Sunday, November 30, 2014

Advent: Everyday Sacred

It's that time of year again. The time where I so much want to unplug and embrace my days in a way that draws me closer to the Child Jesus and His birth. The time that I want to be more present to the reality that our sweet Mother walked and rode a donkey while pregnant in her last months along side St. Joseph all the way to an Inn with the manger that held Our Lord as an infant.

This year I'll be joining Abbey again for #HolyLens: Seeing the Sacred in the Everyday. I joined this past Lent and absolutely loved it. The photo journey helped me to be more present to our daily blessings and graces found in our every day present moments. I am looking forward to this journey during Advent this time around, but so you can get an idea of my experience last time, here's a glimpse of a few posts from last year:

Today's theme is watch.

To start, I shared this photo on Instagram. My parents were here for Thanksgiving and watched the boys for us from morning till late afternoon. This gave us time to go watch a movie at the nearby theater that just opened. The theater was amazing! The seats made me feel like I was watching a movie while in bed. They were so comfy! We watched the new Hunger Games movie and I really enjoyed it even though it was filled with tragedy and sadness. It was mostly true to the book which is always wonderful!  
On Saturday, we went to a Christmas tree farm about an hour away. This was a long day, but filled with lots of memories and goodness, despite a few tantrums and some mischief. At the very end of our time at the farm that was ultimately a mini carnival for kids, we had a few extra tickets for some rides. The boys were tall enough for the kiddie Ferris Wheel so we encouraged them to give it a go. 

As you can see below, Linus went first with no hesitation. He sat in the cage, got buckled in, and was off without a glance. He smiled on his way up and when he came down to see us. Such a brave little boy to jump onto his first ever Ferris Wheel without a hint of fear.
Meanwhile, big brother was a no-go. He did not want to try. He was slightly frightened of the unknown at first, but after seeing his little brother go, he was ready for his turn. He got strapped in, brother came out because he was done, and off my oldest went.

He conquered and yelled from his little cage, "Watch me, Mama!". Watch we did and could not have been more proud of him. He smiled a ton and was so proud of himself too. Rightfully!
I was so proud of them both. Their bravery was inspiring and I'm thankful I was there to watch them experience this little adventure. 

It really is all the little things that make up our big things. The little things that bring me to love them both more and more. The little things that bring me closer to my husband in love and goodness. I'm thankful for the grace upon grace that helps me be present and I'm thankful for these little prompts from the Holy Lens journey that encourages me to see past myself and all the clutter!

What have you been able to watch or embrace in your day-to-day? Have you been able to find the Sacred in your Everyday? Join us on Instagram or Facebook on Abbey's FB page.

Linking-up with Gina for Embrace the Ordinary with this post because it is in the ordinary that we find the Sacred!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thankful 2014

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all! 

There are so many things that have filled my heart this year. So so so many things!

Thanksgiving always encourages me to reflect on my past year. To think about all the blessings. The goodness. The joys and sorrows. The easy and the hard. This year, the one constant other than the good Lord who provides all, is my husband. Thoughts of him filled me. Thoughts of how he's always there. Good and bad. Supporting. He's been there.

He's amazing and loving and good and funny and silly and sexy and best friend and all kinds of wonderful. I'm so very grateful for him this year (and every year really, but this year he is in the forefront.).
He makes me laugh and smile. He hugs me tight and listens. His strong arms, gentle hands, and bearded face are my favorites.
 He encourages and constantly compliments my food. ;)
He still knows how to make my heart skip a beat after all these years (even though we've been married for almost 5 years, this man has been making my heart silly flutter for more than 10 years. Not in a row, but altogether. See, we have a story. A beautiful and messy one. One that is ours. I really need to get around to writing our story!
 And, because of him, our love, God's goodness, we now have this little sweet, whom I'm crazy thankful for.
 And this beautiful boy whom I am also insanely thankful for.
God is good. His Will, even during the tough times, has been amazing. We've had our highs and our lows, but I could not have imagined a more beautiful adventure. Even if I tried.
Thankful. So very thankful. And, humbled by how much love God shares with me in such an amazing and beautifully tangible way. So very humbled.

Linking up with Cari for Theme Thursday. The theme is thankful. Linking-up with Aimee because our love is my Beauty Find. And last, I'm linking-up with Dearest Love and A Mama Collective for Coffee Date, because these are the kinds of chats I heart. Chats of love, and story, and thanksgiving for it all. :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sunshine brothers

The temps dropped earlier this week allowing us to soak up a little bit of sunshine. The boys could not have been happier.
See what I mean?
This is Linus being happy, I promise. Ball in hand while swinging really is a favorite of his.
My favorite was the sun and the boys getting a chance to run around.

Lately, when we go out to the park, they've been enjoying this little number below.
Big brother offers to catch his little brother. Then he immediately takes off laughing to avoid getting pummeled.
They both start laughing like it's the funniest thing in the world then run around to climb up and do it all over again. Always as fast as a cheetah.

Bigfoot found a little red leaf and insisted I had it since it was in the shape of a heart.
Then they ran some more.

Stopped to chat.
And made a few more memories before family arrived today for Thanksgiving.

My parents are here and mom and I will be starting all the prep work for tomorrow's feast, tonight.

Our little family has so much to be thankful for this year. Happy for a day to celebrate all the goodness that has happened and that is yet to come.

What will y'all be doing for Thanksgiving? Traveling? Praying for all who will be traveling to see friends and family! Enjoy feasting and spending time with your loved ones!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Grocery Bag Thanksgiving Banner

Last month I went on a crafting frenzy. Things have calmed down but I wanted to add a little bit more warmth to our home before hosting Thanksgiving for the very first time in our new home! We're so excited to host my parents, brother, and his girlfriend this year. Can't wait till they get here and I know the boys are just over the moon both about family coming up as well as new fun decorations. 

These cuties really are so silly about new decor.

Mama, dat looks gweat! Good job, mama!

Wow!!! Beauuuutifuuuu!

So, with that, let me share my little photo journey that demonstrates how easy-peasy and incredibly cheap this little banner is!

Materials: paper grocery bags, whole puncher, twine (or any ribbon), marker, and scissors (not pictured)
 Draw out the banners.
 Draw out your letters.
 Cut away.
 Punch holes, string, and hang up!
 I made the little pom poms with extra yarn the other day and Yay! we have added warmth and loveliness for Thanksgving 2014!

 Did you have any last minute decorations put up before this Thanksgiving? If not, there's still some time for this easy-peasy grocery bag Thanksgiving Banner! :)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Embrace the Ordinary: Sweetness

Sharing this little sweetness with y'all today for Embrace the Ordinary.

A few days ago, Bigfoot called me into the living room where he and his brother were waiting for me to start a little cartoon for them. 

Bigfoot: Mama, come here! Come here, mama! Hurry! COME!
 Me (walk into the room): What sweetheart?
 Bigfoot: Look mama! We're being sweet! We're snuggling and hugging! So sthweet!
Me: Aw, baby that is so sweet. Mind if I grab my camera to snap a couple photos of you two and your sweetness?

Bigfoot: Sure mama!!!

Love the sweetness these two share. Any sweet moments in your life lately?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Meatless Friday: Avocado Omelette

Happy Friday! I'm so excited to be sharing this recipe for Meatless Friday with Someday Saints readers! I love Gina, and absolutely love this series since we're fairly new to incorporating Meatless Fridays year round in our home.

The star is avocado, which in my opinion, is the star of ALL the foods! I love avocados for snacks, in pico de gallo, in salsa, in salads, burgers, pastas, sandwiches, and last but not least, in breakfast!
For our Meatless Friday meal last week, I diced up a whole avocado (because I'm generous like that), shredded some leftover manchego cheese we had from a previous Feast day, and diced up yellow and orange bell peppers with some garlic.
Made some toast and Voila! Yummy, hearty, and amazingly delicious.
At first, I was a little concerned for our dinner that night since we were needing a grocery run and I wasn't entirely sure how the ingredients I did have would work together, but then after I started sauteing the pepper mix, knowing I had an avocado, I knew all was going to be just fine!

Avocado Omelette
4-6 Eggs
1 Avocado
Shredded Manchego Cheese (any white cheese will do)
6-8 Cloves of Garlic (I'm a fan of garlic so you can use less if you like.)
1 Orange Bell Pepper
1Yellow Bell Pepper
1 TSP of Basil
1 TBSP of Olive Oil
Sliver of real butter
Salt and Pepper to taste

To start, I dice up the avocado, garlic (minced), and yellow and orange bell pepper. Then crack eggs into a small bowl to scramble as well as add a dash of salt and pepper.

Heat up two pans: One set to Medium (for omelette) and the other set to Medium High (to saute peppers). Put in a sliver of real butter into the Medium Heat then add the omelette mix. Let it cook through.

Meanwhile, add a TBSP of Olive Oil to the Medium High heat followed by the peppers, garlic, and basil. Sautee for about 5-7 minutes. There is something incredibly delicious about the basil with the sweet peppers and garlic!

Next, add avocado to center of the omelette (that should be 90% cooked through) as well as the shredded Manchego Cheese. Turn the other half of the omelette over the avocado/cheese mix to heat through.

Serve the omelette onto a plate and add the pepper mix on top.


I could not have been more excited about the flavors in this omelette! Then, knowing I had the toast with a slab of real butter on it (I'm a recent convert to all things real butter) and my tastebuds did a happy dance!

Let me know if you end up making this and what you think!

Thanks so much for having me, Gina! And, thank you for all you do and share on Someday Saints!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

finding beauty // mr. happy mcsmiley and mr. grouchy mcogre

We had a snow dusting this past Monday. I am not prepared  for this. Not at all. As sweet and pretty the cold white dust is, it's just a little message about the winter that is to come.
Theme Thursday: Prepare
See, I'm in Texas. Like I said, I grew up in South Texas where there are two seasons: hot and hotter. Since living in North Texas I have experienced snow every year as well as ice storms (I did not know these even existed before moving here!). Winter has become more real to me since moving to Dallas even though I spent two good years in Washington, DC for graduate school. There was something about knowing that my time there was temporary. But, here and now in Texas, this is our home and it gets cold!
I will say one thing, these Texas Autumn sunshine-y skies are gorgeous. I am always amazed by them. The trees, the vastness, the sunshine, all of it is so pretty.
Beauty Find Friday: Autumn Sunshine
Now that I've shared about my winter fears, moving onto what we did on our snow-dust day. We finally got around to carving the little pumpkins we brought home from our visit to the pumpkin farm!
Even though these recent days have been tough, there was so much grace on Monday. So much grace.
We had a good day. And, as a friend recently said, Everything is grace. You're so right, Jenny. Everything truly is grace and by that alone has there been peace and rhythm to our days this week.
My little monkeys were funny about cleaning out the pumpkins. They both requested spoons to avoid sticking their hands in.
I obliged.
And this one was pretty happy about it.
We had a good time, a good day, and both boys were pretty happy about this new experience even though we couldn't go outside and haven't been able to till today! Thankfully the weather has been amazing today! Thank you, Texas!
I gave pumpkin seeds a try but they were a major fail. As yummy as they smelled they did not come out crispy, crunchy, and seasoned. Instead they were still slightly moist, even after an hour and I feel like the seasoning didn't take.
Ah, well! Do any of you have a tried and true recipe for yummy roasted pumpkin seeds? I'm all ears! I love snacking on them when they're good!

Finally, after all the to-do's were almost done, I asked the boys what kind of face they wanted on their pumpkins. We don't have carving tools so I made do with an apple corer and a knife.
These pumpkins are hilarious. I couldn't stop laughing after they requested their faces. Immediately Bigfoot, my Mr. Happy McSmiley asked for a Happy face! Onto the little man in the house and he shook his head at happy face. I continued to ask my little ogre what face he wanted and the next thing you know, he shared his own little grouchy face. His older brother then yelled He wants a grouchy face! Grouchy face it was for my little Mr. Grouchy McOgre-man

Prayer request for all in the North dealing with that crazy snow weather. It really is so scary and many are stuck in their homes. How has the weather been in your area?

Linking-up with the amazing women over at Like Mother, Like Daughter, Theme Thursday over at fun Clan-Donaldson, and Finding Beauty with the incredibly talented Aimee. 

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