Friday, May 29, 2015

LETTING GO IN THE FINAL DAYS OF SPRING.

Although it's still technically spring it definitely feels like summer, and I have been in a mood with the weather we've been having. A cleaning kind of mood. I went to town doing a bit of "spring cleaning a couple of months ago, and this time around I've been tidying up the house a bit by doing more cleaning, and letting go of old clothes that I've had for at least seven years (since we moved from North Carolina) Jeez...I can't believe we've been in Jersey for seven years. Sometimes it seems as if we just got here...sometimes. I'm not a hoarder when it comes to junk, and so if I haven't worn something, or used a gadget in years it goes straight to the donation pile, or if I know someone that can use it I will give it to them. 

Aside from de-cluttering, one thing for sure is that bittersweet moments are happening around the clock in this house. The weeks keep going by faster and faster, and while that's happening the kids keep outgrowing their clothes, and shoes. I was going through Noah's clothes from last spring to see if they still fit him, and luckily some do. It  really feels good to declutter, but not when it comes to my kids  "baby" stuff.

I also found this...
His first onesie you guys!! 

When I showed Noah that this is what he wore when he came home after being born in the hospital he said, "Awe that's cute, and it has dinosaurs on it." I said "yep, it sure does." He continued to hold it, and look at it, and then he said, "I need to grow up to be a baby so I can fit in this." I laughed, and had a sentimental moment, and said to him that he can't grow up to be a baby, and that we are saving it for his future kids. 

After watching this video, especially when you get to 1:48 you'll feel my pain! I honestly don't think I'm going to part with any of his baby clothes. I did get rid of some a while ago, and passed them down to a sister in my church, but the ones he wore when he was a baby i am definitely saving. 

He's a petite kid, but his feet are not! It has come to a point where he can no longer get away with wearing the same size shoe for two years. He was a size 8 last fall, and now his foot is a 10! My five and a half year old growing boy is getting taller, and growing like a weed! There is no way he can wear some of his shoes again including these moccasins which are my favorite!! 
When I found out about these cute moccs two years ago I went to town and bought a few pairs for him. I had a feeling he was going to outgrow them soon, and so the last pair I ordered was a size bigger. Now these moccs stretch, so it's a good thing I upped the size because they fit him perfectly now! Thing is he really loves these moccs and I'm not sure how much longer he can wear them. I'm also debating on whether to buy him another pair or not for when he starts school. Don't think I'll get him 50 million pairs like I did before, but he'll at least own one. They look much cuter on when he was a toddler, but once they are six, seven, and older I don't know. Then again...adults wear different types of moccs so who cares. He looks pretty stylish in them, and he'll only be in school for half a day anyway. 
I definitely won't part with these moccs because they are still in good shape, and no matter how worn in they've become i just can't part with them. Noah's favorite were the red ones, and he literally went to town on those. Look at the cute toe prints!!  I will definitely be saving these for his posterity. 

Same with these saltwater sandals that he's had for two years... 
So far he's still fits in the navy ones, but after summer is over, those will also be going in the bin to be saved. 

It sure was a bittersweet moment going through all of his things, and passing down the last of Lexie's clothes to Chelsea. My two youngest are growing up way too fast. One thing for sure is that in the midst of decluttering those memories came flooding back, and I'm so grateful for memory. "Remember when he wore this", and when Sierra wore that, and now it's Lexie's, and now Chelsea's wearing it" will probably be uttered by my girls. Crazy, and fun memories my kids will have. Luckily I have pictures of the time they all pretty much wore the same clothes. It'll be fun when the girls get together to look at their scrapbooks and read old blog posts, and say, "Hey, that was mine, and I looked better in it" with a bunch of laughs in between. Knowing that some of those clothes I saved will be passed on to their posterity, and cherished for always brings a huge smile to my face. 

 Bittersweet I'm telling you (tear.) 

Happy Friday, and hope y'all have a nice sunny weekend! 




Thursday, May 28, 2015

ICE CREAM, & A STAINED GLASS HOUSE IN BROOKLYN.

After visiting cemeteries, and memorials of our fallen soldiers this past memorial holiday we decided to venture out to Brooklyn afterwards for some much needed ice cream. We figured since we were only 20 minutes away to take advantage and we did just that! We had a craving, and after having lunch at a Chili's restaurant (which was not the best!) I seriously needed to wash that food down with some delicious ice cream. 

Although it was Memorial day and our thoughts were on those who lost their lives we also wanted to have a little bit of fun. One thing I've always taught my kids is whenever there is a holiday that brings significant meaning to our lives to put that first, and then we can have some fun. Last year on Memorial Day we went to Valley Forge to remember, and then ventured out to the beach. This year we went to Brooklyn, and had the kids run around Brooklyn Bridge park to let their wiggles out with all the driving we did.  

It was then when I noticed this stained glass house. 
 Sorry for some of the grainy pictures. Some of these were taken at night, and I haven't quite mastered the editing on my iPhone yet! But the glass house looks awesome when it's lit up at night! 
One thing about new york is that it never disappoints, and every where you go you are going to see some kind of art installation. It was a pretty cool looking glass house, and the stain glass was beautiful. It's a shame that there are a few cracks on some of the glass already. Nonetheless it was nice taking pictures of it with other people photo bombing my photos, but that's what happens when you come to the park in the evening on Memorial Day! 
Like I said...there is always some kind of art installation displayed all over the city, and there was this orange bench play looking thing in which kids were walking on, and climbing underneath. Noah had a blast walking all over it! Hey...anything to make a kid happy right?

The kids continued to play in the park, and my craving was accomplished when I snagged a peaches and cream ice cream cone. The Brooklyn Ice cream factory is delicious and one must never leave Dumbo without having one. 
It was a beautiful day, and in spite of coming home around midnight on a school night the kids made it to school the following morning, and they had a blast. Chelsea, and Noah keep saying, "we should just move here."
Yeah...that would be nice. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

IN HONOR OF OUR FALLEN SOLDIERS.

When you have a teenager I'll warn you that their schedule even on a holiday will be busy...especially if they're in  the jazz band. 

Lexie woke up at 6:30 a.m. on Memorial Day to meet with her fellow band members at the high school to participate in the Memorial Day parade. This is tradition and I'll tell ya as long as I keep having musically inclined kids who are in the jazz band you bet they are going to be a part of it.

And I am so grateful. 

Grateful because these kids woke up early in the morning knowing the why as in "why are we doing this?", and the who  as in "who are we doing this for?" 

"To do it in remembrance, and in honor of our fallen soldiers."

As our kids have grown older they have caught the vision of the true meaning of Memorial Day. They understand why it's crucial to know that aside from the BBQ's, and going to the beach it's important to remember those who have fought for our country, and in the end paid the ultimate sacrifice in protecting our freedoms. 
So after Lexie came home from the parade we drove up to Orange near Newark where were informed by my mother in law that there are family members on her side of the family buried there. We drove, and it was a beautiful drive. We stopped, and paid our respects to other fallen soldiers as well. Whether they are family or not the fact that they fought so hard to serve our country in order for us to be "free" is incomprehensible. I could tell by the look on my girls face as opposed to Noah's (he's five) that they truly understand the meaning of Memorial Day. 

After a while Noah began to show some reverence. When we arrived at the memorial he was running around waving his little flag around, and I had to tell him to calm down. I reminded him of why we are here, and he immediately stopped, and began to put back a few flags that were out of place.

My heart fluttered as I saw him doing this. It made me realize that he was actually listening to me as I was explaining why we have flags, and why we are here putting roses on the memorial, and what a "memorial" actually is. 

His reverence didn't last too long. As we left he saw this tank, and wanted to climb inside, but again I reminded him that it's not to play in. He understood, and we had a picture taken of us instead (thanks Lexie.)
I love Memorial Day, and I love remembering. 

So, so grateful for all those who sacrificed their lives for us, for the ones who continue to serve, and to let their families know that they were thought of on this day.

Thank you, and God Bless America! 

Monday, May 25, 2015

NOAH-ISMS.

My life as a mom. Oh how I love it so much. I sure am going to miss the euphemisms, and sayings that come out of Noah's mouth all the day long. There have been weeks when Jon has only worked 3 days, and he's gotten in the habit of always saying,  "Mommy, daddy's not working today? He only has one job right? And how many packages does he deliver today?"

This kid is definitely getting taller, and stretching like a piece of laffy taffy. He can't quite reach the cupboards yet, but he sure is an independent kid to the point where he asks, "can someone please make me some cereal...pleeeeeeassssssseeeee", and when no one seems to be helping him fast enough he will drag a chair and eventually get it himself. 

It's scenarios like that in which I don't want him to grow taller. I said to him the other day, "Noah, please don't grow up, can you please stay little?" His response, "but I can't mom. I have to get taller so I can reach the cereal."

So lately there have been days when I'm in the mood for McDonald's because the smell of it just smells so good as we drive by it. It has come to a point where I'm sick of it, and one afternoon after picking up the girls from school I asked if they wanted to grab a bite. Noah of course said, "I want McDonald's." Me: "McDonald's again...that's disgusting." Noah: "no it's not dizzzguzzzting, it's sooooooooo gooooooooood."

Noah has been watching too many Transformers movies lately, and has been mocking Stanley Tucci lately by saying, "Death is on our tail, death is on our tail. I don't want to do die like this!" Over, and over again!! Definitely need to wean him from that!  

Noah is losing his second tooth on the bottom (insert frown face here), and yesterday he said, "Not again! I want my tooth to stay inside!"

And last, but not least this morning I was checking my statuses, and looking at photos when Noah jumps on my bed and asks, "What are you looking at?" I said, "pictures of you that I took at church yesterday." Noah: "Can I see?"  I then proceeded to show pictures of him and all he kept saying was, "that's me at church with the balls, can I press it? Can I press "me" to make the picture bigger?" 
Such a ham, and I love him so! 

Hope y'all have a wonderful Memorial Day with the ones you love!

Friday, May 22, 2015

IF IT'S MEANT TO BE.

Two months ago a dear friend of mine had her second child. You can imagine my excitement & surprise when I found out that she was having a baby (congratulations Lori!) I was so thrilled for her. I hadn't seen her since high school, but the desire to send her a gift was overwhelming. It was so fun putting it together, and I was informed last night with a sweet thank you video from her cute son that they received it. My brother in law who is also in his 40's will become a dad for the second time next week, and there are also two other friends from high school who are my age who also had babies in their 40's. I was almost 39 when I had Noah, and being pregnant at that age was pretty amazing! Sure I had my moments of exhaustion, but what pregnant woman doesn't. Aside from back pain due to how I carried him I've always had healthy pregnancies, and hearing these baby announcements, and seeing pictures of newborn babies makes me a bit jelly, but at that the same time so, so happy for them. 

And the truth is... 

I would like to have another baby. In about four months I'll be turning 44, and the desire to have a baby is still within me. I know what you're thinking (at least some of you may be). You already have four, and you're getting old why would you want more? 

Well, I wasn't close to my brother at all while growing up (we lived separately), and when I see my kids in harmony (at least 95% of the time) it brings me so much joy, and the desire to have just one more increases. It's as if I want to fill that void I had of not having grown up with my brother, and not experiencing the feeling of having a younger sibling. I would like for Noah to experience being a big brother, but then again I didn't experience being a big sister. I do, however,  have a wonderful sister whom I did grow up with. Despite the cat fights, and drama we had as sibs we are closer today now than we've ever been, and for that I am extremely grateful to have her in my life to look upon to. 

As far as my brother goes our relationship has progressed somewhat throughout the years, but the fact that we were raised separately made it kind of difficult. Living miles away from each other doesn't help either.  Nonetheless we keep in touch via text, and he just got a Facebook! He's almost 50 and is finally on Facebook! Huge step for me bro! But we are all old school, and I think my sis, and brother will always appreciate tangible cards, and photos! 

I never in my life thought I would have four kids because my childhood wasn't all rainbows and butterflies, but I did. I didn't plan them to be five years apart either it just happened that way. One of the greatest blessings was having girls first. Not one, but three! And even though they have their moments, they all love each other. One thing for sure is when their all old, and married they will all be each others best friend. Just as my sister, and I are. Looking out for each other, and having each other's back even though we are miles apart. There's is no greater feeling than having a sister, and I'm so happy that I have ONE! 

As much as Jon and I would want Noah to have a baby brother, or sister, it's just not happening. One thing I know for sure is that Heavenly Father knows what he's doing, and he truly is in charge of our life. No matter how much I beg, and plead to have another child it is His will. I don't want to bother going to any doctors, or specialists to help  me get pregnant, because I personally don't, nor should I have to do that...especially at my age. I have come to the realization that this body of mine has produced all it can in this life, and I'm at peace with that. 

I am extremely grateful that the Lord blessed us with a son, and I know that Noah will be satisfied with being the baby of the family as I am, and that is something that he and I will have in common!

Having four children has been the greatest blessing in my life, and knowing that makes me look forward to being a grandma someday...not now, but someday! 

Our family of six will be good enough for me! 

Have a happy long memorial day weekend! 

**Photo is an oldie from the year 2010 taken in Cape Cod. Noah was seven months old. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

WHEN THE DAY TAKES YOU TO PHILLY.


You'd think that on your days off all you want to do is sleep, and relax, but I personally cannot just hang out in the house all day especially when the weather is too perfect. With Jon driving all day for eight hours delivering at least 250 packages I'm sure all he wants to do on his days off is sleep in, but I don't let him. Okay, maybe just for a little bit until like 9am. Unless you're working graveyard sleep in until late afternoon, but I don't like him sleeping in until noon like a teenager on saturdays! Oh wait...my kids don't even do that! Although the forecast called for a few showers we didn't care. Weather in Jersey or particularly in the east is so unpredictable. You never know if it's going to rain, or just be cloudy. Jon and I are spontaneous, and so we both decided to go to the city. We never really plan, and I think that's what makes our marriage unique, and fun because we are not anal when it comes to planning. It would be different if we were planning a trip out of the country like Europe, or Hawaii, but when you live 20 minutes away from Philly who cares. Just go with the flow. 

It's pretty amazing where the day can take you. Since I was craving a sandwich we decided to drive to Potbelly's. Unfortunately the location we normally go to on City ave. closed last October. Has it really been that long since we've eaten there?? Luckily the ones in Center City, and UPenn were still open because man was I was hungry!! 


We were lucky to find a meter to park, and walked around the University of Pennsylvania. To my surprise it was a pretty interesting area. I thought that this area was surrounded with hospitals, and universities, but if you walk around a bit you'll discover that there's the Penn Museum which we are going to check out next time we come, and a lot of old buildings. So yeah...there's quite a bit of history to explore in this part of Philly. I didn't have a lot of battery left on my phone because overtime my snapchat kills it, but I did manage to capture like one or two pictures! Here are a few, and I'll try to caption the photos as I try to write in prose. 

Walking around UPENN was beautiful. I love the architecture of some of the buildings such as the first photo with Noah on Jon's shoulders. I was too hungry to stop and take photos soooooooo this was the only pic i took! 
On our walk back we saw this Benjamin Franklin statue. Apparently it was a gift given to the college from the class of 1906! Wow that's an old gift! 
One cannot leave Philly without driving by, and getting down to walk around the temple site to see how it's coming. The exterior is still being worked on, but look at it!!! It is sooooo close to being completed. It is looking so beautiful, and it's such in a good location that it will definitely attract a lot of tourism. 

As I was walking taking pictures there was a man that stopped next to me, and said, "Wow, that's going to be one good-looking building" I then proceeded to say to him, "I know right, that sure is going to be one beautiful "temple", and right away he went straight to the missionaries that were standing outside the fence of the mini visitors center they have for those who want to know more about the church, and temple site. The sisters beat me to the punch in sharing the gospel with him, but I'm glad that he stopped and talked with them. 

And here's a couple more photos for good measure! 

I absolutely love living in this part of the world, and being so close to different cities, and seeing all kinds of people. When you pay attention to the positive things in life, and ignore any negativity when it comes to any city Philly truly is the city of brotherly love. We love venturing out here on a whim, and Noah just enjoys it. 

I have to note that we are pretty lucky to be living here in between New York, and Philly to continue to venture out into unknown territory. I honestly don't think I could move away from the east! 


  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

IT FEELS LIKE SUMMER!

I can't believe that my eldest daughter is now 20, that May is almost over, and that summer is just around the corner! Time sure is passing by this mama's life way too quickly, and while I find it exciting, I also find it a bit frightening! I know I've written in the past to live in the present, and not the future, but I can't help to picture what all my kids will be doing in about five years! One thing for sure is that I'll still have these kiddos in school, but I also wonder what I'll be up to at that time. 
The past couple of weeks have just flown, and as I look at the photos i posted on Instagram recently I'll ask myself, "Did this happen six days ago, two weeks ago, last month? I feel as if this happened yesterday!" Do any of you ask yourselves that? It's both amazing, and scary at the same time how time just slips through our fingers! I do enjoy it in some ways because I see my two youngest maturing, and can't wait until they will actually stop picking on each other! I picture Noah, and Chelsea at 11, and 15 talking about school, and Chelsea giving him advice about girls, and how middle school is going to be like. Encouraging him to be a strong, respectful person to girls, and his elders.
This weather we've been having has been a bit unbalanced. Hot, warm, cool, humid, breezy. It's as if spring is trying so hard to stay, yet the season is dying to transition into summer. Doesn't bother me at all. If anything it motivates my kids to be outdoors, and with the weather feeling like summer the kids decided to play some tennis. 

As I was watching Noah, and Lexie practicing tennis the past couple of weeks I was thinking of when Lexie had her first game, and how the season just ended for her. Practice will be starting soon, and Lexie is giving herself a head start in working better on her serve, and backhand swings. Her form is pretty good, but I know that in order for someone to get better you need to practice, practice, practice! She is very competitive (you can tell by the look on her face as she plays), and has a strong love for the sport. I hope she makes the team again, and is paired with a partner that is just as hardworking, and determined as she is. 
My sister insists on us getting a private coach for her, but I'll have to see how much that will cost! Music, and sports are not cheap around here, but you know us parents, we'll do anything for our kids, and when it comes to music, and sports I'll try my very best to accomplish that!
Noah continues to learn, and have fun going to tennis lessons. He is so darn cute! The way he positions himself waiting to have the ball thrown at him, and how he stands waiting to hit the ball is too pro looking. So far he loves it, and I hope he'll continue to stick with it because I believe that tennis is one of the best sports there is in the whole world. You can start learning it at three, and play until your 80 years old!! 
Chelsea is such a good sport. She loves coming with us to watch Noah, and being the "ball girl" on the court when Lexie practices. I could tell that she was feeling a bit left out so we decided to enroll for summer lessons, and she is looking forward to that. 

As much as I enjoy being in my own home, I am loving the warm weather. Being outdoors with the kids is invigorating, and fun, and believe it or not I don't mind a little bit of sweat (growing up in Texas helped with that adjustment!) That's part of spring turning into summer, and being a mom. Running around with the kids trying to keep up with them, and just having a grand time. 

It already feels like summer, and also feel that this summer is going to keep me on my toes. 


Yep...it's going to be a good one! 


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

SPRING ART SHOW '14.

Attending the art shows at the elementary school is something i've always looked forward to ever since we moved to Jersey. This is my seventh art show I've attended, and it just gets better and better with each passing year. Maybe I'm just saying that because I'm bias, and my kids have a knack for the arts, or maybe it's because I see the talent that all these kids have with their imaginations in drawing, and creating pictures. It's pretty cool to see different types of character when it comes to art among the students, and makes me happy that the teacher(s) who help put on this show each year never grows weary of their job. They make the time to carefully organize and display such a beautiful work of art all over the school. Truly takes a lot of effort, patience, and lots of love!! 

Ms. Czbas who is going on her fifth year of teaching art to elementary students is an amazing teacher. She is so gifted in her talents. She was my oldest daughter's eighth grade drama teacher when we first moved here! Crazy how time flies and now she's teaching my younger kids art! 

This year each student had two works of art on display with over 1000 pieces covering the walls of the hallways. We most definitely took the time to see each piece of art. We laughed, smiled, "oohed, and awed" as we were looking at the paintings. 

Really interesting minds, and pretty cool art that these kids portrayed. 

Here a few pieces that were among my favorites...

All the fourth graders (including mine) created their collage by using cut-paper to create their own look of Pablo Picasso's abstract painting...The Three Musicians. 
This was the work of third graders. I captured a photo of Chelsea as she was passing the "The Tree of Life." I thought it was so springy and pretty with the different colored butterflies. It's adapted by Gustav Klimt's tree of life.

And some of these were just too cool not to photograph.  
^^^ Music makes her happy. ^^^
 Some of these were just the coolest such as the 'Listerine' drawing done by Gabriel, the 'McDonald's' french fries, and jolly rancher drawings. 
These paintings, and drawings all put a smile on my face. I see Chelsea's reaction when she was showing us her artwork, and can tell that it helps her escape from reality. She loves the arts, and anything to do with coloring, and drawing. I always find joy, and comfort whenever I attend an art show. Whether the work is done by a professional or by elementary kids it is worth the time to go. 

There is no boredom when it comes to art! 

Monday, May 18, 2015

HAPPY 20TH SIERRA!

When I received a snapchat from Sierra to let me know she received our packages this past Saturday I called, and asked her if she wanted to open them now, or on her official birthday which is today. We both decided since Monday was going to be a busy day for her working, and having a family bbq with friends that she should open them now. We face timed the "mini-birthday" party,  and as she was opening the package the first thing she grabbed was the card we sent. She opened it, sat still for a minute while reading it, and then said, "Can y'all believe you have a 20 year old!!" While I was sitting there in total denial,  Jon's answer was, "yes I do,  I feel old!" LOL! 

Although I embrace my age there are days when I feel young, and energized (having a five year old in your 40's will do that to you). I look forward to Sierra's future, and all that she wants to accomplish. She has some awesome goals, and is very ambitious. She wants to raise the bar with her passion for music, and for her love for God to not just be stagnant, and mediocre, but to increase to the highest of honorable love. And although she wants to be a mom someday she has dreams of being a musician, and inspiring others through her words whether it's through music, or teaching. 

One thing for sure is that this daughter of mine is the greatest. Throughout all the decisions she has made up until now with her schooling, and all that she has endured in the first two years after graduating high school, she has done just that...ENDURED. No matter what life has thrown at her she has managed to overcome all opposition, and stand strong in her beliefs. Knowing that she had to make decisions on her own, and even though some may not have been the greatest she ended up learning from them, and growing into a much stronger spiritual daughter of God. Reading this sweet story also helped my perspective on mothering an adult from long distance, and toddler at the same time!

And because of her example, and standing strong in her faith tells me that I did something right. That all the things she was taught in the church were not just words, but the truth. And she knows that now more than ever.

She knows she's of great worth, and knows why she is living her life in this dispensation. Whatever she decides to do in the next two years we will support her all the way. 

Her "future will truly be as bright as her faith" if she continues to be the way she is. Bubbly, cheerful, forgiving, kind, and loving.  I am so grateful that the words "have courage and be kind" never left my daughter's mind, and I pray that she will continue to teach that to her future posterity when the time comes. 

Happy birthday mamas, and have a fabulous day! You deserve every good deed that comes your way!

xoxo

momma bear




Friday, May 15, 2015

HAVE COURAGE & BE KIND.

I
When I took Chelsea on a date to see Cinderella when it first opened I couldn't help, but to turn away from the movie and take a glance at her, especially when the scene of her mother dying came on. Her eyes were glued to the screen and watching her reaction made me tear up a bit. 

"Have courage and be kind" was something that Cinderella was taught by her mother, and it made me think of my girls. Hoping I did my very best in raising them to fend for themselves, to have compassion, and most of all kindness. I know that I have taught them well, and even though they may not be perfect I have seen them express acts of bravery, and extreme kindness. 

Through all the hard work, and sacrifices when it comes to our kids being a full time mom is worth it. We learn from our own experiences, and in turn teach our children to do better in hopes that they will never be faced with adversity, but it's inevitable, and regardless they will have their own trials. 

I feel my Heavenly Father's love every time I pray for my children, and let me tell you, prayer becomes constant when you have a child living 2100 miles away. Regardless if their surroundings are safe, and their influences are good it doesn't matter. There will always be opposition in all things. Luckily we have the tools that can guard us from any opposition. Prayer, and reading the scriptures. Adversity will always be there, but applying the scriptures, and praying for guidance in making wise choices can help us handle any "real-life" bad situations when they happen. 

I wasn't raised in the church so I know how it feels to not have had those tools in my life. And as much as I had a mother who did her very best in raising me, having that firm foundation built upon a rock was not in our home. One thing my mom did teach me though is manners. In spite of the trials I had throughout my childhood I was taught to always be kind to others. I also had to be brave in the things that I was faced with on a daily basis. Although the rock in my home wasn't as solid I still managed to survive, and have courage. In the end I had developed thick skin as well as a defensive attitude because of the things I endured as a child, but the act of being kind never left my demeanor. 

Fortunately I've changed that environment in my life today by building a firm foundation of Christlike love in our home in hopes to never have that foundation broken. 

I love the scriptures, and as a mother I know firsthand that when I make the time to read them it helps me through any rocky situations, and prevents me from being an "evil person." As much as we read the scriptures as a family, I hope that I have enlivened my kids to never take them for granted. 

All children are innocent to a point just as Cinderella was, and once they are faced with adversity it can go either way. You can choose to become weak, and bitter. Or it can strengthen you, and make you into the best person you can possibly become. I am grateful to have children whom so far have faced adversity with courage, and beat it with a tremendous amount of faith.

For some life can be like a spiritual roller coaster. Up, and down, all around. Regardless of what life throws at them I pray that they will grow from their struggles, always have the courage to face adversity with bravery, and no matter what to always be kind to others. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY "GRANDPA JOE."

The month of may has, and will always be a special month for me for a number of reasons. It is the month I converted my life to the Lord, and joined this church, but an even more special month having my first daughter being born. It's also special because it's the birthday month of this great man who passed on way too soon. A man who was like a father to me. 

His name was Joe.

Today would have been his 66th birthday. And today I want to celebrate him by remembering all the good that he brought into our family. He was one of the greatest father figures I've ever known, and an amazing "grandpa" to my girls. The way he treated my mom was something out of a love/comedy film because he always made her laugh .and even though they had their ups and down like all couples do they always ended with a laugh. I think that's why I found their relationship so ideal & somewhat comical...in a good way!
Memories of him will always stay with me, and till this day I know he's watching us from above. Helping us out through someone else. Looking down at our girls praying that they continue to live a good life, and probably wishing that he met Noah. 

I believe that there no coincidences in this life, and since his death I've had amazing experiences where someone has helped us out whether physically, or by simply doing a good deed, and i want to share a couple of those experiences today. 

About a month after Joe passed on Jon and I were trying to decide whether to have lunch at Sonic or Chick-fi-le. We decided to have Chick-fi-le. We continued to wait in the drive thru, and when it was our turn to pull up the lady at the window told us to not worry about paying that our meal has been paid for. I was in awe because that just doesn't happen very often. So when she gave us the food she also gave us a business card of the person who paid for our meal.  His name was "Joe" and he was a pastor from a church. You can imagine me reaction. My husband said to me, "that was not a coincidence, he's watching out for you from above."

This past winter I was helping out a friend by taking her out an important errand. My van began to overheat, and I had to pull onto the side of the road to let it cool down. Now mind you I'm in Jersey, it's freezing cold outside, and it's 8:oo in the morning! My girlfriend and I wondered who the heck is going to stop, and help us at this ungodly hour in a borough where everyone is asleep. Well what do you know here comes a car pulling behind mine, and this older man probably in his 50's steps out of his vehicle offering to help. He looked underneath our hood, and noticed that the pipe which allows the water and antifreeze to flow through is frozen and is blocking the fluids to flow through. Amazingly he had some antifreeze, and water in his trunk. He waited with us long enough to make sure that the needle went down to the middle of th gauge, and that it was not staying on "H". I was so grateful to him, and still couldn't believe that he stopped for us. I had a few dollars, and wanted to give it to him for helping us, but he refused to take it. I thanked him, and while shaking his hand asked him what his name was. He said "I'm Joe." My eyes got watery, and continued to express my gratitude to him. He went on his merry way. As i got back in the car my girlfriend asked what's wrong because the tears began to stream down. I explained to her that every time I'm in need of something the person having to help us have been named Joe. She thought that was pretty cool. 

I know that Joe is watching over us, and his loved ones. He truly is an angel behind the curtain helping us out in times of need. With the help of Heavenly Father those blessings continue to come down. While living on this earth Joe was a compassionate, giving kind of man with an amazing heart. 

And I firmly believe that it's even bigger up in the heavens. 

Happy Birthday Joe.

Go on...continue to celebrate with the angels. 
And God continue to be with you until we meet again. 

xo

Monday, May 11, 2015

MOTHER'S DAY ON A SATURDAY IN NEW YORK CITY.

Over Mother's day weekend Jon decided to take me to New York alone without the kiddos. So after Noah's tennis lesson we got ourselves ready and headed out. We left pretty late in the day, and arrived in the city around 3pm, but still managed to do some of the things we wanted to do. We walked all over Manhattan for hours, and just enjoyed our time alone. To be honest it felt kind of weird because we are so used to having the kids with us when we come to the city, but nonetheless had a grand time!  
We hung around the the Flat iron district, and being that it was the month of may we had "a taste" of Madison Square eats. We didn't get to try out too many foods because we had already had lunch in jersey, but oh my gosh everything looked delicious. I bought a few corn cookies from Milk (my new favorite cookie), and Jon tried out a pork empanada. I had a taste of it too, and and it was pretty good. They are only here during the month of may so if you're in the area I would recommend coming hungry so you can try out some of the foods! 
 Besides the cookies I spotted a Wafels & Dinges truck, and we had ourselves a throw down, and da bomb. 
We then walked around Madison Square Park where they have a new art installation, and it's pretty amazing. They always have different art put in every few months, but this particular one will hang around the park at least until the winter months. 
And then I saw the playground. They say to never talk about the kids while on on a date with your spouse, but I couldn't help to not talk about them since this is Noah & Chelsea's favorite playground. It only lasted until we left the park! 
The weather was pretty perfect considering it looked like Gotham for a bit with the fog lingering high in the sky, but there was no rain, and I managed to capture a few photos of this city that I love so much. 
 ^^^ We also noticed more art in front of Central Park, and this particular art was called "Desire Lines." ^^^
^^^ Fallon...enough said. ^^^
We ended the day in the city with a carriage ride through Central park. It was so relaxing, and even though we didn't have the kids with us we still had them in our hearts. Still...it's dates like this that strengthen our marriage, and helps us love a little harder. 

Hope you're Mother's day weekend was filled with a lot of love!! 

Happy Monday!