Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Happy Week...

I questioned before taking this picture if it made me a bad mother. 

I went ahead and chanced it. 

Because it was funny. 

Only Sydney.  

She put her head under the buffet trying to get to something 
and couldn't get her head out.

I made the above picture up to her by letting her pick out ice cream 
from a creepy van with scary music playing. 

She was cool with that.

P.S. Those are the messiest popsicles known to man.
Which obviously makes them very appealing to the youngsters.

This was our first day of freedom after the girls were sick for a few days.
We celebrated with shopping.

And mexican food.

And somehow, this little three year old has snuck into my bed twice
in the last two weeks. 

If it weren't for her wanting to sleep on my neck, 
it could work out. 

But there's that.

This is a picture of Sydney going through all of our 
Cupcake for Cabecar inventory. 

Don't know what we'd do without her. 

This is a picture of my awesome, big brother on the back cover of
At Home Arkansas.  

So proud of him.

He's so cute.

And just happens to be really good at his job!

We're just a few weeks away from our next fundraiser. 
Amelia will be leading this one. 
Amelia's Lemonade Stand. 
We've been given permission to set up our stand outside of Sam's Club. 
We'll be raising money for the Cabecar Church Ministry. 
Since Alex came home from his trip - he has made us all feel like we're family 
through his stories of his time with these wonderful people.  We're a team. 
I can't wait to meet them. 
Amelia can't wait to meet Pastor Eli. 
She really wants to take him a cupcake but I'm just not seeing how that can happen.
Her new thing is grabbing a bunch of toys out of her room and announcing,
And then she tries to sell me her 50 cent toy for 25 dollars. 

She's good.

As I was packing myself and the girls for their last trip, I realized, 
I have a thirty-one problem. 

That stuff is awfully cute though.  

Comes in very handy when packing an entire house to send to Granny's.

Amelia headed to Papa and Granny's.

I found lots of pictures like this one one my ipad when she returned home.
Big Teddy enjoying the view out the window.

Amelia enjoying watching Granny drive. 

Amelia eating all of her dinner because she's with Granny and not her mother. 

Isn't that the way it always goes?

Miss Sydney Faith was a good girl for Uncle Gerry and Aunt Joy. 
Love this baby so much.

She might have been a little dramatic when we made her leave their house.
She didn't want to go back to the world of "no-no's" and time-outs.

Who could blame her. 

Now get in the car. ;)

But all was well when she arrived home and found the new slide. 

This one loves her Daddy.

And Jake.  She loves Jake.

We went to the mall JUST TO RIDE the overpriced ice cream truck.

And the fire truck.
Sydney was a little nervous about Amelia's driving.

I made strawberry muffins. 
Sydney LOVED them. 
Made me happy.

Another day of errands with my sweet girls.

They ate well that night, so we promised ice cream. 

Amelia chose chocolate. 
And it always has to be in a cone. 

The next day, we made our own lunchables. 
I decided I couldn't feed her those pre-made ones anymore.
And do you know what? 
She loved it. 
Probably because it tasted better. 
And her meat and cheese were in the shapes of flowers.

I took dinner to two friends on Thursday evening. 
Heather just had major foot surgery.  Bless her heart, it has been painful.

Hillary just had a baby. 
Her girls are beautiful. 
Sophie was presh and Sadie was hilarious. 
I loved playing with Sadie and carrying on a conversation with her.
I wanted to bring Sophie home with me. 
We're still working on those arrangements. 

My sister surprised me with homemade blueberry scones. 
I just pop one in the oven to have with my coffee every morning. 
Sydney has decided she likes these too. 
So I have to share.

My niece, Victoria came over to watch the girls on Friday. 
I ran errands, had a mani/pedi, things like that.
But the most fun was having lunch with my sister, Joy. 
We talked about ministry and recipes and being a mom and all sorts of stuff.
Uninterrupted the entire time. 
That doesn't happen very often. 
I loved it.

Then Victoria agreed to stay later for us to have a date night. 

We rejoiced! 
We just had an awesome weekend away but if we can score a date night - 
we're taking it! 
Thank you, Roo-Roo!

We ate at Yaya's and had one of the best meals ever. 
I had the butter fish with sticky cashew rice. 
Oh my. 
I may need some more of that tomorrow. 

The girls had fun with Roo-Roo.

They're a mess.

Kept Roo-Roo busy for sure.

By the end of date night - we're always ready to kiss their sweet faces.

I mean really.

The girls and I went to Tyler's 1st birthday party today. 

Tyler is a baby that we prayed for for a very long time. 
Can't help but think he's a miracle baby every time I see him!

My friend, Robyn did so well! 

Really cute details. 
I have no doubt her baby boy felt loved.

My girls had a wonderful time and left on a sugar high, 
so that equals a successful party in my book!
Tomorrow is Sunday and that automatically makes it a wonderful day. 

I'm looking forward to my time with the Journey Kids tomorrow!

Love to all,

Monday, July 22, 2013

I am my love's and my love is mine...

Alex and I celebrated 17 years of marriage on Saturday, July 20th.  

17 years!

I remember this day like it were yesterday.  
I remember being upset over the silliest things - like the bakery left a tier off the cake.
I remember being excited over the silliest things - like going grocery shopping together.
I remember being so excited about moving into our first home together. 
It was a tiny, single-wide trailer that sat out in the middle of a field off a dirt road.
It wasn't much but it was ours. 

I had no idea what marriage really meant. 

I learned 7 years in - it's work. 
Hard work.

I learned 10 years in - any marriage is subject to the enemy's attack.
Even if you're believers and go to church together.
If you aren't caring for your spouse/marriage in the way God instructs and keeping Him at the center of all you do - it can all fall apart.

I've learned a lot over the last 17 years.
I've made a lot of mistakes.
In no way do I know everything there is to know about marriage, 
but I'm thankful for a God that teaches me through His Word, 
through my husband, through counselors, through family and through friends.  
I continue to learn what it means to be the wife God wants me to be. 
When you add children to a marriage - it's a challenge to keep your husband in a position
 above those kiddos.  They need so much from you.
But it's necessary for a healthy, happy marriage. 
Alone time is a must.
I think about how we were feeling before this anniversary and we 
were DESPERATE for some time away to focus on each other and nothing else.

Being Alex's wife is a precious gift. 
I've said it over and over and will say it again - 
he loves me well and he has my heart. 

I love this man so much more than I even did 17 years ago.

Alex had a list of places that we could go for our anniversary - all places that would have great food, great shopping, ya know, things I love.  I thought about the list and promptly told him I really wanted to go fly fishing together.  His face LIT UP.  Fly fishing is his favorite thing in the world.  

I've never fished in my life.  

My friend, Caroline actually taught me something during her first year of marriage.  She's a newlywed and girly-girl but I noticed she was always going fishing with her husband and they both looked so happy in their pictures!  Like she was actually enjoying this fishing thing. :)

It hit me one day that when Alex and I do things together - it's always things I love to do.  
He would never ask me to go fly fishing for our anniversary because he would think that's selfish.

I knew this was the best gift I could give Alex and our marriage.   

We started July 20th, 2013 remembering his childhood friend, Denny.
We both woke up with his family heavy on our hearts.
It was one year ago, on the 20th, that Denny went to be with Jesus.
We had a time of prayer together for his family and Alex
sent his sweet Mama and brother a text that we were thinking about them.
We'll never forget sitting at our anniversary dinner last year and receiving that news.
Alex was heartbroken.
We're so thankful for the hope we have in Jesus.
We know with certainty, we will see Denny again!

After breakfast, we headed over and I had a fly fishing lesson. 
I was determined that if I was going to fish - I was going to do it well.
Alex was so excited that he bought me a pink fly fishing rod. HAHA!  
It's hard to look fashionable in waders, so I just went with it.

Love this picture of Alex.  
The Little Red River is beautiful.

He caught a few trout over the weekend. 

And I caught my first fish ever!  
A rainbow trout!

I don't touch fish.

Whenever a fish would tug at my line - I would freak. 

I was cool like that.

It was almost like I had never been fishing before in my life.

I eventually stopped fishing because I rubbed a bleeding blister on my hand.

It was serious fishing business, y'all.

So I just snacked and watched Alex fish until it started storming and we had to leave.

This was back at the car after our first day there.
Alex had a permanent smile on his face the entire weekend.
After I caught my first fish, he said the only time he had been more happy and 
proud of me was when I birthed our children. 
It was so funny and sweet.

We went back to get a shower and head to dinner. 

We stayed at this cute B&B. 
The family that owned it was really sweet. 
It was like staying with family.
The sweet owner was sitting out on the porch in a rocking chair when we 
were returning from dinner one night. 
She asked, "did you guys just get married??"
She thought we were on our honeymoon. 
We couldn't stop laughing. 
And she couldn't believe we had been together for 17 years.

We ate breakfast at the B&B and ate out for dinner.
We love Cafe Klaser. 
It sits on the Little Red River and the food is amazing.

Alex could eat the stuffed steak every night of his life. 

I had the bleu ox filet. 
It had bacon and grilled onions in the sauce.

It was the best weekend we've had in quite some time. 
We're so thankful for my Mama and sister that kept our girls.
Amelia had the best time at my parents and Sydney cried when
we made her leave Uncle Gerry and Aunt Joy's!
They took good care of our babies. 
That was the best anniversary gift they could have given us. 

I can't wait for us to go back. 
I'm hooked!!

One of our friends on FB saw one of our wedding pictures and said,
"one of the best love stories ever known."

I couldn't agree more. 

"I am my love's and my love is mine..."
Song of Solomon 6:3