Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Our Easter Sunday...

...what a beautiful day spent with family, celebrating our risen Lord!

The littles ready to go to Mass...
Noonie and Papa J joined us - I love when we can go to church together!
Our little family...
Easter treats from Mama & Daddy...
{the little pumpkin picked out the Pete the Cat book for Hudson at her book fair - love that girl's heart!}
My most favorite part of the baskets...little love notes on vintage cards.
I hope one day when they are older, they will look through these and know how much I loved celebrating each and every holiday with them.
These next two I should just go ahead and call "torture"...also known as having to wait to dig into your Easter basket because mama wants to snap a couple of pictures - ha!
Kids being kids!
I printed {these} adorable egg coupons from Mel over at {The Larson Lingo} and my littles LOVED them! Such a fun idea - thank you!!
Oh my, the itty bitty cuteness courtesy of the American Girl store!
Noonie and Papa J had us over for Easter lunch after Mass. Grace loved helping Noonie in the kitchen!
Love this cute sign I found at Hobby Lobby a while back and since I didn't really get to decorate for Easter, I decided we needed to bring it to Noonie & Papa J's house!
Noonie made such a yummy lunch we had to take a break before desserts so we hunted for eggs!
Favorite egg!
Thank you for having us over, Noonie & Papa J!!!
After lunch we loaded our stuffed bellies and made the drive over to Aunt Marilyn's house to celebrate with her, Papaw, Mimi & Pop, Lexi, Jade, Ben, Tiffany & Lainey!
Easter cuties!
More egg hunts!
Sweet Tiffany...
Lainey-bug!
Taking a little sweet tea break...it was H O T!
Thank you Aunt Marilyn for having us over!!
As we were getting ready to leave, Hudson spotted an egg way, WAY up there!
Thank you Pop for the extra lift! Hudson was so excited he found the last egg!!
I hope you all had a beautiful Easter Sunday! Photobucket

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

It is by his great mercy that we have been born again because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. ~1 Peter 1:3
The azaleas are in full bloom! I love this time of the year!
I'm glad I kept clicking as they were being silly. These are the moments I want to cherish forever...
Wishing you all a beautiful Easter full of renewal and most importantly, LOVE!
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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Soccer & Eggs

Just want to say THANK YOU to each and every one of you who has taken the time to pray for our family and also to all who have sent such sweet and uplifting notes and messages. I miss my grandma more than words can say, but I'm also at peace that she is no longer suffering. Thank you for lifting our family up!

Today was Hudson's last soccer game of the season and we couldn't be prouder of our little guy! He played his little heart out!
I love that they start with prayer...
Noonie & Papa J came to watch him play and he was so excited to see them!
His two other teammates who were there today for the game are quite a bit younger than Hudson and they weren't much into playing today. I sure am proud of Hudson for hanging in there even when the going got tough...3 against 1 - yikes!...sure would have been easier to quit, but he kept going. Way to go, Hudson!
Grace and Papa J running their own competition - ha!
At the very end the other team sent two of their players to play with Hudson, so we ended up cheering for "green"! Daddy and I are so, so, SO proud of you, Hudson!
Showing off his end-of-the-season medal!
We went home to change and then went out for a celebratory lunch...this little boy LOVES queso! Our very own Queso King - ha!
After running some last minute errands, we decided to stop for a little treat and ended up with Easter egg inspired Icees!
Sort of like dying eggs, right??
We ran into an egg shortage so I decided to go by my favorite 7/11...Noonie's house - hahahahaha! Thank you for saving the day, Noonie!
Papa J is always a great sport - gotta love grandparents!!!
With my grandma being sick and then our trip to Puerto Rico to say good-bye to her, we just didn't do our annual Hop Hop Breakfast - so sad about that, but there's always next year! We almost didn't dye Easter eggs either, but we ended up doing a few last minute and the littles were thrilled!
Happy {almost} Easter!
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Friday, April 18, 2014

homemade ice cream...a story of a life well lived

I still struggle to say the words without tears flooding my eyes - hence my lack of posts - but on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, one of God's most beautiful angels gained her wings...
My dear grandma...our beloved "Tata" as we called her.
June 21, 1924 - April 9, 2014
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." ~ Matthew 11:28

She was a beautiful example of a life well-lived...a life walked solely by faith. She loved. She cared. She inspired. She gave. She forgave. She endured. She trusted. She is HEALED!
"Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile." ~Mother Teresa

That was my grandma in a nutshell. She loved without ever expecting anything in return. She pointed others to Christ not through her words, but through her actions.
I have so many wonderful memories of times shared with her. One of the biggest blessings in my life was having a sweet, simple, innocent childhood and she and my grandpa were such a huge part of that. I loved watching her in the kitchen. She was an AMAZING cook - absolutely no recipes, just "a little bit of this and a little bit of that" and "if you cook it with love it will always turn out good."
I can still hear her laugh and the way her eyes wrinkled and flickered when she couldn't stop laughing. I will never watch a beauty pageant without thinking about my grandma and the fun she, my grandpa, my mom, and I always had.
My grandparents' marriage was a godly marriage in every sense of the word...an example and an inspiration to all of us, her family. I have never met two people who loved each other more than they did. Their faith in God and their respect for each other was the cornerstone of their 57 years together. The way he looked at her, the way she took care of him...even through his 15-year battle with Alzheimer's...these and so many other memories are engraved in my mind forever.
My grandma suffered a great deal of pain in the nine+ years that she had Alzheimer's. But even through the worst of it, when this cruel disease had stolen everything from her, she kept her eyes on Jesus. What a beautiful homecoming that must have been!
We flew in to Puerto Rico the same day she died.  We didn't get there in time.  she passed a little before 1am and we didn't get there until 1pm that afternoon.  My heart will always ache for that, but I know she knew how much I loved her.  My mom and my Aunt Isa often put the phone to her ear so she could hear our voices.  Two days before she died, when she had taken another turn for the worse, my mom sent me a message to tell me that while Tata's eyes had been opened and focused, she had been talking to her about me and the littles, explaining to her why we couldn't be there - how we lived so far away.  My mom said she asked her if she understood, and that my sweet grandma blinked her eyes and moved her head up and down a little to say, yes.  More tears for me.  Tears seem to be in abundance around here lately.  And yet, we choose to focus on the beautiful gift her life was to us.
Just this past Tuesday, April 15th, we had a God wink like no other. My mom called and shared this story with me...and of course, more tears flowed. Happy ones, this time.

She was emptying an old drawer full of recipes, sorting them and deciding which ones to keep, since they bought a new house near us and they're still packing up their other house. She had put them in a box in the kitchen and left to do something else. Later when she returned, there was a single recipe on the floor...my grandma's homemade ice cream recipe.

It was as if my grandma was just letting us know that she is happy and well. Even though we have no doubt that upon her earthly death she was immediately reunited with our Heavenly Father, that little recipe on the floor just gave my mom and I such a sweet sign and memory to behold. In my mind, ice cream = celebrations = happy...oh what a glorious way to spend eternity in heaven with our loving Jesus!

I love you Tata with all my heart.
I miss you more than words can say and yet I am comforted to know you are no longer suffering.
What a legacy of love you've left our family!
'Till we meet again.
Your eldest granddaughter that named you "Tata" by babbling "ta-ta-ta-ta" when I was just months old and you said I was calling you by name...
Te quiero, Tata y te llevo en mi corazon por siempre! 
Jessica
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