Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!

Today was the last day of my husband's three-days-of-no-work-whatsoever weekend and it was beautiful!

This morning, Eli was nice enough to let us sleep in! We enjoyed a nice, lazy morning complete with cartoons and lots of laughs :)

After lunch, it was time for the little man's nap (and Daddy's too) so I took advantage of the quiet time and finished my Memorial Day creation...

"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." -John 15:13

For all the men and women who have sacrificed so much for us, our country and our freedom... Thank You!!!

Once nap time was over, we took off in search of some ice cream...

We found it! And boy, was it good...

We danced....

And laughed...

And cuddled...

And soaked up what was left of the day...

I am so thankful for days like these. I can't get enough of my little family :)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sincerely Sunday : The Good, The Bad, And The Reality Checks

5 things I am thankful for:
1. Having most of my family local. I don't know what I'd do without them.
2. Summer dresses. They are so comfy and they hide a lot :)
3. Long weekends spent with my favorite boys. Cliff isn't working at all this weekend and the time spent with him and Elijah has been glorious so far.
4. Sippy cups that don't leak.
5. Cake.

Scripture Verse:
"We love Him because He first loved us." - 1 John 4:19

Current struggles:
1. I never realized how difficult disciplining a child could be. Elijah is starting to throw temper-tantrums and he is a very persistent little guy. I hate being the bad guy (or girl). I want to give him what he wants. But I know in the long run that that is not what is best for him or for our family. Seeing him cry because of something I have done (or not done in some cases... like giving him what he's yelling at me for) is heart-breaking.
2. Finding time to do everything that I want or need to do and balancing my time between the two. I need to keep up with the house. I need to pay our bills. I need to go to the grocery store. I want to spend time playing and laughing with my growing little boy. I want to spend quality time with my husband. I want to go places. I want to create things. I want to live life to the fullest. The list is endless. I suppose this will always be an on-going struggle.
3. Lately I keep finding myself wondering how people view me. For the people who know me, I come across as a very confident person. I'm not one of those people that is searching to figure out who I am. I know who I am. I just wish I didn't care so much about what other people think about the person that I know I am. I understand that my life here is temporary. I know that my time should be spent caring more about what God thinks and less about what people think, but a part of me can't help but ask the question, "Am I good enough?"
4. Being content with where I'm at in life, no matter where God has me and remembering that wherever He does have me, while it may not always be pleasant, it is always good.

Things that made me smile this week:
1. We found a fawn out behind Cliff's parents' house. While we knew we could not keep it, it was still so amazing to be able to pet such a precious little creature. I told Cliff it was like a childhood dream come true :) To see pictures of our furry friend, click here.
2. While I spent the week fighting a cold, my sweet friend Carolyn made me some delicious homemade chicken noodle soup and cleaned out my mess of a car! Good friends are such a blessing :)

What I'm looking forward to:
1. Seeing my sister graduate. I can't believe she's all grown up! She is such a beautiful woman and I can't wait to see what God does in and through her during this next chapter of her life.
2. Going to play group! Because Eli and I have both been sick, we had to miss out last week. It seems like it's been so long since we've seen our friends!
3. Enjoying a day out on the boat with both sets of parents on Saturday. We are so blessed to have such an amazing family! AND I've been dying to get out on the water! It will be Eli's first boat trip of the season :)

Things I've noticed:
1. I have a sickness. It's called perfectionism. While it can be a great asset, it can also be a major flaw. For instance... I spent my night last night baking a cake for my cousin who just turned 15. It was very late and I didn't have what I needed to pipe "Happy Birthday Leah" onto the cake. So, I spent two hours individually placing tiny, circular sprinkle sort of confections on the cake to spell out my sentiments and used the same technique to create little flower decorations. I spend way too much time on things that most people don't notice and on things that don't last. But, I love doing it. That's all that really matters anyway, right? (Perhaps this is why I have so many issues with time, lol).
2. I am a sucker for good marketing. If a company makes their product look unique or interesting, I will almost always buy it over their competitor's products (so long as it's not too much more expensive).

Loveable Quote:
"There are some days when I think I'm going to die from an overdose of satisfaction." - Salvador Dali

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Good To See You Deer

While Thursdays are generally days that I love and look forward to, they don't vary much from week to week. Today, however, was certainly a day worth remembering.

My sister's last day of school was Monday so she currently has some extra time on her hands. Today she joined us on our walk at the park. I so enjoyed spending time with her and my mother... they are both such beautiful ladies :)

This afternoon Eli and I headed over to Cliff's parents' house, as we do every week, and were visited by this little sweetie...

She showed up in the backyard and her momma was nowhere in sight. The fawn couldn't have been more than a day or two old. After checking to make sure she wasn't injured, we were happy to see her head back out to where she belonged.

It has certainly been a happy day :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sincerely Sunday : Rest For The Weary

5 things I am thankful for:
1. Good friends
2. Knowing that I am loved
3. Cough syrup (As a kid, I NEVER thought I'd be saying that! lol)
4. Having such a happy child
5. The hope I have in Christ.

New favorite quote:
"So many people are looking to me to be strong and to fight but I'm just surviving. And I may be weak but I'm never defeated, and I'll keep believing in clouds with that sweet silver lining."
It's from the song "Sweet Silver Lining" by Kate Voegele. I feel like she was reading my heart when she wrote it...

Something I'm looking forward to:
Taking the youth kids from church bowling on Friday!

Scripture verses:
"O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." - Psalm 51:15-17

Moments that made me smile:
1. My husband, Cliff, leads worship at our small church on Sunday mornings. We had few people in attendance this morning, so we decided to keep things small and intimate... meaning my husband played unplugged and we all sat in a circle. My son absolutely LOVES my husbands guitar, so throughout worship, he would repeatedly reach over and place his hand on the guitar while his daddy played. It was adorable.
2. Hearing Cliff's boss talk about how highly he thinks of him and what his goals are for him within the company. It's good to know that all of his hard work will pay off. I am a very proud wife :)

Now I think I'll make it an early night right after a cup of hot tea. Cliff and I have the cold that Eli just got over and could definitely use some extra sleep. I hope you all have a beautiful week!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday : Simple Comforts

Dug up from a collection of my great-grandmother's recipes...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Welcome To The Jungle...

Today's play group was held at a very fun place called Jungle Bounce. They had so many exciting things for the little ones to do and the moms of course had a great time chatting with other moms and watching the kiddos play.

There were giant inflatables to explore...

Cars to drive around..

A ball pit to sink into...

A roller coaster to ride...

So many new things to try...

Toys to share with friends...

And of course, plenty of snacks to go around...

I love Tuesday's Play Group... it makes me feel like a kid again :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

First Refurbish

Before marrying my husband, my mother-in-law never had any other women around. Now that she has me, we have a great time doing girly things that she never got to do as the mother of two sons. Our most recent project was refurbishing a table that she's had sitting in her entryway. It was given to her years ago, complete with green paint spots. The trusty table that has spent years holding onto our keys, phones, fishing gear, and just about everything else, has finally received the pampering it deserves and will make a lovely addition to the rest of the updates they plan on making to their home, which they built themselves over 30 years ago...

Isn't it darling? It never ceases to amaze me how just a few items can completely transform a piece of furniture. Here's what we did:

We started by removing the dated hardware and sanding down the entire table, including the drawer...

Once that was finished and dusted off, we spray painted it with ivory paint...

When the paint was completely dry, we used sandpaper to distress the edges. Then, we used the same technique I used on the canvas in my post Decoupage Wall Art, watering down brown acrylic paint and brushing it on with a sponge from left to right and back again. On this project, it almost looks like the wood grain is showing through and it gives the table more of an aged look. You can buy glazes that will have the same effect, but this technique will save you some money. And we all love that right?

After the paint was dry, we sprayed on a few coats of lacquer to protect it from the wear we know it will continue to receive. Again, we gave it some time to dry and then attached the new hardware...

While it may sound like this was a very time consuming project, we were actually surprised at how quickly we were able to finish it. The paint doesn't take very long to dry and in some cases (like the lacquer) you don't have to spend any time waiting in between coats. It was a very fun project and I'm so pleased with how our first furniture refurbish came out!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sincerely Sunday : Silliness Becomes You

I have decided that today I would start something new on my blog... Sincerely Sundays. An opportunity for you to have a weekly look into my crazy brain to know some of my random thoughts and what our family has been up to. You know... the stuff that the camera doesn't always catch.

6 things I am thankful for:
1. My God and my family who give me strength when times are tough.
2. Afternoon naps
3. The fact that I'm not perfect and it's OK
4. The sound of my son's laughter
5. The joy that fills my heart when I get the opportunity to catch up with old friends.
6. Having a husband that I can be silly and play with

Scripture Verse:
"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father.'" -Romans 8:15

Things I am praying for:
1. Cliff's work schedule. We are very thankful that he has work and what it could mean for our family in the long run, but I know he often feels overwhelmed with it all and is needing a break.
2. My pridefulness...
3. A new car. Not a brand new one, but one that is in better condition that the one I've been driving for the last 6 years.
4. That God would teach me how to be the mother he has created me to be for Elijah.

Things that made me smile this week:
1. Friday night I turned on one of my favorite albums and was singing and dancing around the house. Cliff started acting silly with me and even did an interpretive dance (it was more ridiculous than you can imagine) that had me rolling on the floor with laughter!!! I sure do love that boy.
2. A funny little story that I read on one of my favorite blogs, Not So Idle Hands, which you can read by clicking here. It makes me look forward to the years of motherhood that await me :)
3. Some Godly encouragement that I received from my wonderful brother-in-law-who-may-as-well-be-my-own-flesh-and-blood.
4. While changing one of Eli's delightful diapers (note the sarcasm) I was trying to keep him from squirming all over the place by showing him flash cards. I pulled out a new card with a picture of a chicken on it. After telling him what the picture was, he repeated chicken back to me. It was so clear and sounded so cute! I, being the proud mommy of my own baby einstein, verbalized my excitement by telling him how wonderful he is. For the last two days, he's been randomly saying "chicken" and it's just too cute. It really is the little things...

New favorite quotes:
Both are from this mornings sermon by Pastor Danny Hodges of Calvary Chapel St. Petersburg...
"I'm not striving for righteousness and neither should you... I'm striving from righteousness. I'm not trying to get to heaven... i'm already there.. my name is already written there... my citizenship is already secure."
"I obey, not because I am commanded, but because I am compelled"

Things I'm looking forward to:
Taking Eli back to the zoo when he's feeling better. I know he'll have so much fun! Also, having my mom join Eli and I at the park in the morning for our 4 mile walk/jog.

Current Favorites:
1. Eli's heart to share. Of course this involves him putting things in your mouth like his pacifier and food. In my husbands case, it's already chewed up and soggy bread.
2. The bike trail at Starkey Park.
3. Taking Eli for walks in his red wagon
4. The Picnik website. While it doesn't do everything that Photoshop does, it really is so much easier to use.
5. The song "Divine Romance" by Phil Wickham...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Our Friends Are Animals.

My husband has been working a lot lately, so we were very excited about making today a family day. After enjoying some fruit and blueberry muffins for breakfast, we headed over to Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo :)

Eli just couldn't resist a nap on the way there...

And mommy just couldn't resist snapping a few photos. Here I am being my usual dorky self. Can you tell I was excited about our family day?

Our car ride would not have been complete without a typical "I hate you for taking my picture while I'm driving" photo of Daddy...

Once we made it to the zoo, Eli was very happy to be riding in his wagon...

After checking out the aviary and getting up close and personal with Eli's beloved birds, we headed to Mama's favorite spot... the petting zoo!

Mama made a new special friend...

Unfortunately, those mean old molars that are trying to push their way through decided to give my sweet boy a hard time. He spent the rest of the day, just wanting to sleep and be held by Mommy or Daddy...

We decided to head home so that Eli could get some rest in the a/c, but before doing so, we bought season passes to the zoo. I am looking forward to the adventures that lie before us and all the smiles that Eli will have visiting his animal friends.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wordless Wednesday : Hello Summertime...

(Blogger limits my image size... Click the image above to see full size)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Explorations and Magical Adventures

Today is Tuesday... which means that we had a fun morning at play group! This week we met at the gymnastics center which has a special program for toddlers. The batteries to my camera died so I was stuck taking photos with my phone, but Eli had lots of fun crawling through tunnels...

and playing in the giant foam pit...

Cuddles for Mama in the foam pit! These are the moments that I treasure...

After Elijah woke up from his nap, we headed to the park for a 5 mile walk/jog. The heat was brutal, but the trip itself was almost magical. Besides being alone on the long trail, surrounded by so much green, we got up close and personal with a few deer and some tortoises.

Now, my little man is sleeping ever so soundly and I am missing his hugs. Can't wait for tomorrow!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

New Smiles For Old Surprises

Today, while Elijah was at the beach knocking down sandcastles with his Papa and Grammie, this mama was taking advantage of her "down time" and re-organizing the handsome little man's room!

When Eli came home, he was very excited to see so many "new" toys (that mommy had secretly stashed away after Christmas)...

All the clutter was gone (because mommy hid a bunch of toys to take out again later), fun drawers were out full of toys for Eli to explore, and a cozy little spot was set up in the corner...

A big thanks to our friends Cory and Chrissy as well as Jonny and Danielle who first shared with us the idea of rotating toys to keep the little ones from getting bored. It really does keep things fun!

Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!