September 22, 2011

Cookie Monster

It's official: his grandma, Tutu, has spoiled him rotten.  She is the reason why he got his first taste of an oreo.  And, as is pretty clear in the above photo, he's a fan.  Oreo's #1 fan!

We're just gearing up for first birthday cake fun over here.  It's only a little more than a month away.  I cannot believe it.  {sniff, sniff}.

September 19, 2011

The {Almost} Perfect Sister

Last night I got to accompany Sean to a cocktail party that's thrown at the beginning of this annual convention they do in the insurance world each year.  I was excited to go {in the minority for sure!} because I like to get dressed up, I like an open bar, and I like talking to other adults, even if it is a lot of awkward small talk.  Is stay-at-home mom written all over my face?

Thankfully my sister, in the kindness of her heart, agreed to watch the kids.  I love her for her readiness to spend time with her nieces and nephew.  I love that she lives close to us.  I love that my kids love her and think she's so fun.  Problem #1 for the night to happen - finding a sitter - solved!

Problem #2 - what the heck am I going to wear?!  Being the stay-at-home mom that I am, I hardly have anything in my closet that even resembles a cocktail dress.  But really, even when I wasn't a stay at home mom, I hardly had anything in my closet that resembled a cocktail dress.  One of my biggest strengths and weaknesses is that I am so practical.  The core of who I am just will not allow me to spend $100+ on a dress that I am hardly ever going to wear.  I just can't do it.

But my sweet, kind, fun, twenty something year old sister loves to get dressed up.  And her budget and inner core are very different from my own, so I got to raid her closet.  And even though she is 2-3 inches taller than me, and we are built very differently, as we analyzed while I went through her closet hours before the cocktail party, I found a dress that worked!  She even provided the matching shoes - my feet are still paying the price of those heels! - and jewelry.

Problem #3 - my hair.  I have a hate/hate relationship with my hair.  It's just blah dark brown, hasn't been cut in over 6 months, has no body, and I just plain have no idea what to do with it.

About a week ago while surfing pinterest, I found a hairstyle I wanted to duplicate.  It had a step by step video, it seemed easy enough, and the girl seems to have similar hair as me.  So what if she's a hair-stylist and went to school for this and does hair for a living?  I could totally figure it out and make it look just like hers.

I tried for an entire hour to fix my hair in this do.  I think the video is slightly over 4 minutes.  Sean was being very patient, feeding the kids and getting everything ready before my sister came over and we had to leave.  I just needed to be alone and concentrate.

I finally got the hair done to my liking.  I thought it looked pretty good if I did say so myself.  And I did.  To myself.  In the bathroom mirror.  Now I only had 20 minutes left to do my makeup and put my dress on, but that's double what I normally have, so that was fine.

When my trendy, fashionable sister walked up the driveway to babysit, I pranced out in my her heels and dress, wanting her to say how fabulous my hair looked, that she couldn't believe her practical, plain sister could do her own hair outside of the regular down, flat, drab look she normally has and have it come out looking so great.

You have two bald spots in the back of your head was what she said.  Brutally honest, trendy, fashionable sister.  Apparently I hadn't pinned the back properly and had pushed the pins up in such a way that showed two bald spots on either side.  The front looked so pretty and perfect, but there was no way I could walk around all night with two bald spots in the back of my head!

There was no time to fix it.  We were already running late, and Sean's patience was thinning by the second.  So I pulled the pins out, ran my fingers through my hair, tsked at myself in the mirror, and was ready to go.

Running low on patience husband was not so keen on taking a picture before we left, so I quickly gave Hattie my phone and said snap it!
The only photo of my fancy-shmansy night out :(.

I had to go with the regular old flat, I obviously don't know what to do with this mop, hairstyle.  But the silver lining is Sean decompressed in the car, and I got over myself.  We had a good time! 

And I need to make a shout out to my seeester!  I am so thankful for her.  Thankful she was there to spend time with my kids while I got to have a night out on the town with my husband.  Thankful she loaned me a pretty dress and stilettos and earrings to match.  Thankful when I called at 8 (when we said we'd be home) and asked if it was ok if we stayed out later, she said yes, even though she was tired and had to go to work the next day.  And, most importantly, I'm thankful she didn't let me walk out the door with two bald spots in the back of my head.

I am now on a quest to send her to beauty school, so she can learn to fix hair {particularly mine!}.  Then she would be the perfect solution to all of my date night problems!  Because, you know, that's her ultimate goal in life. ;)

September 16, 2011

Serving Others

I am starting my second year in a young mother's group at my church.  It has blessed and enriched my life more than I could have hoped.  The group is the answer to a prayer I've prayed for a long time, a prayer for the 3 C's, as I'll call them - community, connection, and communion with other Catholic mothers of young children in my area.

This year we are studying and discussing God's Plan for Marriage and Family by JP 2.   Last night, the key phrase I walked out the door of our first gathering with was to serve, not to be served.

What a beautiful marriage would be in store if my husband and I could just live by those words daily!  If we would decrease, HE could increase.  

Living out the gospel every day is so hard, isn't it?  Selfishness is such a nasty seed that can be planted in the heart.  It leads to ugly things like anger and resentment.

The answer is humility.

If our God, our Prince of Peace, our King of Kings can humble Himself to become a man, to come down to this earth from the paradise He created and SERVE mankind out of LOVE, why can I not joyfully serve the ones I love the most!  I am called to do that.  I am called to do much more than that.

This is why marriage and motherhood are so hard and so necessary to the transformation of my soul.  Nothing has challenged my motivation or put my soul under a microscope like marriage and family have.

The ugliness of self-centeredness was there all along, but I didn't see it as often or as strongly when I was single and allowed to live according to my own desires and will.

To serve, not to be served.

And it doesn't take marriage or children to live this way.  We are all called to be His hands and feet on this earth.  We each have our own vocation.  And the seasons change, but the words never do.

To serve, not to be served.

Sometimes we are our biggest obstacle in doing His work, right?  And it's hard to see because our society is so me! me! me! focused.  And life is so clogged with sin and hurt.  Our bodies are so weak and tired.  Disappointment is ever-present.

But He is here.  Still serving.  Giving us the strength and grace to keep going.  To keep doing His work. Being His hands and feet.  Serving.  But we have to humble our hearts to accept His Work.

So the last will be first, and the first will be last.

And, just on a lighter note, imagine what driving and traffic would be like if we lived by these words!?  Ha!  Who needs marriage or kids to see our ugly selfishness?  Just get in the car and drive.  Next time someone is trying to cut me off, which happens often now that I have a mini-van (but that's another post for another day), I think I'll roll down my window and scream at them, Be humble!

Or maybe not.

We have to be His hands and feet to show His heart.

September 8, 2011

My Little Man

He loves to grunt and rough-house.  He's SO LOUD all the time.

At 10 months old, he already gets into way more than the girls ever did.

He lights up when we go outside.

Anything in the shape of a ball is his favorite toy.

Pillows are not for sleeping; they are for tackling.

He gets angry and throws fits that little girls just don't make.

He eats just about everything.

And has an obsession with the broom and vacuum cleaner.

A rough and tough mama's boy for sure.

Daddy's pride and joy.

Having a little boy is so much fun!

September 6, 2011


My better half turned 31 today.  I texted him this morning and reminded him that he's now closer to 40 than he is to 20.  Not very nice of me.  But, the truth is, being closer to 40 looks way better on a man than 20.

Exhibit A - We're both 21-22 in this picture (*sigh*) -
It feels like so long ago.  We were such babies.  Already engaged babies.  Sean was about to leave for Mexico to study abroad for 3 months.  He was so skinny.  A young wuss, as I remember his older brother calling him.  Of course I thought he was hot.  And he was. :)


Today, at 31 years young, he is way hotter :) -
And that's just the icing on the cake, because with age (and 3 babies), comes maturity.  That 21 year old boy is now a man.  10 years ago, he didn't know what he wanted to do with his life.  Today, he definitely doesn't have all of the answers, but he works hard to provide for his 3 children and enables me to stay home doing what I absolutely love doing, mothering full time.  And he's good at what he does, so he's climbed the ranks, made a name for himself.  A name I'm proud to belong to.

He has a big, tender heart.  He's witty and sharp.  He's good with words and patient with me.  These are a few reasons why I fell in love with him to begin with, and now, ten years later, all of these personality traits I love so much about him are refined and stronger.

This weekend, we got to steal away for a date night to celebrate his birthday, thanks to his mom who offered to watch the kids.  We went to church together, alone, with no hooligans distracting us.  I heard one of the best homilies I've heard in a long time, but I wonder if it's just mostly because I actually got to hear it ;).  It was nice to just be together, worshipping, with NO KIDS.

Then we went out with Sean's aunt and uncle for Mexican food because in our house, nothing is a celebration without a good margarita.  And Sean's new found love, tres leches, was his birthday cake of choice.  We had a good time.

And the festivities will continue tonight when everyone is home for a more child friendly birthday dinner for Daddy!  You bet there will be balloons and streamers, homemade cards and singing, and sticky hands and lips as we celebrate 31 years of the coolest (and hottest) man we know.

Happy Birthday, honey!
You're like a fine wine that just seems to get better with age.
Lucky me. :)

Wisdom From the Pope

“The inalienable dignity of every human being and the rights which flow from that dignity - in the first place the right to life and the defense of life - are at the heart of the church's message." Pope John Paul ended his address, saying: "In spite of divisions among Christians, 'all those justified by faith through baptism are incorporated into Christ...brothers and sisters in the Lord.'" Pope John Paul 2