Meet My New Love

My brand new beautiful shiny iPhone 4S.  I'm in love.

Guys, this phone is rocking my world.  It is simply AHHHH-mazing.

Siri is da bomb... she knows all, does all and is an all around snazzy lady.  She knows exactly how I feel about her too.  I tell her often.  She's like my very own bitch, ahem, assistant.  I like having an assistant.

It's also wicked fast.  So fast it doesn't give my eyes a chance to adjust to the new activity.  Before this, I had the iPhone 3.  When I first got it, I thought I knew what love was... but now I really know.  Not that my 3 was bad... it served me well for 2 years.  But after a while it just grew to be slow and tired.  It took so long that I wouldn't even bother using certain apps.  Needless to say, the 4s kicks the 3's butt.

You guys know, I jest.  I am not in loooooove with a material object.  But seriously... it's pretty stinkin' awesome.  Just sayin'.

Now tell me, what are some of the "must have apps" I need to download?

My Heart Overflowed

Ever since having my babies, I've been praying for them.  Naturally, I've been praying for their futures, for their safety, health and well being.  But most importantly I've been praying that they develop a love and passion for Jesus and that they grow to know Him personally.

It's easy to think that because they are babies or toddlers, that they can not comprehend the deep and powerful message behind who Jesus is.  And this is true.  I mean, most adults can't grasp that message.  But just because their minds can't contain it, doesn't mean that their hearts can't begin to turn towards Him.  Besides, it's Jesus who calls us to Him.  He even calls the little children to Him.

So when this began to touch my heart, we decided to start praying with the boys.  Now Marco prays at bed... usually just thanking for all his food and his family.  Then he says a proud "Namen" at the end.  Although it's usually coaxed out of him, it's still sweet.

Today, I was amazed at what Jesus is doing in Marco's heart.  And I've been in prayer all day that He just takes hold of my little boys heart and pulls him directly to Him.

We were in the car on the way to church and out of nowhere, Marco says, "Jonas, we're gonna pray.  Thank you Jesus... (I couldn't hear this part because he lowered his voice because he knew we were listening)... Namen".

My heart overflowed.  I don't know what he was praying for... but basically he lead his brother in prayer. And even though his prayer was a mystery to me, I know that Jesus saw Marco and knew exactly what he was saying.  He heard my sons prayer and He embraced it.

And I just pray that the Lord gives Mauricio and I the wisdom and understanding to lead our children in His ways.

Thirty Things I'm Thankful For

Thirty?  Why thirty?  Mostly because of the rad alliteration in my title (yes, I'm a nerd), but also because there are 30 days in November.  Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

This year I'm thankful for:
1.   My beautiful complete family
2.   Gaining 15 pounds and still being a smokin' hott mama of two
3.   Starbucks Caramel Fraps
4.   My generous in-laws that have allowed us to live in their home rent free
5.   A united family, despite divorce
6.   Rheumatoid Arthritis medication that actually works
7.   Jonas' kind and loving spirit
8.   A warm winter... no snow here, suckas!
9.   Our sleep number bed
10.  My generous and supportive dad
11.  Netflix instant play
12.  Marco's fun-loving and crazy spirit
13.  A great church
14.  My best friend Adele, who lifts me up and holds me accountable
15.  Health insurance
16.  My bloggy friends
17.  Living closer to family
18.  My sexy man that's by my side no matter what
19.  MOPS
20.  My best friend Jen, who knows all my ups and downs and deep dark secrets
21.  Disposable diapers
22.  My amazing mom that gave me her car
23.  Good books
24.  Hot running water
25.  Healthy children
26.  Free cookies at Publix
27.  My best friend Carol, who let's me "mommy vent" and gets it
28.  Mauricio's new job
29.  Delicious Thanksgiving dinner
30.  Jesus' sacrifice for me

Eating Organic

Ever since watching the shocking documentary Food Inc. while I was pregnant with Marco, we have decided to try and eat more organic meals.  We came up against a lot of opposition.  People telling us we were snobs.  People criticizing how much money we spend on our food.  People justifying their own decisions to NOT eat organically.

That's fine.

If YOU don't feel the need, no one is telling you to do it.  But we do.  What I hate is when people judge us without even doing any research themselves... or even without trying it!

We have some close friends that are hardcore about eating organically.  Like, they will rarely go out to eat because they can't guarantee that prepared food are cooked healthily and naturally, much less organically if not prepared by themselves.  We are not even close to being this hardcore about it.  We still eat out and eat at other people's house... it's just that if WE are the one's doing the cooking, we make it an organic meal.  We figure, that way about 50% of our food is organic... and that's better than 0%!

Yes, it's expensive.  It's really expensive when first deciding to go organic because you have to replace your staples... flour, butter, spices, ketchup.  And it's also expensive on a weekly basis... the meat is the most.  But with the meat, now I can taste the difference.  Grass fed beef even smells different!

We hope that by making an investment in the food we eat and we feed our children, that we'll encourage healthy eating habits, reduce the risk of obesidy and reduce other health risks such as diabetes.  Of course, eating organic doesn't mean you're eating "fat free", but it changes your perspective on what is really necessary.  And because buying organic foods is more expensive, you end up cutting back on frivolous food purchases... aka snacks.

We buy some snacks for the kids... like the Annie's organic fruit snacks and Annie's all natural cheese crackers... but mostly it's cheese sticks and yogurt.  Healthier snack options.

Allie over at Table For More explains how to shop organic on a budget.  She shows that it's totally do-able and that until you try, you can't say that you can't afford it or that it's not worth it.

And don't give me that crap... "well, I didn't eat organic and look, I turned out just fine".  Ok... are you sure?  First, you don't know what kind of health issues you will have in the future due to your eating habits and secondly, food today is much more genetically modified and altered than when we were kids.

So, my whole stance is... if we know better, we should try and do better.  Especially for our kids.  They can't choose for themselves.  And the habits we instil today will affect their entire future.

Give it a shot... if not for you, then for your babes.  Try it for a month.  Take note of your finances.  Take note of the taste.  Then decide for yourself.

On a side note, my kiddos take eating organic to a whole new level.
Here's Jonas eating a blade of grass:

Here's Marco eating a shovel full of dirt:

But it's all good.  A little dirt never hurt nobody.  And besides... it's organic.

Twilight Love

Last night, my BFF Carol and two other friends joined all the other teenage crazies in Miami to watch Breaking Dawn.  This was actually the first time I didn't go to a midnight showing on opening night... but that's ok.

Yeah, I love Twilight... and I'm not even a little bit embarrassed about it.  In fact, I'm proud... yeah, so what?!  I am team Edward ALLLLLLL the way.  In my mind, there was never ever a comparison between Jacob and Edward.  There was never any competition.  It's always been Edward.

Let me be clear though, I'm talking about Edward... not Robert Patterson.  Although I think Patterson does a good job as Edward, he still pales in comparison to the literary Edward.  The literary Edward is a dream.

So, the movie... it wasn't my favorite.  It was rather slow and "girly", if you will.  It had a lot of internalizing moments... where the camera stays still on a character who is pensive and there's some indi music playing in the background.  Now if you've read the books, you know that at these moments the character is having an internal monologue... like thinking to themselves, but on the big screen, it loses it's effect.  There was also a lot of cheese.  Like a whole scene where the wolves are talking to each other... which wouldn't be so bad, but they also growl at each other.  But it's not a wolf sound effect growl, it's like as if you or I imitated a growl.  LAME.  And there was also a part that showed the inside of Bella's body that reminded me too much of one of those bad 80's movies where the machine is shrunk and travels through someone's blood and organs and vessels.  Just cheesy, ya know?

But that said, it's still Twilight.  The books make it all worth it.  I'll take all the cheese, because I know that the books are fantastic and I'm a BOOK fan, not movie fan.  I think that if you did not read the books, you'll be confused and miss out on so much underlying information, layers and details.  Like since I've read them, I know what a certain look means or what the characters are thinking during those pensive moments.  If you didn't, then you'd be a little lost.  My 2 other friends that joined us did not read the books prior, and we were explaining the subtleties to them.

I know that some people will refuse to read Twilight just because it's too popular or too much of a craze.  I think that's CRAZY!  It's popular for a reason!  It's dang good stuff!  That's like saying you wont eat pizza because too many people like it... think of what you'll be missing!  Even if you've watched all the movies, you can still pick up the books and be surprised.  You know, there's only so much detail they can put into a movie!

But, if you've decided that you're just too over it... can't imagine picking up Twilight and reading from the beginning, then I urge you to go for another book.  The Hunger Games.  The Hunger Games is going to be the next huge sensation.  It's already huge in the literary world, but with the movie coming out in March, it's about to get nuts!  What I love about The Hunger Games is that it's not a love story.  The love story is secondary.  Secondary to the plot that's filled with action.  Katniss is the main character and she is BAD ASS!  She is one tough girl... pretty much opposite of Bella.  She's confident and strong and bold and beautiful.  In the Hunger Games, I am team Katniss ALLLLLL the way!  Check out the trailer below and GO READ THE BOOKS!

Starbucks Etiquette


I'm a bit of a Starbucks junky.  I force myself to only go twice a week... but sometimes I can't help going three.  When it's not a Starbucks day, I take alternate routes or look the other way when passing one, to reduce temptation.  I'm not worried about the calories, but I am worried about my bank account.

I have my two favorite drinks... and I rarely deviate from them.  In the summers it's a Caramel Frap and in the winters it's a Carmel Macchiato.  I loved this in Greenville, because since you can feel the seasons changing, the different drinks actually warm you up or cool you down when you need it the most.  Here in Miami, it's always summer, so I sweat through my Macchiato in the winters... but it's still worth it.

I pride myself in being a loyal Starbucks customer.  I have the app.  I know the menu.  I am "with it".  So today I was stunned by a Starbucks faux pas committed by my mother while on the phone with me.  She pulled up to the drive thru and said, "A Pikes Place- Venti".  Ummmm... see the problem here?

I told her she wasn't using her Starbucks Etiquette and didn't understand.  I then told her that in Starbucks, you're supposed to order in a certain order... first size, then specialty, then drink.  Like a Tall Caramel Frap, or a Grande Mocha Latte... Size-Specialty-Drink.  So, her order would be a Venti Pikes Place.  She laughed at me and told me I wads being silly... there is no such thing as "Starbucks etiquette".  So when she pulled up to the window, she told the barista about our conversation.  She said, "My daughter says I'm not using proper Starbucks etiquette because I didn't say the size first".  She thought I was wrong... she thought the barista was going to laugh with her AT ME!

But the barista looked at her and with all seriousness said, "yeah, she's right... you say the size first so we can grab the cup and write your order as you're still saying it".


You know, I have a sickness.  To me, everything feels right in the world when I'm right.  What is that?

So, my mom learned two very valuable lessons today:
1.  How to properly place your order at Starbucks
2.  Not to doubt her daughter... ever.

Salvation Stories

Today I'm linking up with Callie Nicole from Through Clouded Glass to share the story of my Salvation.  She had this wonderful idea to create a blog link-up where we all shared our stories, in anticipation for Thanksgiving.  I don't know why I never have sweet ideas like this, but I'm glad at least somebody does!  So, thanks girl!

Salvation Stories

My story is rather simple... it is not one of revelation or white lights.  I did not feel anything when I finally decided to give my whole life to Jesus.  It was completely a conscious decision, made purposefully... it was not feeling drivin or emotional.  

I grew up in a "Christian home".  We went to church almost every Sunday.  I went to Christian school and later a Catholic High School.  I grew up singing hymns and Bible songs.  I went to children's church, VBS, and youth group.  I knew all the right answers... "Jesus"... "The Bible says so"... etc.  But had I given my life to Jesus?  My whole life?  Every single part of me?  No.

I remember being 5 years old.  I was in Kindergarden and we went to chapel weekly.  At the end of the chapel service, the pastor would ask if anyone wanted to invite Jesus into their heart, to repeat a prayer.  I did.  I felt good.  I knew Jesus and loved him... I really did.  But then the next week came, the pastor asked us to invite Jesus into our hearts, and I did again... just in case He didn't hear me the first time.  And this went on... for years.  I wasn't absolutely certain that He was there... of course, I was only 5 and I didn't fully understand.  But, I also didn't ask my parents. 

In my teen years, I became overwhelmingly rebellious.  I still went to church on Sundays... but with a massive hangover and sunglasses on to cover my dozing eyes.  Youth group was a joke... it was a way for us to show off to one another and brag about who did what and with who.  But, during the service, we all still knew the right answers... and even could recite Bible verses at this point.  I believe Jesus was in fact still residing in my heart, but I had buried Him so deeply underneath my own desires, that you couldn't tell He was there at all.   I really felt like I was young and that I'd have time to be a "good Christian" later.  At this point, I just wanted to have fun.

Then in my late teens I fell even farther away from Jesus.  When I was diagnosed with RA and began to have physical disabilities, I became frustrated and depressed.  Instead of leaning on my faith and trusting in the Lord, I found comfort in alcohol.  I knew that what I was doing was wrong... I knew I was a disappointment... but I shut out those thoughts and voices and continued to drown my sorrows.  I soon realized that it wasn't enough.  I had such a huge hole in my chest... a void that was making me empty.  But I was so angry with my situation that I couldn't turn back. 

Mauricio and I started dating when I was 21.  He was still in high school and only 17.  I had known him for years already, as he went to youth group with me.  Since I was older than him and since he wanted to be with me so badly, I was able to persuade him to fall into the hole with me.  He had his own problems at the time too, and we both knew that we were "bad Christians".  

It wasn't until about 2 years later that a change was made.  All of a sudden, Mauricio changed.  He was not the guy I was originally with.  He didn't want to party anymore... and that was the least of it.  He had been convicted.... convicted to turn his life around, grow up, trust in Jesus and lead us to a future that was pleasing to Him.  At first, I didn't like it.  I had been this way for a long time and it was hard to change... really hard.

You know, that's the thing they don't tell you about becoming a Christian.  Changing doesn't happen overnight and it's not easy.  But Mauricio was praying for me and so was I... that Jesus would open my eyes and my heart and that I'd love and obey Him.  And so I started to... little by little.  I let go of a lot of my friends and made new ones.  It wasn't easy and it hurt a lot, but I knew it was the only way for me to be right with Jesus.  I changed my behavior first, and my heart followed.  I made the conscious decision to stop doing the things I knew were not pleasing to Jesus, even against my own desire and will.  And after practicing that... denying myself... my heart began to change... it became softer. 

You see, for me it was different.  I knew the truth about Jesus.  I believed He was the Son of God.  I believed He came to the earth for the forgiveness of my sins.  I believed He was my Savior.  I had all the head knowledge... all of it.  But I hadn't surrendered. I hadn't given Him my whole life.  

"... for whoever loses his life for my sake will find it".  Matthew 10:39

So I lost my life.  I gave it to Him.  And guess what?  I found it.  I found the life that He has wanted me to live.  And it has FAR exceeded my expectations!  His future for me has been filled with love, blessing and light.  I can't believe I ever wanted to do it alone!  

Throughout the years I have surrendered even more... although I'm sure there's far more to go.  I have learned more about the identity of Christ, but not just with my head... also with my heart.  And the more I learn about who Jesus is, the more I fall in love with Him.

Now I still say that prayer every Sunday to invite Jesus into my heart.  But not because I don't think He's there, or that my time with Him has expired or that He didn't hear me the first thousand times.  I say it now as a reminder.  A reminder of who I am and to whom I belong.  Jesus is my Savior.  I am His, completely. 

Wow, What a Mom!

And no, I'm not talking about myself.

I'm talking about MY mom.  She's nuts, really... but seriously great.  You know I'm not the type to sugar coat things... and if you've been reading for a while, you know I've got some major snark, so this isn't gonna be your typical sappy post.

My mom, like I said, she's nuts.  She makes me crazy more often than not.  She's loud... sooooo loud.  And she curses up a storm.  She has taught me a lot about how not to behave.  But for all her faults, she is one HELL of a mom.

She constantly teaches me about sacrifice, selflessness and unconditional love for your children.

She always tells the story of when I was a baby and how she had to be a SAHM to take care of me because I was so sick and needed round the clock care... "I stayed home for 4 years and we were so poor we were eating picadillo (ground beef) every night and I had holes in my underwear".  It's one of those stories you've heard since you remember breathing and it's like, yeah yeah yeah, ok.  It makes no impact on me.  I mean, yeah I was there, but it feels like I wasn't, so I'm not impressed.  For her, this is probably her first real encounter with sacrificing for your children.  For her, this was a huge burden, but she did it... for me.

And of course, throughout the years there have been uncountable events in which she has sacrificed and showed selflessness for me... as with any mother.  That's what a mother does, right?

But it really hit me later... as in, most recently.  She is pretty awesome.  All along, I've had sort of an attitude of "well, duh, she's my mom, she should do that"... but for how long?  For how long can I claim residence under her umbrella?  For how long can I continue to ask her to be selfless?  After all, although I hate to admit it, I AM an adult... you know, a 28 year old married mother... definitely an adult.  So when's my expiration date here?

When I was administered to the hospital with pre-term labor, she got on a flight to SC the very next day.  She bought a one way ticket and said she'd be there for as long as I needed.  She took over all of my motherly duties for Marco and did everything until after Jonas was born, over a week later.  If you know my mom personally, you know how huge this is.  She's a mother, but she's not very "motherly".  But she did it... she stayed for as long as I needed her... and gladly.  She stepped up big time.

But that one is kinda expected.  I mean, it was the birth of my child... of course she'd be there.  Recently she has outdone herself... and that's really saying something.

Remember back in September when I totalled my car?  We were put in such a difficult situation.  Basically, we have no money to buy a new car.  We're trying to save money right now, and buying a car would have thrown off our entire plan and delayed our mission by months, maybe even a year.  Without even asking, my mom came over the very next day and gave me her car.  She told me to keep it for as long as I needed... and when I told her that may be a year, she said ok.  Excuse me, are you reading this?  How insane is that?  Her and her husband had a spare car, an old one that they hadn't parted with, so she made her husband take that one, she took his and she gave me hers... for as long as I need it.

I have been stunned.  Wow, what a mom!  To give her daughter... a 28 year old married mother, her car.  Unbelievable.  She has been an incredible blessing in my life always, and not just because of the car.  I am so grateful to know that she's got my back and that to her I'm still her little girl.  She's teaching me what kind of a mother I ought to be for my boys... and how to behave for their sakes.

Now check out my sweet ride... courtesy of the best mom ever!

A Challenge

Ok guys... as in my male readers... this post is not for you.  Don't worry, you wont miss anything fun... I'll just be ranting for paragraphs about girl things, like periods, pre-natal vitamins and placentas.  Ew, gross, right?  Ok, now scoot.

And if you happen to be my husband, seriously, close this page right now.  Not even kidding, just do it.  For real.  NOW.

Ok, ladies, we should be alone now... and if we're not, this is your LAST chance!  Get!

I've decided to challenge myself.  I'm starting The Husband Project tomorrow.  What is The Husband Project?  Well, it's 21 days designed to bless your husband.  It's a challenge to go above and beyond your norm to give extra blessings to your man.  It probably wont be easy, but I hope it'll be fun.

In the book it says that it's for 21 days because it takes that long to make or break a habit.  And in this case, I'd be setting a very good habit into place.  I occasionally think of special sweet ways I can make Mauricio happy, but not consecutively... and not for 21 days in a row, that's for sure.

At first I decided to do this because I was hoping I'd also bring a change about in him.  He is wonderful, but he's not spontaneous and he never splurges on me... and sometimes I want to be spoiled.  He loves me in other ways, but sometimes I wish he was a little more romantic.  So, I thought, maybe if I showed him I could do it, he'd start trying too.

But then, in a matter of a second, God changed my heart about my motives.  My good friends were visiting us this weekend, and my friend pulled me aside and said, "Wow, Mauricio is such a gentleman... I wish my husband was a little more like that".  And it hit me.  Dang, I am soooo blessed already.  My husband has an AMAZING servant's heart.  He cooks, he cleans, he changes diapers.  He gives the kids baths and sometimes lets me sleep in.  He takes care of all the "man things" and even some of the "women things" too.  He's truly amazing.  And, shouldn't I try to go above and beyond for him?  Shouldn't I bless him to show him just how much I appreciate and love him?  Yes!  So, tomorrow I embark on this journey.

Although I wonder how he'll respond and react, I know that I'm doing this just as much for me as I am for him.  Sure, I want to bless him, but I also want to learn to be a more thoughtful and considerate wife.  Sometimes my marriage gets pushed to the second page, that happens with kids.  It'll be nice to make my marriage a top priority and put some real effort into it.
So for the next 21 days, I'll be doing sweet things to try and please my man.  Some of them are simple and silly, while some of them really stretch me out of my comfort zone.  

I'll recap the whole experience when I complete my project, but in the mean time, please keep me in prayer.  I'm sure I'll need it. haha. 

What the Future Holds

We all do it.  Dream about our kids' futures?  Imagine what they will be like... who they will become?  What they will look like?  We dream about a few months from now... how will they be different?  In a few years, what struggles will we be facing?  In more than a few years, what kind of adults will they make?  It's inevitable and we can't stop imagining it.

Will they be athletic or musical?  Will they be a socialite or a homebody?  Will they be straight as a line or troublemakers?  We have no idea, but we can't wait to find out.

Mauricio and I always talk and laugh, imagining scenarios that our boys are likely to get into.  Just based on their current personalities and temperaments, we predict that Jonas will be a softy, while Marco will be more outspoken and tough.

Now, Jonas is our snuggler.  He's sweet, cuddly and sensitive.  He's afraid of things and cries because he gets his feeling hurt.  Marco is so different.  Marco doesn't have time to snuggle.  He is too busy running here and there and playing to stop for smooches.  Marco doesn't get his feelings hurt often... he's tough.  He gets hurt and he shakes it off.  He'll play with and talk to anyone that's a "friend" (which is anyone under 4 feet).

Yesterday, while having dinner, Mauricio said, "Jonas is going to steal all the girls away from Marco because he'll be the strong, sensitive guy and he's so good looking".  (Apparently, Mauricio thinks Jonas is a looker... and I don't disagree).  But I said, "Hey, Marco's good looking too!"  I was a bit offended.  I mean, really, have you seen Marco?  He's a beautiful boy!  And not just because he's my son and I'm biased, although I totally am!

Back to our conversation... He said, "Yeah, but not like Jonas... Marco's gonna be the big funny guy".  WHAT?!  Again, I was offended.  Big and funny?  When I think "big and funny" I think Kevin James (King of Queens).  Now that guy is Big AND Funny.  So, Mauricio had to backtrack a bit and say, "no, not BIG big, just like tall and bulky... and funny".  Whatever.  Then he recanted his entire statement and said, "Well, maybe Jonas wont steal all the girls because nice guys finish last".  Oh geez, he was on a roll!

But honestly, when I imagine how they'll be... I see them like peas in a pod.  Yeah, Marco will be older and the "big brother"... he'll be 2 years ahead in school... but he'll also keep track of Jonas and be sure that Jonas is taken care of.  Jonas' temperament is softer than Marco's, and I think Marco will protect Jonas.  I see Marco saying, "Hey!  That's my brother! Leave him alone!"

Either way... if they're jocks or music nerds... social butterflies or hermits... we'll raise them up to be a pair, love each other and have each other's backs.  After all, if you can't count on your brother, then who can you count on?

No one knows what the future truly holds, so for that, we'll just have to wait and see!

November Giveaway Winners

Today is the day I announce the winners of my November Giveaway... thank you to everyone who participated!  If you don't win, don't worry, I plan on having a few more giveaways in the coming months.  If you're still interested in Katie's work, please visit her Etsy page here.  I think her work is beautiful and very reasonably priced.

A huge thank you to Katie for generously hosting this giveaway with TWO prizes!  

And now, without further ado, winners of the November Giveaway hosted by Katie Berggren are:  Drum roll please.........

Blogger Callie Nicole said...
I tweeted about the giveaway! @CallieNicole7
November 2, 2011 10:39 AM
True Random Number Generator  15Powered by RANDOM.ORG


Ana said...
I posted the giveaway on my blog
November 1, 2011 8:00 PM
True Random Number Generator  11Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Excuses, Excuses

As a mom, you soon discover that your little angel babies are born disobedient creatures.  I think the whole, "you are born a sinner" doesn't truly set in until you see your own baby actually sinning.  It's stunning... and shocking.  It's innate... it's in each of us.  But, inevitably there comes the day when your baby, probably less than 1 year old, decides to deliberately disobey you.  "Don't touch that", and they go for it anyway.  And you KNOW they know what you told them.

Well, as they age, it only gets worse.  And I've only got a taste of it... I can't even imagine how it'll be when I've got 2 teenage boys on my hands.  Oy.  Right now I have an extremely strong willed 2 year old on my hands.  He knows what he wants and he will manipulate however he can to get his way.  It's amazing to me that they don't need to be taught how to do these things... they just know.

Marco loves to give me excuses for everything I ask him to do... from the simplest to the most complex request, he has an excuse as to why he can not or rather, WILL not do it.  The problem is, in his 2 year old mind, he can only hold 2 excuses and they don't always make sense given the situation.  His go-to excuses are:
"It's too hot" or "It's too hard".  And "hard" as in texture, not difficulty.

Some of our conversations go like this:
"Marco, take off your pull up and go pee pee in the toilet"
"No, Mama, it's too hot".
"Marco, it's not hot in the toilet".

"Marco, eat your sandwich"
"But it's too hot".
"It's peanut butter... it's not hot!"

"Marco, wanna listen to music?"
"No, it's too hard".
"I won't put it loud".

"Sit down"
"No, it's too hoooooootttt".
"It's too hot to sit down?"
"No, do it!"

What?!  None of this even makes sense... ok, only the one about music makes sense... but still.  It's shocking that I have to deal with excuses from a 2 year old!  Excuses, excuses.

And it's hard not to laugh, because he still has that whole cute factor going on.  Little stinker gets away with things for being cute!

For the record, that is not a headband... it's one of those sweat bands to complete his "sporty look".  FYI

Seriously?! Thursday

Here I am linking up with From Mrs to Mama for the most awesomest Seriously?! Thursday.  Don't you look forward to this post ALL week?  I know I do.  It's my opportunity to vent or chat about the little things... the things too small to need it's own post about.  So here you have it... what made me say "Seriously?!"

Seriously?!  What is it with people... IRL and in the blogisphere saying, "It's Christmas season"?  Ummm, no it's not.  "Christmas season" should not last 2 months long... it's not a REAL season, just a holiday.  And, what happened to Thanksgiving... why is it a reject holiday?!  I seriously LOVE Thanksgiving... you can stuff your face and there's NO pressure to exceeds people's preconceived expectations.  But Christmas... eh.  Honestly, I was driving on November 1 and already saw like 5 billboards advertising Christmas.  Seriously?!  The commercialism, greed and materialism associated with Christmas has turned my stomach towards this holiday.  No, I'm not the grinch... but I may (or may not) work for him.  This sign via Pintrest from Nordstrom has found a way into my heart... and I love it.  Now Nordstrom, you may have my business this Christmas season, just for being so sassy.

Seriously?!  Today is a landmark day for me.  November 3, 2008 was a big day for me... one of the biggest days of my life actually.  It was the day I got a + sign and found out I was going to be a Mommy!  Later, at the end of June, I had my beautiful baby Marco in my arms and my life was changed forever.  Seriously, one of the best feelings EVER!

Seriously?!  I can't believe how difficult it's been to get people to enter my giveaway!  Oh, you didn't know I was having a giveaway?!  Well, here's the Link.  I don't know if people don't know that it's not a scam... maybe they think they'll get a bunch of junk mail?  But seriously, I can't believe it's because they don't dig the giveaway prize... it's stinkin' awesome.  For realz.  And, since it's "Christmas season", it'd be a great gift too!

Seriously?!  Marco does not let Jonas breathe.  It's the most frustrating thing ever.  He is always tackling him, knocking him over, picking him up, shoving his face into the floor, grabbing his arms, etc.  And I know that he just wants him to be able to play at his level... it's not that he's being mean.  But seriously? Come on already!

Seriously?!  Remember how I had a major car accident at the end of September?  If not, check it out here. Well, finally the insurance companies made their decisions... and it was to do nothing.  Nothing.  The guy who I crashed with claimed that he was not backing up, but rather stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross... a blatant lie.  And, even though the police report states that he was in fact backing up, the insurance company is backing him up.  So I let the lady have it... I told her that she and I both knew that I was getting screwed here and if there wasn't some sort of compromise I was going to have to call my attorney.  I don't even have an attorney.  This is a huge pain in the @ss!  And, to top it all off, they delivered my destroyed car to my driveway, so now Marco has a constant reminder of what happened.  He can't peel his eyes away from the damage.  He's traumatized.  I seriously hope this all gets resolved quickly.

That's all for today!  What made you say "Seriously?!" this week?


Patience is a Virtue

Yesterday at MOPS we discussed having patience as a mom.  It definitely hit home with me and was something that I KNOW I have to work on.  Although I love my kids with every fiber of my being, I can sometimes have a short fuse with them or not give them the time they deserve.  I expect things to be done quickly and efficiently, when I know that they are not yet capable of doing that.

The worst time of the day for me (and many mothers, I'm sure) is the morning when trying to get out of the house.  On the days we don't have a set appointment, like we're just going to the mall or the park, there's no problem.  But on the days I have scheduled something for us, like MOPS, a bible study, church, play date, or a doctors appointment, all hell seems to break loose.  It's like Murphy's law... everything goes wrong.

It starts with getting dressed.  Jonas is easy, he has no opinion.  But Marco is quite a challenge.  Even being a boy, he has his opinion on his clothing.  He ONLY wants to wear shirts with beloved characters on it... Cars, Toy Story, Mickey.  Everything else is tantrum worthy.  But I don't have an entire wardrobe filled with these specialty shirts, so eventually he's gotta wear something else.  Then the socks... they have to be on just right and they have to either be Cars or soccer socks... plain ones just will not do.

Then brushing of the teeth... again, Jonas lets me get off easy on this one... for now.  But Marco is all, "Marco do it".  He wants to put the paste on by himself and he wants to brush by himself.  This all takes precious time... tick tock... because I still have to go over what he's done and redo it the right way.

By the time we get to the kitchen for breakfast, I can physically feel my temper rising.  I am about to boil over.  I prepare Jonas' milk and give it to him... but then he throws it all up (well, he did today), so then I have to clean up.  While I'm cleaning him up, I see him grunt and poop... so then I have to clean him up.  When I finally make it back and prepare breakfast, I have to deal with Marco not wanting to feed himself and Jonas shaking his head "no" at the food.  If I make oatmeal, Marco wants a yogurt... if I give him yogurt, he wants a waffle... you see?  It's enough to drive anyone nuts.

As we're entering the car I have officially HAD it and I do boil over.  Many times with yells of "GET IN THE CAR AND CLICK!" or "IF YOU DON'T CLICK IN 3 SECONDS, YOU'RE GONNA BE IN BIG TROUBLE".  (I put caps, because obviously I'm screaming).  And I know I've lost it.  And I know I shouldn't.

For some of you new Mama's maybe it's that 3am feeding that makes you boil over.  I used to want to cry when Jonas wouldn't go back to sleep.  Or if, in my sleepy daze, I'd snap the pj's incorrectly and then have to start all over... I would want to punch a wall.  I know... I know.

I do know that wherever we are on this journey of motherhood, we WILL lose our patience... and we will boil over.  But we must remember to gather ourselves, however we can, and offer GRACE to our children.  After all, doesn't our heavenly Father have an ABUNDANCE of patience for us?  How many times can we make Him want to boil over... but instead of lashing out, He offers us his grace and mercy and love.

Here's what the Bible say's about patience (one of the many things):
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12

I was really convicted by this discussion yesterday because it dawned on me... If we are called to be patient and loving towards everyone, how much more towards our very children!  They are learning from our every move.  They are learning what a Christian household looks like.  They are learning what a mother and wife looks like.  They are learning about who Jesus is from us!  If we are not exemplifying Jesus' characteristics, are they in fact learning about Him?

You do not need to travel to Africa to have a mission field.  God has placed a mission field in your own house... with your own children.  We are the ones that need to show them Jesus daily... through our compassion, our kindness, our humility, our gentleness, our patience and our love.  God's given me HIS children... I need to be sure I care for them well.

I need help practicing my patience.  What works for you?  Do you internally count to 10?  Maybe to 100?  Do you walk away?  Do you pray?  I need tips!  And, more than that, I need prayer.  I'll pray that God gives you patience in dealing with His children and you do the same for me.  Thanks!

November Giveaway!

The season of giving is finally here!  And with that, I offer an amazing giveaway from the studio of Katie M. Berggren.  See her Etsy shop HERE.  Momma's, you are gonna wanna get in on this, for sure!

When I first came across Katie's work, I was stunned.  I had never seen such tender, honest and beautiful mother-child pieces before.  Really, they're amazing.  Most mother-child pieces seem cartoonish or childish, but Katie's pieces are whimsical and sophisticated.  You can add a piece to your living room that is contemporary and beautiful, while paying a tribute to your darlings.

Here are some pictures of the piece I chose, called "Happy Hour" to represent me and my boys:

When I received my package, I was giddy!  I tore it open and looked at all the contents that came spilling out!

Katie includes a plain card in each package... perfect for an upcoming baby shower!  And it's beautiful... frame worthy, even.

Each piece is a print of an original.  It is printed on super high quality thick paper with a matte finish.  

What I love, love, LOVE about Katie's work is that there is someone for EVERYONE along this beautiful journey of motherhood.  You've only got one baby?  She's got stuff for you.  You've got 2 like me?  Yep, lots of options.  You've got 3 (you busy lady)?  You'll find something you love.  4 kids, You've got FOUR (or more)?  You'll leave her shop satisfied.  No kids yet, but you're pregnant?  You're not left out!  How about have one and pregnant with #2?  You can preserve this moment forever.  I could go on, but you get it, right?

And if you'd prefer to have a piece specifically commissioned to fit your needs, an original that won't be duplicated?  You can do that too by contacting Katie directly.

Ok, ok, I know you're all eager to know how you can get your hands on one of these beauties.  But first, here's the good news.  Katie is great.  She's so sweet and super generous and has offered to giveaway not one, but TWO 8x10 prints to 2 lucky winners.  Just like that, you've doubled your chances!  Check out the details below:

Giveaway runs from 1:00am on November 1st till 11:59pm on November 8th.  
Please leave me a new comment with each individual entry.
Mandatory Entry:
1. Visit Katie's Etsy Shop and leave me a comment telling me which piece you'd want, if you won.

Additional Entries:
2.  Be or become a "public" follower of my blog.  (Just press the little blue button to the left side of your screen that says "Join this Site" and follow the prompts... easy peasy).

3.  "Like" Katie's Facebook page:

4.  Blog about this giveaway on your personal blog.  This will give you THREE entries.  (Please post 3 individual comments and leave me a link.)

Daily Entries:  You may enter each one, once daily.
5.  Post a Facebook status update directing your friends to the giveaway.  (Be sure to tag Katie's page and add a link to the giveaway).

6.  Tweet about the giveaway.  (You must tag both me and Katie). You can copy this example:
"Check out this awesome giveaway at  @NicoleTableFor4 @kmberggren"
This giveaway is open Worldwide!  

The winners will be chosen the morning of November 9th using

I have been giddy with excitement over this giveaway and I'm so thrilled to be able to offer it to you!