Sunday, December 19, 2010

christmas card :)

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

the first of many

It has been quite a year, well, year and nine months for us. We celebrated Cecilia's very first birthday this past week - and it has been quite an adventure. I cannot believe that the Lord has blessed us with such an amazing angel, and that He felt we were worthy enough to take care of her soul here on earth. We are truly so blessed.

We had the immense pleasure of hosting Cecilia's birthday party here at our home with our dear family who, for some of them, saw the house for the very first time! We were extremely blessed to have Michael's family and my family help us along the way with party planning and execution. It was such a fun day!

Here are some photo ops that Maggie and I took throughout the day:

The centerpieces, filled with lemonheads, oranges and some flowers.

Nina Tiffy gave Cecilia a car for her first birthday - so that was definitely the hit of the day. Joey and Leila both had a lot of fun pushing Cecilia around the yard.

The two cuties - Cecilia and cousin Anisa. They both like stripes - obvi!

Tio Josh preventing some dead bush mishap with Cecilia's leg - thanks Tio!

Auntie Furgie and Cecilia after blowing out the candle... on the awesome cake that Auntie Lori got from La Dolce Pesca the yummiest (and most awesomely designed) cakes in town!

This is the special recipe of deliciousness upon deliciousness topped with deliciousness. Yum.

Grandpa John getting a little loopy ;) 

The cousins!

Uncle Zach scared her with his beard.

Nina Tiffy giving some love.

This is us with Josh, Susie and Anisa! 

It was really such a fun day, and we are so happy that we pulled off a great party with very little mishaps. It's such a joy to see this process of growing up - for Cecilia and for me. It's such an exciting trail to be on - to see what it is that she grows to love, grows to care for - what she grows to hold true and dear. What her passions may be, what will set her on fire. I cannot wait to see the fire in her eyes when she talks passionately about something, I can't wait until she looks everywhere and then some to find herself, only to go back to where she began - to look inside herself and find Him waiting for her with open arms. I can't wait to see her mischief and her attempt at deception (when, let's face it, parents always know everything). She has already given us so many laughs and so many tears of joy - I pray that the Lord grants us worthy to see her out for so many more.

We also shared some (insanely!) exciting news - WE'RE PREGNANT! Woop woop! We just couldn't resist getting pregnant again while Josh and Susie are too - I mean, what fun is just ONE new baby in the family without his best friend?? Ha - we are expecting a new little one around the end of June/beginning of July. We are so excited and thrilled to see Cecilia interact with a new baby and her new best friend. It will definitely be an insane adventure and one for many more blogs!

So that's the scoop - it may not be the planning and timing precisely as we expected, but what's the saying? - "When you make plans, God laughs."

I mean, He's been laughing since day one ;)

"I would rather live in a world where my life is surrounded by mystery than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it."


Friday, December 3, 2010

advent and the haps

Well, Advent began a couple of weeks ago and it is such a beautiful season. I have always been a self-proclaimed non-lover of Christmas, and I realized this year that the reason I dislike Christmas so much is because I've never celebrated Advent.

Onward with my determination to find Advent devotions and reflections - anything to fill my mind and center my life around the "reason for the season," as the saying goes. It has been such a wonderful journey since then - I've found some beautiful reflections, and I've even got my one and only seasonal decoration up - an Advent wreath! Ha - I definitely need to grow into Susie-homemaker and make my home a holiday extravaganza, right??

Every evening Cecilia, Mike and I light our Advent wreath and pray our daily devotion for the season. It is a beautiful time for our family, and already a tradition that I know will grow into much more and something we will all appreciate so much in the future.

So, I am in the process of waiting. Becoming ready for the coming of the Lord. It is a sacred time in my life - especially a time of patience and reverence for where He wants to be in our lives and where we allow Him to be. Opening ourselves up to what His desires are for our family and preparing for all of the joy and culmination of this season is a long journey, and a journey that we are going to take and run with even after the season is over.

With this wonderful season comes much family love, and with that comes... pictures!

This is from Thanksgiving - Leila's showing us her skills on the piano :)

The three cuties all together - Leila's being a ham, of course!

Grandma being sooo silly with her favorite granddaughters. We had fun watching Mike and Josh put up the Christmas lights while Dad cooked up some yummy Thanksgiving leftovers.

I mean, the cutest. I want to bite her cheeks!

And here's our girl doing what she LOVES to do - EAT! She's been so awesome lately... 

So Cecilia has been taking more and more steps every day which is pretty incredible to see. At first, it took us enticing her with the iPhone and she would talk a couple steps, fall over, and start laughing her head off. But the past couple of days (when I'm not "looking" of course) she'll take a few steps to certain toys or to the couch or different things like that. But she definitely likes to do these things in private - she doesn't like the whole audience to gawk at her skills.

She's turning into such a big girl right before our eyes, and it is really incredible to see. I'm trying not to think, "where'd my baby go??" but really try to embrace the fact that she's really getting bigger - and we'll have plenty more future babies so I won't miss the baby stage TOO much ;)

She's almost 1!!! In 6 days our girl will be one. Look out world, she'll be coming for you!

In the meantime, please take advantage of this precious season, enjoy your Advent, prepare for the really beautiful feast of Christmas - not with shopping - but with the watchfulness and patience that He calls us to practice.

"May I walk each step in this moment of grace, alert to hear You and awake enough to say a simple Yes." ~Robert Corin Morris

Thursday, October 21, 2010

living without powdered donuts

I am always amazed when I read about studies that link the chemicals and toxins in our environment to the recent increases in disease and cancer populations. I recently stumbled upon this entry on one of my favorite blogs, Eco Child's Play.

I first learned about the effects of chemicals and toxins in our environment through one of my nannying employers, Nickie. We happened to begin talking about politics (luckily, we both shared some common viewpoints). After we shared some commonalities, she asked me about the environmental movement.

"Huh? You mean the stupid 'global warming,' recycling, caring about the earth, trees and water supply? Heck no, I don't believe in that crap," was my response.

Awful, right?? But it was the truth - I have never been particularly interested in the environment, and was very open with her and have always been open of my apathy towards the environment and my affect on it personally. My honesty doesn't make my apathy better or more appropriate, especially when, looking to our Catholic papacy and what Pope Benedict XVI said in a message on World Day of Peace, "...No less troubling are the threats arising from the neglect - if not downright misuse - of the earth and the natural goods that God has given us. For this reason, it is imperative that mankind renew and strengthen 'that covenant between human beings and the environment, which should mirror the creative love of God, from whom we come and towards whom we are journeying.'" He's downright calling me out - and those like me who hold apathetic views towards the environment. And that's saying something.

Anyway, Nickie answers, "Yes, those things are really important, and should be to you - but what about the other side of the spectrum - have you ever thought about the environment in terms of your personal surroundings - the foods you eat, the cosmetics you wear, the body products you use, the mattress you sleep on - and what is in all of those products? Have you ever thought about the 'green' impact on the products that you daily use?"

Whoa. I had never thought about this before in my entire life. Wait, you're asking me if I know what my lotion consists of? What is in the foods that I eat, especially those yummy and delicious powdered donuts that I so crave? What chemicals are leeching out of my mattress? 

I was dumfounded. 

I went on to explain to her my honest truth - I had never once thought of this before. I am an adult, I should have researched, I should have known what is going into my body through the foods I choose to eat, through the clothes I put on my skin... because I should care.

I am particularly sensitive about my body because of our practice of NFP - I need to really understand how my body ticks, how it functions, and how hormones affect my daily life. I have chosen, with Michael, to not put artificial hormones into my body via birth control, but to know how my natural body works, with God's hand, and our choices within our marriage. So with the outlook being that I would like my body to function as it naturally should, I should have thought about these other factors, and I never once did. 

I was ashamed at myself, but I got right up and started to learn. Of course, her house was a crash course in The Natural, Green Way to Live which was extremely helpful and beneficial to my life and education process. She even began her own website focused on the natural, green and environmental ways we should be living our lives. Her site is called Hip Mom's Go Green.

I am forever indebted to Nickie for asking me those questions that day, because if it weren't for her - I'd still be eating those chemically-filled (yummiest ever) powdered donuts.

So, back to this study done by the Breast Cancer Fund and written about at Eco Child's Play. I was really impressed by the video done by the Breast Cancer Fund, and thought it would be an interesting and hopefully thought-provoking watch to entice you and me to further educate ourselves and acknowledge this fact that chemicals, toxins, artificial hormones in our environment are playing a key role in our bodies. We must do something to stop it - read labels, try to avoid the chemicals, try to avoid the toxins, try to avoid the hormones that are invading our natural life process. Go look at what is in your cosmetics, lotions, deodorants, toothpastes and baby items on the Environmental Working Group's site Skin Deep.

Watch this video - educate yourself. Live your life naturally without the added mess and be an inspiration to those around you, just as Nickie has inspired me. You don't have to do it just to lower your 'carbon footprint,' but do it because your body needs you to care. Drop the apathy, and learn.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

life in the crazy, fun, lovely lane

This is a post from my Wordpress blog that I made a couple of days ago, so I figured I would copy it onto this Blogspot site for anyone who missed it:

Life has been interesting lately. Mike and I have been working through the kinks of the touring life – him being gone and coming back and getting back in the swing of things… It is quite an intense road, to not have a constant ebb and flow, but to have these different glitches now and then.

However, we’re making it through pretty successfully (I think), and working towards more peaceful transitions and tweaking the not-so-peaceful moments.

Cecilia is turning into a little ham – she’s starting to play more and more with us, which is so fun and exciting to see.

She is a little over 10 months now, so planning her first birthday is very interesting – and the distracted girl that I am, I get hung up on the most amazing, crafty, inspiring blogs of these amazing moms and their kids’ birthday parties! It’s so funny.

Cecilia has recently been standing up on her own, even without us enticing her with the iPhone in her hands. Here is a picture of her the very first day we noticed her stand - we kept forcing her to hold the phone with BOTH hands so she couldn't support herself on the couch. It was so cool to see!

We also just showed her a Radio Flyer Walker, where we stood her up behind it and she pushed it! Below is the video from Auntie Furgie of the first day of her pushing the wagon:

"We must be willing to get rid of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.


wandering to blogspot world

Hello Friends,

Thank you for travelling with me to Blogger from Wordpress. I really wanted the ability to make some graphics and images and use some creativity (that I think is in my brain SOMEWHERE) on my blog. Wordpress wasn't giving me the capabilities to do what I wanted, so I'm changing to Blogger. I realize that I wasn't posting much, but I am avowing that I will post more.

I've already made a list of things I would like to post about this week! How glorious, right??

Well for my first graphic/images thang I wanted to share Cecilia's soon to be Halloween costume. Of course, I will have pictures up here as soon as Halloween's over... but I wanted to give the images a test run, so here is the first! Thanks to Polyvore I feel like my mind can expand to more creative-ness :)

So we decided that she might be cute as a ballerina! She received an adorable tutu from Titi Susie when we took some family photos, so I think I may pair that with a black onesie, some tights, and cute sparkly shoes that Auntie Lori told us about and she’ll be one heck of a ballerina!

What do you think?? Cute, I hope! I know it's super simple, but I'm sure most of you know that I'm not the most extravagant - go all-out kind of girl. Sometimes I wish I was... I commend those amazing moms (and dads) that work so hard on their children's costumes/clothes/birthday parties/etc. It is such a testament to how much of a servant's heart they have... especially when your Love Language is Act of Service (like Mike).

It is such an interesting, and sometimes difficult, moment when you realize that your "love language" is different than your spouse's. We both scored highest on Quality Time, but after that, Mike's is Service and mine is Words of Affirmation. We definitely both need to be conscience of that because we both see acts of love in different ways. I experience love through Mike's kind and affirming words and thoughtfulness, whereas Mike sees love through service. It's so funny that Mike abundantly serves me in so many ways (because he feels that is the way you show love - when all I want is affirmation) and I affirm him constantly (when he experiences love through acts of service). It truly forces me to see that I have to have a servant's heart - especially in the home. I am not an openly "housewife" type of person - and Mike is not asking me to be that specific type of person - but I have to work hard at consciously helping and taking care of the home.

I've always struggled in the kitchen - no hiding that fact! I've always struggled with being messy, my mom can attest to too many squabblings over that, and I've sometimes struggled with perseverance in things like school, work, and daily chores. It is definitely something that Mike and I have to constantly work on together - his words and thoughtfulness and my service.

Do you and your spouse have the same love language? I wonder if that makes it easier - just because you both show and experience love in the same ways and are able to appreciate one another's acts of love. Food for thought, I suppose.

"Now love is like the sea, it’s a moving thing. And it’s different on every shore."


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