Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Parades, Fireworks, & Elephants!

Wow this month has been a whirlwind of fun!  We have spent so much time playing and being outside and visiting with friends; it’s just been awesome.  I finally emptied my camera (because it was full of course lol) so I want to share with you just a few things we did this month.
Our first biggie was the 4th of July.  Last year I was a bucket of hormones….and guess what, this year I was again.  haha Poor husband!  Last year we were experiencing the first 4th of July with Dutch, and this year was kind of the same since being a month old last year he didn’t remember a thing.  Watching him watch a parade had this mama bear in tears.  He had so much fun and I couldn’t help but smile as I watched him.  Next year we will get to bring another new baby with us to the celebrations :-)DSC_0119DSC_0126
DSC_0164DSC_0166DSC_0183DSC_0190Check out the family picture from last year and this year!
Now imagine it with another baby next year!!!!
I think my heart just exploded!DSC_0198
IMG_20140705_092426After the parade we headed out to the ranch!
So peaceful and fun with our Texas family.
Cows, good food, great music, fireworks, & water sprinklers! 
It doesn’t get much better than that!DSC_0207DSC_0200DSC_0211DSC_0214DSC_0215DSC_0223We also had the opportunity to go to the circus this month.  It was phenomenal folks!  I have not been in years…..probably decades if I’m being completely honest.  This was something else that I was just so excited to see Dutch’s reaction to.  We were in a box and let me tell you, that is the *only* way to go to the circus with a 13 month old kiddo.  We had our own food & bathroom (great for the preggos!), special parking, but most importantly, there was space for Dutch to run around.  We are SOOOOO blessed to have been given this opportunity; something we will never forget!  When we were walking in, the Mr. informed me that this was his first time to the circus too.  I’m pretty sure my jaw hit the ground!  It was so fun watching my boys watch the circus for the first time.  Their eyes were as big as the elephants!  Dutch kept calling all of the animals “roo roo” as this is what he calls Rooney.  No baby boy, our dog is no where near good enough to be in the circus ;-)
These are not great picture because they were with my phone, but you get the idea.DSC_027010358183_855865901116704_769185782_n10665606_1001023753241616_1793142296_n11379741_835505703194245_827690251_n11420921_127912467545260_1608341954_nFor days after the circus, it was all we talked about.  Dutch loved playing with all of his treats from the circus, and talking about the “roo roo’s” so of course we incorporated it into art time.  11327100_738070332989213_1462580022_n11363902_780019798780287_154587168_nWhat a great month!
Now, August, you've got a lot to live up to; we're looking forward to what you have in store for us!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Word of the Year

A lot of bloggers, and maybe women in general, decide in January to have an official word of the year.  This word kind of serves as a theme for the year, or sometimes it is like a resolution to guide you through the year. Usually it looks something like:
quality time
These all seem like great motto words for the year.

When I see other bloggers release their official words in January, I always think, “Oh that’s so nice that they have a word.  I should do that.  But what’s my word?  Which word would I pick?” And that’s usually where it stops for me.  Apparently I don’t think I can follow-through with a single word for 365 days. I mean that is a major commitment.  To be organized for an entire year?! To strive for a year of self-discipline?! hahaha impossible.

Then one day in early January this year I was driving and praying (this is usually where I get in my good time with the Lord; where I finally have a moment to sit and converse with the Lord), and the Lord gave me a word.  Boy did He ever give me a word. In all honesty, I did not like the word He chose for me.  It crippled me with fear.  What does this word me for me? How uncomfortable is this going to make me? I didn’t share that word here, or with anyone but my husband.  I was too scared.

My word of the year has been perseverance.  It has been a word I’ve thought about multiple times on a daily basis.  It has been a word I have prayed about everyday.  It is something that I have pondered and asked for clarity on.  It is something that I have asked for peace about.  It is something that I have asked the Lord for spiritual maturity and growth from.  Perseverance
It’s only July, but here’s what I’ve learned so far this year: I shouldn’t be scared.  The Lord loves me and He only wants good things for me.  Perseverance  isn’t a new concept.  The bible clearly states that as Christians we are going to face troubles; we are actually guaranteed struggles (John 16:33).  And not just little struggles, but big ones so that God can use us as instruments to bring others to Christ.  Our reactions to struggles and storms are what matter, not whether or not we have storms.  Having a boring and “perfect” life doesn’t really do much for the Kingdom.  Being a Believer does not protect us from struggles, it is actually an invitation for more.  If I’ve learned nothing else in the past decade with our struggle with infertility and loss, I certainly know that we are not alone and that God is using our lives to promote His kingdom.  This is a huge honor!Hebrews 12-1
Admittedly I lived the first part of this year crippled in fear.  Did the Lord have something terrible in store for my family? Would my husband get sick or lose his job? Would Dutch be in danger or pain? Would we lose another baby? When was the next shoe about to fall off? The truth is that any of these things could happen.  It doesn’t matter if I live my life in fear or not.  I can do my best to keep my family healthy, safe and pray for their protection, but the destiny of this family is not in my hands.  There will be more struggles that we face, but until then I need to persevere and give over all of my fears to God (1 Peter 5:7).  I need to cling to the Lord for strength and peace.  He is my rock. 

Perseverance doesn’t have to be a bad word.  It doesn’t have to mean “wait for the next bad thing to happen”.  Instead, as a Christian because we know we will face more struggles, it means to cling to the Lord, to maintain and nourish my relationship with Christ, to enjoy the moments that we are living in right now, and to focus on the blessings we have already been gifted.

The year isn’t over, and I’m sure I still have a lot to learn, but for now I have found contentment in the growth and the perseverance I’m facing now.  And you know, it’s really not that bad :-)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Little Peep has a Teeny Peep

Yes, we are over-the-moon excited to announce that we have a Teeny Peep on the way.  Details yo come, but know that we are just so shocked and in awe of God’s blessings for our family.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Characteristics to Teach

The Mr. and I took a parenting class this past spring and it was awesome; truly a fabulous and engaging class.  One of the first days the teacher asked us what characteristics we wanted to teach our children, and of course we said all the basic ones that every parent says.  But after class we got to really talking about it and we have refined three words that we really want to teach.  These are the three words that we have decided to really invest our time in teaching.  This image is printed out and posted on our fridge to remind us everyday of our commitment to intentional parenting.Characteristics to Teach

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Monthly Updates

On Monday I shared the pictures from Dutch’s first birthday party.  I wanted to share with you his official monthly pictures from this past year.  Thank you Aunt Kellyn for the ties!

The monthly pictures I took of Dutch were initially very fun, but as he got more and more mobile I began to dread picture day.  The pictures were so challenging to take, but I’m glad we stuck with it and had them to look back at his growth for the past year at the party.  We actually still have these hanging in the dining room.  It’s still his birthday month, so it’s okay, right?

At 6 months I think I could really start to see his personality coming out, but I think month 9 was my favorite.  That picture always makes me smile!Brand New- DSC_0250Month 1- DSC_0419Month 2- DSC_0592Month 3- DSC_0194Month 4- DSC_0472Month 5- DSC_0376Month 6- DSC_0114Month 7- DSC_0052Month 8- DSC_0130Month 9- DSC_0314Month 10- DSC_0245Month 11- DSC_0150Month 12- DSC_0207

So much change in 12 months :-)Brand New to Month 12

Monday, June 29, 2015

Our Honey Bee is One!

I know I’ve mentioned it a few times on social media and posted a few pictures, but our baby boy is one!!!!
All year I have said that time is going by too fast. 
It is.
It’s going to fast. 
But a year?! Where did the year go?!
I promise, sometimes, I still can’t believe we conceived.  I’m still in the mental state of shock: “We’re pregnant?!” Yes we were pregnant, then he was born, and now he is a year old.  I think I’m in complete denial.  No, I’ve taken up residence in denial.  No, I’m becoming a hoarder in denial…..
It took me for-ev-er to admit that his birthday was coming and that I really needed to get started planning his first birthday party.  I just wanted something fun but simple, that celebrated Dutch and all of the people that have prayed for him.  I settled on a bee theme and thought a BBQ in the backyard would be great.  The Mr. spent weeks getting the backyard ready (trees removed, new doors installed, shed repainted, etc.)  I ordered tons of lawn games and a huge bouncy castle.  Then Houston had a huge flood……
Back up plan?
Get creative, and have the tables and chairs set up in the garage and leave the bouncy house in the rain. lol
It wasn’t a Pinterest-worthy party, but we didn’t care.  Our focus remained on our relationships and those that love on Dutch and pray for him.  My sister came to town to celebrate with us and I’m SOOOO glad that she did.  She totally pulled the party off for us.  And thanks to her we have pictures of the party.  She took every single one of these pictures!  Thank you Kellyn! 
Tips for mamas…..GIVE YOUR CAMERA TO SOMEONE ELSE  and ask them to capture the party for you so that you can see everything that you missed while you tried to host!  This way you get to enjoy the party and still have pictures for memories.
We had about 40 adults and children at the house and the Mr. smoked a brisket, pork shoulder, and some sausage.  I made typical BBQ sides.  It was perfect and easy and a great way to celebrate our special honey bee. 
I made this invitation for the party, and clearly had too much fun with the bee theme.Invitation- 4DSC_0013DSC_0016DSC_0017DSC_0023
I made my Lemon-Honey Beehive Cake and served it with some summer berries and some cupcakes. 
Dutch’s “smash cake” was just a cupcake.DSC_0018We selected a new verse to pray over Dutch this year.  Through pregnancy and his first year it was Pslam 91:4, and this year we will pray Joshua 1:9 over him.  The frame is sitting on his nightstand now, and the previous frame is on the wall.Joshua 1-9For the polka dot garland, I just used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out black and yellow circles and then I sewed them together (tutorial here) and my sister strung them on the island and from the mantle.  Simple and easy decorations.DSC_0024The monthly pictures I took of Dutch were initially very fun, but as he got more and more mobile I began to dread picture day.  The pictures were so challenging to take, but I’m glad we stuck with it and had them to look back at his growth for the past year at the party.  We actually still have this hanging in the dining room.  It’s still his birthday month, so it’s okay, right?DSC_0021DSC_0031DSC_0094DSC_0103DSC_0106DSC_0111DSC_0118DSC_0135DSC_0137DSC_0153DSC_0154Dutch loved his cupcake, but he really didn’t get very messy.  I was expecting to have to strip him down and hose him off afterwards, but all I had to do was wipe off his hands and mouth.  The party was great but Dutch was so exhausted that presents had to wait until after church the next day.  And boy, was this little boy completely spoiled!DSC_0207DSC_0209DSC_0213DSC_0219DSC_0225DSC_0227DSC_0230DSC_0241DSC_0249
We are still celebrating this little boy’s birthday, since it is still his birthday month.  The party turned out so much better than I could have imagined, despite all of the rain.  I’m glad it was a simple party that focused on the people.  No rushing around and just fun.
Happy birthday to my Little Peep :-)
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