Tuesday, November 5, 2013

surpassing worth

Every day, whether we perceive it to be a "good" or "bad" day, is controlled by a powerful God.  In trials or on days when I seem to be doing good, God is perfect. Comforting? Absolutely. Do I believe this? Most days, it's tough.

It's very easy for me to doubt God's hand in things, especially if something I love is at risk. Comfort. Loved ones. Time. Pride. Sleep. Health. Control.

Me: When you whine and argue with mommy, it's disrespectful and it doesn't show me or God that you're being grateful. You weren't being patient when I was trying to help brother.  Mommy doesn't have patience sometimes and I did get upset with you earlier….     

Mae: Yeah. Mommy, listen, you need to have self-control.  

Self-control. Check. Thank you Holy Spirit.

Little things like this show me the importance of being real and honest in front of our kids.  Do we lay down the earthly things we love for the sake of knowing Christ? Control over my health is a big one for me.

I recently read over John 9 again and was reminded of God's power when he gives sight to a blind man. Jesus says, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him." It's difficult to be joyful or understanding with health at times, but I should trust that God is molding me more into his character. It's hard to be humble in front of our kids when I mess up, but I should trust that they will see grace and forgiveness through Christ.  

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  Philippians 3:7-8

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  Hebrews 4:15-16

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Princess Sofia

"Grandma is sending me a Princess Sofia doll because I stopped sucking on my finger."

::cue Hallelujah chorus::

You might not be able to tell, but this little gal's teeth are straighter.  It's unbelievable how quickly her teeth adjusted after a month of not putting her finger in her mouth! Since she was a wee baby, she has sucked on her index finger, and she has the callous to prove it.  We were shocked (and thankful) to see her give it up so easily.  It would have been okay if she wasn't quite ready to give up that comfort, but we felt like it was time to at least try moving her in that direction. 

With the help of Thumprincess bandaids, pediatrician advice and motivation from family members and princesses, Maevri slowly started to notice the finger sucking.  "Dr. Vanessa said to not suck on my finger any more. It's not good for my teeth too. When am I getting my Sofia doll?"

Got to love the little accomplishments. Way to go Mae!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Toddlers + Activities = Fun

Being at home with the kiddos has challenged me to be on the look-out for quick, easy and entertaining activities, whether it be at Wal-mart or in our own closet. Here are a few that our kids have enjoyed. A couple of these activities could be moved inside too once the cold weather kicks in.

Treasure Hunt
Lately the kids have been fascinated with coins. We bought the kids their own piggy banks to start collecting change that they find. Towards the end of the month, they can buy a treat with their saved money. (Since the change is mostly pennies, we just use our handy debit cards for treats and recycle the change. We'd be hated by many ice cream servers if we dished out pennies...)

My grandma gave the kids a bag of change that she had been collecting, so we've been using this for our treasure hunts.  Once in a while, i'll take change and "hide" it around the living room in piles for the kids to collect. If it wasn't obvious, the game would last hours. And hours.




Macaroni Box
The first time I took this out, Deacon played with it for 45 minutes. Forty-five minutes. Our rambunctious boy rarely keeps still for that long.

We took toys around the house and threw them in the macaroni for the kids to dig up with their bowls and spoons.








Window Paint
These can be put onto table tops too, but it was a little easier for the kids to see their art against the window.

We squirted a couple different colors into a gallon-sized ziploc bag, and stuck it to the door with contact paper. I taped the bags up first to make it easier.

It is spill-proof, but you will probably want to take it down after a day or two anyways. We left ours up for too long and the heat thinned/melted the paint.


Puzzles, Puzzles, Puzzles
Who doesn't like a good puzzle?

Well, I didn't like one.
Suggestion: Don't buy those kid lenticular, 3D puzzles that change images when turned at a different angle. They look fun, but it's a headache waiting to happen.









Birdhouse Decorating
We found good deals on birdhouses and paint supplies at good ol' Hobby Lobby. Use their 40% weekly coupon and it's even cheaper.












Happy playing!
Have any suggestions for an easy, at-home activity? What have you found that your kiddos enjoy doing?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Two

Happy Birthday Booger Bear!

It seems like just yesterday when our goober had his first birthday.

You know it, but i'll say it anyways. Time flies.

This season in the Narcomey abode has been a fun one because we've been able to watch Deacon grow, talk, and interact with his sister and those around him more and more. Parents, you know that (those) phase(s) of childhood where it's really hard to understand your kiddo, mostly because they aren't communicating much yet and you're just trying to figure out what your kiddo likes?  I guess it's been a fun season because Deacon has been talking a lot and we are learning more about what he likes (and dislikes).  It's nice to ask what he wants or why he's upset and get a verbal response. Really nice.

Deac, these are some funny things you do and say:

You absolutely love playing with tea sets. You'll ask "tea? tea?!" to play with it. We plan on getting you a neutral colored tea set next week for your birthday. You need a manly tea pot...

You could easily drink chocolate milk all day: it's the first thing you ask for in the morning.

You had a first last month: a trip to the ER. You were a champ and didn't cry for too long after falling off of the bed and hitting your head on the rocking chair. Four stitches. This is why we don't jump on beds. Just saying...



You love planes. You'll yell "pain! pain! see!" when you spot one in the sky.

You like doing starfall with your "sissy" on the computer. You're starting to learn your ABCs and you say "ABCs!" when you see letters anywhere.

You jump high off of things and land on both feet with no trouble. None.

After time-outs, we like to give you hugs and kisses to show there aren't any hard feelings. Sometimes, before we're even done explaining why you're in time out, you will stand up to give us hugs and kisses. Sometimes, we're suckers for it and break. So much for disciplining you.


At bed time you say, "I pay (pray), Mae pay, Daddy pay, Mommy pay."

Little, rambunctious boy, you've been a blessing to raise.


Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility 
count others more significant than yourselves. 

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, 
but also to the interests of others.

Philippians 2:3-4 


Thursday, August 15, 2013

John Nine

"If this man were not from God, he could do nothing."

A blind man who was given sight from Jesus told some Pharisees and Jewish leaders this after they asked him how he could see after a lifetime of being blind.  The man told the Pharisees over and over how Jesus had made him see: "The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.”

It was hard for the blind man to accept anything less from an all-powerful God.  How could his healing not be from God above? Who else would be able to give him sight?

But the Pharisees still did not understand.  The Pharisees said they did not know where Jesus came from. The man almost laughed and says, "Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes." When the man's parents were asked about his blindness, they replied, "Ask him; he is of age." They could see how their son was healed, but fearful of the Pharisees,  they denied Christ's role in it.

Before Jesus gave the man sight, his disciples asked him why the man was born blind. They assumed that his blindness had been brought on my his or his parents' sins.  But Jesus replied, "It was not that this man has sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him."

Jesus knew he would heal that man one day.  He healed (and heals) to show his power.

It's amazing to see the change in the blind man's heart after being healed.  Imagine being blind your whole life and then being able to see all of a sudden.  Not only was he joyful, but he recognized this gift from Jesus. He explains Jesus' healing in a simple, yet wise way.  Jesus gave him the wisdom and courage to speak to the Pharisees as they questioned him.  No one would dare speak out against the Pharisees for fear of being thrown out of the synagogue, but this man boldly proclaimed God's work in him.  The Pharisees eventually kicked him out, even though he spoke the truth plainly.

I love how Jesus seeks the man after hearing that he had been cast out and the blind man is fully able to believe and worship God after he is sought out.  It's a perfect picture of redemption and healing of the body and heart.  Not all will be (physically) healed in this world, but that does not reflect a lack of power or love from God.  We still live in a broken world, yet we are able to take joy in the God of salvation and rest in his promises, when the world gives us nothing.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Three

Our little gal is three (going on thirteen). Whenever we asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she replied "A cupcake!" Every time. It was only after Tod asked her if she wanted a pony that her reply changed to "A pony!"

It's been a joy to watch her grow.  She loves playing with her little brother, Deacon, and it's funny to watch her teach him things too.  A funny thing she does now is translate for him. He'll jabber on and Mae will say, "I think he wants hot chocolate?" Nice try sister.

I'm so thankful for Mae and the smart little gal that she is.  As parents, we're reminded to always 'be on our toes' and seek God continually for discernment in raising our little ones. And what a reward it is.

(Read Mae's birth story here.)

Happy Birthday Mae baby!


Quotes of the Day:

::Mae waking Tod up to go get donuts::
"You're not awake. You got to get up because I can't drive. I'm too little."

::Mae talking in jibberish::
Tod: That doesn't make any sense.
Mae: Why don't you have any cents?
Mae to me: Mommy, can you go get daddy some cents? They're on his dresser.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Deacon of the Week

Our booger bear will be two in September.  He's about 20 months now.  My oh my, how time flies.  With Deacon being our second kiddo, I find it hard to jot down new things that he does or says.  I imagine it will be a bit crazier with more kiddos, but chasing him around the house and shooing him away from fragile things has recently replaced jotting down some memories of him growing up ;)

I hear mumbling in the car sometimes and I think it's Mae, but it's really Deacon pointing and talking about things.  I take for granted this fast time of learning for him.  He's not our little baby anymore!

It's really fun to see how different he is from his sister though.  He's a wild man, but Mae was pretty mellow at his age. At times, I wondered (and worried) about what we did differently.  When he screams at the very top of his lungs for something and runs around non-stop, I like to think it's the testosterone?  He really does have his own way of communicating and he's still learning. I need to remember that most days. 

Some Deac vocab...

Dada, Mama, Ma (Mae)
Nana (banana)
Wawa (H2O)
Peace (please)
bye-bye
all done
ba (boy)
apple
whoa!

He knows some animals and we all know what lions, tigers, and bears say.  Rawr is heard a lot around this house...

When we ask him to sing a song, he makes a spider with his hands to start climbing up the water spout...

He loves to wrestle and play hide-and-seek.  He'll close himself in our closet and laugh really hard when he pops out.

He rarely refuses food and will sway you any day with his sweet smile.  That kid...


He looks every bit like his handsome daddy too ;)


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Diet Starts Monday

I wrote back in the day about our diet ventures.  With traveling, holidays, and a busy schedule, we've swayed a bit from where we'd like to be with our eats.  It's hard, isn't it?

We want to be more faithful with how we eat, and we're excited to work on 'greening up' our grub choices. 

Some treats that we've tried and have enjoyed:

Roasted Cabbage
Crispy Brussels Sprouts
Tomato-Basil Soup

The kids have liked:

Dessert Quesadillas
Egg Cups

We haven't been as strict with the kiddos about eating only veggies or 'healthy' food, but we do ask that they eat their portion of veggies if we have it for dinner.  We hope they'll grow to like certain foods more.  Any healthy eats your kiddos have liked?

I'm slowly building up our "Make Again Meals" board on Pinterest if you care to follow along or swap meal ideas!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

And the winner is...

A long while back, I started up the great mug exchange.

Check out the lovely gals that participated!

Christy from always me with you.
Brittany from bee little queen.
Jenn from deliberate wanderer.
Emily from life as a rodriguez.
Kelley from the houtz house party.

Thank you ladies for sharing your mug shots and stories.  I'm looking forward to our mug exchanges!

And the winner of the great MUG exchange....
and proud owner of an Amazon gift card is....

Christy! Congrats to you pretty lady!  

Monday, May 6, 2013

You did it!

"You did it! I'm so proud of you! You're such a big girl!" ::clapping::

Maevri shouts this to me while I'm in the bathroom.

That might be too much information, but we sometimes have an open-door policy in our house.  Even if the bathroom door is closed, our little ones find ways to get in don't they?

Over the last month, Mae has heard a lot of potty cheers and songs, so I guess she feels like everyone needs a little moral support sometimes while using the facilities.  'Tis true, but we are really happy that our little gal is potty trained now ::hallelujah chorus::.

I traveled over Spring Break, so I got to catch up on some potty training reads.  We had been 'practicing' using the potty with Mae over the last few months on and off.  By 'on and off,' I mean that we would try it out one day every few weeks just to see where she was at.  I was a little discouraged (and not motivated) with training, but probably should not have been since we hadn't even tried the hardcore, go big or go home training yet.  I remember praying on the plane ride home, "I'm not too sure where to go next with this potty business, but I pray that she understands it quickly and recognizes the need for a toilet.  I'm nervous about the energy and patience that's needed to start this venture." (And that was paraphrased...)

God cares about the 'littlest' of things. 

After getting home from my trip, Mae told me that she had to use the restroom.  "Say what?? OK!" was my shocked reply.  We ran to the bathroom and she pooped in the potty. What do we doWe call daddy and the grandparents of course.  We also head to Costco to buy that 10-pack of Disney Princess panties.  It's a big day

We've had a few accidents since then, but we're super thankful she has recognized the need for a toilet ;)

I think gradually reminding her over the months about potties and panties helped in the process.  Reading books and having Dora and Tinkerbell panties reminded her about a big milestone coming up too.  She didn't really just get it one day, but it took time.  It seemed to us like she did though, because it was a big surprise.

Next up: Deacon. Yikes.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

new kids on the block

It will be almost three months since we moved into our new house.  There are still minor cosmetic things we'd like to do and there may be a few unpacked boxes lying around, but it is definitely feeling more like home each day.  Before buying the house, we were able to get some good time with the former builders and owners of the home.  They showed us the ropes and gave us the low-down on the home; they really made it their own.  It was a sweet time and we know they miss this house.  (It was the first house built on the block in the 60s. The wood paneling might be a clue...) We think the wooden beams and 'vintage' light fixtures are pretty sweet though.

Our dining/office room.  We finally put up a shelf.  It really makes it feel more like home...














 We have a hallway! It's the little things.
Kid's/guest bathroom. Dora potty seats are the new fad.
 Mae Mae's Room.















Deac's Room.
Front craft/reading/play/sitting? room ;)
One of those minor cosmetic changes I'd like to do. It's a flower bed. Literally. I call it a giant litter box.

Mae grabbed dirt out of it to throw, but that wasn't the only thing she grabbed...
Backyard fun.
We really enjoy our home and we love making it our own.  It's fun to look back at house hunting and see God's provision through it all.  We loved working with our realtor (shout out to Will Wright) and after a long while looking, we decided to put an offer on this house.  It was actually one of the first houses that we saw online, but I remember saying, "It's kind of dated and 'meh.' Lots of wood. Let's keep looking." Little did we know, it would be our new casa. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Say Queso

We've been keeping busy.  My, oh my, time flies.  Here's our fam's past month.  I get a little crazy with my camera phone, so here it is....

in pictures.

We spent a week in Turkey visiting some dear friends and loving on their baby boy. 
















Baby Asher.






















Tod and I turned 28. We laughed, we cried.
















 We caught up with good friends.
 
















And we ate pie. Three Four words: Black Rooster Bakery. Yum.









The kids danced. This happens more often than not...























 Easter.
 Egg hunts and lots of candy.





















 
Spent a week in Oklahoma visiting family. The kids didn't mind at all running around.


Tod and I celebrated our anniversary and had a weekend out on the town.
We frequent the zoo like it's going out of style.














The End.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Mug Shot # 5

Meet Jenn.  

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Tygre and I met through my roommate and Tygre's best friend, Jenny. We have bonded over our mutual love for Jesus, the nations, and all things awkward. I just recently started a blog that chronicles the lessons I am learning as I learn to stay in one place and wait for His timing for the next step.  You can go check out my thoughts on my tendency to wander and my poem about the love of God that leaves me breathless sometimes. Stop by my little piece of the internet and say hello! I would love to connect.


Chances are you and I don’t really know each other that well.  So, I’m just going to go ahead and get real with you.  I have a problem with trying to redefine guidelines to make them my own.  I’m just like so many others my age that are trying desperately to go against the grain.  I just have this giant (sometimes completely ridiculous) fear of being cliché.  It’s not that I am especially ‘hipster’ or even ‘hip’, but I innately want to do things differently than everyone else.  On the contrary, I am also a person that cares WAY too much about what others think of me.  So, I am riding the fine line between ‘different’ and ‘too different’; if that makes any sense at all. 
Hopefully I haven’t lost you.  
 
When Tygre told me about ‘the great mug exchange,’ I immediately thought about how I don’t really own a lot of mugs.  But, I thought a lot more about how I didn’t want to follow the guidelines she had given me (sorry Tygre!). 

Let me explain myself.  I don’t own a lot of mugs because I haven’t really been a coffee drinker for that long.  In college my best friends tried desperately (with no success) to get me to become a coffee drinker because we spent countless hours pouring our hearts out in local coffee shops.  They thought it their duty to teach me the differences in dark and light blends. To me, it all tasted the same: disgusting.  So, for years I drank tons of chai tea. Recently I have developed a love for iced coffee, but I tend to drink it from a tall glass with a straw.  Thus, my mug collection is seriously lacking.

So, you can understand my frustration when Tygre approached me with this challenge.  It’s not that I didn’t want to do it, but I couldn’t really think of a coffee cup that really expressed me. 

Therefore, in the spirit of trying to be differently/having no real attachment to any of my cups, I give you my ‘mug shot’….. 
This is my passport picture. I wish I was joking. And, let me tell you how I have come to own one of the scariest photos of myself I have ever seen.
I have always had small eyes. It’s something that I used to hate in elementary and middle school because kids are cruel. Then, in high school it annoyed me cause people thought I was high.  Though I have been made fun of for years I’ve come to really appreciate the distinctive trait and even laugh about the questions people ask me about my vision (yes, I can see fine!)

When I was applying for my passport in college I took my information to the public notary to get it signed and sent off.  But, much to my surprise, she told me that my passport pictures are not sufficient enough because “they couldn’t see the color of my eyes” and “all government documents require that to be shown clearly”.  Now this was a first! She told me that I would have to go back to wal-greens and pay for new photos to be taken where I was not smiling so that they could see the color of my eyes and be able to identify me. 

So, now I have a passport picture that might possibly be mistaken for a ‘mug shot’ under any other circumstances. And… a good story every time I go through any immigration/security check in airports!

Honestly, I chose to share this story because my passport represents so much to me.  Beyond my love for travel and experience, the stamps in the tiny book remind me of the obedience that God has called me to.  He has asked me to follow Him to so many new and different places, and I am grateful for the adventures.  Mostly, though, I am grateful that He would choose to use me.  Like my passport picture, my heart is cruel and harsh, but He continues to soften it and make it new. He makes me want to travel all over to tell people of His love and kindness.  For His Kingdom’s advancement I will gladly carry what may be the worst picture I own!

And (just to meet the requirements) here is a picture of me enjoying a chai tea over breakfast and good conversation with a good friend.  See I do like to smile! J

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Thanks Jen for sharing your 'mug' story! I'm so grateful for this pretty lady and I've enjoyed getting to know her over these last couple of years; her heart for the Lord is admirable. Go and meet her!  

Check out the great mug exchange if you'd like to join!

Jenn, I will be purchasing you a mug this coming week, fyi. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

More than a man...

When I started this blog, my desire was to be a witness to God's constant goodness and faithfulness.  I'm a big sinner. I'm thankful for the daily grace I get: undeserving grace.  It's hard remembering that I receive grace daily too.

So, who is God and what's the point of knowing his character?

"Well, you know, nowhere in the bible does it say that Jesus is actually God."

A lady recently said this to me after I asked her about Jesus.  I know she had different beliefs (and a different bible translation), but it was still discouraging to hear.

Something that radiates from and defines my understanding and joy of God is the person (and the deity) of Christ.  I think to know Jesus is to know God himself.  I understand that many people don't think Jesus was all that important or even believe in God.  The Trinity is always a hard concept to understand too, but I really wanted to share some spots in the bible that show the person of Christ.  (If you don't hold the belief that Jesus is God, I hope that you would read more about it and joyfully see more of God's infinitely, perfect character.)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.  
John 1:1, 14 
Jesus is God in the flesh.

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” John 8:56-59 
Jesus, being divine, could say that he existed before Abraham, for an eternity ('I am'). The Jews tried to stone him because he said he was God.  They considered this to be blasphemous.  

Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death. John 8:51
Keeping the Word would mean believing and trusting that he and the Father were one

I and the Father are one.  Know that the Father is in me, and I in the Father. Again they sought to arrest him… 
John 10:30
The Jews started to pick up rocks to start stoning him again because he was a man who said he was God.

And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.  
John 17:2-5
In Isaiah 42:8 and Isaiah 48:11, God declares that he would share his glory with no one.  It would only make sense and be acceptable if he were “sharing” the glory with himself (Jesus).

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.” Acts 20:28
Whose blood was shed in redeeming us? Jesus Christ’s blood. God purchased the church with his own blood. He means that he and Christ are of the same “person”.

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. Hebrews 1:3-4

Christ lives and is at the right hand of God.  He was able to defeat death when he rose again.  I believe God alone defeats death and Christ could defeat death because he was God.   

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.  By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.  1 Peter 2:24-25

I can rest in my redemption because it was a gift; nothing I do (or don’t do) will justify my redemption.  Romans 3:23-26 reminds me that I fall short of the glory of God. In Christ’s death and resurrection, in his divine forbearance, he passed over my former sins. 
 
I can rest in who Jesus said he was, because Jesus said he was God.  If God is for us, who can be against us?

(Mini) Mug Shot

Meet Kelly, also known as Mrs. Houtz.
I met this lovely lady about a hear ago when I started exploring the blogging world.  This momma of four writes over at The Houtz House Party.  She was an encouragement to me in the way she spurred me on to write about my life as a wife and mommy.  I admire her joyful attitude and the initiative she takes to encourage others and pursue more 'long distance' relationships, amidst a busy life. 

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Ok, here is my mugshot!  
This was taken for a "photoshoot" for the weekly #CopyCatCloset linkup over at Ma Nouvelle Mode. I LOVE THIS linkup because it gives me great fashion ideas that I am in DESPERATE need of!

Here are a couple of posts to check out!  :)
Speed Date in a Post and 2012 Year in Review

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Be sure to check out Kelly's blog and leave her some love.  It's not too late to join in on the great mug exchange. Check out details here.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Mug Shot # 3

Meet Emily.

I met this lovely lady in the summer of 2004 at Project Impact: Chicago (Holler!).  She was always a joy to be around and I think I laughed almost every time I was in her presence, aside from those 'serious' conferences we had to learn from, you know.  Her desire to learn and her joyful attitude are admirable and she challenges me to continually be joyful in the Lord, amidst this craziness we call life.


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My name is Emily and I live in the wonderful city of Austin, Texas with my rad husband, Daniel. We just celebrated our second anniversary of marriage at a tiny Chinese dive in South Austin. Our two years together have been nothing short of an adventure and I can not wait to see what the next 50+ hold!

I started blogging back in 2002, off of a friend's website called, Somewhere Quiet. I immediately fell in love with this new way to connect with people, and since then, have had many blogs and forms of social media. Perhaps my most favorite was Plastic Cupcake. (This one still exists!)  I often think about switching back to his one, but a few years back, right before saying, "I do," I created one to focus more on my life as a new wife. It's called, "Life as a Rodriguez," and that's where you can find me currently. (Holla!)

When Tygre asked me to participate in the Great Mug Exchange, I was super pumped and knew immediately what story I wanted to tell. Here she is!

I bought this cup very recently, when my husband and I visited Walt Disney World with my family last fall. We bought it in the Japan Pavilion in Epcot Center. Japan is a country I had never thought much of until meeting Daniel. He loves this country, the people, the art, music, anime---you name it. And by getting to know him when we were just friends, I came to love this place too. Japan was definitely our favorite 'country' to visit in Epcot. We ate sushi, tried a few types of sake, toured some gorgeous art, and just took in the serene beauty and wonder it had to offer. We also got to see a few music shows with drums and traditional dancing---just awesome. We would love to visit actual Japan someday, but until then--this was an awesome experience and every time I use my mug, I think about this memory. 

This mug is the BEST. Really. So much, that I wished I would have purchased more. I use it for tea, cocoa, oatmeal, yogurt, ice cream...anything. The shape of it, is not like a traditional coffee cup and it suits me very well. I did, however, find a very similar, almost identical cup, from Starbucks. And I'd love to give one away to YOU! (Tygre will let you know the deets.)

I'd love for you to visit me on my blog sometime. We can hang out and you can read about my insane letter to Jen Hatmaker, how I came up with a way to spend $50 on groceries a week, or about that one time we listened to a time share presentation to win a cruise to Cozumel. And then when we got there the ship broke down. Yep. 

Anyway, big thanks to my buddie Tygre for letting me share some of my story. I look forward to seeing all the rest of them, and sharing a Starbucks mug!

Thanks for reading!!

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Thanks Emily for sharing your story! Be sure to check out this pretty lady's blog! Read up on the fun and join.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tod, with one 'd'

I know that God may not have some people marry, but I'm very grateful that He had a plan for me and Tod.

I met Tod in the summer of 2004 and some of the first things I remember him saying was, "My name is Tod with one 'd.' If it's good enough for God, then it's good enough for Tod."

I remember thinking, "He's cute, but really?! Who does this kid think he is?"  I knew that he wanted to learn more about the bible and pursue godly friendships, but you don't just compare yourself to God like that, big sinner.  Thankfully, later that summer, I got to know him and his humor a lot more. 

::Enter cheese fest::

I'm a sucker for a sweet note or cheap gift.  Tod could bring me home a rock and tell me that he thought of me or a fun memory when he saw it, and my little heart would go pitter-patter.  As a gal, I want affirmation that I'm loved and thought of during the day.  Chocolates or flowers are a bonus.

In the discipleship program that Tod and I attended together, we were encouraged to write notes of encouragement to the other participants throughout the week.  Yes, Tod wrote me a note. Yes, I still have it. And yes, I may or may not still carry it around in my wallet...

Check out this 'love' note...

Love note?

I'd like to add that that summer we were in Chicago together, we were not allowed to date.  They wanted everyone to focus on our jobs and studies that summer, which is perfectly valid.  We even made bright pink shirts that summer that said, "pro (project) chick. less sleep. more work. less dating, more inductive"

How can a gal receive a note like this and not want to date the dude that wrote it?  Yeah, she can't.  God sure did have "wonderful and mighty plans" for my life. And Tod does make me coffee and hot chocolate any time ;)

I'm so grateful for the forgiveness and love that Tod shows me daily. Sure, we hurt each other's feelings or have rough days, but we strive to make things right.

...but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

If our goal in life is to become more Christ-like, then our aim should be to love and serve others.  Marriage and my valentine will continue to teach me love and push me to love others more. 

Valentine's date at Ikea? Yes, please.

A note from our first year of 'becoming one'

Crazy hubs.
Love collage with another valentine o' mine.

Happy Valentine's Day!