Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mama's Girl

This little girl found a camera she can play with and she has been taking pictures of everything. It's so cute to watch her in action and to see what her interpretation of me is.

This is a sweet reminder that she's taking in everything that I am. I have other reminders that aren't so sweet. One of the things that Sally Clarkson said that really stuck with me was, "You are the Bible your children are reading." This reminds me that it's not what I say but rather what I do. I can tell her how important Jesus is to me but if it's my iphone that I'm spending the majority of my day with that's what she is going to remember.  I need to be reminded that everything I do is being watched, absorbed and lived out by the little people in this house. I need God's Grace daily. It's only by him and through him that I can live each day with intention and purpose.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Birthday Weekend

Saturday I celebrated my 29th Birthday. Little Miss and I made a lemon poppy seed pound cake for breakfast, it was good but not the best. I'm still on the hunt for the best lemon pound cake. Do you know of one?

I got these TOMS for my Birthday gift. I have coveted these since I first saw them last year and was thrilled that they made a comeback this year. Aren't they lovely?

We went to the Houston Galleria and it was C-R-A-Z-Y nuts! Like big mistake to go on a Saturday with two kids without naps. At least we were smart enough to realize that it was more trouble than it was worth and called it quits, picked up take out and headed for Blue Bell country as fast as we could.

This little guy cracks me up with his boyish behaviors and noises.

I thought it would be fun to compare last years Birthday picture with this years.

This morning Little Miss was posing with Nellie for pictures. I thought it was cute because I've never asked her to pose. She was trying to get Nellie to turn her head and look into the camera and this is the best we got.

Speaking of Little Miss, as of this morning she is back to herself again. I enjoyed today more than you could ever imagine. She loved on me all day and was as sweet as can be. Those hard days really really make me thankful for the "normal" days.

I made this for dinner tonight and it was SOOO good and easy. I served it with mashed potatoes and veggies. It is definitely going into my meal rotation. Little Miss isn't big on the texture of chicken and she had three servings of this dish.

Do you have any new recipe discoveries to share? I have to go to the store tomorrow and I would love to try something new this week.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

{{cRaZy dAy}}

I feel like I've lost my ever lovin' mind! Today has been one of the craziest, hardest, most challenging and emotional days of motherhood. I will spare you the details. I'm not trying to be a downer here but I feel that it's important for me to share the good and the bad. I know the enemy is trying to bring me down because I am growing closer to the Lord and strengthening my calling as a mother. He will not win. I have been brought to my knees and find my strength in the one true God. The God who cares about my struggles. The God who loves me no matter what. The God who strengthens me in my time of weakness. The God who puts his loving arms around me and knows my pain.
"For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness, but One who has been tempted in all things, as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:15-16

I will choose to see the beauty of today.
I will be thankful for the evening sunshine and warmth that kissed our skin.
I will look into these big beautiful eyes and I will praise him.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mom Heart Conference 2012 {Recap}

 I just got back from Sally Clarkson's Mom Heart Conference in Dallas, Texas. To say that the Lord wanted me to be there is an understatement. His hand was in every step of the way leading me to this conference. The enemy tried everything he could to throw me off course and I'm so thankful that I persevered and found myself sitting at that conference this weekend. It was life changing! I'm praying and asking God that the knowledge and encouragement that I gained would change the course of the way I parent and serve my family.

As a mom it's very easy to slip into the comfortable routine of parenting and going about life. It takes A LOT of work to leave your family for a weekend. It takes a lot of planning and it takes a lot from you emotionally to gear yourself up to leave. I went back and forth on if I should go or not many times. The Lord kept nudging me forward and then Satan would throw another obstacle in the way. I had to trust that the Lord would provide a way and every time he did.

This past week was a hard one. Possibly the hardest week of parenting for me. I can't describe it in detail because that would be one heckofa post. It was just a washing hands in the toilet, poop smeared on the wall, crying, fit throwing, snotty face kind of week.

This happened a lot this past week.

 This was welcomed each and every day.

It became VERY evident to me that I needed encouragement and possibly even a plan of action on this whole parenting thing.
"The wise woman builds her house" Proverbs 14:1
She has a plan: The word of God
She understands and knows God
(Jeremiah 9:23-24)
She delights in God's word and ways (Psalm 1:1-3)
She has a focus: The heart of her children
She raises them in the Lord
(Ephesians 6:4)

These things don't happen on accident or without intention. I need to be thinking of my children as my garden. Right now in the formative years I need to cultivate soft soil because hardened soil will not take seed. I need to plant with intention in every space of their lives. Whatever I do not plant with intention any seed that blows that way will take root there. I have to be planting the best. I have to nourish and care for it. If I don't who will?
Last Spring we created a garden space. We didn't do much research because we thought it would be relatively easy to plant something, watch it grow and enjoy the fruits of our labor. We somewhat tilled the soil, we planted, we watered when we thought it might need it and we waited for the produce to come. We waited, and waited, and waited, and waited and finally realized that the garden was not going to produce and it was a fail. I guess we thought that because it was still alive that we were doing a good enough job.At that point it was too late to start over. We would have to wait for the next planting season and actually plan, educate and invest. Is the same not true for our children's lives? I don't want to watch my kids merely survive this thing called life. I want them to have deep roots grounded in their faith with Jesus Christ. I want them to thrive. I want them to produce great fruit abundantely.I don't want to hope for the best for my children's lives. I don't want to hope for the best for my own.
"You can not give what you are not putting in. If your not walking side by side with Jesus you can not be that in your child's life." -Sally Clarkson
Of course I know that but am I really doing that? No, to be honest I have not been. The good news is that that can change. Not on my own but with the power of Christ in my life. "Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord so walk with him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and establishing in your faith, just as you were instructed and overflowing with gratitude." Colossians 2:6-7

I'm so excited to share my heart with you. I want to tell you more about the conference and some things that have transpired as a result. I didn't learn a magic formula to make parenting awesome every day and easy peasy but I did leave with so much encouragement and hope. Please check back later this week for an exciting opportunity!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Morning Activity

I love the month of February. I love the unpredictable weather, a house filled with pink and red Valentines decorations and of course my Birthday. We worked on some crafts the other day that kind of go along with the Valentines theme.

Not much else going on over here. Our mornings have been slow and uneventful. I like it that way however, I had high expectations of setting aside a learning time with Little Miss during Bubby's first nap and each morning that time slot gets away from me. I just need to get organized and plan out the activities at night and in advance but my night time gets away from me to. Arghh. Do any of you super moms have planning/scheduling/activity advice to share?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

{ Maternity Session }

 I hope ya'll are doing well this morning! It's supposed to be another gorgeous day today. We have been so blessed this "winter" with gorgeous sunny days and rain showers. This session was done on one of those days last week and I love the way they turned out. This mom-to-be is absolutely gorgeous and I think you will agree. Just looking at her smile you can't help but find yourself smiling too.

 Have a blessed day!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Rainy Days

Last week was the perfect combination of a few beautiful sunny days spent outside followed by some cold rainy inside days. On those rainy days we baked a lemon blueberry yogurt cake, played in tents, turned the heater up and burned a yummy smelling candle. I love days like that. It was 2:30pm when I looked at the clock and realized I hadn't taken a shower yet. I wasn't about to use my nap time on one so I just stayed in my pj's all day.

That rainy day got me to thinking that I might need to try Scentsy.  Do I have a reader that sells Scentsy on a website? If so, please email me.
Did ya'll have a good weekend? Did anybody discover a new delicious recipe I need to try? I keep reading about these Ham and Swiss Sliders. Apparently many people served them for Super Bowl Sunday and they got rave reviews. I can't wait to make them.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

{ 9 Months }

 You Are...
not wearing the DOC band anymore
crawling everywhere
standing up and holding onto furniture
walking while pushing chairs
putting everything in your mouth
eating everything you possibly can
talking and squealing
saying "da-da" and laughing when we ask you to say "ma-ma"
following your sister everywhere
trying to drink from a sippy cup
playing a recorder and doing it really well I might add
feeding yourself
rolling over and crawling away during diaper changes
making the cutest face with your tongue sticking partially out of your mouth

You love your Daddy so much. As soon as he comes home you make a bee line to the door for him to pick you up. You pretty much don't let him out of your sight.

I love how cuddly you are and how much you enjoy sitting on my hip all day long.
I love how you lay next to me in the mornings before your Sissy wakes up.
I love the way you curl your lips when you squeal.
I love the way you follow your Sissy around the house just begging for her attention.
I love the life you bring to this home.
We love you so much.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

White Queso {Recipe}

This is a re-post from last year that I just had to share again. Now that Pinterest has come on the scene and has declared every recipe as the "Best Ever" I thought I would share with you the real "Best Ever White Queso."  No seriously, it is. I promise I'm not reaching for "pins" here, I just want you to eat the best queso this Super Bowl Sunday. I'm about to deliver you out of so-so queso and into the world of "take your finger and squeegee the bowl for every last drop" queso.

Your going to need fresh produce to make pico de gallo or you can purchase fresh pico from your grocery store.

If you purchase fresh pico you will still need lots of fresh cilantro and limes.

In the section of the scary processed cheese you will bypass the big yellow box and look for white american cheese. Our store doesn't sell it without jalapenos in it so if yours does that works just as well and the box may look different.

1 large box (2 lbs) of White American Cheese
1.5-2 cups of fresh pico
1 cup fresh cilantro (If you added lots of cilantro to your homemade pico then reduce this amount to 1/2 cup)
1 large lime (squeeze the juice and add some of the pulp)
1 chopped jalapeno
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chipotle paste
1 tsp of extra hot sauce (use whatever you have available) I personally use Freebirds death sauce.
1/2 cup of cream or half and half
1-2 cloves of minced fresh garlic

Put it all together and heat until well mixed. You can also add some mexican cheese Queso Fresco if your feeling extra fancy. This stuff is AMAZING! I promise you won't disappoint if you show up to a party with this in tow.