Sunday, March 31, 2013

Gratitude Journal

After all the Easter eggs are found 
and chocolate bunny ears devoured, 
One thing will remain true. 
This day is all about Jesus.

He died on the Cross.
He went to Heaven.
For me.
For you.
All we need is to accept that. To believe that.

I am grateful. So so very grateful for His gift.
My life is changed because I rediscovered this.

Thank You God.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

What I Pinned What I Did

I knew the day would come when Pinterest no longer filled my lonely hours.
My husband returns from deployment and Wa-Lah 
The website becomes a distant memory.

Despite not pinning much lately, I am still trying new pins.
Here is my Pinterest experiment of the week.



This sweater is one of my favorite wardrobe pieces.
Love the color, love the fit.
Ann Taylor Loft is my go-to store for basics.
I don't mind spending a little more there because 
I know the items last me far longer than they should.

The original outfit includes shorts but it's much too cold for those. 
And when I say cold, I mean for us Californians.
I know my Midwestern folks would only be wearing shorts right now
with 60-70 degree temps.

Soon enough, my friends.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday...27

Happy Wednesday Friends!

I want to say 'thank you' to all who shared their kindness and support on yesterday's post.
Those comments show the unique and supportive community bloggers are.
We appreciate your encouraging words.

Now, let's get to the outfits. 
As always, I'm linking up with The Pleated Poppy. Go check out what everyone is wearing and get some inspiration to boost your mommy style.

Sweater- Old Navy
Jeans- Old Navy

 Dress- Ann Taylor Loft
Belt- Express
Bracelet- Ann Taylor Loft
Boots- Me Too!

Cardigan- Ann Taylor Loft
Tank- Express
Jeans- Calvin Klein Jeans

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This Is Cancer

It's not a pretty word. It doesn't conjure nice images in your head. Depending on your experience, you probably don't like to talk about it. It's scary. It's deadly. Even if you have no experience with it, you probably view cancer negatively. I get it. Three weeks ago, I felt the same way. Until my husband called me from the ship. "I'm being medivac'd from the ship... I will be home by the end of the week... They think I have cancer."

Life changer.

No one likes the word cancer. And no one wants to hear that word. If you are a young thirty-something family with three kids, you don't expect to be confronted with it. However, sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you just have to adapt.

My husband has changed my way of thinking about this disease. He has approached his diagnosis with such positivity, optimism, and bravery. I'm learning to follow his lead. 

I always viewed cancer as a private battle. I didn't want to pry or overwhelm. Battling something like this is when you need others the most. I got over my pride real quickly when Darin came home. When a friend or neighbor offered help, I accepted. When our friends, neighbors, and family hesitated to call or stop by, I assured them their company was welcomed. In fact, they help keep our minds occupied while we wait.

We are two weeks into this medical diagnosis. My husband has had the spot or tumor removed. In the next week, we will meet with the doctor and there will be more tests. We don't know if he will need further treatment. We imagine there will be. Radiation or chemo? Not sure. We try not to think too much about it. Those thoughts consume a person quickly and lead down a dark path.

I don't want to mislead or worry anyone about my husband's condition. The doctors are completely optimistic. The surgeon told me of all the cancers, seminoma has one of the best prognosis. Positive stuff to keep us moving forward. I'm confident we will get from point A to point B. However, the road getting there might be a little bumpy. I'll share as we go along.

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Family Volunteering

This weekend our family spent the afternoon prepping and serving dinner to 200 people. 
The kids were awesome. Everyone worked hard to get our assigned tasks done.
We washed, chopped, sorted, carried, served, cleaned, 
and put everything back in its place when we finished.

These are the things I appreciate with having older kids.
Sure, I miss the cute little ages but there is more freedom now.
No diaper bags to pack along. No planning around nap time.
No emotional outbursts (generally speaking).

Their personalities shined through.
Kyli is the compliant one. She is like her dad. She will do what you ask without complaint. She might not like what she is doing but she does it anyways.

Derrick enjoys everything. If it is a mundane task, then he makes it fun. His joy seems to be in working with people. He was the best little server. He was all smiles and laughs with each person who came through the line. 

Zac flew under the radar as usual.
He managed to escape the kitchen multiple times and make his way outside. 
He turned washing veggies into a water fight and clearing tables into a game of tag. 
He was ok serving along side his dad. Quietly scooping tablespoons of rice on each plate. 
(He didn't quite get portion size.)

I'm learning Zac has no option but to go to college. 
He would never be happy doing a labor intensive job.


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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Gratitude Journal

Blessings abound! It's Sunday and time to reflect on all the good things happening in life.

This week my youngest turned 8. He was so excited for his day as most children are. We had a small party at our house. I was worried it wouldn't be enough. Parties get kind of crazy around these parts. It's hard to top some of the themed or location parties we've attended. But Derrick was more than ok with his little "homemade" birthday. I'm thankful we had a day to celebrate him. And his friends from school were able to attend.

I'm thankful for our double date last night with good friends. We went to a great restaurant in Oceanside called Pacific 333. Amazing food and martini bar. Awesome location with a panoramic view of the ocean at sunset. And all this because we had a babysitter! Another thankful because those are hard to find.

I'm thankful to finally be reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. After Kelsey at Keeping Up With Kelsey suggested the book, I put it on my Reading List. I finally found the opportunity to read the book with a small group of friends. Which is ideal for me. Because I love to read and I love to talk about books. 

My quick list of gratitude from the week...

...first day of spring. blooming everywhere!
...sunny days. husband being home. husband feeling better. kids' school.
...meeting friends for coffee.
...personal growth.
...this blog which I credit part of my personal growth to. 

Every time I write these posts my cup fills. Even on the bad days when I really don't want to write this post. It's a good thing.

Weekend Social Blog Hop

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Birthday Boy

Today is my baby's birthday. He is 8 years old.
Bittersweet when your youngest isn't so young anymore.

I miss those baby days. They went by so fast and in such a blur.
It was the height of the Iraq war and my husband was deployed all. the. time. 
I was home with three little ones while hubby was fighting a war overseas.
Needless to say, I wished away almost every single day.

Derrick is our last child. Which means he will always be the baby. 
If you know Derrick now, then you might be surprised to learn he was a quiet baby. 
I'm confident the first year he was contemplating all the hell he was about to raise.

 We really should blame ourselves for buying the walking toy. 
It was the start of some very interesting days. Ok, years, really.

 After he figured out he could move...
well, he didn't stop.
In the laundry pile, up the stairs, on the table, over the couch.
Repeat. All. Day. Long.

His first phrase was "Abba alma self".
Which translated to All By Myself.
At which point, I knew this would not be my "easy" child!

But with his energy comes a spirit like no other.
Determination, confidence, independence, initiative,
sense of humor, good natured, kind.
An awesome combination of qualities.

I know this child will be a source of many headaches.
I already pray over his teen years!
But I also suspect God has something very special planned for him.

Happy Birthday Baby Der-wick!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday...26

Hello fashionistas! It's time to show off my styles of the week. 
I'm linking up with The Pleated Poppy for her weekly fashion extravaganza!


Dress- Target

My new favorite place to shop for clothing! 
Every time I wear my Target clothes, I get compliments from strangers.
And my pocketbook is relatively unaffected. 


Blazer, Tee, Pants- Ann Taylor Loft

Surprise, surprise. I'm wearing all ATL.
Imagine that!

  Top- INC Concept
Jeans- 7 for All Mankind

Another shop the closet outfit. I haven't worn this top in almost a year.
Shame on me!


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Monday, March 18, 2013


At some point, pre-children I thought three kids was the perfect number.
It's sort of the new "big" family without being too big. Sort of like brown is the new black. 
I wasn't thinking logically. Like, we will automatically be outnumbered. 
They're kids, what true power can they have over adults??
Oh the naive-ity of young parents.

We definitely lucked out with the birth order.
Our daughter is the oldest by three years. The boys are less than 18 months apart.
Ky is typically one developmental stage ahead of the boys. And the boys are besties by default.
So, the whole "one will always be left out" thing never really applies.
My daughter prefers to be "left out" from her brothers' idea of fun.

What does apply is the popcorn theory.
Everything and everyone can be absolutely fine.
Everyone is playing nicely, either together or individually.
But, scratch that...when one starts acting up...
They all just feed off the energy.
Like popcorn kernels in a heated pan,
Our house goes from content to crazy in about 3 seconds!

All the more reason to take pictures of your kids happy together.  
And don't confuse happy together with posed to look happy together. know the difference.
Take said picture, print, frame, and display somewhere you can admire it...daily.
It will inspire you not go off the deep end when 
you're separating 10,000 Legos by rightful owner 
between fighting brothers. 
OR explaining why you don't put a bag of dog poo in your brother's room 
just because he made a face at you.


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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Gratitude Journal

This morning on our drive to church I had this overwhelming feeling of gratitude. I was looking around at my surroundings. Another beautiful Southern California morning in March: sun shining, flowers blooming, green everywhere. A couple misplaced Iowans can't help but recognize the blessing of Spring weather in March.

This week has been a challenge with the days leading up to Darin's surgery and the procedure itself. Between the two of us we were just keeping each other moving forward. Our family and friends have really stepped up and been a great support. We have the greatest friends...evah! And our family has been very caring and loving. Blessed!

I'm grateful for my Bible study gals. I have grown so much during this deployment. Their support and prayers have encouraged me.

Of course, I'm thankful for little things happening this week:

- a good book that grabbed my attention from page one
- grilled food (Thanks husband)
- a Saturday trip to Target without my crazy boys
- paying 27 cents for Sally Hanson nail color strips
- Ruzzle
- getting my Cara Box finished
- Pinterest projects
- finding Birthday Cake Oreos at our commissary
- eating Birthday Cake Oreos with milk

Things are good. I am thankful!


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