Monday, April 29, 2013

Here we go again!

The news is out...we are expecting once again and truly feel so blessed.  You see...we find our joy in our kids.  Yes, we want things for them and for ourselves.  Yes, we have dreams of a week long vacation (one day). Yes, I realize I have signed up for another 9 months of wine-less nights.  But, for us, there is no greater gift we could give to our kids than each other or to our marriage than life!

So here we go again!

You might have noticed, all things blogging came to a halt about 12 weeks ago and now you know why.  We took a 12 week long "spring break" with Zoe and our fun, crafty days of learning.  We had many chill mornings, many naps and many pajama days with movies and computer games.

We found out about our Little Bean on March 8th by a home pregnancy test.  Although being pregnant wasn't a surprise since we started trying in January and practicing NFP makes you very aware of the stages of your cycle and your body....actually being pregnant so soon and after some (implantation) bleeding that was put off to starting a new cycle, was quite surprising, but welcomed with open arms.

The exhaustion of the first trimester has been debilitating to say the least.  I think the big thing that will help the exhaustion is more protein...possibly in the form of my morning routine.  Oh, the sacrifices we make.

I am looking forward to more energy and getting back to some structure in our home in the 2nd trimester.

Zoe is 100% convinced that Little Bean is a Girl!  It is so much fun to have a child who understands, to some extent, that there is a baby in my tummy.  She is so excited and asks about the baby all the time, which just warms my soul.

I am glad we have many, many more weeks before due date because my dear Evan needs to learn some boundaries...serious boundaries...He is all boy and is totally a face slapper, eye poker, baby pincher...make me cringe anytime he goes near the baby kinda boy.

We are changing things up this go around.  We are going to find out who our sweet baby is at our 20 week appointment.  We figured since we have one of each already that it would be fun to find out...and I might really want to have a gender reveal party :/

So cheers to the 2nd trimester!  Prayers Welcome!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

2 more shoes...

will be added to our crew in November!

How do they all fit!?!

I love when we get together at Grandma and Grandaddy's and can capture all these sweet babies at one time!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Fight Like A Girl

This past weekend, I was unbelievably blessed with 2 days of retreat.  I attended LifeTeen's Women's Retreat for the 3rd year and was floored with how much the Spirit moved once again. Our Lord never fails! I said....Blessed!

The Lord came to me in a place of total surprise.  A place in my heart that has been forgiven, but not quite healed....not because of our Lord's mercy but because of my sinful nature.  I am convinced nothing is worse than knowing the Lord has forgiven you of your past, of your sins, but you cannot in turn forgive yourself.

I am very aware of certain things that hold me back in my every day life, my marriage, being fully joyful, being fully present.  Unfortunately though, at these times, I get lost...I know where I am failing and don't know how to deal.  Don't know how to pull myself out of the hole I have dug.  I want so badly to move on, but just have not learned how to effectively do it.

This weekend taught me how to!  Praise God!  And it is really oh so simple...yet tricky all at the same time.

This picture sums it up....Pray and always remember the Cross.
You always hear...well your Christian but do you have a personal relationship with Christ.  Hmmm....maybe?!?!

I feel like I have always longed for this relationship, but for any relationship to flourish, there must be sacrifice....and I just don't think I was fully aware of how much actual dying to self this would require.  Prayer is part of my daily life, but not the type of prayer that is sacrificial.  Not the type of prayer that builds but really only sustain.

A couple points from this retreat just made a home in my heart.

And it goes back to the beginning   For me, understanding why exactly God made me, a woman, a female, is crucial to my existence.  God made women to bear life to the world.  He made us to bring hope!  He made us to be a helper.  He made us a specific way, for a specific reason that has totally become lost in our society.

What moved me most was God made women to bear life to the world....we are the crown of creation.  This is not something to be taken lightly!  If we cannot respect our bodies, if we cannot respect our sensitivity and femininity, if we cannot view our own beauty...then the point is lost.  Because we are the crown of creation, because we bear life to the world....we are severely under attack!

The devil knows exactly where to get us, where to destroy our femininity, destroy the gifts God has given us, destroy the hope we are meant to bring.

The devil attacks what makes us woman right to the core!  He starts with the first gift God has given us...our ability to bear LIFE!  Without women...the world would not go on.  New life would not begin.  So it only makes sense that this would be the first place the devil would go...through contraception, through abortion, through destruction of our bodies, through denial of our beauty and self worth.  When we stop putting faith in God in these areas....the devil wins.  When we medicate ourselves because we refuse to allow God to work His plan in our lives...the devil wins.  When we deny what makes us truly feminine as God made us...the devil wins.  When we deny that we are the crowns of creation...the devil wins.

We have to be aware that we, as women, are constantly under attack!  Every second of every day!  And the only way to rise above these the relationship with our Lord that I so desperately long for.  And so we must learn to fight like a girl!

The second talk that just totally struck a cord with me was all about the tools we need to battle our temptations, to battle our world and all the lies it tells us each and every day!  And the first way to do this is  Prayer and Scripture.  What a gift that we all too quickly put aside on the shelf.  I feel that these two go hand in hand...and are a deadly combo to battle any attack upon us.  One of the tools or weapons that I loved is Reinforcement.  We need to surround ourselves with people who will battle with us, who will pray for us, who will celebrate the victories with us, who we can let our battles be known to.  In addition to our husbands, for those who are married, we need women in our lives that we can trust, that will encourage us and build our hearts for Christ.  That will accept our flaws and love us anyway. 
I think the hardest part of a retreat is taking the knowledge acquired and the feelings felt...and bringing them back home.  I left Sunday with an undeniable desire to grow in Prayer and Scripture.  And I love that a friend put it to me so realistically.  Baby steps are okay...find what works for you....this will not happen in a week nor should it happen that quickly.  In order to have a genuine, personal relationship with our Lord, it takes time and sacrifice and a continual commitment to Him.

The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort.  You were made for greatness. 
~Pope Benedict XVI

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mother India Movie Review

A week or so ago, I was contacted and asked if I would do a blog review for the documentary Mother India...and of course, I said yes.  For 2 main reasons...

I knew nothing about the Indian Culture until about 2 years ago.  In fact, I learned one of the dominant faiths in India was Catholicism...had no clue.  I mean...I knew that Catholicism was world wide, but I always (ignorantly) assumed people of Indian descent were Hindu or Buddhist.  I learned quickly through one of my coworkers, Tony, that life in India was far from the life I lived in the United States.  Tony left his family in India at 19 to come to the USA to work and receive an education.  Being the youngest in his family, he is responsible for the care of his parents.  Tony started as a courtesy clerk at Kroger and quickly moved up in positions because of his dedication and his work ethic.  You see....every penny Tony made...he sent home to his family.  He...a 19 year old...provided for his family!

Americans have no clue!  Getting to know Tony humbled me.  He gave me prospective.  He taught me that not only am I blessed by what I have in America...I am also blessed by the Faith we share.  Tony taught me all about the traditions of the Catholic Faith in India.  It was amazing and beautiful and eye opening.  I love that even though we grew up worlds apart...we shared so much at the same time because of our beautiful Catholic Faith!

The second reason was because of Mother Teresa.  What a woman of God...a Saint!  Mother Teresa served the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, India.  So the fact that this documentary was also in India made me want to see more.

Here is a short trailer for Mother India.

Mother India is a documentary on the lives of 25 abandoned or orphaned children living on the streets in India.  This was eye opening for me.  I was in tears watching the children describe themselves and why they lived on the street.  Most were abused and ran.  Many had no parents due to death or abandonment   Almost all have incurable diseases, addictions, disabilities....and my heart just broke.

Documentaries like these tell a true story and open our eyes to the world that is actually out there outside of our own.  These children know nothing different.  Word Films wants to reach out and tell the story of India through this film.  Bring light to this country that so desperately needs help.

Consider LIKING the Word Films Facebook fan page and sharing it with your friends

Also if you would like, FOLLOW the Word Films Twitter Feed and share

Mother India: Life Through the Eyes of the Orphan will be released on April 23rd to DVD.  I encourage you to pick it up and support Word Films' mission and help in any way you can, but to also pray.  Pray for the youth of India...for our Heavenly Father to protect them as we all know only He can.

To learn more or to even sponser a child, visit  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Bye Bye Debt!

It's official...
well as of last week...
Zach and I are DEBT FREE!!!!
(aside from our less than $600/mth mortgage)

Hallelujah, Praise be to God!  We are finally living financially in the present.  We are no longer slaves to our debts, our past, our expensive wants that we couldn't afford.  Adios!

When Zach and I got married in 2008, between the two of us, we had more than $40,000 in debt.  This was from a few different sources...two car payments, 3 student loans, 4 credit cards (one with a jeweler :/).  And then in 2009 came the medical bills, a home and all the expenses of a home and children.

We were drowning.

Being the person in charge of the finances but not the person bringing in the money is pretty tough.  How do I spell it out kindly to my husband that even though you work so is not enough to dig us out of the hole we are in and that we are digging deeper?

Come to find out, in a hard way, the money he was bringing in was plenty.  Zach and I had to come to terms with the fact that we needed to stop living a lifestyle that we could not afford.  We have had to say no.  We have had to cut back.  We have had to simplify.  And it has been the biggest and most amazing wake up call.

WE had to change!

Over the past 4 1/2 years, we have paid off all of our debt and even pay more on our mortgage every year than what is expected of us from the lender.  Piece by piece, debt by debt....we hit pay now and said goodbye.

Last week, we received our federal tax check and hit pay now for the final time.  Zach's student loan was our last debt and boy, did Zach love seeing amount due = $0.00.

If you look at statistics, the number one reason for divorce and fighting in marriage is money.  As I always say, money is the root of all evil...especially when you don't have it :)

I don't want this for me, for Zach and for our marriage.  I love him way too much to want more than we can afford and then fight over it.

The path to paying off our debts has been humbling and rewarding and freeing and so many more emotions and I am so grateful for all those who have helped us along the way....especially Dave Ramsey!  A big thank you to Elizabeth who encouraged me every step of the way, as well!

Now that we are debt free, we are in savings mode for our Emergency Fund...1/2 way there already!

Keep us in your prayers if you think about it.  Staying debt free is a constant process!

Friday, April 5, 2013


We had an incredible Easter at Covecrest this year! It is so fun to spend the weekend with a group of such wonderful people! We are so blessed by the LifeTeen Community!

We headed up to Tiger on Friday and made it just in time for the Good Friday service. What an emotional Mass it was to remember and kiss the cross. It is so important for us, as Christians, to remember there is no Sunday without Friday. Oh the tears!

Saturday, we had a wonderful day relaxing, egg dying and Zach played ultimate frisbee with all the men and kids! Could not have asked for a better day! We finished the day with a big cookout and lots of down time for everyone present to get to know each other more. Like I said, such an amazing place that draws so many awesome people to it.

Easter Sunday was just beautiful...despite the rain. We had Mass in Mary's Chapel and everything was just perfect! After Mass, we had the big egg hunt. Both of my babies had so much fun! Every time Zoe found an egg, she would shake it and just giggle and giggle. Following the hunt, the whole community shared an Easter Brunch together before packing up and heading our separate ways.

The older I get, the more I value community. No wonder Jesus made such a big deal of it ;)

We hope you all had a blessed Easter Sunday and continue to have a blessed Easter season!