Friday, May 5, 2017

7 Years

My last blog post I wrote before Easter,
literally the day before Easter.
Little did I know then, my sweet Papa would pass Easter morning.

It's been a weird few weeks.
We knew Papa was in the last chapter of life. But, it still doesn't make it easy.

I had been with him two weeks before, being a caregiver with my sweet cousin, Erika. So that my mom and aunts could have a long weekend away.

It was an emotionally hard weekend, but I'm thankful for that time.
My Papa was such a man's man and always taking care and providing for his family. And being that caregiver for him, though brief, was sweet and humbling.

My sweet Papa passed in his sleep.
He was with the Lord on Easter morning. Can you imagine a sweeter time to be in Heaven?
Anyway, there has been some adjusting to the new norm.
I'm just so thankful and at peace knowing my Papa is in Heaven.
As a Christian, there is hope and joy in the future. Since we know life doesn't just end after our mortal body breaks down.

That said, life on Earth still marches on.

Justin and I just celebrated our 7th year of marriage.
Looking back at the time we have shared and the growth between us and in our marriage....I can't help but be so grateful and also humbled.

Marriage isn't easy. And we started off on a rocky foot.
I was young and my longest relationship prior was in high school.
I had never lived with a man (besides my brothers) and I had to learn a lot about being selfless, being an adult and just growing in Christ. There were growing pains. Then throw in kids, house renovations, mixing in family and all the baggage one brings to the table. It took some major adjusting. I will admit that the gist of issues were on me. I was 22. And, that is young in my eyes! Ha!

I am thankful for those harder times, because I now appreciate these sweet days so much more.
Justin is my rock. He truly is. I cannot imagine a man better for me or our sons.
He works harder than anyone I know. He constantly gives himself to me and our children. He never, ever takes time for himself. He is SO selfless. Always giving to me in anything I need or ask for.
I truly feel special and thankful to be his wife.
I know this is all mushy but it's the truth. He is just a good, good, GOOD man.

I always know I can count on him. And I can't thank God enough for the lessons we have learned together, the prayers we have shared and the man he continues to grow and evolves to be.

Justin's love language is acts of service and gifts. So, he obviously does this for me as well.
He will clean the house up and down, so I have no chores. He will make dinner, lunch, breakfast, go to the grocery store, put away every piece of laundry, plant me flowers, clean my car, scrub the kitchen, clean the floors, vacuum everything, scrub the counters/oven, clean the yard...He literally just does and does!

And if that's not enough he will tackle the honey do list, take care of the kids, wash, bathe, put them down, play with them non stop, help with homeschool, do projects, crafts, coach their sports, take them to practice & so on!

He literally tries to make sure my job as a mother is as easy as possible. I have never known a man to help out so much around the home and with their children.

He then likes to surprise me with amazing gifts. Flowers, chocolates, tickets to events, art, items he made. (He can sew, build and weld!)
He doesn't just SAY something...He actually DOES something. I mean, if that isn't something a woman wants...then I don't know what it is!

I really wish I could be half as good to him as he is me. Ha!

I will say this, I adore this man and to this day he still makes my heart flutter. He is still as handsome as he was when I was introduced to him. I still look at him like I did when we dated. He is such a good one. And if anything in these 7 years of marriage, I can still say above all else, I love him more now than ever. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank God above for Justin. I feel so, so, so blessed to be his wife.

Okay, sorry for all the mushy. I legitimately just am so grateful for these past 7 years.

Until next time,


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter, two years later....

I can't believe it's been two years since I sat down to write on this ole blog.
Time flies and I see that more with each day that passes.

Not going to use this as a time to catch up on everything but instead, I wanted to do some looking into this heart of mine and reflect.

I have been a Christian the gist of my life. However, I will sadly admit there's been more times in my life I've not acted like one.

I know the Bible says we will be transformed after we receive Christ & I do believe that to be true. But, it does not take away the temptation and the naturally sinful desires of the flesh.
I find myself needing Jesus more than ever as an adult.
I find myself needing His direction and guidance more as a parent.

I thought when I "grew up and got married"....I would know the plans He has for me easier.
That perhaps being an adult in Christ would mean my path would be lit up in lights, nice and bright and I would never get lost.
But, that's not the case.
I still need Him daily.
I still struggle with my old self.
I still struggle with my heart.
I still wonder if I am on the right path and am I being the mother and wife that God calls me to be?

I guess this Easter I look back and am thankful I need Him so much each day.
And that the need and desire for Him is still something I want and struggle for.
Life, though beautiful and often bittersweet, is not something I have figured out.
I still look to my Savior.
I still come to Him broken and in need of His grace. I come to Him still as a child, sometimes lost and sometimes in despair.

Being a Christian, married with children doesn't mean I will be perfect.
It doesn't mean I will always do right....
In fact, if anything I will probably do wrong more than not, come to Him needing forgiveness and needing my heart to be checked.

If anything,
I realize I need Jesus on the Cross more now than ever.

The blood shed on Calvary means more to me now that ever.
I still need His mercy.
I still need His grace.

And if a sinner, who loses her battles daily, can still receive love & mercy from Him....
than you can too!

This Easter, I am thankful He still has me.
This Easter, I am thankful He still forgives me.
I am thankful for the second chances, the third chances, and so on.

Christ on the Cross is the reason I can face tomorrow.
Christ on the Cross is the reason I am still alive.
The debts He paid on the Cross are for you, & me.

"But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." -Romans 5:8

It doesn't matter was society says, or what others think and call you.
If you are His, you are His.

This Easter, my heart continues to be humbled and forever thankful for the shed blood of my King.
If you ever are curious or want to know more about how Jesus can fill that missing piece in your soul, please feel free to message me.
I may not have every answer, but I will gladly share with you all the things He has done for me.

God bless, sweet readers.

"But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed."
-Isaiah 53:5

Friday, April 10, 2015

Spring forward and fill-ins

(sorry this may be long!)

I always mean to write, but as life goes...
It goes fast. And, I rely heavily on documenting life via Instagram.

So, where are we now?
Back in January I decided to try Kix out at Kie's little preschool, for two days a week. Kix always begged to go to 'school' with Kie and since he was being dragged there in the mornings (Tues/Thurs) and afternoon to get Kie, I figured, we might as well!

Initially, it was so nice.
I was amazed at what I could get done in that span of time without both boys. 
My house was cleaner than ever, dinner was done and I was even going back to the gym. I was showered and dressed with makeup on my face. I was thinking this cant be real life!
Life seemed so perfect for that first week until....everyone got sick.

It seemed we spent the majority of January through March swapping germs and coughing up our lungs.
Kie would come home with a cold, then give it to Kix, then give it to me and as soon as Kie was over it, he would get another virus.

I even managed to get the flu.
First time ever! It was awful. But, luckily no one else got the flu.

I pulled Kix out of Mother's Day Out to prevent him from getting any sicker. My little break in life was over before it began. He was 'officially' registered January and February but he missed more than he went.

Anyway, to say I'm glad that winter is over is an understatement.
I don't do well with cloudy, cold and wet weather.

Now that it's been a lovely few weeks of Spring, here I am.

We have been working diligently in our yard and on our house as usual. Now for bullet points to make it easier to read, lol. Sad.
  • Justin finished up our floor to ceiling shelves in the playroom. It's finally looking how I imagined it years ago :)
  • We planted even more trees and plants in the yard. My goal is to make our backyard a small little forest for the next generation.
  • Justin built me a beautiful swing to sit out and enjoy the weather in.
  • I also painted our entire living room an airy creamy white. I was in need of light during those wintery, long days.
  • We are in the midst of getting a new roof (seriously overdue and goodness it's expensive!)
  • I'm also redoing our breakfast bar. More on that later.
As for other things,
  • We went to see the 'Three Little Pigs' at the Zach with our sweet friends, Malu and Mario the other month. It's always so nice to see them! And we love the theatre, so it's double the treat. It's becoming our tradition. Anytime we see a new play, we coordinate and our two sweet boys get to enjoy it together.
  • Kie started his first season of T-Ball. We enjoy it so far. He is left handed and is a great batter! He hits the ball so good and runs so fast. It's pretty adorable to watch. His team is called the Lil' Strikers. We love all the parents, boys, sponsors and the coaches. I feel very blessed Kie is part of the South Austin Little League. It's a great, wholesome program. Also, he is #5 which is one of his favorite numbers.  #100 being his favorite but it's too big for his jersey. 
  • My parents have visited us a few times. We took them on a surprise birthday dinner cruise on the lake last month. It just happened to be during SXSW so we also got to see free concerts at the Four Seasons. It was so nice! Justin got it all together and it was probably one of the best nights I've ever had in that's saying a lot!  --- We had amazing catered Mexican food, Justin drove the boat and it was a perfect night to be on the water. We caught a sunset and watched the bats fly from Congress bridge. Also, later that night we ran into Joel McHale hanging out. He was nice and opened the door to the hotel and let my entire family go through before him. Little did they know who he was....but I did. So then I stalked him for a good 10 minutes debating to ask for a selfie...but, I decided against it. (Darn, no photo evidence so you will have to take my word for it!) 
  • Mom and I also got to see the Jersey Boys together a few weeks back and now I'm slightly obsessed. I think I was meant for the 50s-60s decades. I also tried out Uber with her for a ride back home after the show...and it was a hilarious! We accidentally managed to 'car-pool' with this guy who was going to a pinata party down the road from my house. So, not only were we sharing a Prius with two strangers but also with a a massive pink elephant Pinata. It was an interesting ride, to say the least.
  • Also, we've been subbing some in Sunday school which we love. I was thinking about going back to teach next year but I think I'll give it another year or so before we commit. Right now we are in the midst of a lot of uncertain times with my grandparents, unfortunately.
  • This past weekend we spent a lovely Easter together with our sweet friend, Allison. And our church home also had a great event for the kiddos the Saturday before Easter. They always host the best Easter party with lots of egg hunts and games for the kids. I also ran into some old friends I've not seen lately. It was a beautiful weekend! The Easter bunny was good to the boys and had them a colored yarn maze to follow to their Easter gifts. (Thanks to Justin.) The Easter Bunny left them a new play tent and some sand toys to play in their sand box. They've been playing outside nonstop. We also got the little pool out to splash in. It's official, spring in Austin is here and we love it!
 And lastly,
  • Justin and I have also gone on three dates in the past few months, which is a record. We went to Swift's Attic (definitely recommend) great food and service. We got to go thanks to Parent's Night Out at Westlawn Baptist. And then we also got to go to Fixe, Austin's Southern House. It recently opened up and so we decided to try it out. It was interesting food and had amazing service...the food was too new-age weird for me. (Dehydrated, micro foods?) But worth a try. And then one night my parent's were in we went to The Park on S. Lamar for food and drinks and karaoke. It was the perfect night out for patio drinking and people watching. I'm so ready for another date night soon.
That's it I guess!

We've got a lot of things to look forward to the next few weeks:
Lots more baseball games, tball games, Express games and also going to watch UT play OU this Sunday with friends.
Our 5th wedding anniversary, my Meme's 90th birthday party in Dallas with all our family, a trip to Atlanta, a trip to the beach and hopefully getting back out there to wake board soon. 
Sorry this is so long and probably not that interesting to read.
I just wanted to write it while I remember...
and heaven knows I probably already forgot a ton.

Happy Friday!


Monday, January 5, 2015

Off hiatus

As per usual, I have more posts in draft then what I have published. 

Blogging for me, has definitely died off.
It's not that I don't have something to say (when do I not?) but finding time to sit and put it into something coherent for others to read is the issue. I definitely prefer my IG account to keep a day-to-day update on life. (come find me @mommak918)

That said,
hellooooooo NEW YEAR!

I'm so glad to see 2014 GONE.

It was a year of challenges and mistakes, growth and self realization and lots of other things.
It wasn't the worst year by far, but last year started off badly. So I felt like I got off on the wrong foot.
I was sick with bronchitis, I had my first panic attack in YEARS...and I got sicker and sicker until I had (gallbladder) surgery in July and it was only until late August that things got better (health-wise).

It wasn't all bad, from August on to December life was pretty wonderful.
We had tons of fall fun, pumpkin patches, UT football games, times out on the lake fishing, lots of family time, date nights out, trips to Atlanta, ACL fun & Kiddie Limits, seeing theatre plays, birthday parties, Cowboy football games, Thanksgiving and lots more! Definitely more good then bad...but, nonetheless, 2015 is already looking up (least how we started vs. last year's!)

This Christmas we got to spend it with the entire family in Atlanta. There was nearly 30 of us!
It was wild but it was nice to have everyone together. Being around family is great, but it's also bittersweet. We realize these precious days are numbered. We have been blessed for years to spend it with grandparents who are healthy and sound, but as years past, we realize that those years were more blessed than we knew. I don't want to divulge much else, but that if you have grandparents or elderly family still around--give them hugs and kisses now :*)

As for this past NEW YEAR, we had a wonderful one!
Justin cooked a huge meal of lobster, crab legs and steak. After dinner, we then spent the rest of the evening outside around a big fire with sparklers and wearing lots of comfy layers. It was so cold out! I loved spending it with my three guys. It was such a relaxing and sweet night. Btw, we didn't even stay up till midnight. Ha! Justin and I got in bed not much after we put the kids down :)

The next day Justin spoiled us by cooking all three meals and cleaning up around the house. We also packed up Christmas and I started to spring clean. I like to start early.  As much as I love Christmas, I love a fresh new start from the New Year.
I've been decluttering, purging and re-organizing.
One of my typical goals of a new year is to live with less.

I do like my stuff, but I also love having less stuff so it takes less time away from what's important! Less stuff means less to clean! :)

That's another reason I'm getting to sit right now and blog some. I have been working hard the last few days to get things in order and now that I'm nearly done, I'm able to breath easy and do some things I enjoy.

Now that everyone is caught up to speed, I will do my best to post on my goals for this year.
I've got lots of ideas and house projects for this year.

I can't wait to see what 2015 has to bring!
God bless!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunday with the homeless

This post may be a bit confusing, bear with me..Im talking my way through this one.

I went to Church Under the Bridge today.
If you don't know what that's a church service for the homeless. 
It's located under I-35, between 7th and 8th street. An area, that is well....pretty rough.

Anyway, God's been pulling on my heart strings for years about serving the homeless population in Austin.

My heart truly longs to help the poor, the needy and the downtrodden.
I have a heart for them...but, I also am scared of them.
Btw, this post is going to be real and ugly and show a lot of my worldly, human side.
I am apologizing for it now, but I also want to be frank because, well, I believe in being real...
And I can't sit here and act like I'm this perfect Christian who enjoys serving all the time, because I'm not. 

So, here I go.
Like most know, I am a germaphobe. 
In a typical day I wash my hands 20-30 times at least.
I'm OCD. I'm a neat freak. It can be annoying and obnoxious. I wish I was normal-ish...but, I am not.

Even in my own church, after we 'greet' one another or pass the offering plate, I either get up and wash my hands or use my antibacterial spray.

If you're sick, or I am...OR my kids...I will be sure to keep them away from school, day care and your family. I think it's being considerate, but I also may be one step away from putting my kids and myself in a bubble.

I'm programed this way. I can't help it. It's part of my personality.

For instance, I tend to give cash to the homeless (when I have it)...and when I do, I hold the money on one end, stretching the money out far and hoping I don't make skin to skin contact.

If I do, I grab one of the half dozen bottles of antibacterial in my car and squirt it all over myself and rub it up to my elbows like I'm going into surgery.

I am not cut out to be a nurse, to say the least. (Btw, God bless you, you beautiful and selfless nurses!)

SO what I'm saying now is this....
God is calling me to serve the homeless...and they aren't exactly cleaned up like a surgeon before surgery would be...(which is what I prefer). So how am I going to serve them?

Today I prayed the entire two hours at the service. I was terrified. People sneezed and coughed around me, and I just knew I was catching some disease.

A woman hugged me in the first 10 minutes I was there. She was sweet and wonderful, and bubbly...
And I didn't die after she hugged me.

Then, I met Reuben, aka Loco. He never left my side. 
He was initially hitting on me. He thought I was in college. So I informed him I wasn't in college (my UT sweatshirt confuses people I think) and told him I was married and had two kids.

He informed me he was 62. (I do believe 62 would be TOO old to hit on a college girl, but I wasn't there to condemn). 

But that didn't keep him from telling me how he needed to get back to church because all the beautiful Christian women he would see. He also told me he was there to 'meet a chick' but she didn't show up.

Reuben kept touching me, but not in a sexual manner. He just liked to nudge me when he made a joke. He shook my hand twice and he literally was standing a foot away from me for a good hour. We talked about the best places to camp around the city. And he complained about the women on the streets who wanted his money (he get a social security check). 

And he didn't like it when people who had homes or lived in shelters who came to the Church Under the Bridge to get free food and coffee. I felt like Reuben was trying to justify why he was homeless.  He told me he could get a home, but he liked to be mobile and camp instead. In fact, I think he was proud of taking care of himself in many ways. He didn't like it when people took advantage of the freebies. I think he may of been trying to impress me some.  

He also mentioned he didn't have a dad as a kid and his mom died when he was 15. 

I listened....
I didn't know what God want me to do there...but I was there.
What surprised me was Reuben's knowledge of the Bible. He clearly understood who Jesus is. He even quoted me Scripture better than I could.

He did tell me he struggled with alcohol. That he was itching to get back to his camp because he left his whiskey there. He also pointed out many of the people's addictions he knew. Most seemed to struggle with drugs of some sort. 

I'm a sheltered girl. I know drugs exist. And I know they are on the streets, but I don't usually hang out with people who do crack or heroin or whatever other vice they have...but, a lot of these people were visibly on some form of drug. 

It was eye opening in many ways. I felt scared and out of pocket, but Reuben made me feel a bit better. He was shorter than me (which may of helped me not be so scared of him.) And he was genuinely a nice man. I think God let him approach me and be my buddy to ease me into being around the hundreds of homeless. 

Reuben wasn't just another 'object' I saw on the corner of the street. He wasn't another piece of my urban setting. He was a person. A man, made in the image of God. Which, by the way, we also discussed.

I came back home after telling Reuben I'd see him again. He said that I wouldn't be back (because that's my business) but I assured him I would. I don't know why I said I would be back...but, maybe God made me say it to be accountable. 

I plan on returning next Sunday. But this time I plan on serving breakfast through Mission Possible Austin.

After breakfast, if I don't see Reuben then, I will find him at the service.
Not sure what God is wanting me to do...but, I'll pray this week for answers.
Reuben asked me to pray for him and he said he would pray for me.
I am definitely going to pray for Reuben.

What I do know is this,
I came home to a warm home and ate a big meal (leftovers from our date last night) and I was sad.

I was sad, because I have so much and there's so many that have nothing.
I just saw hundreds of people who carried their homes on their backs.
Who hadn't had a warm, big meal like mine in ages...
I had security.
They didn't.

I don't know what God wants me to do, but now that my eyes are truly opened, things can't be unseen.

I know I have to do something.
Serving my flesh is fleeting.
Serving me isn't filling.

I may not be able to buy and do for everyone, but I can serve. 
And I can learn to love.
And maybe God can help me get past my hang-ups.
Maybe next week I won't rush to jump into the shower once I get home.

Pray that I see the doors God opens for me and that I go through them.
I don't want to sit on the sidelines anymore.
Or in this case, my comfy pew or couch with my bottles of antibacterial.

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