankful and confident in the promise that God knew the plans He had for her. She put her faith in that promise and knew that somehow and someway, He was going to give her pain purpose.

Fast forward 15 years… Today my mom is a much different version of the woman she once was. She is a living breathing example of a what can happen to a person’s life when they choose victory over defeat, thankfulness over self-pity, and God’s will over their own. She taught me one the most important lessons a parent can teach a child; when you are going through hell… keep on going. 

My mom will never really know how much I admire and honor her. She is everything I want to be. She is not only strong but she is hilarious, beautiful, caring, generous, compassionate, loving, honest and enduring. She took a bad situation and allowed it to make her better. She is not one to wait for things to change… oh no, she just starts changing them. She makes the people around her, strive to be better themselves, simply by the way she lives her life.

Mom, thank you for never giving up. Thank you for being hard on me when I was chasing the ways of this world. Thank you for Every.Single.Prayer, sent up to heaven on my behalf. Thank you for seeing more in me than I was able to see in myself. Thank you for choosing to love me when there wasn’t even much to like. Thank you for loving Jesus more than anything and for showing me what a real mom looks like. You are my inspiration and I love you to the moon.

The secret I was taking to the grave

15 Nov

Before I proceed with this post, I need to explain what events happened last night that ultimately led me to confess a 25-year old secret to my little sister.

Erik was watching a show called “Total Blackout.” If you have never seen it, it’s a game show in which contestants battle each other and their fears in a series of challenges. All the challenges are played in complete darkness; no lights, no blindfolds and no-holds barred as the players face their fears and unexpected surprises. It is hysterical. In the episode last night, teams confronted MY biggest fear; a bird. Yes, you read that correctly,  I am terrified of birds and seeing those people have to pick up a pigeon and carry it around in the complete dark, made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

Well, I had no idea that Cane was laying on the floor near where I was standing. As I went to turn and walk away, I felt something brush up against my foot, and in a “knee-jerk” reaction, I jumped, screamed and then looked down. It was Cane’s paw, but for a split second, I thought it was a bird.

After Erik gained his composure and stopped laughing at me, I explained to him, that this sort of panic happens to me all the time. I hate anything that fly’s near me. If it has wings and they flap… I run, scream like a girl and sometimes get in a fist fight with the air. It sounds funny, but rest assured, on my end, it is anything BUT funny. It is my biggest phobia and I will never confront it.

This “run-in” with Cane’s paw, led to this text message being sent to my sister and a confession that I had every intention of taking with me to the grave.

Growing up, my sister always had strange pets. We didn’t have a dog or cat, like normal families, oh no, we had ducks, geese, rats, grasshoppers and of course… BIRDS. My sister had a blue parakeet, “Buffy, the pretty bird.” This bird was everything BUT pretty, but it loved my sister and vise-versa. She would always let Buffy get out and fly around our house. It was awful. As an over weight teenager, there is nothing like being chased all over the house by a bird, but it happened often. Perhaps this is where my love for running started. I did a lot of it, just trying to protect myself from that thing. My sister would sit back and laugh as I was crying trying to hide. But, I was determined that I would get last laugh.

One afternoon while I was home alone, Buffy got out of her cage and was flying from room to room, probably looking for my brat sister. After 10-15 minutes of this charade, I had a brilliant idea, and I put my plan into motion. I went out to the living room and opened the screen door. I sat there and called for Buffy. Within seconds, she flew into the living room and out the front door! It was glorious to watch as she flew off into the sunset. With part A of “Operation Free Pretty Bird” complete, I had to figure out part B.

When my mom and sister came home I had my story ready for them. I told them that somehow Buffy had gotten out of her age and while I was trying to go outside, she just flew out. My sister was devastated but I knew she would be. I had to keep telling myself that this was all for the “greater good.” Birds need to be out in the wild not cooped up in cages. I did that bird the biggest favor of its life. I was hero and one day my sister would see that. Sadly telling myself this never made it true.

Chrissy decided that she would put Buffy’s cage in the tree on the side of our house. BRILLIANT IDEA, I thought to myself as I watched her climb to the top of that large tree and hang the cage. That bird was so long gone, but hey, it made Chrissy feel better, so more power to her. Day after day, she would climb up that tree and sit, waiting for that bird to come home. Day after day, I would sit and with a devious grin, enjoy a “bird free” life. Total bliss.

Two weeks later, while playing in my bedroom, I heard an all too familiar noise coming from outside. I brushed it off thinking I was obviously hearing things, but the noise kept on. “Buffy the pretty bird… Buffy the pretty bird… Ricky-Ricky Roo Roo.” I stopped dead in my tracks and turned toward the window, afraid of what I might see. Within seconds I heard my sister in the other room yelling at my mom and before I knew it, she was up that tree.

I am not going to lie, I was praying like I have never prayed before. I thought, there is NO way that bird found its way back home. No way! Well, I was very wrong. There was a way, and that darn bird found it. Guess who got the last laugh? That’s right… BUFFY.

I swore I was never going to tell my sister what I had done. That was until last week when I had a conversation with one of my friends about my bird phobia. I was telling her about what I had as a kid and she was cracking up. She told me I had to tell Chrissy that it was far too funny not to. I told her there was no way that was going to happen, but last night something came over me, and I told her the truth.

I want to apologize to my mom for what she went through the days following “Operation Free Pretty Bird.” I know that sis was a wreck and I am sorry. I owe you a round of botox for the stress she put you through as I am sure she added a wrinkle or two. And Chrissy, if you ever read this… Ha, I am not as sorry to you. You were so horrible to me with all those dang animals, especially that bird. I am so happy that as an adult, although you still have strange pets, they are much better than birds.

Many Blessings ~ Summer

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 8

10 Nov

Day 8- Today  I am thankful for: The important lessons I learn from my kids

I love this child of mine! This was a conversation we had the other night while she was at her dad’s house and as her mom, I can appreciate where her heart was when she wrote it.

School has never come easy to Bre. Ever since she was little, she has had to work harder than most to pass tests, ace quizzes and keep a GPA higher than a 3.0. As a mom, it is never easy to sit back and watch your child struggle. On occasion, I have cried with her as she sat at the kitchen table with her pile of homework so frustrated and ready to give up.

I am very sensitive to this issue and I have always made it a point that Bre knows that I am not AS concerned with the grade itself, as I am the effort put forth into getting the grade. See, I grew up in a house with a father who could not read or write and a sister who had severe dyslexia. I watched both of their struggles and although school and learning came very easy to me, I know that it does not for many. My parents made it very clear that if my sister and I were trying our very best, studying, paying attention in class, doing all that we could, within our ability, that was what mattered. It was a valuable lesson that I have carried into my own parenting.

So last night, we all gathered around the fireplace in our home and with dimmed lights and “Disco Inferno” playing in the background, Bre took each test and or quiz that she felt made her a “failure,” and watched it go up in flames. As we sat there I made it very clear to both my girls that grades do not define success or failure; their attitude and character does. By burning those pieces of paper, she was letting go of what she felt made her dumb and stupid and was going to start over with a new attitude and outlook. She was going to meet with her teachers and come up with ways to help her feel better about taking tests and she was going to give it ALL she’s got.

I love that this lesson is not just for an 8th grader, but for her 35-year-old mom too. So many times, I’ve put my value and worth in what I have on my resume, only to realize later, that is NOT what defines me. My heart, morals and character do.There are so many “things” I fail at, but I cannot let those failures get in the way of what I want to accomplish on this earth. I have to press forward, doing the very best that I can, knowing that mistakes are simply lessons in disguise.

“If you’re doing your best, you won’t have any time to worry about failure.”

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 7

8 Nov

Day 7- Today I am thankful for … God’s sense of humor… and Amazing Grace.

I hopped on my treadmill this evening and did what I always do… Crank up the speed, turned on a message from my favorite, Matt Chandler, and immediately started laughing. The title of the message was “Revenge and Love,” and God knew why I was laughing.

Just this morning I stood in my kitchen pouring my heart out to my sister about a very hard situation I am going through with a person who is causing pain to two very precious people in my life. I was brutally honest with her about how I wanted to go “Dexter style” on this human being. Now, if you don’t know who Dexter is… that is probably a good thing, and please don’t google the show, because you might look at me in a different light after you know…But hear me out. I simply want revenge. I want this person to hurt. I want them to lay in bed at night and ponder the hurtful things they are doing and WHO they are doing them to. I want God to just take them and shake them silly… I want them to suffer. Have you ever been there? Have you ever stood in your kitchen and just cried out for revenge? If you said “No” then you are SO lying ;)

A few days ago, I shared with you why I love my sister and the amazing influence she has had on my life. Well, this morning was no exception. After she “talked me off the ledge” she began to share with me her view on the situation and that my bitterness is only hurting everyone involved, even the ones that I am trying to protect. She reminded me that I am called to be different and that it was not that long ago, when I was the one, needing grace NOT revenge. With each word, my heart began to soften and I started to feel convicted. She was right. If not for God’s amazing grace and second chances, I would NOT be where I am. I am called to love my enemies. Even if the feelings are not there… I have to start somewhere.

All afternoon I ponder her words. I shared my feelings with the Lord and asked that He would soften my heart and let me see this person the way he does. I asked Him to help me and show me what I can do differently. It did not take Him long to answer… “Revenge and Love” came on and that is why I said I am thankful for God’s sense of humor! Here is what Matt had to say (or God through Matt… to my ears)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you maybe sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48

“What Jesus has just demanded of his people (remember, this is a superseding righteousness that Christ is creating in our hearts) is that we would love our enemies and pray for them. He even says there is a reward for loving your enemies and praying for your enemies that is not present when you love those who love you. If you love somebody who loves you, there is reciprocity there. Are you tracking me? There is no reward. They love you; you love them. How easy is that? But if you love those who hate you, if you love your enemies, then the reward that is… don’t lose me here… possible is that you might bring peace to where there is strife and you might see an enemy come under the same saving grace you were able to come under.”

Yes, I laughed out loud. Then as he went on, I got mad, I growled and almost spit… then I cried. I got it. I knew that God was showing me something pretty big. I have been so focused on ME, and what I want done to this person, that I have conveniently forgotten what was DONE for ME. I was given grace and forgiveness by a God to whom I was once an enemy. Then I stopped and thought … How can I love this enemy of mine in a way that is good for them, helpful for them, and in the end gives the best opportunity for them to sense, see, and enjoy the grace that has been so richly lavished upon me?

Although I don’t have all the answers to those questions I DO know that the grace I have been given, I did not deserve. And that alone is humbling and makes me stop and say, “Okay God, your grace is AMAZING, I am not, and thanks for having a sense of humor. Appreciate that.”

I have changed my prayer for this person moving forward, but I have asked that God will not just change them, but change ME. That he will transform this revengeful heart to one that loves and see’s the good, just like he did with me.

Many Blessings ~ Summer

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 5

6 Nov

Today I am thankful for… My “better half” 

Just an hour or so ago, I was in my bathroom finishing the babies bath time. One was in the tub, while the other was on the floor as I was trying to dry her off. They were both screaming at the top of their lungs and there I was trying to move as quickly as I could so somehow the screaming would stop. In the midst of the bath time chaos, my wonderful and very helpful husband comes home from work! (Insert the sound of angels singing here)

The past few weeks have been a bit difficult for me. The babies are going through a “season of change” aka… teething and learning independence. I try my very best to keep a smile on my face, because having been down this road with the older twins, I know that it will pass, but by 4:30 in the afternoon, I am spent and feel like I am not cut out for this anymore. That is when my husband comes through the door and takes some if not MOST of the burden off me and goes right into “daddy mode.”

I know that I do not thank him enough for everything he does for me and our family, but I am going to take the opportunity to make sure that who ever reads this knows that I am FULLY AWARE of what an amazing man, husband, father, step-father and friend he is. I could not do this without all his love, encouragement and help. He knows that for me, being a stay-at-home mom is not something I am not used to. He knows I struggle with feeling as though I am not very good at this and constantly wishing I was more like my mom and sister, but that never stops him from making sure he reminds me that he is so proud of me and knows how hard I work. He is my personal cheerleader and God’s greatest blessing to me.

I truly believe that if not for the many amazing acts of love and kindness my husband brings to me, I would have been committed into the “funny farm” months ago. I get a bit choked up even as I write this, because my heart is so full of gratitude for this man and ALL he does.

I know that soon, we will look back at this “season” of life and laugh but for now, I will ask God to bless Erik for everything he does that is seen and unseen. So, babe if you read this… Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for helping me get through the past few weeks, oh who am I kidding… MONTHS ;). For always telling me I am beautiful even though I am in the same running clothes for 3 days, have poop, spit up and baby food on me and look like a rat has made permanent residence in my hair. I love you more everyday and I am sorry that I don’t always show it. You are my treasure and I adore you.

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day’s 2, 3 & 4

5 Nov

I know, I know… I am WAY behind on blogging these ones. Let me tell you that the past few days have been a bit chaotic. On Thursday evening, while talking to my mom, my I-phone decided to commit suicide. Out of nowhere, the black screen of death came on and so for 2 days, I have been without a cell phone. To my own dismay, it has been wonderful, with the exception that my phone holds all my running music, so I had to use Erik’s the past few days for my runs. No biggy. So that leads me to catching up on my “30 Days of Thankfulness Challenge.” I am going to dive right in and get caught up.

Day 2- I am thankful for… “The Apple Store”

As an I-phone  and MAC Book owner, the Apple store is like having a little bit of heaven on earth. Even though they were unable to salvage my other phone, I am the proud new owner of the I-phone 5. I have no idea how it really works, but on our drive home this evening, I plan on finding out.

Day 3- I thankful for… “Running

Running is my sanity. I know it sounds strange, but I am not sure how my life would be if I was not a runner. There is never a bad day, that is so bad, a long sweaty run, cannot make a little better. Some people do not call running a real sport, but until you have run 26.2 miles…. STRAIGHT, no stopping… you don’t understand my sport. I am thankful for the many “traits” this sport has taught me.  I have learned to endure and push through pain. I have learned to be diligent and patient. I have learned self-control and not to give up. I have leaned that pain is temporary BUT quitting is forever. I have learned that I can do something I never thought possible. Running as allowed me to get outside and enjoy God’s creation. It is my sanity, antidepressant, prayer time, mom time and calorie burner…. all in one.

Day 4- Today I am thankful for… “Family Dinners”

Tonight we celebrated my brother in-laws birthday. We gathered around a large, long table and not only enjoyed delicious food, but the company of one another. We laughed as we talked about stories from the past. Smiled as we looked forward to our plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas and made new memories. There is something to be said for “family dinners” they are good for the soul. It seems that whatever avails you, is minimized when you are in the company of family, friends and food.

So, until tomorrow… Find something you have to be thankful for TODAY!

Many Blessings ~ Summer

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