Monday, November 28, 2011


I had a thought this morning, two years ago at this time, I was at the end of my CNA course. I was 5 days away donating a kidney to my husband and I am pretty sure my stress levels were pretty high! How time changes things!

Last night, I looked at my daughter, she's 8 years old. I realized I was 8 years old when I met a good friend of mine, who is still a great friend to me to this day, she has always been one of my most objective, friends and I am so grateful for that relationship in my life! I am still boggled at the fact that it's been THAT long! I mean, I was 8 and now *I* have an 8 year old!

I look at Miles and see how quickly he is growing. He will be 4 in February, that blows my mind! Where did the last 4 years go??

I feel like I spend a lot of my time waiting for things to happen, ironically that was the premise of the sermon at church yesterday. Waiting. Advent is a time of waiting for Christ's birth and waiting can certainly be stressful or full of anticipation at times. At this point though, I realize all the waiting I do, if I blink, I am missing out on what is happening and then slapping my head with amazement at how quickly times flies! It's a balance, one I am learning to really sponge in.

In the meantime, I had my parents and grandma over for a chili dinner last night. I remember not too long ago having NO confidence in cooking for others. I was missing out. Having my family over last night fed my soul in a way that I can't even describe. Making food for those that made food for my throughout my whole childhood, sharing my home with those that housed me as I grew up, making memories for my children of entertaining in our cozy home. I just appreciate it so much and it's unexpected, because I do own a pot holder that states "Born to shop, forced to cook" I bought it a few years ago and felt it was DEAD ON for me, I have changed. It's a welcome change.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Acilia's teeth

Acilia's classmates started losing their teeth in Kindergarten.
1st grade=no loose teeth
2nd grade=no loose teeth!
3rd grade=first loose tooth AND three more!! Exciting and nervewracking. Wiggly teeth don't usually come out unless you wiggle them-Acilia did no such thing...she left them alone-months passed new teeth growing in...F I N A L L Y - her first tooth came out!
About two weeks passed- tooth number 2 came out, nothing noteable about that one, still exciting nonetheless.
The two front teeth were biggies- Acilia's adult teeth began growing in and literally pushing her baby teeth straight out front. It looked downright crazy and the more time that passed, the further they stuck out! We checked regularly to see if they were loose enough to pull-they held on tight and Acilia was in no rush to lose them. Finally last week-one was loose enough to encourage Acilia to wiggle relentlessly until it came out- a few days passed-Friday morning (Nov. 18th) I decided I was going to be the one to brush her teeth, I figured her fronts needed some extra attention- all of a sudden her tooth was in the toothbrush! Quick and painless- Acilia was T H R I L L E D! She then quickly noted we are NOT working on her other loose tooth until it's ready! Friday night came- we met some friends at a place called "jump zone". Acilia walked out of there two bumps to her mouth and a bloody tooth later, we had another dangler ready to come out! I found it quite amusing! Told her God wants those teeth out! She babied the tooth through the weekend- I even brushed her teeth a few times hoping it would fall out in the toothbrush again- no luck- Monday was a half day- I walked up to get Acilia- she had her coat zipped to her mouth. I made a comment that she looked cold. Then she raised her chin and flashed a huge grin! Her tooth was OUT! I gasped with delight, she giggled! Apparently a classmate had accidentally bumped her mouth with his elbow- she said she felt her tooth loose in her mouth! I told her I am going to find that boy and give him a good handshake to thank him! What a fun tooth losing journey it's been! I must note Acilia is not at all "toothless" since her adult teeth grew in before the baby teeth fell out, but she looks so different yet still so beautiful!! My sweet little girl! :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I remember one year when I was an ungrateful child, or maybe just ignorant, we were at a family gathering for Thanksgiving and the inevitable happened. We went around the table sharing what we were thankful for. My turn came and I said "I can't think of anything" ....Jaw on the floor from my parents, not a shining moment on my part. I still cringe. As years have passed, I have learned even when you are feeling blue, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. God blesses us many many many times throughout the day and I have been finding peace in searching for those blessings as I muddle through my days! The obvious thankfulness always comes when I think of my family and friends. Each person in my life brings something that I would sorely miss if they were not in my life. Since going through Al's kidney failure, dialysis and kidney transplant, I truly know the meaning of being thankful for health too! Each year that thankfulness grows because I get to watch him enjoy life again. Something that was missing when he was so sick. I am eternally grateful that I had the matching kidney he needed and that the process was so easy. It still amazes me!

I am thankful for my marriage. So very thankful that I was able to find it in me to commit to working through the horribly tough time we went through last year and years prior and am seeing the rewards for sticking with it!

I am thankful for my kids, of course! The times that they are enjoying one another, giggling or playing nicely, my heart literally melts to a puddle! I am thankful for the patience that I pray for! It's a process for sure, but the moments I am able to keep it together even when my little lovelies are testing, much appreciated!

I prayed this morning, that I am thankful for a comfortable bed. I enjoy bedtime so much, I go and go and go all through the day and when the day is done, I am rewarded by pouring myself into bed. The warm covers up to my face, I am able to sleep peacefully in the safety of my family home, my kids, pets and husband all under one roof.

I spend so much time thinking of the future, it's a challenge to truly embrace the present. I work daily on this, because I am learning more and more how important it is to just be still and enjoy the moment. I am thankful that God has opened my eyes to this way of thinking and thankful for the progress I've made, though I have a loooooooonnnnnngggg way to go! :)

I just took a break in typing and looked down to see my two adorable pups Franko and Remo and must note that I am beyond thankful for pets!!!! They are just what I need every time I am down! Nothing like a warm pup to snuggle!

I am thankful for thankfulness. Truly. If I was still that child at the family Thanksgiving table that "couldn't think of anything to be thankful for" I would be missing out on all the blessings in my life!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thankful for this day

The last post I wrote, I was feeling pretty gloomy...I think it's only fair to fill that with a positive now. The last few days continued to be rough, today, I woke up and felt ... it was going to be a good day. I checked the weather, my morning ritual, to figure out what we should wear (Chicago weather is up and down!) turned out we had 62 and sunny in the forecast! Well, instant mood boost!! I practically skipped to the car and have been in a bounce all day! What a difference and I 100% appreciated each moment! So thankful for this day, it was much needed!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


This time of the year is hard on me. Going into winter is my idea of torture! I get depressed, I get anxious, I cry a lot more, it stinks. On top of those feelings, I am feeling a little down on myself. I am not sure where these feelings are coming from, maybe it's just my overall cruddy mood, but geez, I am not liking this. God created me for who I am, I feel like I am following the path he has laid for me and that alone *should* be enough for my heart to be content. Last year my life was in such turmoil, I wasn't sure my marriage was going to last, this year we have been blessed with a much stronger relationship and the stability I so craved at this time just one year ago. I am at a point in school where I can see my nursing program in the near future, meaning I am getting closer to my goal of becoming a nurse, and hubby and I are discussing building a home which has always always ALWAYS been a dream of mine, (I used to draw pictures of floor plans and elevations and really thought it would be cool to live in a house I designed someday). My kids are overall well behaved kids, I work hard on their manners and cleanliness and then I think, wow, did I spend any quality time with them today? Yes, we converse a lot, all day really, yes they are happy, but did I get some good giggles in, did I get down on their level and share with them the joys they've experienced that day? Did they look at me and think "I have the best mommy" today? I get so frustrated with my mind, because instead of just being grateful and content with my life as it is and the abundant blessings, I am feeling "less than". It's a tough pill to swallow and I am praying fervently for my appreciation to grow and my feelings of lacking whatever it is at the time subside!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

He answers prayers

Big and small He answers them all! He promises. This was tried and true today. I am always amazed when God listens to my little bitty meaningless prayers and lets me know He's there for me. This morning, Acilia was sick. She woke up and within an hour had thrown up twice. She was holding her head in the tub while I washed the yuck out of her hair, I was combing her clean locks when I said "Should we pray" she said of course, so I prayed. I prayed that she would have a peaceful day and that she would be feeling better quickly. After I said Amen, she immediately said "I have this feeling I am not going to throw up anymore today." I chuckled to myself. My kids don't just puke once or twice, it's a many o time affair. Today was different. Her thought was true. She hasn't thrown up since this morning. Amazing to me. She felt peace and she noted it out loud and it happened.

Another experience today, I was all alone in my room, piles of laundry surrounding me, the rain was coming down outside under a dark sky and I was feeling sorry for myself. Crying; I started to pray that God would soothe me and give me what I need today to cheer up. I asked for sun. No sooner did I say Amen, the sky started to brighten. I looked outside my window to see the bright yellow leaves starting to glow ever so slightly and soon after the sun was shining for a solid half hour! It was Heavenly !!

God listens. He does indeed. He listens to the big prayers, He listens to the small prayers, He answers them and He wants us to go to him in the good times and the bad times.

Matt. 21:22 - "everything you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive"

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Duggars

Let me first start by saying that I enjoy Reality TV. A little more than I am comfortable admitting. I started watching "19 Kids and Counting" back when it was "16 kids and counting" and have enjoyed each season! My kids often come into the room while I am watching TV and this is one show I don't have to "change" when there are little eyes and ears around.

This morning the Duggars announced they are expecting their 20th child! I understand the Duggars procreating can be a controversial topic. There are many people that feel so strongly that this family is completely crazy. My eyes have seen differently. I had a friendly internal competition going with them. News today is that they have officially broken our family record. My great grandparents had 20 children as well, jaw off the floor, it's true! My grandfather was one of 20 kids, this was many many many years ago (3 generations ago to be exact) and to see that in today's world this is still a very possible option, it's heart warming! Life has changed so much and these days the thought of a big family can send someone into a cold sweat. How do you afford all those children? How do you have time for all those children? Who would WANT all of those children?
Well, clearly a large family is not for everyone, and I don't know the Duggars personally, I can say though that I believe they truly have it figured out! They have God at the center of their life. Michelle and Jim Bob seem to really respect one another (key to a successful marriage, I have learned) and the children are well rounded, loving, giving individuals that are learning some beautiful lessons growing up in a large family. That is the beauty of freedom. If it's not for you, don't do it. Better yet, don't judge ;)

The Duggar Family (Courtesy of Google search)

My grandpa's family (Courtesy of a family photo)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Facebook and Birthdays

Have you ever had a Facebook birthday? You know, the kind that you open your facebook page and it's glittered with well wishes!! What a way to brighten a day right? I see birthdays on my page daily, I am ashamed to admit that I always feel it's pointless to say "Happy Birthday" on other people's facebook pages, I mean, it only takes a second of my time, but I feel like it will just blend in with the others doing the same thing! I allow my creativity to disable me, it's hard to just say "happy birthday" without adding a little bit of flair to the message. Well, I was enlightened today. Birthday wishes in any form are special. The more the merrier! I am making a pact with myself today, the future will hold many more birthday wishes to others on Facebook. It doesn't matter what is said, just that it is said. Thank you Facebook friends for making me feel special and making me realize how I can make others feel special too!
My inbox this morning!  and still coming in!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The fun has begun!

UPDATE: The weekend did START well as you can tell from below, but took a turn when about an hour after I put Miles to bed, I heard him crying, came in and was taken aback by the puke smell. Oh that smell, there is nothing like it :(
My night is going to be spent on the couch with my little sickly, plans for tomorrow to be put on hold. Ah, the glamorous life!!! My sweet little guy, I tried to make light of the fact that he is sick, I said "Miles, you gave momma an early birthday present" he replied "Mom, puke is NOT a present" Poor guy wasn't amused at my attempt at humor :/

What a great weekend! My plans for today included dinner at a great restaurant with my two best friends Brooke and Nena. We have a tradition where we take each other out to dinner on our birthday's! This weekend it was my turn and I am so appreciative of the great food, great company and great night! Brooke is almost 30 weeks pregnant with her first child and we are all aglow for her! It was a long road to get where she is today and to be her friend and enjoying the reward of seeing her pregnant and eagerly anticipating the baby's birth, it's just so special! We all agreed this isn't the best picture, no one had a camera, thank God for camera phones (even if they are horrible quality, they work in a pinch!) Then I came home to a bonfire next door where Al and the kids were having some fun! Tomorrow is my actual birthday, I plan to go to enjoy the extra hour in the day (daylight savings folks!! "Fall behind" turn them back an hour!), visit church, then I have an appointment for a "bamboo infused massage" and then dinner with family at a nearby authentic Mexican restaurant! What a lucky lady! (Ican'tbelieveIam31)
Brooke, me and Nena, see Brookie's little baby belly?? So cute!

Me and the kids staying warm at the bonfire