Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Friday, April 13, 2012

Easter Celebrations :)

We had a great time celebrating Easter this year. This was the first year in a while that I wasn't too busy and actually got to focus on the true meaning of Easter Sunday- Christ's resurrection! I enjoyed reflecting on His sacrifice for us and was very humbled. I was especially grateful that He made a way for Ellie and Claire to have a relationship with Him and have eternal life- there are no words to describe my deep appreciation of that. Before giving Ellie her Easter basket, we read a book to her about Easter- she seemed to get most of it in her little three year old brain :) We told her why we were celebrating and gave her the basket filled with fun stuff. Then we made cinnamon rolls- she loves to give special treats we make to our resident grandma ( an older lady who lives down the way) and she went up to her door, gave her the cinnamon roll, and said "Happy Jesus!"- it was so sweet! I wanted to cry. I'm so glad that she understood it even to that degree. Here are some photos of our day- somehow I forgot to take pictures during our egg-dying time-oops!

 Ellie swinging at the park while everyone played kickball and baseball :)
 I think she's a just a little excited about her basket ;)
 Claire trying on a necklace..
 Both girls digging in!
 What an Easter celebration without trying the "pink stuff" as Ellie calls it?! :) 
 All of us before church- didn't mean to have the gutter in the picture, but at least we're all in it!
 I love Ellie and Adam in this one...
 Claire's face is killin' me here! Just wanna pinch those cheeks right off!!!
 Awkward faces, but just as adorable. 
 So sweet.Gotta love huge hairbows! They rock.
Team "White Shirt"! Adam and I in our comfy gear before we hit the field to play games :) 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Disneyland/Out of Debt Trip!

As of late January we have officially been DEBT FREE !!! It has been awesome. We decided to celebrate by taking a family trip to Disneyland :) Ellie is into anything and everything princess at the moment, so we knew that she'd LOVE it. We only went to Disneyland for 1day, then spent the rest of the time relaxing at a hotel that was right on the beach....tough life, huh?! ;) Anyways, here are a few pictures of our time. 
 In the Finding Nemo submarine- very cool.
 On the Ferry Boat by Tom Sawyer Island :)
 This picture was too cute/funny to not pass up! Claire spent the majority of the Ferry ride in this area crawling around & as happy as can be. 
 On the train ride around Disney
 Ellie and Cinderella- Cinderella touched Ellie's shoulder and it was seriously the highlight of her trip!
 Snow White telling her story to us during story time! She did such a great job.
 The girls totally intrigued by her story...
 When we came in, the first characters we saw were Bert & Mary Poppins- from Ellie's favorite movie! She was so excited!
 All of us about to enter Fantasyland :) 
Ellie and I in the teacups :) 

We had a great trip! Ellie talks about her trip to Disneyland almost every day, so we are taking her back for her 3rd birthday this year :) 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My Mission

This blog has been so incredibly neglected. I am okay with that though because my life has been consumed with what it should be filled with with- my family. I recently attended a Mom Heart conference that was honestly, life changing for me as a mom.

Before becoming a mom, I didn't have a grasp on what this mothering thing was all about. I had inklings here and there, but nothing I could stand on. I felt fearful and had a lot of anxiety. I asked myself so many questions- am I a good mom, do my children feel loved enough, do I spend enough time really engaged in my family and not missing moments, what more can I do, what if I mess them up? ...among many, many others. Needless to say, I needed some perspective. I needed to hear from "seasoned" mothers what this thing is all about, and how to approach motherhood with confidence instead of fear and doubt.

I wanted to share a bit of what I learned from the conference. If you haven't heard of her already, I would highly recommend ANY of Sally Clarkson's books. I just finished reading "Seasons of a Mother's Heart" and it too gave so much perspective and was a breath of fresh air.

Without further ado, here are some bullet points of things that really hit home for me (can any of you relate?).

  • Throwing out the thinking that "Someone is watching me, I better handle my child's disobedience right or I'll be so embarrassed". Take it to the cross- deal with my child gently, christ-like, and without fear.
  • Letting myself fail. Let my children fail. Let my husband fail. Do NOT build a world for my family where us (as sinners) have no grace in sin. The opposite of what Jesus came for!
  • Until I accept God's grace in all of my limitations and short-comings as a mother, I can't be the mom I need to be. Do not be overcome by guilt!
  • Apologizing to my children when I make mistakes makes the most impact.
  • If I strive to help my child's heart be aligned with God I will be the recipient of His work- not my own. This is SO freeing!
  • Always remember that there is a world out there clamoring after their innocent souls. I am the light of Jesus to them at their young age- BE THE LIGHT!
  • Be intentional & sacrifice. DO NOT SETTLE. Mothering is a blessing and a calling- do not think of it as a task. Wake up everyday knowing my mission.
  • Make sure that I am constantly focused on Jesus. I will reflect the sun (Son). Just like the moom does. I cannot shine unless I am facing the sun.
  • Allow people to HELP ME. Swallow my pride.
  • Remember that life is hard, but it's not my husbands fault! Do not cast my daily burden's on him and expect him to fix it all.
  • Let go of thinking that that my kids will be a summation of all my mistakes. They are NOT me and God is so much bigger than that! He has a plan for their lives completely seperate from me.
  • Be an advocate and encourager to my girls. When someone has an advocate they will not quickly fall. And remember, if you are not their advocate, then who will be??
Those are just a few things. I have so many other things that hit me, but that's good for today. Hopefully you feel encouraged! I know I do.

It's important to remember that motherhood is truly a mission. We need to love and take care of our children because GOD VALUES THEM. He entrusts them to us, and it is up to us and we are responsible for how well we took care of them. I know that I need to completely appreciate my child's unique gifts/personality that God gave them. I need to be sure to not work on changing them to be "acceptable" in someone else's sight, but to build them up and encourage them to DREAM big and be their biggest advocate!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Claire's 1st Birthday!

I tried to have these pictures be in order, but I'm not quite sure what happened! A friend of ours took some really great pictures at the party (but you'll definitely notice when his stop and mine begin ;) . We had a lot of friends and family come- almost 40 people actually! We had a great time and it was so bittersweet to see my baby turn 1. I don't think I was ready for it, and I'm probably still not. I am so behind on posting, but here's to catching up! 

 Daddy & the Birthday Girl admiring the cakepops I made ;)
 My sweet girl holding her new lamb from her Auntie Ashlee :)
 Singing Happy Birthday and trying to not have the candle blow out!
 My crazy big girl- Ellie got SO dirty at the party- she was making "Sand Angels"in the playground...haha!
 Snapping a quick picture of her actually wearing her party hat!
 All of us :)
 Mommy & Claire
 Daddy & Claire
 Claire trying on one of her new headbands ;)
 Ellie and Claire right before the party
My sweet girl walking out of the house to go to her party! Couldn't be happier :)