Monday, September 2, 2013

First Day of School

Yes, we started school on Labor Day.

I can do that because I'm in charge of scheduling.

And also because my kids have no idea what Labor Day is yet.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Welcome Home, Dear

In the last 7 years, I think I've probably worn dresses a total of 10 times. Not because I don't like dresses, but because, um, I'm always having children or nursing. That's pretty much put a damper on wearing dresses.

Many times, when I find a dress that I love and flatters my post-baby figure, I find that it won't work to nurse in. Or if I find a dress that will work for nursing, it's knit and hugs all the parts of my body that I don't really want hugged. Thank you very much. So yeah, I don't wear dresses much.

Recently, I've been eyeing dresses from the 40s and 50s on etsy. Love them, but my body isn't fitting into most of them any time soon (or ever) because the vast majority of them fall somewhere between an xxs and s. I do remember my grandmother telling me when I first got pregnant that she weighed 115 lbs at the 9 month mark of her first pregnancy. (Then I silently reminded myself that she smoked throughout all five of her pregnancies....) So yeah, as much as I love vintage, I have a hard time finding it to fit myself.

Then Shabby Apple got my attention their Dare to Design competition! I love Shabby Apple, I love their love for vintage and their commitment to modesty. I have one of their dresses... which has been worn about half of the times I've worn a dress in the past few years. It's this one:

Orange Ruffled Scoop Neck Dress

It's fabulous, I love the way it fits and I love that I feel great when I wear it even though I'm not particular happy with my post-baby body. I'd wear it more often, if only I wan't nursing most of the time.

So, I took Shabby Apple up on their challenge to design a 40's style dress. This is what I'd want, if I could have my way. And in honor of my Granny, who was a beautiful woman, who only weighed 115 at the end of her pregnancy, and who believed that you should always look your best for your husband when he returns from a hard days work, here's my "Welcome Home, Dear" dress.

So, tell me, if you were to design a dress, what would it look like?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

8 Months

Whoops! 7 months flew right past your mama! and I only realized it when someone finally asked me how old you were and I started doing the math!

Rio, at eight months, you have four teeth with which you like to bite! You say: Mama, Papa, and Hi! (But you mostly say Mama!) You are no longer the youngest cousin on my side of the family! You army crawl all over the place and we have trouble keeping you out from underneath the furniture. You are always on the go! You adore your biggest brother and always light up when he walks by. Your favorite foods are avocado and bananas! You love jabbering away to anyone who will listen but don't always choose appropriate times to do so... you especially love to talk during a sermon which makes it difficult for your mama to ever hear a sermon! Your smile is contagious and your laugh brings so much joy to our home! Love you little one!

How about an extra shot since we missed 7 months? By the way, your grandpa says your t-shirt is the ultimate in hand-me-downs (it's mine and almost 34 years old!).

See Rio at:

Saturday, March 9, 2013

6 months

Rio, at six months you: are starting to army crawl, have started your first food--avocado, have two teeth on bottom, weigh 16 lb. and 5 oz., are 27 in. long-- the 84th percentile (are you my baby?), love to babble to anyone who will listen, still wake up in the middle of the night at least once and usually twice for a feeding,  are attentive and active and hate naptime, but such a good-natured baby! We love you and can't believe you're already half a year old! Can't wait to see how you grow the second half of the year! Much love!!!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess...

with eyes, dark as ebony,

skin, fair as the snow

and a smile warm enough to melt it.

The princess was a shy little thing who spent most of her days with her loving family and a two-year-old they claimed was her brother.

Then on her fifth birthday, she decided it was time to venture out of her house and into her snowy kingdom.

While she was out in her kingdom, she happened upon an apple...

 it looked so juicy she was tempted to take a bite right then and there.

 But being well versed in historical princesses, she refrained. It might be poisoned...or it might not be.
There was only one way to find out.

And she knew the perfect two-year-old taste-tester!

(Dear Eliana, what a joy you are and what a blessing it has been to watch you blossom into your five-year-old self! We are so proud of your sweet, funny, giving spirit... it is a delight to watch you learn to love Jesus. We look forward to the next year and all the wonder you'll add to it! Much love, Mami and Papi) 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

And then the princess turns 5

Not going to say it's not true, but she thinks she's a princess. Okay, she knows she is. She'll often tell her baby sister that she can be a princess when she gets a bit older, too. So, it seems only right that all she's wanted to do was have a princess party for over a year now. Last time, I talked her into pompoms and pancakes, but it's getting a bit more difficult to persuade her of birthday themes each year. (Shocking, I know!) I did get her to narrow it down to Snow White.

So, don't be surprised when if you see this in your mailbox soon... you know who you are! We're looking forward to celebrating her special day!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Our Valentine's

Hope you had a great Valentine's Day... we had a crazy, busy day but it was full of fun. Eliana and Jesse had a lunch date. And Jesse and I had the chance to order take-out from a favorite Thai restaurant and watch Jane Eyre (which Jesse got for me and had somehow not yet seen). He also brought me flowers and picked up the afghan for me because I happened to spot it in a thrift store window driving by on my way to Krispy Kreme with the kids. I love the colors and was pretty excited to see it in person since I'd seen it in such a blur before! So thankful he was willing to go thrifting for me... that's true love there! 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

And so we've been up to...

For the past month or so, I've had to keep things under wrap. Keeping this exciting news of how God is moving and using us. And how blessed we are by His grace and goodness to us.

How despite the illness: the stomach flu, and earaches, the RSV and oh, yes... did I mention yet that I have shingles? How through this we see the enemy attacking but we also see God surrounding us.

We've seen Him covering us. Keeping us in the midst of the craziness.

This whole thing kind of snuck up on us. I suppose somewhat like my son's shark teeth. "Woah... what is that inside your mouth?" I asked. "When did that happen?" We knew that it was getting close to time for Diego's permanent teeth to appear. But we were expecting the long, drawn out wiggling and wriggling of loose baby teeth first. Instead of a surprise! "We're here but not in the place you expected!" they seem to say as I look at them in awe.

Much like that, Jesse's job appeared. We knew that Jesse was called to ministry and would one day start occupational ministry. But, we thought it would be a long road. That he'd have to teach for a long time, eventually start seminary and then one of these days... maybe around the time he turned 50? He'd start ministry. I helped Jesse fill out application after application for teaching jobs. I submitted my heart to helping him fill out applications for places that were further and further away from my family and a church family that we've grown to love. Trying to do what we thought God might have for us.

And then right before our eyes, God performed a miracle. And now, Jesse is in ministry (and gets to study simultaneously!) right in our church! A miracle, a huge God thing that we couldn't dare to ask or even dream... far, far better than we had ever hoped for. Our God is big and merciful and gracious to us... and although we feel like the enemy is putting up a big, stinking fight--he's losing and it's so apparent, it makes me smile.

We've all been going around singing Tomlin's "I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind, the God of angel armies is always by my side." And it's true! And He is holding us in His hands right now.

That's not to say it's all easy. It's not, it's been a rough past month and a half with all the illness. But we have a confidence in Him, and we can turn to Him for help in our ever present need.

So, Jesse is now the Deacon of Service Outreach at Journey the Way. And we are excited about that and still learning all of what that entails. But long-term, the goal is to plant a Spanish-speaking branch of Journey. Right now, we are working with a lot of people who are so very dear to us but many of them are struggling. Through Christ, they are victorious and I so admire their strength and determination to cling to the cross in the midst of  great trial. They are such a blessing to count as my brothers and sisters in the Lord and we are so grateful to Jesus for allowing us the privilege that we have. Please, if you think of us. Pray for godly wisdom, protection for our friends and family, and boldness, love, and humility while sharing God's love. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Tengo Cinco. {Friday Favorites}

Eliana is turning 5!!! this month. How can that be? So, I've been perusing Etsy for her.

In unrelated news: I'm about fed up with our current Spanish curriculum and am looking for something else. (Right now, the curriculum we have is just a poorly recorded classroom setting where the students often give the incorrect pronunciation--who can blame them?--they are still learning themselves. And the instructor rambles on about things that are totally unrelated to the lesson.) Help! Please?

Monday, January 28, 2013

5 Months

Rio, you're 5 months!
At five months, you are rolling, rolling, rolling... all over the place. You have your first tooth! You've celebrated your first Christmas and first New Year! You've experienced your first (and second and third) trip to the E.R. and become much too familiar with RSV. Never again, okay? You've discovered your hands and your tongue! You've had some serious cases of the giggles and you refuse to drink from a bottle... I'm certain it's in an effort to make sure we are never separated for more than an hour ever again. 

We love you and can't express what a joy it is to watch you grow!
See Rio at:

Saturday, January 19, 2013


This is what my house looks like right now.

You know how I mentioned taking down Christmas and putting up Valentine's Day a couple weeks ago?

Never happened. Well, I did get some Valentine's stuff out... it just didn't go up.

We've been dealing with RSV and ear infections and all sorts of fun stuff instead.

So, just in case you're wondering. I'm not perfect and neither is my house. Like ever. Ha! You mean, you already knew that? Okay... whatev's. I thought I was doing a good job keeping it a secret until just now.
Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 18, 2013



There were never such devoted sisters.

With Eliana barely on the charts and Rio in the 78th percentile for height, I have a feeling these two will soon be sharing every little thing that they are wearing, too!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

4 Months

Rio-- you're four months! (Okay, almost 5 months now... I'm slow again.)

At four months, you: Met your first out-of-town family. Took a second road trip to Kansas City. Had your first cold. Rolled both ways. Had your first "fake Christmas." Weigh 14 lbs 2 oz and are 25 1/4 inches long. Managed to avoid a stomach flu that the rest of the family go... we are so thankful to God for that! Love to talk to your Mama and Papi! Watch everything your siblings do with great interest. Are a joy to watch grow! 

We love you so!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Home {Friday Favorites}

We've been at home a lot the past couple of weeks... we have a nasty bug that has been picking us off one by one. Our tree is mostly naked but still standing. I need to find the desire to take it down. But honestly am not finding a lot of energy to do so.

Laundry. I rock at it. I don't mind washing, drying, folding... if only someone else would come and put it in drawers and closets.

A couple of years ago I found a used-once-or-twice steamvac with an almost completely full gallon jug of cleaner. Best $20 I've ever spent. I am truly grateful I have one when faced with weeks of small children who don't yet have the vocabulary to (or the understanding they should) notify us that they're about to puke all over the couch or carpet. Again.

My home needs some loving from all this yuck that it's put up with this year... poor 2013 you're off to grotesque start. I need to kill the tree the rest of the way and put out some loving instead. And get myself out of this funk!

Hope you have a rockin' weekend!