2018 inventory

I believe the last time I wrote a yearly inventory post it was 2015, which boggles my mind a little but life has been happening! Especially this past year, 2018 has not only flown by (doesn’t every year?) but has been filled with so much LIVING. Looking back through my photos of the year was a good reminder of just how much we were able to pack into the last 12 months. This past year was a bit of a blur but going back and seeing all that we did reminded me that even though this year had it’s low moments, there were far more high points.

January

1_2018

We started the year on a somber note. My uncle passed away shortly after Christmas and his funeral was the first week of January. Funerals are an interesting mix of sad, frustrating, and heartbreaking, but also an opportunity to see family and friends once again that may not live near by. His funeral was a beautiful celebration of a life well lived and I was privileged to sing at his funeral mass. The next couple of weeks were spent recovering from holiday travel and getting back to our routines. I went to the bachelorette party of an old high school friend and towards the end of the month we got to celebrate her wedding!

February

2_2018

In February I checked a big accomplishment off of my annual goals and ran in my first race! I had been participating in a run training program with my bootcamp since December and as some one who always self proclaimed that I was never going to like running ever…I actually enjoyed the process of training for the race and there is nothing like the high you get post finishing! I personally dedicated my run to my uncle who was an avid runner and set a wonderful example of physical fitness. I also took a cooking class with my mom this month! It was a belated Christmas gift and such a fun experience together. We learned how to make kolaches and had some much needed mother-daughter time. Eric and I were able to sneak out for a fancy Valentine’s date to the opera thanks to the generosity of friends passing along their tickets. I also took my first SoulCycle class and was reminded how important it is to switch things up in my fitness routine from time to time. Last but not least, I submitted my first blog post with Dallas Moms Blog! Being a part of their contributor team has reinvigorated my passion for writing and sharing – not to mention the other women involved who are so fun to be around!

March

3_2018

We were able to attend the beautiful wedding of our friend and drummer from our church band, went to a super fun easter egg hunt playdate with friends, and we found our dream home by way of a friend’s recommendation. It was a whirlwind of a month filled with surprises and abundant prayers as we happened upon the home we hope to spend a very, very long time in. The rest of the month was filled with (unexpected) house buying things – meeting the sellers, inspections and all that jazz! The process getting into this home was so obviously guided by God – from our friend sending us the listing to meeting the sellers who were an absolute dream to work with – I can only give credit to Him for providing us with such an incredible place to live and painless experience getting here.

April

4_2018

Over the past couple of years a group of friends from high school and I have made it a point to get together once a month. Those girls nights have quickly become some of my favorite nights of the month and remind me how fortunate I am to have had such  long lasting friendships. My baby turned FOUR this month. It has been such a magical age to experience. She has really come into her own and while she challenges us daily – she is such a sweet, smart, interesting, and inquisitive soul that I am so lucky I get to parent. I was also able to witness one of my very best friends give it her all and try out for Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders! I am surrounded by inspiring people and she is a person who consistently puts herself out there to try new things and take new adventures.

May

5_2018.jpeg

This month was filled with Zoo trips, a super fun cinco de mayo celebration at church, and watching Madeline become the sweetest little bumble bee and perform in her first dance recital. I significantly chopped my hair in anticipation for another hot Texas summer and we celebrated Mother’s day with chips, queso, and mambo taxis. Genevieve turned TWO and we had a joint birthday party for the girls at the Perot museum. We ended the month by saying goodbye to some very wonderful friends and our band directors at church as they ventured off to the Philipines. This family has been in my life for 10+ years now. They have seen me go from high school teen, to college young adult, to a married woman with kids of my own. They have helped me through heart break and challenged my confidence in my singing talents and have always made me feel like a part of their family. To say they are missed is a vast understatement!

June

6_2018

Well this month was exceptionally special because on June 2nd we found out we were PREGNANT! I knew something was up when I started freaking out about a messed up ice cream recipe and then cried at a Maroon 5 music video. Two pregnancy tests later, and it was confirmed I was not crazy – just super hormonal. The rest of the month was spent telling close family and friends about this new pregnancy. We then took a vacation and  traveled to the beach with family and enjoyed the Texas coast and sweet sunshine. We rounded out the month with a hefty case of all day morning sickness/nausea and the girls and I participating in our first VBS at church!

July

7_2018

Moving month! It was pretty crazy to be first trimester pregnant and moving in one of the hottest months of the year… but we did it! And most definitely not alone – we had a lot of family and friends help us out to make that move successful. We also dove headfirst into swim lessons and announced our pregnancy to the world. We took many a summer camp at home adventure and kept up with our monthly supper club dinners with friends.

August

8_2018

We celebrated 6 years of marriage and I was finally feeling well enough to stomach a delicious dinner out. We continued on with our summer camp at home adventures and unpacked boxes upon boxes. Later in the month we found out we would be having a BOY come February and I think we are all still in a little shock about that. The rest of the month we swam, splashed, and lived for Grammie days (or at least I did). We also went to the new Crayola experience and had a BLAST!

September

9_2018

The first weekend in September we went to Great Wolf Lodge, just our little family, as a fun send off to summer and we ALL had a blast. School started this month, Madeline began taking gymnastics, and my appetite for a greater range of food returned! At the end of the month we experienced our first real moment of homeownership in our new house when the air conditioner went out. We also snuck in a quick weekend away to Ft. Worth to see Ben Folds perform with the Ft. Worth symphony – something that has been on our bucket list as a couple since college! The month was rounded out with trips to the zoo and Perot museum, going to my first Dallas Moms Blog event as a contributor – a happy hour at Savor Gastropub at Klyde Warren Park, and a fun family day trip to the Heard Museum to see the dinosaur exhibit.

October

10_2018

October kicked off with neighbor fun by going to our street’s National Night Out gathering. So many kiddos, games, and delicious food! Our school busted out their annual pumpkin patch which made school drop off feel extra festive. Madeline and I went to her first of many pre-kindergarten events to check out our local elementary school and it gave me all the feels. I cannot believe that she is going to be ready for kindergarten in less than a year, not entirely sure where my baby has gone. At the end of the month we went to our parish school’s trunk or treat, hosted a housewarming for our new home, and we were lucky enough to have our friend Father Michael come and bless our new space. We were also able to sneak out for a halloween party date night at my friend Beth’s house and we went to Huffines art festival and the Pacesetter Bazaar – two of my absolute favorite places to visit local artisans during the year. It wouldn’t be an October post without mentioning Halloween – the girls dressed up as Owlette, Catboy, and Eric won dad of the year by joining them as Gecko. This was the first year where BOTH girls really understood the glory that is Halloween candy and it was pretty fantastic to see them trick or treat together. We also upgraded to van life in anticipation of baby brother joining us in February.

November

11_2018

The month began by hosting my first of I’m sure many showers in this house – a sweet little sip-and-see for my friend Sarah and her new baby. It was such a sweet morning filled with mimosas, brunch treats, and the best cake ever. The month continued on with birthday parties, baby showers, and playdates. October was such a rainy month so any time the sun was out – we were out with it! We went down to New Orleans for Thanksgiving this year and it was such a wonderful time filled with family and adventures. We went to the Aquarium, children’s museum, and Zoo lights. I think the drive down was one of our best drives yet with the girls, on the way back to Dallas we learned a valuable parenting lesson – always have plastic bags near carseats or the front seat just in case anyone gets car sick.

December

12_2018

December was a WHIRLWIND! We decorated the house for Christmas (by we I mean Eric), put up the Christmas tree, and celebrated St. Nicholas Day with stockings and small gifts. We had playdates with friends and we surprised the girls with a fun family outing by going to see ICE! at the Gaylord. They loved the Rudolph theme and had a lot of fun right up until the end – when Genevieve decided the cold was NOT for her. I was able to sneak out for a brunch with some friends from my Core team member days – it was a lovely morning eating good food and talking with wonderful women. We went to Richardson’s Santa’s Village with our friends Juliet and Amelia and while it’s fun sharing a tradition that I grew up with – I’ll be honest in saying the lines are not my favorite thing. I delved into the Blessed is She Advent study journal for my own personal reflection this season and we had our annual supper club ornament exchange and decorated cookies with our kiddos. I celebrated my 30th birthday with one of my best friends, Eric went on his annual silent retreat, and I saw Phantom of the Opera courtesy of Dallas Summer Musicals and Dallas Moms Blog. We celebrated Christmas in Dallas this year. Christmas day was wonderful and the girls were surprisingly gracious and patient while opening presents. The week between Christmas and New Years was spent just relaxing at home as a family. I spent some time goal setting through my third set of PowerSheets and we closed out 2018 with our annual tradition of having a low key night at home – ringing in the new year eating appetizers, drinking champagne, and playing board games.

2018, you were filled to the absolute brim. I am looking forward to 2019 still being busy, but hopefully slower paced in many ways. This next year holds a lot of change and transition for our family but I know that we will be better for it in the long run. Here’s to a new year and all of the magical possibilities that it holds!

Advertisements

3 years

1011900_1870233965795_798441513_n

This summer we have been fortunate enough to celebrate weddings and new marriages of family and close friends. I don’t think I am alone in loving a good wedding celebration. It reminds me of our wedding and fills me with all of the warm, fuzzy, butterfly feelings that I tend to have when thinking back on the day that started our journey down this exciting, unpredictable road called marriage.

1044931_1870283647037_1471045347_n

I remember before we were married, before we were engaged – seeing married couples at weddings and wondering what they could be thinking about. Watching them sway back and forth on the dance floor and stare lovingly into each others eyes. It always filled my heart to the brim with emotion. I wanted to be married one day and I wanted to be one of those couples on the dance floor, so in love with each other. While I am still practically a newlywed and my wealth of marital wisdom is relatively low – I think I am starting to realize that the looks those couples were giving each other were more so out of appreciation, admiration, and respect that any lovey-dovey-emotionally-fueled-feelings that I was probably experiencing as an onlooker.

Honestly, this third year of marriage has been by far the most challenging. New jobs, new roles, new home, parenting, growing, moving… so needless to say the past 365 days weren’t without stress or moments of anxiety. Something else the past year wasn’t lacking was a partner to weather the storm. Solid, unwavering, supportive, true. Sometimes I just can’t believe that my husband has continued to love me through it all.

1010241_1870280926969_325426775_n

So much life has happened since August 4, 2012 and I hate to sound cliche but I really didn’t realize just how fast the years would fly. I wonder if I will feel the same way when we hit twenty or thirty years of marriage. I secretly hope that the feeling of “it was just yesterday that we were dancing at our wedding reception!” will permeate through those years. I never really want that newness, or shocking realization that we hit another anniversary to go away – I always want to be surprised that even though our wedding may have been a while ago…it still feels like it has been a relatively short amount of time.

Anyway, I’m rambling. I just can’t believe that I’m living this vocation. That God has provided for us in so many ways and continues to work through our marriage. I can’t believe that we are making it, that we are really living this good life and I’m just so grateful to be in this sacrament with such a truly fantastic person.

969851_1870357248877_131672359_n

I think C.S. Lewis does a much better job at constructing the thoughts I am trying to convey here in this post so I will end with this, it is one of my favorite quotes about love and marriage:

“Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. Now no feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all. Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last but feelings come and go. And in fact, whatever people say, the state called ‘being in love’ usually does not last. If the old fairy-tale ending ‘They lived happily ever after’ is taken to mean ‘They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married,’ then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships? But, of course, ceasing to be ‘in love’ need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense — love as distinct from ‘being in love’ — is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be ‘in love’ with someone else. ‘Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. it is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.”

I love you, Eric Martin. Thank you for choosing to love me. Happy Anniversary!

1001470_1870312007746_212316437_n

2nd anniversary post

Right after we got married! 

FAMILY | mother’s day 2015

10271537_2090021420344_2872777984394356476_n

Happy Monday y’all + a happy belated mother’s day to those who were celebrating the holiday yesterday. I have always loved this special day and a few years ago I even wrote a post about my feelings on this special day as an unmarried, childless person (if you want to take a peek click here). I vaguely remember writing a post last year about my first mother’s day but I think it was lost somewhere in the shuffle between sleep deprivation, hormonal mood swings that rivaled that of a 13 year old girl and always having a newborn attached to my person.

This year’s celebration was absolutely wonderful. I felt pretty celebrated the whole weekend and the best part was that we didn’t really do anything extravagant. For the most part it was a relatively normal weekend. We even had mother’s day brunch at our house instead of out because my brother-in-law and his family were coming over and two little ones were easier to entertain among the masses of baby toys at our house. I was able to sneak away for a couple of hours and enjoy some time with one of my best friends while getting my nails done and enjoying an iced green tea and then my husband + sweet girl surprised me with my own kindle for mother’s day! (Now I won’t be keeping my husband awake at night while reading on the iPad.;) The best gift though really was just feeling appreciated in the day to day this weekend. I have been in a bit of a funk lately and the past two days really rejuvenated my soul in so many ways.

1613912_2090024900431_1742479602811510668_n

Yesterday I posted a photo on Instagram from the night Madeline was born. It was our first family picture and far by my favorite from the night. After so many hours of labor, so much pushing, so many scary new-mom-never-having-gone-through-labor moments I was so relieved to have my girl with us when I honestly didn’t think I was strong enough to get her here. I remember crying so hard with my husband after that final push because I did it! I actually did it! And I don’t think either one of us could really believe it. It reminded me of when I found out I was pregnant and I really couldn’t believe that there was a tiny little person starting to form right inside me and I had so many doubts that I would really be able to handle pregnancy and becoming a mom. Along with that picture I posted I found a quote that really encapsulated my unbelief of this whole motherhood gig, “The biggest surprise, which is also the best, is that I didn’t know I would love motherhood as much as I do.” – Deborah Norville

I need to have that quote printed in big bold letters on days that are tough and trying and down right exhausting.

Being completely and totally cliche here: I just never realized how life changing being a mom would be. I remember being so self conscious last year about my ever expanding belly and whether or not I was going to go back to work. When I decided to stay home (and eventually choose to work part time) I didn’t really know how to identify myself anymore. I wasn’t a teacher, I wasn’t working towards anything in that field, I was just a mom…but what did that mean? And I found out that along with the surprise that was being pregnant, and the surprise that was labor and delivery, it meant that I would need to surprise myself and challenge myself in ways that I never thought I would. It meant that I would lose a part of myself to gain a kind of love that only the grace of God could supply in my heart. It meant that I would sacrifice things that I worked hard for on my own so that another little person could thrive in our home. It meant surrendering all to His will and not my own. 10347082_2270901622236_7616151671525193603_n (1)

His will and not my own.

Words I have prayed over and over again, but not until now have I really realized that I am doing that thing.

Doing that thing, that motherhood thing, and really truly loving it.

Motherhood really has been the best surprise and I thank God for that blessing in my life, but really the best blessing of all was how much I love being a mom and caring for someone more than myself to give her the best life.

I hope you all had a lovely day filled with sloppy baby kisses, phone calls to your own mom, or just a celebration of life in general.

003 | inventory

Making: messes every day with this TODDLER we have running around our house. This girl started legitimately walking the week of her birthday and has not slowed down since. We are also trying out and making a bunch of recipes from this blog. Tonight we both had kale + cream cheese quesadillas and sweet potato fries. Amy recently posted some similar quesadillas on her IG account and some carrot fries. If you are looking for inspiration on what to feed your toddler – check her out!

Drinking: coffee + good beer + not enough water. I was doing so great and bought a new water bottle…that instant motivation of putting a new shiny water bottle in your shopping cart at Target! Hoping to get back on track this week. As for beer… are you on Untappd? My husband and I are both craft beer drinking fiends so if you’re on there and want to connect you can find me here. (:
IMG_2406ReadingLove Does for a book study, borrowing Jennifer Fulwiler’s Something Other Than God, Real Simple Magazine, Parents Magazine, and (shamefully) reading Sean Lowe’s book For The Right Reasons (it’s only because we are in Bachelor off season! Promise!). As for little books, we have been frequenting our local library weekly. The children’s section there is so awesome and laid back and they have the biggest selection of board books I have ever seen! We were also gifted lots of new fun stories for M’s recent birthday celebration and have been working our way through those. Some of our favorites right now are: Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs!, I’m Not Scared!, and LMNO Peas.

Wanting: for things to slow down a bit. The past few weeks, or rather weekends, have been pretty crazy and I wouldn’t mind having some time to catch up on somethings or just relax. I’ve also been wanting to start on some creative projects but I’m just not sure what to do yet. Hopefully inspiration with strike and I can get moving on some things!

IMG_2376

Listening: I would have to say that my top 3 favorite podcasts at the moment are: This Inspired Life, The Girl Next Door, and One Bad Mother. Obviously, more intended for females if not moms. Spotify playlist I’ve been loving right now: Feelin’ Good. Putting that playlist on, on a Saturday/Sunday morning and making some pancakes while sipping coffee = pretty much perfect right now.

Eating: a solid rotation of dinner recipes and snacking a bunch during the day. I know I have posted about Dinner A Love Story before but their cookbooks are seriously the two most often looked at books in my collection. They have such solid, easy, delicious recipes and I have yet to find one that I don’t like. We also ventured to a local farmers market that opens up on Saturdays near our new house. We picked up the most gorgeous, fresh strawberries and peppers I have ever seen. We also grabbed a pound of grass-fed beef and some homemade pasta for dinner later on this week. I can already tell it’s going to be amazing.

Smelling: this delicious new candle I just got. I picked it up on a whim thinking I might like the fresh scent for spring/summer and I need to go back and get a larger size. It is such a good scent and isn’t overly floral or sweet like some summer-y scented candles. Highly recommend! I have also been smelling this awesome beard balm on my husband’s beard a lot lately. A good friend of ours has started making it and when he was down for a visit a couple of months ago he gave Eric the Chrism scented version. So. Good.

IMG_2369

Enjoying: nap time, walks through our new neighborhood, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, gorgeous weather, a somewhat settled into home (we still have yet to hang much on the walls – but all the boxed are unpacked!), thinking about the future, spending time with friends, planning upcoming weddings, day dreaming about upcoming vacations, going to functions with my handsome husband, my Erin Condren planner, and new fresh feeds to follow on Instagram. (:

Loving: this season in life right now. We are finally past all of the intensity that was buying a house and we are settling in so nicely. Like I said, while we have yet to make commitments on where to hang art work in our home, we have unpacked all of our boxes and have cozied on up in our humble abode. We were able to get some yard work done last weekend and we felt like SUCH homeowners. Making trips to home depot, mulching garden beds. This is the life, people!

Hoping: For some clear direction soon. I blogged about feeling a bit lost/distracted lately and have yet to really hone in on some solid direction. I feel like I’m doing everything I need to be doing right now and what I really should be praying for is the confidence to know that what I AM doing is right.

Feeling: content, tired, happy, healthy, strong, and loved. All really great feelings to be feeling right now.

Wearing: Well Saturday night I was wearing a fancy dress because Eric and I were invited to go to the Bishop’s 22nd Annual Pro-Life Dinner/Gala! It was so snazzy and I think we both cleaned up really well. But as for the rest of the week? Back to the daily grind of alternating between work out clothes, jeans, and my school t-shirts that I wear on work days! Oh the glamour!

IMG_2379Noticing: Currently? That my contacts are driving me nuts. In general? That life is crazy right now. Not just for us but for so many of our friend’s that we haven’t been able to see lately.
Bookmarking: some breakfast recipes on Pinterest and pretty much everything that was in the 15th Anniversary Edition of Real Simple Magazine – everything I found in there was pure gold!