Tuesday, January 28, 2014

grown-up bullies

Tonight I'm addressing something that is on my heart.

One of my dearest friends, who has a heart of gold, shared something with me tonight that made my heart hurt. Let me was not the sharing, it was the content of what she shared. And I appreciate that she did. She was watching out for me. Those in my inner circle, and believe me that inner ring is a {small} circle, have always watched out for one another. We are blessed by and invested in the friendship we share and we don't take a minute of it for granted.

I refuse to give a forum to elevate hate/bashing/gossip so I will speak of this without linking the content of what she shared with me.

It amazes me that people are so small-minded to find joy in bashing others. I realize not everyone was raised with "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all," but boy, what a better world this would be if that were the case. I don't mean hiding behind society's ills or allowing discrimination, but I mean just plain, common courtesy for a fellow human being.

It's no wonder to me that so many children - ahem, make that "littles" - grow up to become close-minded adults who perpetuate the cycle against others, when they have the example of "grown-up bullies" as their parents.

"Haters gonna hate" or so the expression goes, but what a waste of time. You don't like what you see on my blog...move on! Find something more your taste.

  • If humiliating your children in social media is being "real", then I don't want to ever be real.
  • If putting down your husband is seeming "authentic", then I don't want to be authentic.
  • If remembering the moments that capture your mama heart is "staged", then let me be a first-class actress.
  • If choosing to remember the good, forget the bad, pray for wisdom, and try-try again a "front", then let me be in the front lines of combat.

Do I make mistakes?  Who doesn't.
Do I lose my patience and yell at my children?  More times than I wish.
Do I wish to be a better wife to my husband at every stage of our lives?  Absolutely.
Do I second-guess myself and the parenting decisions we make?  At times.
Do I pray for God to equip me with "wisdom for the journey"?  
Do I thank God that His grace and mercy are new every day?  Without fail.

My husband sent these to me at work this morning. It made my day. It was completely unexpected and put the biggest smile on my face, and a couple of tears in my eyes too. Tears that I'm sure other mothers of little children and wives can relate to...tears of "my work means something to those I love" and "they can see past my imperfections to the love in my heart". Everyone needs that reminder from time to time. This business of raising littles and being a good spouse to your life partner is at times so exhausting, rewarding - absolutely, but exhausting at times - you betcha!
I think it is no coincidence that I received these beautiful flowers at work today, and the "bad news" this evening. Almost like God sent me a lifeline long before the ship hit rocky waves. And yes, there I go finding "miracles" in "boring, everyday stuff". I'd rather look for the rainbows than wither in the rain.

"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive."
Genesis 50:20

Monday, January 27, 2014

they like each other {mostly}

I can always tell when she likes an outfit because she does a little dance and all these silly poses...
Little brothers doing what little brothers do best...
And then apparently he wouldn't move out of "her spot"...
This is the "Do I have to like him right now?" smile...
But in the end, he always wins her over.
Brothers and sisters.
{I'm so glad they have each other.}

Sunday, January 26, 2014

100th day of toothed smiles...kindergarten testing...

...and so much more!

We celebrated the 100th day of school in the little pumpkin's class last week. My Co-Room Mom Alicia and I brought these little treats to make their day a bit more special. No fancy cupcakes here. Just a box mix, tootsie rolls and peach rings and voila! And oh my, they loooooved them! I'm making another batch for Hudson's class tomorrow!
The little pumpkin lost one of her top teeth and looks so cute! Here's the new smile!!
This little fella had his KINDERGARTEN testing this past week!! I can't believe he is old enough to take the kindie entrance exam!!! He was full of PERSONALITY the morning of the test. Fingers crossed he did well.  We'll find out mid-April. If he gets in, he and Grace will be at the same school and that will just be SO NICE on this mama!!
I went furniture shopping with Noonie on Friday to help her select some pieces for their new house and ended up finding furniture *I* neeeeeed, like this table...
Yesterday we went to McKinley's Mardi Gras themed 8th birthday much fun!! Her mama sure knows how to throw a par-tay!!
Hudson was mesmerized...
Instead of cake or cupcakes, they each had their own mini King Cake. As you can see, Hudson didn't like it one bit - ha!
{Seriously, I blinked and he had eaten HALF of it...and they were BIG!!}
A late lunch date with my favorite girl...makes my heart smile :)
To chop or not to chop...that is the question! I bought this dress from the Matilda Jane after-Christmas sale and I can't decide if I should remove the bottom layer to shorten it. The skirt has 3 full layers, each edged in lace. Thoughts??
Pink.ballet.flats! It was love at first sight for the little pumpkin! I must admit, I was pretty smitten myself. We went shopping for a dress for her first Daddy-Daughter dance and although we didn't find a dress, we did find these adorable shoes!! It's a start!
Working on a little V-day shirt for Hudson...hoping to finish stitching it soon.
My new favorite sign. I found the print in a stack of papers I was cleaning out last month and decided to frame it. LOVE the message!
Always a good reminder...
Have a great week!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

passing on a tradition...

I love traditions. 

I love looking back over the years and remembering these special moments...
Growing up in Puerto Rico we always celebrated "El Dia de los Reyes" {3 Kings Day}... the eve of January 5 to the morning of January 6...Epiphany... as the 3 Wise Men traveled through the night guided by the star to meet Baby Jesus and pay Him homage.
Little children leave a box full of grass and a bowl of water for the camels of the Wise Men. And as the Wise Men travel through the night, they stop at each house, and while their camels refuel, they leave a present or two under the children's beds.
And in the morning, little sleepyheads wake up to this...
Sweet innocence!
Yep, more Legos!! ha! But my littles love them and they play with them for hours - LOVE that!!
Although they love presents, as all kids do, I love that my littles know the real meaning of Christmas.
Another year...such sweet memories to look back on. Thank you, Noonie for passing on this sweet tradition!

Monday, January 20, 2014

{ten} of my favorite things...

What I'm loving this January...

This super fabulous lip balm. My mother-in-law turned me on to it.  Love, love, love!  Grace can't get enough of it either.
These lovely boots that I lusted over and Santa was kind enough to bring me. Sooooo super comfy. "Like buttah" according to the little pumpkin.
Vanilla Bean Noel. Serious candle scent love!! When my closest store was out during end-of-the-season sales, I promptly had to place an online order.
Strawberry salad. Seriously OBSESSED! There is a local place that makes the best strawberry salad ever!!  I would eat it every day if I could!! {and no, it doesn't taste the same when I make it myself - ha!}
FroYo! In particular this nutty + tart concoction topped with mangoes, strawberries, and almonds. M'mmmm....
That she still gets a kick out of us matching...ruffle pants, this time! LOVE her!
That he lets me borrow his Star Wars cup for my green juice...that's love right there!!
Red velvet cupcakes. No explanation needed!
Coral + Mint + Vintage jewelry = Swoon!
{photo via House of Turquoise}
That Spring is less than 2 months away!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

missing Noonie

I decided to take a little breather and well, a little breather turned into a couple of weeks! Thank you for the sweet emails and messages. I survived the stomach bug that had me hostage for 2 days - whew!

I have lots to catch up on, but first things first. My sweet mom has been in Puerto Rico for the past two weeks spending time with my dear grandma who was not doing too well when my mom left {but she seems more stable now, thank goodness!}

Since she was going to be gone for her birthday, I decided to host a little birthday lunch in her honor...just my mom and stepdad and us...simple but with a lot of love.
{Hudson is wearing his "Papa J jacket" as he likes to call it!  he he he}
Noonie and Papa J brought the littles a few {3 Kings Day} surprises a day early...they were so excited!!
Papa J had a special treat for the littles...what could it be???
Be still my heart! I love this sweet, sheepish smile!!
I love handmade!!
We sang happy birthday to Noonie...
And gave her some fun little presents...
A little someone loves helping with presents...
Sweet, sweet moments. The little pumpkin was so sad that Noonie was leaving for a couple of weeks. She kept giving her hugs and kisses...
Papa J always knows how to put smiles on their sweet faces!
We even snuck in a little trip to Gladewater, TX, before Noonie's trip to go antiques shopping...we had never been, so it was fun to explore a new place...
Love this sweet picture of my mom and my littles!
Later in the day a little someone was feeling a bit sad thinking about Noonie being gone for a couple of weeks, so we spent lots of one on one time that hopefully helped a little...she surprised me by learning how to braid her doll's hair using the book Noonie gave her!
And then it was matching hairdos for Grace and her doll...
I even got my own personal stylist!
Fun times!
We can't wait to pick you up at the airport tomorrow, Noonie!!! I know it's bittersweet for you having to leave Tata behind when you wish you could have her here with us. We love you and we will be waiting for you with big hugs! XOXO,