Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Fat Tuesday!

I have never been to New Orleans or attended any sort of a real mardi gras party, but I LOVE Fat Tuesday!

For me, Fat Tuesday serves two purposes.  One, it's another mini-holiday to do fun things with the kids.  Today, we are making our very first King Cake (thank you Nana).  Secondly, I feel like its the calm before the storm that is Lent.

As a Catholic, Lent serves as a pretty big season of the year.  It's 40 days of preparations for Christ's rising from the dead.  Over the years, I have come to really love Lent because of the sacrifices that you do in preparing your heart.  As much as I always tried to convince my mom that I should give up school or homework when I was younger, that never really worked.  I always ended up giving up Coke, fast food, or chocolate. 

Now, as an grown woman, wife, and mother, it has turned into so much more.  I understand that the sacrifice or added commitment during Lent needs to be something that will open up more space for Christ to fill.  It's time for me to purge my heart of the things that shouldn't actually serve as such a high priority.  I need to make room.  Moreover, I need to find something that will help my family also prepare their hearts for the Risen Christ. 

So, in my discernment for lent this is what I have come up with.  During deployment, my laptop became of utmost importance to me.  It was my connection to my husband and my closest friends.  It also served as a journal and stress relief through my blog.  It became my companion.

Since P's return, I have struggled to put it back in it's place.  I know it sounds silly, but similar to many people and their I-phones, I am addicted.  (This is why I refuse to have a smart-phone.)

So, for my personal Lenten resolution, I am giving up my laptop.  I am not giving up Internet or facebook or blogging, but I am giving up doing those things on my laptop.  We have a desktop computer upstairs and that will serve as my new 'portal to the world'.  Using the desktop will really force me to prioritize my computer time and not spend so much time doing absolutely nothing.  Moreover, I will spend more time being completely present with my family rather than half there, half waiting for a returned e-mail, etc. 

Secondly, my husband and I have committed to better preparing our family prayer/bible/holy time in the evenings.  I have signed us up for this awesome program called Lenten Adventure.  I will receive e-mails with activities, stories, and other materials to get my kiddos involved in Lent and the preparations for Easter.  We have realized that the more we put into our kids learning about Christ (on a toddler level), the more we learn and grow ourselves.  We're supposed to be child-like, right?

So, there you have it.  As of tonight at midnight, I will no longer be writing via my laptop.  With this change might also come a learning curve so bear with me.  The desktop is in our guest room (which is where Little P naps) so I am going to have to be really smart with my time. 

So on this Fat Tuesday, we'll party it up with King Cake, Pancakes for dinner, and some Marti Gras coloring pages.  Are you doing anything special as you begin your journey to Holy Week and Easter?

Monday, February 20, 2012

State of Life Address...

So, I have to be honest, I have been avoiding my blog.  It's true.  In the last few weeks, I have gotten spun up about so many things that I have just avoided blogging so I don't say too much.  When I am passionate, I have a tendency to completely spew at the mouth without regards to any possible consequences.  So, needless to say, I have been keeping pretty close to home with my mouth shut (well, kinda...sorry fb friends!).

Anyways, I wanted to give ya'll an update on life and a brief rundown about what has been going on here for the last few weeks.

1.  We are still trying to move ahead with this house.  P and I made the executive decision that we will not be closing on the other house until we are under contract on our current one.  We still have over a month until closing so we are not OVERLY concerned but we'll have to wait and see.  After talking and praying about it, we realized that this whole thing came about because we felt called to the lifestyle.  If it doesn't work out, we're fine with that.  Maybe we were only called 'for a time' and let me tell you how much I learned in the last month...WOW! 

The bank is being completely 'bankish' and taking FOREVER to completely dewinterize the house so we can complete our inspection.  It seems endless. 

The more we visit the house and show it to our family and friends who visit, the more excited and scared I get.  It will be a HUGE undertaking but at the same time will definitely be awesome once it is completed.  We see the benefits to our family and that makes it worth fighting for.  So, we will just have to continue waiting for our inspection to be completed.  We'll see what God has in store.

2. The Government.  Holy macaroni, I highly recommend that unless you want to hear an ear full, you do not ask me about the government.  Between the HHS Mandate (and subsequent 'compromise'), the election, and all of the other drama that has been in the news I have been spinning.

In no way, shape, or form do I want to make my blog a place for politics but what I will say is that we, as Americans, need to take the time to know what is going on.  As much as people want to put blame on one or two people, it's more than that.  We are creating the country in which our kids will grow and learn from.  We have the power but we have to choose to be informed.  Sitting and expecting other people to take care of it does not work.  So, I encourage you, for the quality of life for you, your kids, and future grandkids, start learning.  This year is a HUGE year in our government.  It is a definitive line drawn in the sand.  SPEAK UP!

3. The George Huguely Trial.  I don't know if many of you know about the current murder trial of George Huguely.  He was a UVA Lacrosse player who is on trail for murdering his girlfriend.  Now, I know that most don't really care about it but it really got to me.  You see, I drive by it every single day.  Every day, I see both of their family's and friends walking in and out of the courthouse and I can't help but wonder what they are thinking and feeling.  For me, it brought up deep feelings because I know what it feels like to lose someone due to a heinous murder.  I know that Shannon's family is going to go through this exact scenario soon and it makes me angry. 

Every night, I was watching the news watching for my van behind the reporters (I know, I'm silly) but with every news report I was hearing more and more details that reminded me of the conversations I had with Shannon.  Listening to the defenses plans make me wonder what they will spew out about Chris.  It just really hit close to home.

Needless to say, these last few weeks have been rough for me.  I have the type of personality that once I start spinning, I struggle to stop.  Thankfully, my mom came up last week for my birthday and was able to poke a hole in my bubble bringing me back down to earth.  Sometimes it's hard to trust a greater plan when you feel completely out of control.  I am so very thankful to be surrounded by people who are more than willing to remind me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you find a fun way to enjoy the day.  Since becoming a mom, I have found that I really look forward to these smaller holidays.  It's a fun day for me to put everything else aside and come up with fun activities to do with the kids (and show some extra lovin' to my man). 

Today will be full of heart shaped foods, special crafts, pretzel m&m's, and possibly a special Valentine's Day visit to dad at work!

My mom taught me a lot about celebrating these holidays.  Not a St. Patrick's Day went by without green milk in our cereal, heart shaped balloons waiting for us every Valentine's Day afternoon, and black eyed peas every New Years Day.  Mom taught me that taking the opportunity to add some enthusiasm to the day was a great way to let those around you know that you care enough to go the extra mile just for their smile.
Little C -Vday 2011 (Isn't she CUTE!?!?)

I have told you in the past that I really work hard at teaching my kids enthusiasm.  I want my kids to grow up knowing that putting enthusiasm into things shouldn't be a burden, rather a opportunity.  It's an opportunity to give love to those around you in a simple yet very special way.  It can be anything from answering the phone with 'umph' to having a valentine ready for the morning.  On a day like today, when I am completely covered up with everything under the sun, it's a good reminder for me to put it all aside and make some special memories with my kiddos.  I want them to know that even when mom is frazzled out the wazoo (hence the lack of blog posts), I still want them to know that I love having fun with them! 

So, do you have any special plans for Valentine's Day?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I Am So Thankful!

Every night at dinner, we go around the table sharing what we are thankful for.  For the last week or so, I have had a hard time coming up with something to say because I have been so overwhelmed by life.  This house, that house, money, contracts, politics, kids, school, cooking, laundry, etc.  It's as though I've been in a tail spin.

This weekend, the hubs took the older two kids to his parents house for a 'spur of the moment' Super Bowl visit.  For some reason, Mini C has slept the majority of the time since they left and it has given me a lot of time to reflect. 

As I looked around my house, scanned over a few blogs, and talked to a few friends I realized how thankful I really am.  I might have trouble seeing the silver lining in a crazy overwhelming day but, MAN, how did I luck out with a life like this?

I have a faith that I am so head over heels in love with.  My faith in Christ and His Will has grown and matured so much in the last year and I can say that it has truly become of utmost importance.  It may not always make life comfortable but I am reminded of what Pope John Paul II said,
"Do NOT be satisfied with mediocrity! The world will offer you comfort. But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness!”

I have a husband who sweeps me off my feet on a regular basis.  After 5 years, 3 kids, 3 moves, 2 countries, 3 states, and 2 deployments, he continues to be my best buddy.  I have never been around another human being who has the same drive, dedication, work ethic, love, and passion as this man.  He never steps down when he's tired.  The way he understands what it means to be an American will always leave me speechless.  He always makes sure that I know that I am 'his woman' (that's a compliment for a girl from the south...haha).

I have a little boy who is sweeter than pie, a little girl who is the spit fire of my life, and another little girl who always makes sure that her mama knows that she is loved.  I learn more in a day than some will learn in a year.  They let me mess up.  They forgive me when I lose it.  They are so excited to see me EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING.  It's crazy!

I have parents, in-laws, brothers, sister-in-laws, and all sorts of aunts, uncles, and grandparents who encourage me to keep up the good fight.  Keep fighting for what is right.  When I get tired, they don't let me fall, they tell me to get up and keep going.  They are my teachers, my counselors, and my guides.  They are some of my best friends.

Lastly, I have my friends.  Ya'll, I have the best friends a girl could ask for.  Over the course of my life, I have somehow gathered quite a few friends who I would consider 'heart friends'.  These are the people who don't just love me because I am gorgeous, incredible, brilliant, and fun to be around, they love me because they know my heart.  They know what makes me tick at the most basic of levels.  They will fight for my heart, for my purity, for my soul at the expense of any hurt feelings or friendship.  They have their eyes set on the same thing I do.  They want me to achieve heaven.

As I write all of this out, I am mesmerized by the fact that He chose me.  He chose to give me all of these people to encourage and lead me to Him.  He knew that I'd have my struggles and with every one, another person has stepped up to help me stay focused. 

And for that, I am thankful!

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