Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

12 September 2012

special day!

YAY! Today is little man's big party with his friends, but I just had to take him for a special treat yesterday on his actual birthday, just the two of us. He chose a strawberry cupcake and of course the Angry Birds had to hang out too. ;) It was so funny, I kept taking pictures being like, "Smile, boog" and he was getting so frustrated. He finally said, "Can I eat it now, Mommy?!?" hahah! Made him wait a bit too long...I guess 4 years only have so much restraint around cupcakes.

I'll take tons of birthday party pics today too! I promise!


11 September 2012

my little miracle is having a birthday

Every year on Jackson's birthday I get such mixed emotions. He's 4 today, and of course there's the emotion of how in the world did he get so grown up? It's like it happened out of nowhere....

Then there's always the proud mama emotion. The one where I want everyone to know it's my little man's birthday and I want him to feel special and loved and all the things you're supposed to feel on your birthday!

But it's tough for my little man. Being born on September 11th, I have to tackle people talking about that tragedy all day. I'm sure it may be silly that I feel I even have to tackle it, but there it is. I do. I want my baby to feel special! Not feel like everyone is sad on his birthday. I understand he doesn't know this yet, only I do. And I hold out hope that by the time he's old enough to understand it isn't like he feels like everyone is sad. But it just matters to me, the mother hen I am. I can't explain why.

Then I always am reminded what we went through to get him into this world and I am filled with such gratitude it makes me choke back tears, most of the time unsuccessfully. No, it's not the world's worst birth story, but it was a very difficult time for me, one that I have realized the magnitude of miracles that came from the tragedies and it just makes me so grateful. SO grateful. If you'd like to hear more about my little miracle boy's birth story, check it out HERE.
But anyway. What I wanted to say is the overwhelming emotion is love and pride. A love so big it hurts my heart while it heals it. And pride so swelling that I try to make myself shut up sometimes but it just never works.

Happy birthday booger bear. I love you so much that those three words don't do it justice. I am your best friend, and I will never let you down. Pinky promise.


10 August 2012

getting to know you!

YAY! Thanks so much to my sweet friend April from Blogging With the Bryan's for nominating me! This is so fun! You guys go give her a follow, she is so awesome. 

Its called the Liebster Award - Liebster means "dearest" in German and its an award given to up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers. (she thinks I'm up and coming!! yay!)

The Rules!
Each person must post 11 facts about themselves
..and answer the 11 questions that are tagged for them
...and list the 11 bloggers you nominate
...and make up your own 11 questions to ask your nominees

Facts about me:

1. I am totally obsessed with working out and helping others reach their fitness goals. In fact, I'm a Beachbody Coach. Check it out!
2. My favorite colors are hot pink and soft yellow
3. My son is about to be 4 and is just starting to call me "Mom" instead of "Mommy". Makes me sad.
4. My iPhone is in a pink Otterbox case but I totally want a custom case with my drawings on it. Anyone know how to do this??
5. I love, love, love the Civil Wars right now. And Sara Barielles.
6. I play the piano, guitar, mandolin (not well yet) and the clarinet. I suck at drums. LOL!
7. I can do 3 pullups in a row unassisted. And 60 pushups in one sitting. YEAH!
8. I am obsessed with Lindsay's coffee cupcakes. (See nominees!)
9. I sing in the chapel choir at Fellowship of the Woodlands. So fun!
10. I have 11 different laughs. That is the truth.
11. I just finished Beth Moore's James Study and it was AMAZING!!

Questions for me: 

1.  What was the last movie, TV show or book that made you cry or tear up? New Moon, Stephenie Meyer. I cried like a baby when Edward left...I was so glad my husband wasn't home. I mean ugly cry...snot, hiccups, the whole bit.
2.  What's the #1 most played song on your iPod? Barton Hollow Civil Wars
3.  What is one of your favorite quotes? "Do the thing and you shall have the power." _Ralph Waldo Emerson
4.  What's your favorite indoor/outdoor activity? Reading and doing my workouts
5.  What chore do you absolutely hate doing? Dishes and laundry! They NEVER get done in my house!
6.  If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? Be a better business mind.
7.  What's the best/worst gift you've ever given/received? napkin holders. uh.
8.  The best part of waking up is? Teeccino!!
9.  What is your favorite body part and why? My back. For some reason it kept it's swimmer's tone all these years.
10.  What sound do you love and why? I love BAGPIPES!! I don't know why. Maybe I'm Scottish somewhere in my family...
11.  What do you miss most about being a kid? How long the days seemed to be.


1. Tif @ Ramblings of a Southern Belle
2. Lindsay @ Reluctant Houstonian
3. Autumn @ All About Autumn
4.  Rebecca @ Rebecca Doyle Photography
5. Bree @ His Honey and Her Mommy
6. Courtney @ Our Small Moments
7. Courtney @ Courtney Cakes
8. Laurel @ Girl Meets World
9. Sarah @ The Salad Days
10. Lori @ Photograph Life
11. Melanie @ Happy Jax

Questions for my Nominees:

1. What got you to start blogging?  

2. Any pets?  

3. What is your favorite holiday and why?  
4. Favorite type of music?
5. Facebook or Twitter?
6. What are some of your hobbies?
7. What is your favorite thing about the summer?
8. What do you love most about where you live?  
9. If you could jump on a plane today where would you go?
10. What is your dream job?
11. Who do you look up to and why?  

I can't wait to hear your answers!!


07 August 2012

nashville trip: i love country music

First I want to say how much I love Nashville, TN! I love the music, I love the football team...I love it all. Not enough to move there, I'll always be a TX girl, but I do love me some Nashvegas.
Each year we go as a vacation to the Tennessee Titans training camp and each year we go see something else Nashville has to offer. Last year it was BB King's Bluesville and a custom boot shop as well as the Ryman Auditorium for the Grand Ole Opry. Now THAT was magic.
This year to start, we went to the Opryland Hotel.

You know last year we were going to stay in this HUMONGOSAURUS hotel. But it had just been flooded so we couldn't. And that's why we saw the Opry at the Ryman, it's original home as well.
You would not believe the size of this hotel! It was like a hotel in Vegas, but on steroids. This part was just one teensy tiny little portion. There were shops and restaurants and hotel rooms with balconies overlooking a botanical garden full of all kinds of tropical plants and koi ponds and rivers... and that was just ONE WING!! WOW I tell you.

I also wanted to show you a part of the trip that was seriously a dream come true for me: The Country Music Hall of Fame. (My cousin cried when she saw it, I was pretty darn close. I guess you could say country music is just in our blood.)

Oh, Merle. You know best now, don't you? We went to the museum and just soaked in the history of country music, and though I despise history...this was a classroom in which I was totally enamored. Despite the sprinklings of Taylor Swift's exhibit throughout the entire dang museum, which very nearly caused some nausea on my part, I loved every bit of it. From the history of country's humble beginnings to the influx of the sounds of Bakersfield. Merle on video talking the talk...the guitars and scraps of songwritings from Buck Owens. SO amazing.

I saw Emmylou Harris's guitar (which I wanted to steal from the case) as well as Johnny Cash's (the reason my newest guitar is all black with abalone on the neck). And let's not forget an outfit worn by Hank, Jr himself. It got more modern at that point with Travis Tritt, Reba and Garth Brooks. They didn't forget George Jones or Dolly or Loretta though, oh no. There were too many artists for me to name. From their cars to their boots to the wigs they wore on stage back in 1958. This, my friends, is MY history. My life.

And then the actual amazing. May the Circle Forever Be Unbroken, it says, above the round room covered in famous faces. Conway Twitty was there as well as Kris Kristofferson. But among them, a few of my favorites: Willie and Patsy. And I had to throw Minnie Pearl in there since I sat on her lap at the Opryland Hotel when I was just a little girl.

This part of the trip? A dream come true. I could've stayed there for hours. But not my hubby. His words when he wanted to go home were, "Maybe this is more of a place your dad should take you." Hahaa!! Yeah. I think me and my dad need to make a trip back really soon.

Feel free to link up your Wordless Wednesday with me!

Today, I'm linking up with:

Let Birds Fly

NapTime MomTogparenting BY dummiesLive and Love...Out Loud


03 August 2012

guest post: reluctant houstonian

Hey everyone!! How are you guys?? I hope you've been enjoying my friends and their wonderful guest posts! Well, before we get started on anything else I want to announce the winner for the Life N Reflection Giveaway of a Web Design Package!! DRUMROLL PLEASE.............

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thank you all so much for entering the Life N Reflection Giveaway!! What a wonderful turnout! Stay tuned for next week, I'll be giving away something special as well!

So, I'm a bit out of commission at the moment since I got my ankle surgery yesterday. So my sweet, amazing, beautiful and absolutely snortmydrinkoutmynose hilarious friend, Lindsay, is guesting today for me. She is from The Reluctant Houstonian blog. Make sure you go over and follow her! Trust me, you'll LOVE her as much as I do!


Some people are adrenaline junkies and get their fix by skydiving, bungee jumping or flying a motorcycle off a ramp over 17 school buses. I am an anxiety junkie. Getting nervous about going to a friend's house, teaching school, hosting guests in our home. I take medicine everyday and try various breathing exercises when it's really bad. The only thing that helps consistently? Prayer. Giving it up to God. And that's not a once in a while type thing. Just like my Lexapro isn't a once in a while type thing.

God's put a lot of challenges in my life. My dad remarried when I was 14 and the person he remarried has totally brain washed him and changed our relationship so dramatically that I've had to separate myself from him. I found out when I was 16 that my mom had Pick's Disease. It's a degenerative brain disease like Alzheimer's that's very early onset and incurable. (She later passed away in September 2011) After finding out my mom was sick I went to live with my Aunt and Uncle - my dad's sister and her husband. They are amazing people. They did EVERYTHING for me. [:)] I lived with them from January 2004-May 2010 (when I got married) They got me a car, put me through college, got me braces when I needed them...again...and they paid for my wedding. More importantly they gave me a wonderful home with two loving Christian people that truly cared for me. I've always called my aunt Mimi (her name is Mitzi) and I started calling my uncle Miguel (his name is Mike)

One thing they always tried to teach me is patience and faith in God's timing. So, when I got out of college I immediately got married! (6 days later) I got a job that year teaching 2nd grade and found out I was FAR from ready for my own classroom. Everyone says your first year is the hardest and I had a unique experience on top of that. I was hired Labor Day weekend (3 weeks after school started) and never got caught up. Long story short I lost my job due to budget cuts and my struggles all year. I swore off teaching and tried to plot what to do with the rest of my life. In the mean time we moved from Dallas, TX to Houston, TX. I was absolutely devastated about moving here because I'm very much a people person. I knew nobody here and got to the point that I didn't want to know anybody I wanted to wallow in my self pity and the fact I was becoming an even crazier dog lady.

Finally, we started going to a church here and I got really plugged in. I have gotten closer to God since being here than I've ever been in my life. The people at the church recommended that I apply at a Christian Private school here that some of their children attend. I truly didn't want to apply. I had feelings of inadequacy and fear of rejection and BIG TIME ANXIETY. It took me EIGHT days to fill out the application. Then another two to take it to the school. When I got there they said I was just in time because the headmaster should've already left for a conference in Dallas, but was still there. I got an email that night to interview the next week. I interviewed and TOTALLY messed the interview up. They asked me about my relationship with God and I started crying as I told them about the epiphany I had about how if my relationship hadn't crumbled with my dad I wouldn't have gone to live with my mom. If I hadn't lived with her she would have denied she was getting sick and stayed in California, even though she lost her job..I think she would have lost everything. If I hadn't moved in with Mimi and Miguel I wouldn't have been able to afford college, have a stable home and definitely wouldn't have met Isaac.

So, there I am crying in the interview then he asks me about evolution. I started making special hand puppets with my hands babbling about giraffes and how if God wanted them to change he could change them. And kept going back to hand puppets and giraffes...WHY?!!?!?! I don't know. So, after waiting for 3 weeks to hear from them I KNEW I didn't get the job. Though through this whole time waiting to hear back I never had one knot in my stomach. I prayed for God's will to be done and if He wanted me there He'd put me there and if it wasn't meant to be He'd bless someone else with the job. I accidentally left my phone at home one afternoon while I was at Hobby Lobby (don't worry about the craft junkie aspect of my life) [;)] and immediately was overcome with the feeling that I had been given an answer about my job. I got home to discover a message on my phone saying that I am a Kindergarten teacher!! Hallelujer!

It was so amazing that the ONE thing I gave up to God was the ONE thing I didn't get nervous about because I knew God would handle it.

Mimi always wrote this verse for me and recited it to me and it was SO annoying at first and felt a little Church Lady-ish:

But it's the well known Jeremiah 29:11-13: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

This verse has given my life an entirely new meaning. So, if you get anything from this take this: Let go and let God. It's pretty cliche, but it makes the biggest difference.

Yes. I adore her!! THANK YOU LINDSAY so much for guesting for me today!! I appreciate all the well wishes you guys, I hope to be back in action next week! Well....almost in action. As much action as hobbling around on crutches and in a boot can give. ha.

Also, don't forget to link up to the Photo Show Off!


See you next week with a super sized Show Off, pics from our Nashville trip, as well as the lovely stomach flu story...grrr...and a little something special up my love.bug sleeve :D


17 July 2012

all there

There comes a time when you realize you are too plugged in. Blogs, photo communities, facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest...the list goes on and on. My husband is making small comments about some news report he saw where psychiatrists named traits of people addicted to social media. My son is asking me if I'm going to work every time I walk near the computer. I'm realizing that I have spent more time in the evenings on the computer than I have actually watching my son grow up. I looked at his face the other day and gosh, when did you start looking that old?

I'm missing things. Pieces of conversations, Jackson starting to get interested in tanks and army men. And why? Because I'm being social. How lame, right?

Well, I decided Sunday to have a social media fast. No social internet, period. And you know what? I had SO much time in my day! I had a wonderful time shopping with little man, eating ice cream, going to the grocery store, getting the week's menu prepared, pre-cooking anything that could be, cutting all the fruit for the week. I got so much accomplished and still got to spend several wonderful hours of quality time with my booger bear.

And suddenly I remembered a quote from our pastor at church. "Wherever you are, be all there." It hit me so hard that Sunday morning, I wrote it in my journal and drew designs all around it so I wouldn't forget it. Now when I open the journal, I look right past it. Well, not anymore. I want to be all there. I want to take each moment with little man and make it so important. To listen to everything he tells me like it's the most interesting thing in the world, because to him- it is. Play on the floor, even though it's boys stuff. Take more photos of him so I never, ever miss a change in that precious little face.

I guess we'll call this the "All There" Challenge. You want in? Come on and join me. I've even created a free printable for you all to download and hang up right by your computer to remind you. Be All There. Just click the image and it's all yours:

I promise to take time to slow down, to give my fingers a break at the computer and to play with you. I promise to listen to your stories and encourage your imagination. I promise to not have my face buried in the phone or the computer while you sit and play on the floor by yourself. I promise to be all there.


16 July 2012

photo show off!

Hey everyone!! I want to tell you something. I've been really behind on commenting on Photo Show Off pics and really behind in general, so I want to apologize. I also want to assure you I look at each and every single Show Off pic (because it seriously makes my day!) and there are so many amazing shots it's extremely difficult to choose sometimes! I want to promise you that your images WILL get shown off sooner or later because I really try to show off someone new each time. So, please, please, even if I suck royally at writing you back this week or last, and even if I haven't picked yours to show off yet, I promise I will!! I PROMISE I WILL!! You guys are so wonderful, thank you for linking up!

This week these images just jumped up and smacked me in the mouth. Literally!! In fact, my mouth started watering!! Check out these amazing images from Live, Love and Travel and tell me your mouth doesn't water too!

The best, best part?! There's a link to the cheesecake bite recipe on Jaymi's blog!!! I hope you'll go get it!! (And make me some cheesecake bites!! LOL)

So for me today, I am going to show off some food as well!! haha! Saturday was my birthday and I got to spend some awesome time with my parents and my grandma, as well as my hubby and little man. The very best part of that is my dad is an amazing cook! Well, since my parents just got back from Costa Rica, he made me a birthday dinner of Costa Rican food! It was DELISH.

The next day, yesterday, I decided I've been spending too much time at the computer and not enough "all there" time with my Jax man. So I fasted facebook and instagram and the blog and everything Internet related and we went shopping! After a fun filled day at Old Navy and Ulta, we stopped off at Pie Town and picked us up some "Sonic" ice cream. (His current obsession is Sonic the Hedgehog). He decided the yellow was for Tails, the blue and the red were Sonic's colors. So he was happy. I want to do more of this "all there" time. I may even write a blog post about it tomorrow. In fact, yes. That is what I'll do. It's so important, I feel like it should be shared.

how does the Photo Show Off work?

- follow, subscribe to, or become a fan of love bug. 
- link up your photos!
- link back to the show off somewhere on your blog, using my button or just a text link. 
- check out other links and leave comments. 
- come back next week to show off again!
-if your photo was a Show Off this week, grab the button and show it off!



Also...guess what's coming up next week?? Oh, you're going to be SOOOO excited! Here's a sneak peek!!

My wonderful sponsor Kristy over at Life-N-Reflection is going to be giving away a Web Design Package!! (!!!!!!) <---that was my silent EEK! YOU. GUYS. You want to get in on this, TRUST ME. Be checking the blog for that feature post!


05 July 2012

punctuation marks: july 4th style

If I were a punctuation mark, I would be an exclamation point. !!! Or maybe a smiley face emoticon.... When I get excited about something, I get EXCITED and I want to share it with the world! I want everyone to experience the happy that I'm feeling.
Well, I haven't been feeling that lately. Lately I've been feeling more like an ellipsis. (...) That's me, just call me Ellie.
Why, you ask? Well...(see there they are again) I've been really busy and focusing quite a bit on just work. When I totally know I need and want to focus on fun with Jackson. I haven't had much Jackson time, or much 'me' time for that matter. I haven't played with my camera in a while. And the amount of miserable that my husband is right now eating the vegan food in the Reset is seriously bringing me down.
So last night I pretty much insisted we go see the fireworks so that I could play with Jackson and get some good fun photo time in. I did get some amazing firework shots! Funny thing is they look exactly like everyone else's firework shots, so here I am wondering if I should even show them. I really, really, really dislike how being down gets all inside your system and threatens to take over. Today I'm going to focus on God being with me, being near me...and I am going to show you these dang firework pictures! Lord help me get out of this FUNK!

 My little monkey devouring a popsicle! I painted his face full of fireworks for the day. 

 Sand in all kinds of places!

 The train and the parade came through!

 We were a bit far away from the fireworks, at a park across the freeway. It was really beautiful though!

The finale was amazing! Stars and hearts and smiley faces! Tons of booms going off at once! Texas really does do it BIGGER!

Check this out guys! Kristy over at Life-N-Reflection has a sweeeet Fourth of July overlay for you! Run over to her link and download it for your pics! ^^^^^^

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