Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Friend Request

I am SO sorry to leave ya hangin' so long! After posting a teaser on all social media accounts, rumors have spread like wild fire!

Nope. Not preggers.

Uh uh. Not moving. Are you kidding me? You will have to pick me up and carry me. I have yet to sit down and count the number of times I've loaded up a U-Haul.

No. Sadly I'm not about to tell you that the sweet girl we fought so hard to save, is coming home to us. But don't stop praying for that one.

And no, we didn't win the lottery. We don't even play-what a waste of money. Please don't tell me you play.

Get to the point you say? I know, Phil hates it when I do this. I usually start telling the story from the end and work backwards. In this case that wouldn't be any fun! Oh you still love my stories...

So I get this friend request on Facebook. The dude shares my last name...Huh. I look at his cover page and I instantly see my late Uncle in him! So I start texting my Mom (cause she's cool like that) asking if she knows who he may be. She begins to think of different possibilities. She has an idea of who it could be! Cool, another cousin. I can always use another cousin!

I shoot him a message.

"Well, I don't know who you are but you sure look just like my Uncle and my Dad!"

Then he says,

"BUDDY? My Mom told me all about him."


"His name is on my birth certificate!"

Complete shock. Phil picks my chin off the ground. I have a brother? I need more facts. (Besides the fact that he looks just like my Dad and all my Uncle's combined.)

I verify these facts by mentioning to my Mother that this dude is claiming to be my bro, and she suddenly remembers a conversation that took place over 30 years ago with my Dad about one of his ex-wives and how they had a son. Uh, Mom, these are stories we're supposed to remember for your future children. To my Mom's defense, she had no plans on marrying my Dad at the time and didn't think much of it. (Oh, Mom.)

So my broski, (can I tell you how much I've always wanted a brother?!) gives me his number and we chat for hours! Exchanging pictures, similarities, videos of our Dad and sometimes sitting in silence in total shock! He found me because our Dad passed away almost 5 years ago and he was able to find his obituary that listed my sister and I as his children. And then there's Facebook! 

That's my Dad. 

SO it's for real. I have a brother! And he has a wife of 17 years and 3 beautiful children. (Not really children though!) This picture is a few years old I think, but it's the only one of all of them together.

I know Dad would have been so proud of him. But I am grateful that one day we will be in Heaven together! As for now, I will enjoy having a brother. What a blessing that he found me. He even laughs like my Dad.

Oh how my life makes me giggle. Never a dull moment!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pinner Not a Doer

Let's just start of the post with some cuteness shall we? I dropped my laptop (twice) and the screen now has a pretty looking leaf shape with various rainbow stripes going across it. The first drop I was able to see 3/4 of the screen but the second drop did me in. SO now it is connected by an HDMI cable to a small TV which sits next to me on a chair by the couch. I'm debating whether to replace the screen or just deal with it. With that being said, I don't like using my laptop anymore and tend to use my iPad instead. So I've been a little behind on uploading what seem to be Elli's every waking (and sleeping) moment of life through pictures. I just love practicing my photography skills on her but it's getting out of hand.

Who likes to pin? Oh, me too. Organizing my Boards feeds my OCDness. Now who actually does anything with their pins? Well I know those of you that have stepped the holiday game up by about 20 notches to make the rest of us look bad, have put your pinning into practice! I have not. Oh sure, I love to pin to my "Work It" Board with all the different work outs I would love to do. It's the thought that counts...?

I posted this picture back in August I believe. I had full intentions on making this lamp shade. Check out how cute it is and CLICK HERE. Well, here I am 7 months later...

It's progress! I guess I've been taking my time because I still haven't even found a table to put it on! I haven't posted pictures of our nursery because I have yet to hang anything on the walls because I'm too indecisive and I haven't found the finishing touches either. Maybe before she graduates high school I'll have it done.

I pinned some baby food inspirations that we recently put to the test! I was a bit perplexed when reading some of the blog posts as they all stressed how much healthier it is versus store bought. Some even stressed the importance of using organic foods, yet they all seemed to suggest that we warm the food in the microwave. We all know that the microwave completely diminishes the nutrients in food, right? It just seems counterintuitive to want the healthiest choice for your child by eliminating processed and chemically-laden foods, but then zap it in the microwave. I know, you all probably use a microwave...another reason to call me a crunchy Mom I guess.

Here is E all ready for her first bite of the real stuff. Notice the microwave in the background...Phil uses it for popcorn and that is it. I would like the space waster out of my house personally. In fact, anyone want to buy it?

And the sweet potatoes were a hit! All we did was bake the sweet potatoes at 400 until the skins were practically falling off. Then I scooped out all the yummy goodness inside, and put it in my food processor. Then I scooped it out into ice trays and froze them which gives individual portions ready to go!

As I posted back HERE, I am doing a monthly photo shoot on a piece of fabric and having a quilt made with the fabrics after the first year. Here is a look into what these photo shoots look like. The sounds I have to make to get this girl to smile...this time I kept Rusty in the room to help with the smiles.

Ah how she makes me melt. Rusty is pretty cute too. For a dog.

So my goal is to make at least one new recipe from Pinterest per week. Last night I made this chicken dish that always pops up in my feed. It was SO YUMMY!

Go HERE to check out the baked garlic brown sugar chicken recipe! I did way more garlic than it called for and it was amazing!

Afterwards I made THESE oatmeal raisin cookies for Phil. (I put some raisin-less dough aside for myself and added some chocolate chips!)

So I did two recipes in one night-BAM! Goal accomplished. For this week, anyways.

Thursday, March 13, 2014


In my last post I talked about a lot of the things I'm passionate about. Every fellow Mom seems to be actively researching the best products to use or ways of doing things these days. At times I think we have too much information at our fingertips. And I cannot stand how things can't just be black and white. But that's where we rely on our faith. When I'm uncertain about something, I pray about it and I go to the Bible to see if whatever it is aligns with His word. We like control don't we? Sometimes we are blinded by it in order to have our way. It's something I am always asking God to work out in me. Parenting has surprisingly made that easier.

My little E muffin is 6 months old! In a couple days she will be 7 months. Not cool. Remember I told you a few posts back that yes, I know it goes by fast! It's literally the first thing almost everyone says after they ask me how old she is. I know it does, I really do. And I recently even found myself saying it to someone else about their baby!

Looking back at this picture makes me realize just how fast time flies. We had been dating a month. This was at my 18th birthday and I already thought I loved him. In 2004 we got married (Wedding story HERE) and so just last month we celebrated 10 years of marriage! There is nothing like sharing your every day with someone you love. I still get giddy when he pulls into the driveway after work.

We were going to be visiting friends in Tennessee during our anniversary weekend, so Elli had the best babysitters (1st time!) and we went out on the town! We went ice skating, explored a nearby park and then Phil surprised me with a pedicure! I am Canadian (dual citizen as I was born in Texas) but you would never have know I had years of skating experience by this video.


We topped off our day with a romantic dinner at our fav place The Cheesecake Factory. We ended up eating at the bar because the wait was almost 3 hours long! WHAT?! No clue what the hype was about, but all we could get were two seats literally at the bar. Not my first choice, but the service was actually better than ever! And when you're sitting right next to a friendly Aussie, you get to try a new dish before ordering it. Yep, I really took a fork to a strangers plate. Not ashamed.

While we were in TN Phil and M built a fabulous little barn for their new horse! We ended up staying almost 2 weeks. Loved the time with my bestie, M and the kids. 

Phil also made some time to build me a pretty snazzy oil holder with 'P + V' carved into it. He knows how to win my heart!And how to make my oils easily accessible. 

Life on the farm was pretty nice. Maybe next time we go out there it will be to build a house! Hey, you never know with us...

So we decided that our kids don't have a choice and they will get married one day. So we ensured that had plenty of time to get to know each other. And Elliana had to get to know her future sis-in-laws too.

E casually puttin' on the moves. G didn't mind. It's really such a blessing for my best friend to be only 3 hours away now! (They used to live in Cali like us.) We are so grateful to have them in our lives.

Just before our trip to Tennessee, we had a crazy snow storm! We didn't think it was going to be too bad so we went to visit friends that had just had a baby. Well it took us almost 5 hours to get home. They live 30 minutes away. It was horrible! Every turn we took we would get stuck because of a car or truck that got stuck. I'm sure you heard about it on the news. It was crazy!

E was not impressed. The dogs however, just loved it! We had a snowball fight and even went sledding in our backyard redneck style.

So here we are after 10 years of marriage and many moves. Our family of 3. I don't deserve the blessings in my life, and I most certainly won't take them for granted. God is SO good ALL the time. 

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."  Ephesians 3:20-21