Thursday, May 31, 2012

Always remember

There are two mothers that I spent quite a bit of time remembering on this past Mother's day. These two mothers have been instrumental in my life and my husband's life. They have loved us. They have laughed and smiled with us. Their kisses and hugs will always be in our memory. They are special for so many reasons and I'll try to capture their spirits that will forever live long in our hearts.

~

First, I will write about my husband's grandmother. She passed away this past year. I wrote about our trip to see her before and after she passed here and here. In the last posts, I failed to spend time writing about the woman that she was. The gifts that she shared with our little family. And so, I wanted to take the time to do that now, so that we can have this to remember in the years to come.

Great-grandma Delia was beautiful. She had soft skin and very pretty long nails that she always kept good care of. If I could pick a word to describe her, I would choose feisty. Little one, she was! She had a way to get on to your father. But no matter how many times she got on to him for this or that, the love she had for him was huge. It was beautiful. It's a love that she had for you, and for me, and for her family. Great-grandma Delia had a hard life growing up. And, I know she had her challenges even as a mother herself. But know, in her later years, things changed. Her stubbornness never left her, nor did her feistyness, but as the years passed she grew closer to those who meant the most to her in a wonderful way, including our Lord.

She worked her heart out till just a few months before she left us. She was such a hard worker all her life! Those that met her at her work were like family to her. She volunteered at a hospital and had many that fell in love with her there too, but the work she loved was her work at the local BINGO. She was a woman of spunk and honesty. She was blunt and direct and stubborn as a rock. Even when cancer and other illnesses plagued her, she was solid. She didn't want you to worry. She was strong. So very strong.

But, a main reason that this woman is so special to me and our little family is because she bore Daddy's mama (your Nonna) in her womb. Through this wonderful woman, we have another amazing woman. We're so thankful for your Great-grandma for bringing your Nonna into the world who then brought your amazing Daddy into this world. You see, sweetheart, your great-grandma participated in God's Will to bring forth life, which lead to your Nonna, which lead to your Daddy, which now leads to you. Her impact on our little family should be forever remembered. As well as her amazing love. So, when you are older, we will talk about her. We will remember her. I hope you ask us questions so that we can sit and reminisce about the wonderful woman who was your Great-Grandma. We have good memories and can't wait to share them.

~

The next woman was my grandma. This Great-Grandma of yours passed away when mama was young. I was in the 8th grade. Cancer took her life too. Writing about your Great Grandma Ofelia is a little harder for me only because I know I loved her so much and felt her loss so greatly, but in that it was so long ago, my memory struggles. So, I will do my best to remember all the little things that stuck.

I loved her laugh. She loved to laugh. She would laugh so hard she would get silent and tears would stream her face while she was slightly hunched over. If you ever want to know what this looks like, watch your Nana laugh. I see G-G Ofelia's laugh in your Nana. It's wonderful to have that. I remember that G-G Ofelia had very soft skin too as does your Nana. There's something about grandmas and their soft skin! You feel it in their hugs. When they hold your hand. And, it's always warm and comforting. She had short hair that curled and her fingers were kinda stubby with a grip that was firm but loving.

G-G Ofelia made trips with your mama when she was little. She went to Disneyworld with us. And other places which just shows her adventurous nature. Your mama used to play with the skin on her elbow when she was little. Haha. Don't know why I did that, but I did, and even did it to your Nana (still do sometimes). I remember G-G Ofelia would always greet with a big, wet, kiss. I knew to expect them. They never grew old. Her home had an old feel to it. It was the home that your Great-Grandpa built from the ground up. Nana and all her brothers and sisters grew up there. She was a woman of faith and I can only assume that she had a devotion to our Blessed Mother since she gave all her daughter's the name of Maria and then followed that with a unique middle name that they would each go by. Rather beautiful really. She would also do the sign of the cross on each child before bed time. Same as your Nana did to me, and same as I do to you. A sign of the cross so that our Lord will bless you and keep you while you sleep.

Cancer entered her life. Then it went into remission for awhile, before it came back to bring her to our Lord. She was strong too, my sweet. So strong. She smiled when her hair fell. She smiled when she felt ill. She didn't want us to worry. She wanted us to be happy and to love.

As we are grateful to Great-grandma Delia for bringing your Nonna into this world who brought Daddy here, we are just as grateful to Great-grandma Ofelia. She carried your Nana who then carried me, your mama. We're so thankful for the gift of life. The gift of family. Your G-G Ofelia had so much to give. She loved her husband so much as well as her kids and grand-kids. She blessed us and I know continues to pray for us in Heaven.

~

Both these women passed as peacefully as they possibly could. Family were with both of them. This past mother's day, I wanted to remember these two women who were both integral parts in our lives. These two women who shared such huge gifts. Their motherhood will always be remembered. It was so much bigger than they ever knew at the time. And, it will continue to grow as years pass.

I'm so thankful to have known both of these women. I miss them now, but am so overwhelmed with gratitude for the time that I had them in my life. I just pray that, when you are old enough, we will share the goodness of these two mothers and how they impacted our lives.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pinned it. Did it. And, I Heart Baby Ellie

Baby Ellie will soon be with us!!! With that, it's about stinkin' time I write this post!

We had a baby shower for D, Laura, and sweet Ellie in March. Everyone had a great time. Close couple friends of the new Daddy and Mama all got together and celebrated the new life that will soon be joining them. Bigfoot made an appearance and then went home to be with his Nonna who was visiting for the week. 

Beautiful couple below.
So, for this shower I thought I'd give some of my pins from Pinterest a go. I made gluten-free strawberry cupcakes (not the exact recipe, but close enough. The recipe used was from a book that is no longer with me.) with a sugary frosting made to look like these little baby faces. We used mini baby bottles since we could not find any cute pacifiers that would work.
Also, I had been wanting to give these adorable yarn letters a go, and Laura and D having baby Ellie finally gave me the chance! I was so excited!

Started off by going to Hobby Lobby and buying some paper mache letters, yellow yarn, ribbon, and cute little rose barrettes for baby Ellie.
Began the yarn journey with the L so I could get the hang of twining the letters. Once I got into a rhythm I was good to go. My fingers may have thought otherwise, but well worth it!
I looped the ribbon that I chose from the huge selection they have at Hobby Lobby, and looped it  through the yarn on the back side where I just tied a knot. I then added the cute barrettes in random places on the letters. The great thing about these yarn letters is that they make great barrette holders for baby girls!
Here are the finished product! We hung them up on our friend, Angie's, mantel. They were super cute! And, I love how they hold barrettes!
A sweet and easy enough gift to give to a friend or make for yourself. Thankful for Crazy Domestic for sharing her craftiness! Also, thank you to Joy the Baker for sharing her gluten-free awesomeness. The cupcakes were definitely a hit!

Now that I've finally shared these fun pins, hopefully sweet baby Ellie will decide to make her way into her Daddy and Mama's arms asap! We're all so excited for her to bless us with her presence! Will be praying for the J family and thankful for all the girls (Mel, I think you were outside for this one! Sad, I didn't get all five of us in here. Just know you're supposed to be included in this one!) in the picture below.
 Love y'all so much!!! ><

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kind Hearts

We went to Muenster, a town that a friend of ours is from, at the end of March. Going to Muenster was so exciting for me, not only because we were able to spend it with other wonderful families that make our world a better place from our bible study, but also because it was a town I heard about from my best friend, Laura. She has family there and would visit it often while we were growing up.

We went to Muenster for a couple reasons. First, to go to Germanfest. And, second, to spend time with a bunch of kind hearts that we are so grateful for.

 Below is our Bigfoot enjoying a stroll at Germanfest.
It was a beautifully, warm, Texas day. There was a nice breeze while at our friends ranch that made being outside so refreshing. While at Germanfest we were all definitely a little without a breeze but enjoyed our time there nonetheless.
We also stopped by to check out the Side Street Circus. They got a few laughs out of us, a couple of curious looks, but a completely unimpressed Bigfoot. I guess he's hard to please in terms of live entertainment.

After our time at Germanfest, we went back to our friends family ranch. It was a beautiful home that was spiritually nourishing. They had a big trampoline, swing set, beautiful grotto we got to snap some family images with our little one, a grill, cows and other farm animals, a pond, and so much more to enjoy. There were also a ton of wind turbines a few miles away which had my GeekMan so very excited. He apparently is a big fan of these.
Our sweet boy, pointing at St. Joseph. Maybe he knows that this sweet saint prays for him often. 
Seph, you got to experience so many firsts while here. For starters, you slid down a slide that had you all smiles.
Little one, you jumped and crawled on a trampoline with your Mama. I dont think you knew what to think about the trampoline. But, I have a feeling the next time you experience a trampoline you will thoroughly enjoy it.

You *loved* swinging! We've gone quite a few times since Muesnter and you absolutely love it every time.
On Sunday we all went to Mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Sweetheart, while we were here you were on the later end of a mystery virus. This mystery virus started with 3 days of fever, followed by an itchy rash that spread from your head to your torso. Sweet boy, you ignored the rash as much as possible and we gave you Benedryl to help you out some. All together you had a great weekend, despite mystery virus. While at Sacred Heart we asked for St. Joseph's intercession and I believe our sweet Lord answered him. There is a miraculous story regarding St. Joseph's intercession tied to this beautiful church we went to. When they have it posted on their site I'll be sure to link up to it.
We had such a wonderful time in Muenster and I, personally, can't wait to go back! Big thanks to Steve's mom, Steve, Katie, Claire, and Anna for sharing your family and home. We loved every moment and fell in love with this little town. 
~~~
I'll hopefully be having a post marathon soon. I have so much catching up to do since our little family has been non-stop these past two months. We have birthdays, travels, family, and so much more to write about. *fingers crossed* I get to it!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sweet Mama's Day to me!

I had a wonderfully sweet Mother's day! I did. Even though it was mixed in with some grumpiness due to lack of sleep. But, it was also mixed in with a husband and son who did everything in their power for me to have a great day, which is what made it so incredibly wonderful and sweet.

We started off early. As you can see below, I wasn't the only sleepy one in the family. Here we are waiting at Cafe Brazil, my favorite restaurant ever in the DFW.

I think it's Seph's too. Or really, he just loves going places and engaging with all around us. He really is such a social little guy.

I had my favorite, El Gordo crepes, a meal I could eat a million times over and still love. It was spicy, just how I like it.
We then went to Mass. Seph was all over the place today since he had been up since 6AM without a nap. But, as hyper and overtired as he was, there was no crying. Such a sweet boy.

After Mass, we went home and awesome Husband went to get a few things from the store. This quick trip immediately followed a sweet card from my little guy (per Daddy) and some flowers. Bigfoot was so excited to give me this sweet card!
Then, after the written sweetness, I got the best thing EVER, a most amazing Mangonada. Yes, friends, I got a raspa with chamoy and mango, topped with some chili powder. It's delicious (not comparable to those back home, but still a close 2nd. And let's be honest, I will take what I can get since I heart them so much!). My tastebuds dance. They really dance with happiness.
I was also treated to some hot cheetos and cheese. I know. I know! You're probably thinking What in the world do you eat?! Ew! And, to that I would just have to say, You can take the girl out of the valley but you can't take the valley out of the girl. Other than that, I have no other explanation. ;)
Yup, and all these treats were topped off with some BEEF! Yum! I heart a good steak and that is just what my Hubby made for me. Along with some deliciously grilled veggies. You know, the saying goes, A way to a man's heart is through his stomach, but I'm not a man. And, obviously food does something for me, or my whole Mother's day would not have been filled with it.

Oh well. I am a wonderfully made woman, who enjoys food a whole lot, and who's husband knows how to make her heart happy. And, let me tell you, happy it was.
Our little stinker enjoying his meal. This little guy has become quite the fan of jalepeno hummus and crackers. Or really, hummus on anything works pretty well for the little guy. Just look at that,  thank-you-mama-for-filling-my-tummy-with-jalepeno-hummus-on-everything face! I'd say he's pretty grateful.
At the end of our day, we played, we cuddled, we tried to take this picture a million times over since my squirmy worm likes to point at everything. All the time. Everywhere. And, apparently I don't know where to look when taking pictures. I was looking at the wrong corner of my phone, literally, every time. Oh well. This is probably the best shot of the two of us. I figured it'd be a good thing to have a picture of the little man that I am Mama to on Mother's day. Not to mention, it's a rare thing I'm in pictures since I'm the one capturing life's moments.
All around, it was a great day. I made it through my sleep exhaustion and was loved beyond measure by my husband, son, family, and friends. Being a Mama has been the greatest work I have ever done. The gratitude I have for Our Lord for sharing this precious gift of motherhood is beyond words. Thankfully, I know He hears my heart's whispers, and with that, I know He knows how thankful I am.

Blessed Mother, Pray for us.
St. Gianna Beretta Molla, Pray for us.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Brace yourselves!

Month 10 update is a long one!
~
Son, you have had a very busy month 10 of your sweet, precious, baby life! You have been hitting milestones left and right, continue to be a champ eater, and have been quite the little social butterfly with all of ours and your friends!

To start off this wonderful month, we made the long trip to the valley to see family. You were such a sweet boy. Everyone loved seeing you and you really loved seeing everyone. I shared about our time back home here.

What I will add on to this post talking about our trip is that since you've been home you've definitely grown fond of your walker. You are scooting around ev-er-y-where! And, I should say your scooting is more like a hop - pretty stinkin' cute if you ask me.

Picture of the I-love-this-walker-so-much face below.
And, another pic of you and your walker as well as your "baaa". Yes, sweetheart, this is your most prized possession. As you can see below, you possess it. You guard it. You crawl with it and salamander with it. You taunt lily with it and smack Mama with it. It is your bat. Your Houston Astros bat from your Grandpa Wooly and Nonna. This baaa also came with a "bahh". The ball is presently hidden because you enjoy chewing on it and I'm not one to let you start munching on the inner gut of your precious bahh. No worries, my dear, the bahh comes out at least once a day at this point.
 
Poor baby, you had your first ear ache. I was not a fan. Nor were you. As life would have it, you get sick. When this happens, you fair amazingly and I get a bit crazy. I hate seeing you in pain of any sort. It really cuts straight to my heart in ways I never knew possible. Thankfully, with lots of prayer as well as meds and counsel from your pediatrician, all was well. Pic below is us at the doctor's office. You were pointing, because it's what you do. All the time. Everywhere. And like it!
Easter happened! My sweet boy, you did amazing and I wrote more about how wonderful you were throughout the Easter Triduum here. You received some fun gifts from family that are in the pic below (Thanks, Nana, Nonna, and Great-Aunt Rachel!). You were a fan.
During this month you got to see Uncle Godfather quite a few times and loved it. It's so great having him so close!
You are still quite the champ when it comes to food. New items on your menu include: corn tortillas, pears, peaches, BBQ Chicken from Rudy's and some beef, strawberries, basil and garlic ground beef, Mama's Italian broccoli pasta, oatmeal (as seen below), and jalapeno hummus. We did give cheese a go but quickly realized that dairy is just not working with us. We'll have to figure something out come a year, but I'm not too worried since there are so many great substitutes out there. We'll just keep a watch and see if you will grow out of it(which I'm hoping, because I love cheese! haha).
Daddy and Mama got all dressed up and went to the Bishop's Pro-Life dinner with friends one Saturday night. Our dear friend, Erica, came to watch you. You had so much fun with her and she loved watching you. You both played so much. You were completely exhausted by the end of the night and even let her put you to sleep. She said you got fussy only once, which is when you normally get fussy during your evenings (this fussy time we speak of is during your last diaper change for the night, right after your bath, along with a clothes change into your jammies). We love Erica and are thankful for her letting Daddy and Mama have a nice night out with friends.

Baby boy, you love your "bahh"! Ha. Yes, bahh means book and ball. You love reading them, having them read to you, and you can flip through books at the speed of light. Daddy and you still read every night together before bed and we have some book time during the day. Below you're looking through your book that comes to Mass with us every Sunday.

We went to Ben's birthday party. I posted about that here. And another sweet happening this month is that you are clapping! You love to clap. It's more of a golf clap, which makes it that much more adorable. We love your golf clap! I shared a video here on my birthday. You were so sweet to your Mama on her day. Thank you, son, for your abundance of sweetness!
~
Look at you! Once you mastered your wonderful salamander/army crawl you started pulling up (as demonstrated below). Every morning, for a few weeks, you would pull up to your knees in your crib and greet me with the sweetest expectant face.
Not only do you pull up on your crib but you also pull up on everything possible in our home. It's your newest skill that you are so proud of and seem to enjoy so very much. We love watching you pull up on everything, but not when you bump yourself here and there. Be careful sweetheart!
During your month 10 the weather was so nice! We were able to go on quite a few walks. You love going for walks at all the different parks in your stroller.

Here you are at a park nearby checking out all the ducks. There were tons!
Daddy joined in on the walk fun too! You were so excited!
When we go for our walks during the day, we've been meeting up with some friends and going to various local parks. Below, Paige was so excited to say Hi. You seemed to be playing the shy part.
Then you decided you didn't want to be shy and got excited back. For future reference, timing is everything, baby boy. I think your stalled excitement didn't go over too well with Paige. But I'm glad you were trying to be sweet after getting over your two-seconds of shyness.
You are still a big fan of our Maya Wrap - as am I! We take it with us to the store, to outings, to church, to play-dates, and anywhere that Mama might have to carry you for any extended period of time. This wonderful ring sling keeps you comfy while keeping my arms rested. So grateful!
Towards the end of the month you decided it would be a good time to pull up to a stand. We are so proud of you! Now, instead of pulling up to your knees after you wake, you pull up to a stand. You love pulling up on everything! It's fun watching you as well as nerve wracking! You have not figured out how to get down! You literally just throw yourself down to the floor as if someone told you to hold a plank and fall. You're our little tree that is constantly timbering. I can't wait till you figure out a new way to get down from standing for my own nerves. Regardless, I'm so proud of you and excited for this new little milestone! Walking is just around the corner! 
Now, as much as you love pulling up and standing, you still love your floor play time with your Daddy. Bat included, of course. These sweet meetings happen daily. I love seeing you with your Daddy. I love seeing how much he loves you and how much you love him. You both are amazing treasures. Thank you for always sharing your goodness with me!
Sweet boy, this month was a big one! And the next is already off to an active start. We have two months until your birthday, which is so hard to fathom! My sweet little bigfoot, you are already a big boy! These ten months flew by. And, I know our lives will continue to fly. But, I pray that, with His help, we'll all be able to continue to stay present with Joy and Love to all the beautiful moments that make up our days, no matter how fast they come and go.

i love you, son.

childhood // linus is four

Our resident knight turned four. He is the sweetest little gift jam-packed with adventure, bravery, love, fierceness, courage, creativity, i...