Sunday, December 9, 2012

My plans are NOT God's plans!

When I was a little girl I had a detailed vision of what my adult life was going to be like. I would have an incredibly handsome, loving, hard working, honest husband, 2 handsome sons and 2 stunning daughters, a well trained loyal dog, a mansion on a hill, and I would weigh exactly what I did in high school! My closet would be filled with the most fabulous designer clothing, shoes, and accessories, I would always wear high heels, My hair would always be done, and I would never have to put a stitch of makeup on my perfect complexion. I would be PTA president, lead praise and worship at our church, be involved with the youth, and host the perfect slumber parties for my children. I envisioned myself preparing 3 healthy gourmet meals per day and my house perfectly spotless. My husband would arrive from work everyday at the same time and I would greet him with a kiss and give him my undivided attention while he told me all about his day. I'm all grown up now and I can only pick a few things on that list that even close to resemble my life! Sure I've got the handsome, loving, hard working, honest husband but I had to get through one husband that was the absolute opposite to get to this one! God upped my stunning daughters scenario by an extra stunning daughter and I never had any sons. Dogs just aren't my thing, I don't live in a mansion, I'm pretty sure my right thigh weighs what I did in high school, and most of my clothing comes from Target! I rarely wear heels anymore, you will often find my hair in a messy tangled ponytail, and you don't want to see me without my makeup on. I'm not PTA president. Heck, I can barley get myself organized enough to remember parent teacher conferences! You won't find me leading praise and worship or singing on any stages for that matter. You'll only hear a tune out of me in the car or shower these days. I have yet to get involved with the youth because frankly, at this stage in life, 1 hour of "alone" time with God every Sunday while my own children are in childcare is like a mini-vacation and the thought of a slumber party makes my blood pressure rise! These days, we are lucky if we get ONE perfectly well rounded meal per day and I'm almost always behind on laundry and the rest of my chores. My husband has no schedule and I often go days or weeks without seeing him. When he is home, there is so much chaos that I don't often give him my undivided attention nor does he get to give me his. I often feel like a failure. Like I gave up on my dreams. Like life just isn't what it is supposed to be. I'm angry at myself because I can't quite seem to get it all together. I can't seem to be the perfect wife, the perfect mother, the perfect Christian. I go to bed each night feeling exhausted and entirely unaccomplished. I feel slightly ashamed about my past and struggle to overcome the ramifications of my actions and the actions of others that still haunt me. I have absolutely without a doubt allowed myself, others, and Satan to rob me of my joy. Every action has a reaction. Reflecting on it, I'm amazed at how each little life experience can shape your very being and effect how you react to similar situations for the rest of your life. If you let them affect you that is. Why do I allow myself to feel this way? Why do I beat myself up over my circumstances? Why do I constantly strive for some entirely unrealistic life that I logically know will never be mine?!?!?! I need to put things into perspective and seek joy in my REAL life because chasing after what I think should bring me joy will always prove fruitless. Of course I'm thankful for my many blessings but do I remember to be thankful for the circumstances behind those blessings? I must remember that my plans are NOT God's plans. Why on earth would I want to make any plans for my life when I KNOW that God's plans are perfect? I have all this pent up shame and anger about things in life that didn't quite work out as I planned but who am I to say that they did not work out exactly according to God's perfect plan? I must remember to find the "silver lining" so to speak in every situation. Sure I had a failed marriage but does that make ME a failure? I was a scared, weak, young mom who had the courage to remove my sweet baby from an abusive home because I didn't want her to EVER think that being hit by a man was acceptable. I've always considered my divorce a failure but when I really think about it, it was an accomplishment! No, I'm not saying divorce is an accomplishment I'm just saying that when I look back, that time I spent working and providing for my daughter in my tiny apartment made me stronger than ever. God gave me a strength that I didn't know existed and I could never forgive myself for allowing Payton to think that it's okay for Daddy to hit Mommy. I'm proud that she is raised in a home where she never has to fear that. Had I never found the courage to leave my ex-husband, I would never have the life that I have now. My marital situation didn't turn out how I planned it the first go round but, being married to Dave is EXACTLY what the Lord had planned! Sometimes this rut I get stuck in feels like all there ever will be to life. But just because I grew up doesn't mean that I am done growing. I may not be singing with the praise band on Sunday mornings but that doesn't mean that I will never do that again. Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven My babies are young now and they need me. If I skip out on the dishes to read one more story before bedtime, that's okay. The dishes will be there tomorrow. If I can't take those guitar lessons I've been dying for because between soccer, homestudy, and tutoring I just don't have the time, that's okay too. If I trade my designer heels in for more practical flats for impromptu games of tag it's not the end of me. Those high heels will be there in the closet when I'm ready again but my babies will only be babies for a short time. Some day my girls will be grown and I will have nothing but time on my hands. When that time comes I'll learn to play the guitar, I will make nail appointments again, and maybe straighten my hair daily. I will wear any ole pair of shoes I want and go back to cooking extravagant meals. I'll do the dishes after every meal and sweep and mop more often too but for now, I should stop stressing over the things I'm not getting done and focus more on the little ladies that I am raising. I don't have it all together and I'm pretty confident I never will have it all together! But that's okay, I don't need to meticulously plan on what I want my future to look like because it doesn't really matter what I want it to look like. What matters is that I allow God to do his thing. His plans are far greater than any plans I could come up with on my own. So I will stop stressing that life isn't turning out how I planned, it's turning out better! Thank you Lord so very much for never allowing MY plans to interfere with the wonderful plans you have for my life! <3

Thursday, August 11, 2011

life complaints... what are you doing to better your life?

We all go through life wanting more. Wanting the house or the car or even the marriage our neighbor has. We all have complaints about our own lives but my question is, what are we doing to fix our own issues? Of course I know that we can't always change the circumstances in our lives. We can't change the way people treat us or the maturity level of certain EX factors in our lives. But we can change ourselves. We can change the way we look at the world around us and the way we treat others in our lives.

What in the world am I getting at here? Well, for instance, my mother will literally complain to me about gaining weight while eating a cookie. Okay okay, I do the same thing. But bottom line is, I control the foods and "snacks" I put in my body. ONLY I control the amount of exercise I get per week. If I stuff my face with cookies every night and don't make time for a walk after dinner, I'm clearly not going to get any thinner. I fully believe in the power of prayer but sitting around praying that God will make me skinny isn't going to make me a super model. You want to loose some weight, make a conscious decision to live a healthier life style. Don't have time to squeeze the gym in your busy schedule? You don't have to! Adjust your eating habits and take the kids on a little nature walk a few times a week. They'll love the extra distraction free time with you and you'll love the results you see!

I constantly hear people complain about their jobs, their bosses, their co-workers, their paycheck. Well my friends, we live in a pretty fabulous country where we are absolutely free to create our own destiny! Pick up the classifieds and find something NEW. Constantly whining and complaining isn't going to get you a pay raise, make your co-workers work harder, or turn that ass hole boss of yours into mr. nice guy! I realize that you need to pay the bills and not everyone has the luxury of going to a job that they absolutely ADORE while still bringing in a decent pay but, you have to weigh some pros and cons and you don't know what's out there until you start looking right? You may not always LOVE what you do but you certainly don't have to dread it! Change your destiny, grab life by the horns! You are intelligent and capable of anything you put your mind to!

Hate your house? It's just not as big and nice as the girls you run around with is it? Start by having a look at your life and that other gals. Are they a 2 income family or is she a stay at home like you? Did she marry a brain surgeon while you married a janitor? You laugh but really, we don't all have the same income people!!! Is there something wrong with marrying a janitor? Of course not! If that's what makes him happy, that's what should make you happy and you'll have to live with that budget. Don't like the income, well frolic out and get yourself a high paying job sot hat you can afford the house that will make you happy. Let me tell you this though. A house WON'T bring you happiness. You my friend should focus on making the house you have a home. Take pride in what you do have because I promise if little miss brain surgeons wife is your true friend, she doesn't care if you don't have a mansion. You don't have to have a lot of money to make things look nice in your house! Check out Ross and Big Lot's even. Put some time into garage sale shopping, you would be amazed at what a can of spray paint can transform! I have friends who live in tiny one bedroom apartments that are decorated insanely adorable that I feel jealous! You should always remember that no matter what horrible unjust living conditions you feel like you're in, there is always someone who has it worse. Take a little drive down to some unsavory parts of town and you will quickly grow to appreciate all that you do have. We can't all afford the mansions but we can make our houses unique and fabulous in their own little ways :)

Unhappy in your marriage? You're husband doesn't pay any attention to you, doesn't help around the house or with the kids, isn't very nice, gained some weight after you got married, is beating you, having an affair, doesn't seem to love you anymore? Take a step back for a second and examine yourself. What are YOU doing to contribute to the problems in your marriage and what can YOU do to make them better? Are YOU really meeting all HIS needs as a wife? Are you really being nice to him? Are you cooking well balanced meals for him? Are you expressing love to him in a way that he can understand? It takes 2 to tango kids and odds are you're failing marriage is not just one sided. Can all relationships be mended? Do you deserve to be mentally, physically, or verbally abused? Absolutely NOT! You guys need some professional help and he has to want to change. If he isn't open to change, you need to value yourself enough to walk away. "But I'm a stay at home mom and haven't worked in years, if I leave my abusive husband, I'll have to get a job" you say. Ummm... yes you will and it will be awfully scary at first but you will adjust and you will feel such a freedom when you're not living in fear. Trust me, I know! Will it be work to keep yourself and your husband in check? Of course it will but nobody said marriage was for the weak. Trust me, it's no walk in the park but all great things in your life are worth fighting for right? You're marriage is important. You're spouse is important. Turn to God for guidance and strength when it feels like you can't go on. He's listening and won't leave you on your own. Don't give up and throw in the towel quickly. It takes time to alter behaviors on both of your behalves and changes don't happen overnight. Be patient with yourself and your spouse. You're marriage will never be 100% easy sailing 100% of the times. You'll have your highs and lows but this too shall pass.

You're children driving you mad? They're ill behaved, have an attitude problem, are seeing the wrong boy? What role are you playing as a parent to contribute to these behaviors? Children are not just born bad I assure you. I have 2 very different children living under my roof. Payton (almost 7) is easy as can be. I rarely have to discipline her and when on the rare occasion she does need discipline, I know that showing her she has upset me is the only punishment she needs. All I have to do is look at that child the wrong way and she knows she's done something wrong and is eager to rectify the behavior. Taylor on the other hand (my 2.5 yr old) is difficult and stubborn. Spankings will make her cry but 10 seconds later, she's back to doing whatever bad behavior landed her in the hot seat to begin with. You can threaten to throw away her toys if she doesn't pick them up and she will gladly bring you a trash bag. I struggle with how to discipline her because she just doesn't honestly care if she's upset me with the behavior. lol The bottom line is EVERY kid is different and they will each need to be treated differently. Do I mean I love them differently? Of course not. I love them both more than anything else on this planet but, I show them love and discipline in different ways because that's what they need to grow as individuals. I encourage you to read "The Five Love Languages for children" if you haven't already to determine your child's love language. Because, loving 2 very different children the same way, can cause you to neglect the core need for love that one child might have. While you're reading, if you haven't yet read the original "Five Love Languages" to determine your spouses love language as well as your own, I highly recommend you grab it as well. I'm no parenting expert but children look to us for guidance and examples. What we are living will greatly affect the adults that our children later become. It's true I tell you! If you're in an abusive marriage with children in tow what message are you sending to your sons and daughters? You're telling little Johnny that it's okay to treat his wife that way. Hitting women is acceptable. You're telling little Mary Sue that men hit women and that's okay so she should go out and find someone to treat her that way too. Are you constantly cussing in front of your children? Don't be surprised when they quickly pick up the same language. You don't take the time to say yes ma'am, no ma'am, thank you, and please to the other adults you interact with? What makes you think your children are going to? Dads, did you know that the way you love your daughters and their mother can greatly affect the ideas about relationships and marriage that she will carry into adulthood? Did you know that her intimacy issues later in life might very well have stemmed from your own? A lot of us fumble around in life looking for our purpose. We think that just one tiny person can't make a difference in the world. But I will tell you as parents, we ARE changing the world. By loving and raising these tiny little people to bloom into upstanding, polite, compassionate citizens we are absolutely making a difference for the future.

My point in all this is that life is not perfect. It doesn't always go the way we expected. Life throws us curveballs. It's a winding road. God is absolutely in control but we have to allow him to open doors for us. Remember, you are in the drivers seat of your own life. God has given you the free will to change your circumstances. God wants you to be happy and healthy. He wants you to spread compassion and radiate the joy that you feel when he lives inside you. Grab hold of the steering wheel and let the word of God be your map.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Stress. Lots and lots of stress!

I'm a slacker and a half! It's not entirely my fault though. Dave works a ton so I'm usually left to man the fort solo so I don't have a ton of extra time. I'm still working but not as much because, sometimes I felt like I let photography take over my life a little and frankly, I would rather play at the park with my kids than be stuck at a computer editing all day. I had to take a step back and re-evaluate what was really important to me and kids/hubby trump career any day of the week! There's so many exciting things going on in our lives right now I don't even know where to begin! Several months ago, I stopped doing cakes. They were just really stressing me out and I didn't have room for more stress in my life. Truthfully, they were never really my passion anyway. Dave and I wanted to try for another baby but were struggling with the timing of it all. We finally decided on August but, as usual, God had other plans! I'm about 10 weeks along now and although we are over the moon excited, I have been sicker than sick! I had fairly mild pregnancies with the girls so I'm not sure what to think of the awful way I feel with this one! I'm praying once the 1st trimester is over, so will the sickness! Almost there! Apparently, I also suffer from pregnancy educed migraines! Joy! The hits keep on coming! Hopefully, these are signs of a boy because my hubby would sure be ecstatic if he had a lil' baseball player on the way! We also bought a new house FINALLY! yay! Were super excited and ready to close and be settled in but I'm not so much looking forward to all the packing and moving. I've been trying to tackle it a little at a time but eeeek... it's so overwhelming! Payton wrapped up Kinder a few weeks ago and was super sad that the school year was over but is really excited to start first grade in the fall. She's leaving tuesday for a month with Jimmy and I'm not very enthused about it. She's crying and saying she doesn't want to go for a month and naturally I don't want her to go either but I know once she gets there it will be all fun and games and she will be fine. She might not want to come back to the real world when he is done with her! lol She's never been away from me that long before so I'm already in full panic mode. He lives with his girlfriend now and she has kids so I'm trying to put myself at ease with knowing she's a fellow mommy but, truth of the matter is, I don't know her. I've never spoken to her, met her, ANYTHING! I don't know if she will have my kid drinking organic milk and eating her vegetables. I don't know if she prays with her before bed or will be taking her to church. Does she read bedtime stories? Does she allow a little too much video game playing? The questions are endless. How do you let someone else mother your child for a whole month?!?!? Especially when you are a complete parenting control freak like me!??!? All I can do is trust God to watch over my little angel while she is away. I can pray and seek comfort from the Lord for myself as well. For Taylor who will undoubtably be missing her bff sissy all month long. Keep us in your prayers. It's going to be a looooong month!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

shame spiral

What's with me!??! I haven't blogged since July! I'm on a shame spiral. There's always so much to blog about in our insanely hectic lives I can't believe I don't do it more often!
Cliff notes version of life since July:
-Payton started school in August. I can't believe my baby is wrapping up kinder and heading to 1st in the fall! She loves her teacher and has made a ton of new friends. Her favorite class is Art. She played another season of soccer and is gearing up for yet another! She had a teddy bear picnic birthday party and got "beiber fever" NOoooooooo! She's way too young for that nonsense. I think I'll lock her in a room with no tv, radio, or friends to influence her so she can stay my baby forever! Ah, I can dream! She got an American Girl doll for Christmas and hasn't put it down since.
-Taylor has been into more mischief than any one child has any business being into. She's grown so much. Talks up a storm, has a serious attitude, and thinks she's real big stuff (she must get that from her sister). She will be 2 next week and loves her sisters doll so much that we had to order her the bitty twins for her birthday. She has been papi free for 2 weeks now and in the very near future were going to jump full throttle into the potty training thing!
-Dave came home on leave at the end of July and we loved every minute of it. We took the girls to great wolf lodge for the first time and loved it. Then we celebrated our anniversary in kid free fabulousness at the mansion on turtle creek. It was everything I dreamed it would be. Saying goodbye was extra hard this time but we knew it wouldn't be long till he was home for good. He toyed with the idea of re-enlisting but in the end decided against it and a week before Christmas got to come back to the states & home for good! He's started his new job and is loving it so far but has been out of town all week so I'm kinda bummed. I was sad he wasn't here for his birthday and will probably miss Taylor's again this year too but the bills won't get paid with him at home right!?!? lol Were just adjusting to our new little life.
Me-Holy smokes! I've been insanely busy like always. I've tapered off on the cakes because I really needed a break from them. Now I only do them in special instances. Photography business is blooming and I'm still learning. Still loving it but I often wonder if I have what it takes to make it in this industry. I'm looking for new ways to better my techniques and learning to navigate my camera a little better too. So much to learn! Were driving to Carlsbad in the morning to see Dave and give him his birthday present & spend valentine's day together since we didn't get to last year. I can't believe it's been exactly a year since he was called back to duty. I can't believe we survived the year apart! lol I've been house hunting like a mad woman all week because we've really outgrown this house and if we want another baby next year, we need another bedroom! Excited that I've found a few that I really like and will continue the search until we find something that's just perfect for us. I've been horrible at taking photos of my own kids lately! What's wrong with me!??!? I really must try to get better at this whole blogging thing. There's always so much on my mind, I'm never at a loss for words, and with Dave gone so much I have free time in the evenings. Surely I can manage one post a week! For now, enjoy a few of the girls valentine pictures. They're a mess!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I'm alive!

Okay okay, I know I keep making these false promises of staying on top of my blog but really this summer has been all sorts of insane! I haven't had much time to breathe much less blog! Dave comes home for a 2 week leave in 8 days so you can bet I'll have lots to blog about once he leaves! In the meantime, we need to continue praying for the Aguirre family, if you don't know this story I swear I will update you soon! We've decided that Payton will start Kinder at Midland Classical Academy next month and we are very excited. She will also start a new soccer season soon and she's pretty pumped about that too. So much to update on but, no time now! Heading to San Angelo to visit Christi & Aaron and new baby T! Can't wait to snap some pictures of this little darling! I promise promise promise to start updating more frequently. Oh there's so much to say, I almost don't want to go to bed but, Lord knows this girl NEEDS her beauty rest for the next 8 days ;)


Friday, June 25, 2010

Adventures in Latch Land

Well, I've abandoned the concept of playing blog catchup! Forget that nonsense, I don't even have time to stay current much less backtrack 6 months! The girls & I have been doing a lil' traveling to take our mind off Daddy being gone. We've had a good time, & although I miss Dave so very much, it's been nice to get to spend girl time with my cousins and best friend Kristi.

The last week of May we hit up San Antonio. Kristi & I have been besties for 10 years and since she moved away after her & Brian got hitched 7 years ago, we haven't been able to spend much time together. They have twin 2 year old girls so a for a full week poor Brian was gravely out numbered! lol Kris, me, my 2 girls, their 2 girls, and poor poor Brian! We had a blast catching up & letting the girls play or irritate each other rather! They didn't play real well together which was so strange because Taylor plays so well with everyone. However a few days before we headed out all 3 of us had strep throat so I'm sure Taylor was still feeling a bit unlike herself. We did some shopping and hit up Sea World. Dave & I got season passes last year and I figured I would use them again before they expired. Kinda nice, I managed to walk away from that place only spending $15! Payton begged to feed the dolphins but chickened out when she saw their teeth. That was just fine with me because I got to feed them & pet them instead! Oh, I wanted to bring one home to live in my bathtub! They're such amazing creatures. The only downfall to the day was that me alone w/2 kids was a tad trying & there was nobody there to take pictures of me & the dolphins! haha

It also happened to be the twins' birthday so we took them all to minitown & then out to eat some yummy bbq. They all had a blast!

Before we left, we took the girls out to the park in attempts to snap a few family photos of Kris, Brian, & the girls. But between my children running around and their children running around we weren't real successful! Next time!

A few weeks later, I loaded up the girls again and headed toward Wylie for my friend Christi's baby shower. Little Trenton will be here soon! I can't believe it! It was lovely catching up with her, Aaron, & the rest of their wonderful family. After the shower, we headed to Fort Worth to spend some time with my cousin Becky & her kiddos. We had a great time as always! We took the kids to the Science museum and oh, I coulda spent all day there! So much to do!

Later that evening we took the trip up to Fort Hood to visit another cousin Stephanie (Becky's sister). Her hubby Rob is a Chaplin for the U.S. Army and was off doing some training so it was just us girls. Poor little Seth was the only male around for miles! Araceli & Taylor are only about 6 months apart and played so well together! Payton, Sam, and Sesi had a blast playing dress up and barbies! We had a great time and did some long overdue catching up. I definitely plan to spend more time there while Dave & Rob are in Iraq. We drove the kids to a nearby little town to swim in the creek. It was nice and shallow so Celi & Tay could splash around without someone hanging on to them at all times! The kids all had a blast!

Phew just writing about all that driving made me exhausted! Can't wait to see my wonderful cousin's again!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I'm "OKAY"

Are you okay? How are you doing? We ask these questions everytime we see someone we know. I think we all just automatically spit out a simple, "I'm okay". So, why is it that we don't describe how were really feeling? Is it because saying it all just takes up a little too much time? "I'm stressed, I'm exhuasted and overwhelmed. I'm grateful for what I have but, I'm always wanting more. Some days I don't have control over my children and my patience is running thin. I don't get to do my hair everyday and I haven't recently found the time to shave my legs. Overall, I'm just barley hanging on." For this reason, most days if you ask me how I'm doing, I just say "I'm alive" because, honestly, some days, that's the best I can do. Some days are better than others, and since Dave has been gone, I seem to have more bad days than good. I try to keep myself busy throughout the day. My to-do list grows each day. But sometimes, when the kids are in bed, and the house falls silent, I am ANYTHING but "okay". I stay awake until I just can't any more because the thought of crawling into our big bed all alone just makes me cringe. Some nights, I can almost feel his hand on my cheek and his lips on mine. I can almost hear his "goodnight beautiful". I try to line his side of the bed with pillows so I don't feel so all alone. I angle 2 that I can lay on to simulate his shoulder. lol The point is, most days, I'm not "okay" and if I tell you I am, I'm just being polite. Most days, I, like most of you, am just trucking along trying to make it through the day.