Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Edel: How Wonderful and Beautiful!

This past weekend I was blessed to attend the Edel Gathering. I still feel like I'm a stumbling ball of nerves even as I try to put together all that I experienced throughout the weekend. So, bear with me and know that this may get a little jumbled.
Let us throw ourselves into the ocean of His goodness, where every failing will be canceled and anxiety turned into love. 
-St. Paul of the Cross
You see, my incredibly amazing blessing of a husband surprised me with tickets to Edel. When I first heard about the conference, I made it a point to tell him about how much I would love to go, but a big part of me never really thought I would attend. Little old me? Baby blogger. Commenter to all the wonderful Rockstar bloggers that would make up the majority of this wonderful event? What was I thinking to begin with??!! Attend an event where I had yet to meet anyone in person? Haha. Silly, Amanda! Trying to play an extrovert when your little introvert heart would prefer to continue to share on your baby blog the tidbits of your life from the safety of your sweet home. But, at the end of it all, I'm so glad that His Will is so much greater than mine ever will be. This gathering truly was my ocean of goodness where all my anxieties were met with a beautiful love.

From the start, I was met with warm smiles and open hearts. The dancing, the drinks, the hugs, and all the fun on Friday were filled with a love that I could never have anticipated. A love that seamlessly continued throughout the weekend.
Everything comes from love,
all is ordained for the salvation of man,
God does nothing without this goal in mind. 
-St. Catherine of Siena
To start off our amazing time together, the incredibly sweet and wonderful Hallie said that when she prayed she felt God calling her to share: It is good you are here. Through her prayerful mama heart, God hugged and loved each one of us women there. He wanted to make sure that we knew that not only is it good that we were all at Edel, but that it is good that we are where we are in our vocation. How affirming, beautiful, and needed. Because, at the end of every day, it is so very good we are where we are! This phrase, I will now forever keep with me as a little prayer. When I feel overwhelmed or tired, cranky or happy: It is good that I am are here. Come Holy Spirit. Amen.  (Because we all know that if it's the tired and cranky me, that extra request for help from Our Advocate will be needed!).

Beautiful Marion continued the amazing tone of warmth and goodness when she shared a beautiful part of herself with all of us. In encouraging us to embrace the gift we have in His Truth and the amazing Freedom that comes with His Perfect Will for us and where we are in our vocation could not have spoken more to my little mama heart. It is good that I am me. Wife and mother to my little family. And, not only is this truth good, but that there are so many other wonderful Catholic women living out their vocation too. I am not alone. It's so easy to feel lost in today's culture, especially being a mama trying to build up our own little cathedrals in our domestic monastery.
We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. 
-Blessed Mother Teresa
I thought of this quote during Marion's talk. Her message and this weekend truly brought together the hugest of huge messages that we are not alone. Not only are we not alone, but we are filled to the brim with the Body of Christ that is alive and well and oh-so-good! I love what Blessed Mother Teresa says above. She's so right! It is so easy to feel like just a drop in the ocean, but God knows that our work is good and matters so very much. And, the beauty of our faith is that we find Him on the Cross and we find Him in His Glory. In our struggle or in our joy, we have each other, we have Him who holds us, and the ocean would be less if any one of us were missing.

Then there was Haley. Amazing Haley! Let motherhood change me. Do not be afraid! Oh, goodness! How many times have I wondered where the me pre-marriage and baby has gone! Listening to her share how incredibly good it is that we are embracing our path to sanctity just filled me. It filled me with the peace that Yes, being a wife and mama has changed me and this is exactly what He wants for me. Which is not only good, but absolutely amazing! Because at the end of it, I am no longer a practicing therapist. Nor am I an interpreter. My licences have been put to rest because I felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit calling me to mother my family from home. These nudges are good. They are beautiful. And, they are guiding me in His Will for me. Do not be afraid.

And last, there was Jen. Wonderful, wonderful Jen! Not only are we not doing this alone, but we have the amazing Body of Christ well and alive ready to joyfully walk along with us. We are building small cathedrals in the quiet (or the crazy) of our little homes. But, the doors to our domestic monastery do not have to be closed. Edel, for many of us, is where the doors burst open. We, women and mothers, welcomed each other into our little spaces to say that we can do this together through sharing, fellowship, and prayers. And, I pray that I have the grace to share the amazing joy that I experienced this weekend enjoying, embracing, and partying along side the beautiful Body of Christ with women I know at home.

Now that I'm here. The Monday after this glorious conference. I can say, the ocean of goodness that I experienced this past weekend at the Edel Gathering truly did cancel so much anxiety and convert it to amazing love, peace, and goodness. Holy Spirit was truly kind and sweet, nourishing and loving little me the entire weekend through so many faithful and beautiful women. Beautiful women who met me with smiles and warm hearts. There was an openness here that I've never seen before. I met so many wonderful women, and I'm so very grateful for that. Not only am I grateful for meeting all of you, but I'm also grateful for the Fiat that you all had to say for this conference to truly transpire.

We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. 
-Romans 8:28 
Now, here's where I go off on a little tangent. While at Edel, I started thinking about sweet Sister Kathleen who I have mentioned time and time again on this blog. All I could think of was her beautiful presence and what made her so incredibly beautiful and Christ-like (which makes sense that I would start thinking of sweet Sister because there was such a presence of Christ throughout the conference.).The verse above is one that she would often bring me back to. Along with Romans 8:28, (which I had actually hashtaged on an instagram photo prior to seeing that Romans 8:28 was part of Mass Readings on Sunday! Hello, Holy Spirit! Again! Thank ya very much!), gratitude, wonder, and awe were always focused on during our time together.

While I was at Edel, gratitude, wonder, and awe were all permeating in the eyes, souls, and sweet smiles of all the wonderful women embracing each other in love all weekend. The gratitude we all were feeling gave way for Our Lord to allow the greatness of wonder and awe to work in us. The tears of someone opening their heart to listen to the Holy Spirit work through all the amazing speakers and encounters that we had with each other were just the beginning. All the tears, for me, represented the goodness of wonder and awe. But, not only wonder and awe for the event and all that transpired, but wonder and awe for the One who loves us more than we'll ever know. Wonder and awe for how He pursues us with such a strength! Us mothers. Us women. In our homes. In our families. In our work. And, in our play. How could we not cry in all those moments that He was seeking to love us? Through every talk, through every comfort, through every new friend, He was yelling from the rooftops that He loves us. And it was overwhelming in such a good and amazing way.

Continuing on my Sister Kathleen tangent, every time I went to meet with her for spiritual direction, wonder and awe, mixed with a lot of joyful gasps is usually whet I was met with. And, I'll always remember when I spoke to her of spiritual dryness or the distance I felt with my Lord. She responded with a *joyful gasp* and followed it with, "How wonderful it is to be loved by Him so much that he would give you the grace to see the distance!", and how in that mere grace, "You should behold how much he truly loves you and is fiercely pursuing you in your dryness. How wonderful and beautiful!"

Oh, sweet Sister. Only you would see the goodness of my dryness! But, I guess my point in sharing this is that in my attending Edel this past weekend, through the Holy Spirit working through so many amazing women open to His Goodness, I was able to see my God not only see little me, but also to see how incredibly true it is that He is always pursuing me with a love that I will only truly be able to fathom when in Heaven.

With that, I say, thank you. Thank you so very much, to all the women I met and did not meet (I really am much more shy and introverted than I realize! Ha.). Thank you to Jen and Hallie for your amazing courage and goodness! You said Yes to Him. And, even if it felt overwhelming. You said your Fiat in a way that built Edel on a foundation of amazing love! That foundation opened the doors for us all. So, thank you! And to all the women present (all who helped from behind the scenes, with emceeing, attended, and who did not attend but were with us in spirit), thank you for your openness to His love for you! Because of your courage to say Yes to Him and the Holy Spirit, I have been able to see my sweet Lord love little me in such a sweet way. A love that said He sees me still and that He will never stop pursuing little old me with a great great love. That it is wonderful that I am me. It is wonderful that I am here. In my vocation. In my motherhood. And, that I should not be afraid, but that I should continue to boldly walk where He takes me. Because where ever that will be, it will be good that I am there.

I also want to say thank you to my husband. Through your desire to help me know the love of Christ and because of your obedience to the nudge you got from the Holy Spirit to purchase me a ticket to Edel, I was able to experience an overwhelming amount of love and goodness. My heart and soul were beautifully filled. Thank you for being such a vessel of His love for me. xoxo!

So with all of that, FORWARD and ONWARD to building our little cathedrals! And, again, Thank you for blessing me so abundantly and helping my Savior to let my little mama heart know that it is good that I am here. Here in my marriage. Here in my motherhood. Here in my vocation that He has called me to. It is good.
We should realize that those things which run counter to our own plans and likings are graces one and all. The Will of God permits them for us; they represent His persistent following of us. We should embrace them, make the most of them, pay the little price that they entail. His Will must always over-ride ours. Little sacrifices are all we are able to bear; let us be faithful in accepting them gladly with our Mother's help. We have only this life, and perhaps only a short one, in which to prove our love. If we make the effort, Jesus and Mary will help us to carry it through. If one saw things truly, how one should be grateful and rejoice at every physical weakness, tiredness... These are our slight share of Christ's sufferings and graces.
-Venerable Edel Quinn 

Venerable Edel Quinn, pray for us. 

(Also, seeing how I am not the extrovert I wish I could be in big crowds, I failed to take any selfies with any of the wonderful women I had never met before. I am now kicking myself for this! But, I guess this just means I have to make sure to attend Edel 15 so I can have a do-over in this little hiccup. *wink-wink*, husband. <3 i="">

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Five Favorites: Cosas

Here for some quick favorites of the cosas that keep me feeling refreshed on the daily!

1.
To start, lets talk a bit about hair. My hair, I like it. It works for me (for the most part). Now, since we're talking hair, that leads me to talk about after-having-children life. See, the daily shower can sometimes feel like that glitter-poofing unicorn around here. I begin to doubt the existence of showers. Really! And, I know I'm not alone on this one.

My days are filled with chasing after, feeding, teaching, loving, holding, nursing, playing, playing, playing, and, and, and.... So, finding time to sneak in a shower and blow dry my hair is tough! In comes this new little gem!

 When my hair starts to get a bit on the I-haven't-showered-in-a-few-days/greasy side, spray this fun stuff and Voila! I am showered and looking good! Also, I'm late to the dry-shampoo party, so this stuff is like liquid gold to me. Uh-mazing!!!


2.
Next up on the list that helps me feel lovely and refreshed is this stuff! Heather mentioned it last week and others have mentioned it before. I even think I bought it a lonnnng time ago (Tara, you can help me on this one, because I think you told me about it.). I just never bought it again after the first time since it lasted for. ever.

This stuff is good and smells like Heaven (I whole-heartedly agree, Heather) which makes me feel like Heaven and goodness and all things scrunchy pretty.


3.
On the nights/days I do sneak in a shower I love to put this stuff in my hair while it's wet. I feel like it softens it into this silky loveliness I want to run my fingers through all the live long day. It's great!


And, I think it is a little bit of a protector if you end up using heat on your hair at any point. So double the niceness!


4.
Onto my face, I have used this scrub since High School. I have loved it ever since. It cleans my face just the way I think my skin and face want to be cleaned. Seriously. If my face and skin had a voice they would always and forever ask for this stuff.

I had acne in my younger years and while I was in graduate school, so I know how face scrubs can really help or really hurt. I feel like this one has always been gentle enough to work with my skin which can be hard to find - especially at this amazing price (cheap).

So, given that I've used this for forever it's a majorly wonderful cosa that is approved time and time again by ME!


5.
And, last is this moisturizer. Honestly, I love all things St. Ives. I use their body lotion, face scrub, bath soap, and would use anything else under the sun they made if I felt the need to. Their products have never disappointed.

Ever.

I use this daily and it's wonderfully refreshing. During cold winters it doesn't disappoint either, which is always a plus that could ultimately be a deal breaker in the world of face moisturizers. No deal-breaker happenings for this stuff. It's wonderful!

That's all for these quick five faves! Thanks for stopping by and hope you'll enjoy any or all of these products at some point in your life! They really are wonderful!

Linking up with beautiful Heather! Head on over for more fun favorites!

Also, I can't believe Edel is this weekend! I keep saying that. And, I have yet to pack or do anything for it. Probably because I'm so excited and anxious and all. the. emotions. under. the. sun. about it! Shopping my closet and packing manana! Excited to meet all you wonderful women (and nervous too!).

Monday, July 21, 2014

Currently: Sweet Silence

Thinking about// Naptime and how sweet it is being to me today! Both boys have been napping, simultaneously, for 45 minutes! I just finished sneaking in a 30 minute workout which makes me happy! I'm really trying to shed a little weight and get some tone on this mama-body of mine. Nothing major. Just enough to feel a bit more comfy in my own clothes!

It's crazy to think of all the changes my body has gone through these past three years. I've stretched in ways I never knew possible and have found some squishy like I never knew could be. At the end of the day, it's all incredibly amazing. To think that my two baby boys grew and formed in my womb. But, also at the end of the day, I'd like for my womb to be home to more new life (God-willingly). Leaving me with the desire to do what I can to make it as cozy a home as possible. 

So, with that, onward with whatever workouts I can squeeze in during my days filled with my life.

Reading// OK. I know I said last week I was going to start The Hobbit, but now I'm feeling a bit torn. You see, a few months ago I downloaded the Anne of Green Gables series to my Kindle. Fast-forward to last week when I went to check-out The Hobbit, and found myself opening up Anne of Green Gables. I was swept away into all the loveliness that words can conjure! So, for now, I'm saying I'm reading Anne of Green Gables and may still take up The Hobbit, because that's just how I do sometimes. 

Watching// My husband and I have these little after-bedtime-dates watching different TV series. We've watched 24, Dexter, Game of Thrones, and now we're in a strange limbo trying to find a good series we can enjoy together. We thought we'd give The Leftovers (new HBO series) a try but I am pretty over it. I think right now we've only continued watching it because we want to finish it, but gee-whiz it's incredibly pointless! I know it's a new series and they may be trying to establish some groundwork/introductions, but it has my head spinning and spinning for some...any direction as to where this all may be going. I know that there may be some artistic value that I am majorly missing, but if it's this exhausting to find it, I'm okay with saying I'm done. Or at least, done enough I am not interested in watching a second season of it.

Any suggestions for good series out there? I'm anxiously awaiting Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones! But, am all ears for anything in the meantime.


Listening to// Sweet sweet silence.


Thankful for// The sweet silence, a workout, a good night's rest, friends, family, life, love, Christ, the saints, moments, naptime, and the fact that I'm going to Edel this weekend. 

Speaking of Edel, it's all still pretty surreal. It hasn't hit me that I'm actually attending. My husband completely had me convinced that this was a no-go this year only to surprise me in April with tickets. I have a slew of different emotions that run through me when I think about the weekend. But, the what I most experience is gratitude. Gratitude for my husband for going above and beyond to love me in this way and for all that will help make this weekend incredibly special (family and all the wonderful women that are putting it on and attending!).

This little heart of mine has lots to be thankful for. Times are good. 

Remembering// To close, I'll share a sweet photo of Linus who fell asleep on me this past Saturday during Family Movie Night. We're all ready for this boys teeth to cut through and let him/us rest! So, this is me trying to find the sweetness in the sleepiness.

Linking up with Jenna.
A Mama Collective

Thursday, July 17, 2014

5 Ways to Enjoy South Padre Island

I grew up going to South Padre Island, Texas. It's like a second home that I carry with me in my heart. It holds memories of sunshine, family, laughter, and lots of love. So, you can imagine how happy I get every time I get to return to, what I call, my happy place.

Seeing how I've spent many a day at this beautiful treasure we have in the great state of Texas I thought I'd share a few favorites that always make the happy days of yesterday continue to bring joy into my now.


1. All things before the Queen Isabella Causeway!
As wonderful as South Padre Island is, and as many wonderful things it has to offer, please consider Port Isabel. The bay side. There are amazing restaurants (*Ahem* Isabel's Cafe), my favorite little Catholic church, and so many other touristy fun things to do.
The Sea Life Center is great for kiddos. I shared more photos of this fun place in a post last year. Most everything is eye level for our littles and they have a hands on tank. It's small enough to keep their attention and jam packed with Island souvenir favorites.

It's also located right across the way from the Port Isabel Lighthouse and other wonderful shops and restaurants (within walking distance).
The Port Isabel Lighthouse is an amazing landmark with lots of history. They also started Friday Night Movie at the Lighthouse. They get a projector and play movies on the base of the Lighthouse. There is a great grassy knoll surrounding that is perfect for a blanket picnic.

Pirates Landing Pier was great for us this year for a number of reasons. First off, every Friday night they have an awesome Firework display over on the Island side. We went last year and my oldest was not a fan. This year we decided we would watch it across the way and his remarks were constant about how, "I like fie-works now" or, "look mama, sprinkles. It does not soun like tunder. I like fie-works, mama."

Haha, we were so far away there was not a sound to be heard other than the gulf. The fireworks did look like sprinkles in the sky and all were happy. The salty breeze was perfect and seeing all the people out fishing on the pier was fun. At the start of the pier there are a couple yummy restaurants and music in the evenings. Good stuff people!
So, before you cross the amazing Queen Isabella's Causeway, make sure you enjoy the fruits of Port Isabel. 
There are lots and they are fun!


 1. Sea Turtle Inc. & The Birding Center
Now getting to the Island side of life there are two places that are great. First is Sea Turtle Inc., home of the first functioning prosthetic fin for a sea turtle named Allison.
I remember growing up going to this place when it was in its smaller location. I loved it. I would look forward to seeing "The Turtle Lady". Do click to find out more about her! She was a phenomenal woman with such path! 
She founded this wonderful place that has helped so many of these beautiful endangered species.
Haha, Love that they have a turtle named J.F. WH05P!
The boys absolutely loved this place. Linus kept pointing and grunting at all the sea turtles. And, Bigfoot, despite being sleepy, really enjoyed the over 200lb sea turtle named Fred.
The great thing about Sea Turtle Inc. new location is that it's right next door to the beautiful South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center. You could easily walk if you wanted but we drove because of kids in tow and all. 
As much as we saw some beautiful birds, the grounds were gorgeous.
The path was a bit of a workout (Disclaimer: I'm very out of shape.) and scenic, which is always a plus.
So, when the weather is beach perfect or when you want something different to do, go enjoy these two local places!


 4. Seafood and Nighttime fun
The seafood! It's delicious at most every restaurant you go to. But, my very very very very veryyyyyy favorite is Dirty Al's. Their seafood dishes and prices can't be beat. I wrote about how I love them so much last summer too!
Without a doubt, I make sure we get to Dirty Al's at least once when at SPI.

Nighttime fun comes in all forms too. I mentioned Pirate's Pier earlier. There is great nighttime fishing along the pier complete with lots of space and a snackbar.
The nighttime views are incredible. Both on Port Isabel and on South Padre Island.
Firework displays are everywhere to be found both on the Port Isabel side and SPI. The SPI one has always been the one I've seen and it is pretty grand.

One of my favorite childhood memories is going to the beach at night. Grab a flashlight and a bucket or two to go collect random shells and to go crab-hunting. Go when it's dark and just have fun. It's great for all ages (if your kids can tolerate a random late bedtime). 


Who doesn't love dolphins and pirate ships?? There are dolphin watches on both the Port Isabel and SPI side. Meaning there is easy access on non-beach days regardless if you so happen to be staying on the Island or Port Isabel.
This last time we saw a big family of dolphins that just played and played nearby. It was so great!
The kids loved it!
Just be sure to snag a coupon at any local shop or to-do on the island. Coupons are everywhere and help curb the cost.


 5. The beach.
I know. It's a no-brainer. But, seriously, this beach. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Filled with so many opportunities for memories, love, and fun!
Mud castles, body surfing, floating the waves, relaxing, sand castles, sunshine and awesomeness!
Whenever at South Padre Island the key thing to remember is to get thyself to the beach as often as possible. Enjoy the water. Enjoy the clear skies. And, just soak up His Majesty!
I promise you won't be disappointed!


South Padre Island is one of the many treasures that Texas holds. I'm so very grateful for all the memories that I had there growing up and am so excited my little heart could burst for all the memories that will be made in the years to come with our little family!

Have you been to South Padre? I know this is only the tip of the iceberg. There's para-sailing, horseback riding, jet skies, and so much more! What would you add to the list?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Currently: My today and my yesterday

Thankful for //
His Goodness.
His Mercy.
His Love.
Family.
Where we are in life. We are in a good place. The boys are good and healthy. They are growing and alive, fully of joy and sweetness. Troy and I are well and in love. Despite the hustle and bustle of our day to day there is love. We know it. We feel it. And we share it in the ways we serve one another and our little family.
Time that we get to spend with family. Even though it can be short, I'm still very grateful. There's a lot of love to be had when we spend time with them and that is always so sweet.
Being back home in our new house. It's so different coming back to a house instead of an apartment. I kind of like it. A lot. It's like coming back to an old friend.
Memories made. Love all of our time spent at the beach and traveling with friends and family. So many memories were made and it was great!


Thinking about // God's Will for me and our little family. There are so many things I never would have anticipated for my life, but I'm thankful for where He has brought us and where he has us going. There is great comfort in obedience to His Will. The little nudges that the Holy Spirit shares with us to guide and love us are good. Despite my resistance, when I let go and say my Fiat, there is such a peace! And, for that, I'm grateful. Because sometimes the unexpected can be stressful. Overwhelming. And, just plain crazy. But, again. The peace. It's real.
Whether, therefore, we receive what we ask for, or do not receive it, let us still continue steadfast in prayer. For to fail in obtaining the desires of our heart, when God so wills it, is not worse than to receive it; for we know not as He does, what is profitable to us.
-St. John Chrysostom
I know the power obedience has of making things easy which seem impossible.
Saint Teresa of Avila
We went to the IHM Conference on Catholic homeschooling this past weekend and it was wonderful. The talks were encouraging and filled with so much great information and insight to take home. I may take a few weeks to gather my takeaways, but I do want to share at some point soon!
It is only necessary to say energetically "I will," and all will go well.
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Listening to // This song just gives me perspective every time.It's been a daily play over in our home. He is so good to me. No matter how bad my day can get in my own little head, if I just take a second to remember all the goodness that surrounds, all is well and wonderful.


Reading // Random blog posts as they come up in my Facebook feed when I am able to get on. Or from my blog reel. We've been busy around here so I haven't been able to sit down and do much intentional reading. Although, I do still have The Little Oratory: A beginner's guide to praying in the home to read. I decided I wanted to read The Hobbit as my next fiction as well as Brideshead Revisited. I meant to read Bridesehead Revisited last month, just never got around to it with a birthday, travel, and summer life. So, once we settle back in at home (probably at the start of August) I'm going to get back into some sweet reading fun.

Remembering // Not sure if Remembering is ever a category since this is my first time joining this link-up, but it's something I have been doing a lot lately, post-family-vacation.

So, for this little me-category, I'm going to share some photos of the sweet fun we a few weeks ago.

His joy.
My love and my best friend.
My little Linus. So carefree and bold!

Friends and the Godparents of our youngest. Such blessings!
My mama and her grandson.
My dad's smile makes my heart happy.
Good times.
GG, aunts, and cousins. Blessed with some sweet time together.
Snuggles and love for my aunt from my little one.
Hug love for Great Grandma. Also, please keep her in your prayers as she'll be having surgery this coming week. Thank you so much!
Papa Wooley, Nonna, and their grandsons. The boys loved watching the baseball game. Loved it!
Uncle A, Rebekah, us, and the boys. Loved the memories made.
Linus had a blast at the splash pad at the Texas State Aquarium. This boy loves water.
Nonna and our Bigfoot.
Sleepy Linus.
Sleepy Linus was napping on all his grandparents.
Our little family.
Happy to join this new link-up! Thank you, Jenna for having me!

A Mama Collective

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Bond of Perfection

My boys. They teach me. They give me opportunities to grow. To learn. To know the God who created them and myself. They show me joy in its purest form, which is kind of amazing and kind of beautiful. They teach me about love and selflessness. Gratitude and humility. It's amazing and tiring. It's beautiful and my road to Heaven. They fill it with the sweetest flowers of smiles, hugs, joy, and laughter. Tears, tantrums, confusion, and struggle also find their way in, but at the end of the day, all of it is what helps me grow on my road to Home. The place I was made for. All of it. And, I pray I'm always thankful.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colassians 3:12-17

We took a trip to my happy place this last week and I wanted to share just a sneak peak of all the sweetness along with a part of Holy Scripture(above) that is always near my heart. The memories that filled me this week embody so much of what Paul shares in Colassians. The laughter that carried me through the challenging car ride and bout of mastitis. The hugs, kisses, snuggles, and faces that make every day a good day. The singing, that grateful heart, the gentleness...everything! Makes me happy. Gives me perspective. Bits and pieces of family life all in one verse and trip.

{Pretty}


The bright and beautiful sunshine set the groundwork for a perfect day at the beach. Go to Cari's to see more bright Theme Thursday photos. It's been forever since I joined this link-up!


{Happy}






{Funny}



{Real}



We made it to quite a few places within this great state of Texas last week. From Dallas to South Padre Island, from the RGV to Corpus Christi. Lots of traveling filled with lots of memories, goodness, and love - the bond of perfection.
round button chicken
(More photos to come soon! I'm loving capturing our moments with my camera! Or, in other words, I tend to go overboard. Either way, more photo fun coming your way soon!)

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...