Tuesday, December 27, 2011


So I've come to he conclusion that I pretty much only have time to blog late at night when Sam has gone to work and the little ones are in bed. But alas, that is when I choose sleep over words. I miss blogging though. Perhaps 'll get a chance to squeeze in a post tomorrow with some pics of the babies. Hope all of you had a beautiful Christmas that was centered on Christ :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Baby Hide and Seek

I was looking through some old videos tonight and came across my favorite video all all time. I'll share :)
This was almost 1 year ago. She was about 8 months old.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Prayers, please.

Well, Sam has his interview for PA school tomorrow!! He has worked so hard to get to this point, and I know he will make an amazing physician assistant. We've been praying so much that whether he gets accepted or not, God's will be done and we receive His grace to trust in it. Please pray for us and for Sam specifically, that he does his best and that he feel confident in his interviews.

God has been working in our lives so much lately, and I give all glory and honor to Him.

I'd like to say that I'm very proud of Sam and myself, but I know that would be giving undue credit. The reason for this feeling is that we've been sticking to the financial principles taught by Dave Ramsey, and we're so close to completing the step we're on now. It feels fantastic to look back on the progress we've made this year in eliminating debt. When we got our W-4's in January this year, we looked back on 2010, and thought, "What do we have to show for this income? What did we do with it all?" We made more than we needed to live on, yet hadn't done much about our debt. It was then that we really decided to get on the Dave Ramsey bandwagon and start eliminating debt. We've made great progress to date, but still have a way to go.

We're working toward getting rid of the last of it by the time Sam starts (God-willing) PA school in May of next year. If we do that, I'll be able to keep working 2-3 days a week and pay for his school in cash payments as we go. This would be ideal, as working during PA school is highly discouraged, and mine would be our only income. While seeing the debt snowball really work in our finances is exciting and exhilarating (silly, I know, but I really feel that way), I still have to often tell myself Dave's mantra, which has become our own, "If you live like no one else today, you can LIVE like no one else tomorrow."

Now while I am proud of us, it's not for the fact that we've started to overcome our debt, because for that success I give credit to God. What I am happy about is that all of this has happened because we finally started listening to God and not to ourselves. We're allowing Him to work in our hearts and in our lives. We're getting pretty good at relying on the Lord as our strength to delay gratification of the things we want and keep our goal in sight.

This goal is financial independence for two reasons: yes, we definitely want to not worry about money and not have to work, but more than that, so that we can abundantly bless people. I want to be able to pay for a cart full of groceries for a mom who looks like she's struggling. We want to start a marriage and natural family planning ministry program. I want to give thousands of dollars to the Catholic Answers apostolate every year to help in it's wonderful evangelization efforts. I want to assure that our parents retire without worry. I want to start a small scholarship fund for my younger cousins to help them get through college. I want to multiply the talents God has given Sam and me, so that we can pay it forward to other people.

Please keep us in your prayers as Sam has the most important interview of his life tomorrow and as we continue to work with diligence on completing our Total Money Makeover. Blessings to you all.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


So I've been a proud and ever-busy momma of two little ones for a tad bit over two months now. And I've had one question in mind a lot lately... when?


...do I do chores? (should I instead play with my little loves?)
... do I play with Ella and Little Man? (or do I clean?)
... do I blog?
... can I craft?
... will I ever start to work out again? (I seriously feel like there is no time for this!)
... will I find a babysitter/childcare that will work out for us?
... can I find a quiet time to pray and read my Bible and earnestly listen for God's voice?
... will Sam and I resume our date night?
... should I get ready for the day?

I know this last one sounds like a stupid question. You're thinking, "Um, in the morning?" Buuut, I don't like Ella to wait for breakfast because she gets grumpy and Little Man, well he just won't wait. And it takes me an hour to get ready from start to finish if I hustle. But by the time he's nursed and happy and I've made breakfast and Ella is fed (it can be a struggle, let me tell you), I feel like I need a break, and by the time I'm ready to get ready (ha, ha) it's 10 o'clock. :sigh: And while it may seems that 10 isn't too late, by then I'm thinking, "Well should I get all readied up just to start on the morning chores?" I try to get a few chores done before we go eat lunch with Sam at work as we do everyday. And, yes, I could get up earlier than the babies wake up. Samy wakes up to nurse around 4 or 5am, so I could just stay up then, but that's just so early! I usually go back to sleep then, but don't wake up until Ella wakes up around 8 o'clock. And its very, very hard to go to sleep for only 1 or 2 more hours :( So, alas, when should I get ready for the day?

So, it seems as though I need to get a little better with the new demands of my time and figure out just when I will do all these things that need to be done or that I want to do!! Whew. I feel like I need to take a breath after typing all of that!

The thing about it is, I get pretty much everything done each day, so I guess I just need to feel comfortable in doing what I'm doing at any given moment in the day,. Today, for example, I was getting the chores done for today to mentally cross them off of the chore chart, when I couldn't help but feeling like I should stop cleaning and play with Ella. I play with her in between chores and sometimes she likes to "help" me clean by pushing the vacuum with me or "folding" clothes while I do laundry, but I can't help but feel like she deserves my undivided attention all of the time. I know that that, in itself, is not good because I've seen little kids who always were the center of attention and turned out to be spoiled brats. She's already good at individual play, and I'm proud of that.

I guess its just the mom in me that wants to make sure I'm doing the best for her. (This same feeling applies to Samy too, but I don't have to worry too much about entertaining him, since he is mostly still eating and sleeping all the time.)

So, back to my original question... when? When do I get done all that's on my list for the day and still spend meaningful time with my babies and husband? Because after all, that (along with my prayer life) is most important to me.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Blues

Today wasn't a very good day.

I'm still thankful for all the blessings I received.

But overall, the day leaves me feeling exhausted, unaccomplished, stressed out and resentful.

Lord, please take away the feeling of frustration I had today with those I love, and let me instead feel your peace.

Let me realize how blessed I am in all aspects of my life, and I have little, if anything, to complain about. I want to lessen me and focus on you.

Help me, God. Help me to be more like you.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Little Man!

So I've been meaning to post these pics a while ago but never finished. I started this post several weeks ago and then got distracted. I've added a few more pics to make up for my serious lack of
posting lately. Baby Samy has grown so much lately! It's amazing to see him get bigger each day. There have been days when I can literally tell he's grown overnight! Sounds crazy, but its true.
Here are a few pics of my handsome little man.

Hangin' out outside soaking up some rays.
Laying down with mommy.
Ready for a little outing. Check out his tummy! :)
I just love overalls on a baby!
And I can't leave Ella baby out. Here are a few pics of her, the top two are from today.
Yeah, look at those hands! She was having fun playing in the mud :)
Taking a break a the park. I love her little rosy cheeks. She definitely gets that from her daddy <3
My love and me!!
I just can't get over how handsome my wonderful husband is. I am so in love.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Another Mother's Wisdom

I thoroughly enjoyed this post over at Mama's Little Ditty about homeschooling. It's practicality is not limited to homeschool only, because it spoke volumes to me about everyday life of motherhood.

The article makes me nervous about our homeschooling future, but at the same time, it makes me excited to know that it is manageable and what Sam and I feel is best for our family. I'm can sometimes be the A Type personality, so having to realize that I will not always have it under control is something that I have to come to terms with.

Sam can tell you that I like to always have a plan. I'm the kind of person that likes to be time efficient; I owe this to my double dose of being both a mom and nurse. I like to have goals. Just today, I made a chore chart taken from here, just to post it to my fridge to see what I have to do and when. The sight of clutter can often bring about the feeling of distress. I like to have an end in sight when starting a project. I am super organized.

:sigh: While all this is fine and dandy, and this on-top-of-things part of me has been most useful and even, at times, saved the day, I must be okay with not having everything just right all the time.

I just have to realize that it's all going to be just fine, whether there are a few dishes in the sink or the floor is a little overdue for a good mopping. God loves my family and me just the same.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Little About Today

Today was a lovely day. Sam and I spent time with our little babies, as we've been doing everyday. It's a lovely kind of lovely to not have work to go to or have anywhere pressing you need to be. To be able to take a nap anytime you feel like it. To play outside a couple of times a day and just soak up the sun.

Here are little pieces of today.

I realize there are no pics of baby boy. I'll make tomorrow's post his :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Afternoon Thoughts

I'm currently listening to "Free to Be Me" by Francesa Battistelli. She's a young Christian singer who has some pretty cool songs.

Just got home from church and cleaned the house a little with Sam. Ella and Samy Baby are sleeping. Gotta take advantage of their nap times whenever I can.

So as I sit in front of my compute and listen to uplifting Christian music, I reflect on my morning. I was very frustrated with myself earlier.

Sam and I usually go to Mass at our home church at 11 am. We love the priest there; Fr. Santiago is so reverent and gives amazing homilies packed with Scripture and a good joke or two. The only problem is that there is no nursery there and there isn't even a cry room. Combine the lack of child-friendly areas with the fact that Ella's nap time is around 12, while we're still in church, and you get a fussy toddler who does not want to sit still, regardless of snacks or quiet distractions such as books, etc. I say this not implying at all that our priest is perturbed by little kids in church; he's actually very family oriented and encourages us to bring her, despite her interruptions to his homilies. Ella is a wonderful little girl. She is well mannered (she already signs please and thank you), very sweet (always giving kisses and hugs), and well tempered. However, she is a toddler, and when she is tired the crankiness comes spilling out.

Well because of this, Sam and I have decided to have someone babysit her while we are at church if we go to this church, or go to another Catholic church at 11:30 where a nursery is provided and there is a cry room. The plan was for the latter this morning. We both woke up around 8:30, with plenty of time to get ready. Somehow though, no matter what time we wake up or start getting ready for church, we are always late. Not late by much, never more than 10 minutes, but late nevertheless. And I know I've written before about how much it peeves me to be late for anything, it absolutely drives me crazy to be late for church! I just can't stand rushing to get everyone loaded in the car, speeding to church, walking in late, missing part of the Mass, and then after finally sitting down, having to unruffle my feathers to open myself up to the Scripture readings. And let me add, that it usually takes a long time to do this. Being frustrated with myself in church certainly does not make me feel like I'm in a state of Grace to receive Holy Communion either. :sigh:

Well, all of that happened this morning :( Put all of that last paragraph together with the fact that I started getting the babies ready way early, ironed Sam's clothes and my dress while he did his workout for the day, and when I finally had to start getting myself ready, I asked Sam what time it was... it was 11:10- the time we should be out the door to have enough time to take Ella to the nursery. So the dress I'd gotten ready didn't work out as planned and I had to make a last minute outfit change. I ended up going to church looking horrible- didn't wear anything pretty, my hair was a frizzy mess and I didn't even bother to put make up on on the way there because I cried the whole way because I was so frustrated with everything. Uggh. Not a good way to got to church.

Or maybe it is. While in Mass, I didn't sing like I always do or say almost any of the participatory responses because I felt like if I said anything or let my emotions open up anymore, I'd be a free flowing river of tears. Instead, I spoke to my God from within and felt Him calm me down, telling me not to worry about such small things. I'm not a woman to compare myself to others, ever, but standing behind the glass of the cry room (we didn't have time to take Ella to the nursery), I couldn't help see my mess-of-a-self reflection next to the two beautiful women standing in the row in front of us, both wearing super cute outfits with perfect makeup and perfect hair. :sigh: I wanted to cry more.

But instead, I felt my God tell me that it's not about what I'm wearing or how my crazy hair is. What matters is that my family showed up to spend time with Him. Worship Him. Give glory to Him. And I even felt Him tell my troubled and beyond frustrated and sad heart that it mattered more to Him that I tried to look nice for Him (I was going to wear a pretty dress and curl my hair, but alas, had no time to get me ready). That regardless of how sad looking, and by that I mean pathetic looking, I showed up to church, He knew that I desired to look pretty for Him.

I know that this all may sound dorky and trivial, but it's not to me.

I honestly believe that Christ becomes present in the Eucharist. And how little is to spend one hour a week with Jesus in worship? :sigh: Not much. So it's important to me to at least show up on time and make an earnest effort to wear my "Sunday best". If I can be on time everywhere else and dress up for a job interview or date with my husband, then what reason do I have or lack of desire, for that matter, to dress up for a date with God?

Just some Sunday afternoon thoughts...

I feel much better, now that I've got all that off my chest.

Here's another song by Francesca I like. Kind of describes the first part of today...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

1. what time did you get up this morning?
7:11 am

2. how do you like your steak?

3. what was the last film you saw at the cinema:
Mr. Popper's Penguins

4. what is your favourite TV show?
Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Law and Order SVU

5. if you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
Anywhere baeautiful

6. what did you have for breakfast?
nothing :(

7. what is your favorite food?
Spaghetti or pancit (a Filipino dish)

8. foods you dislike?
pies and cobblers

9. favorite place to eat?

10. favorite dressing?

11. what kind of vehicle do you drive?
Crossover suv

12. what are your favorite clothes?
comfy jeans and a comfy solid colored tee

13. where would you visit if you had the chance?
Osapeninsula of Costa Rica and to camp at all the national parks

14. cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full?
1/2 full

15. where would you want to retire?
Anywhere beautiful

16. favorite time of day?
When I get to go to sleep

17. where were you born?

18. what is your favorite sport to watch?

19. what is your favorite fragrance?

20. what is your favorite face cream?
Artistry balancing face lotion

21. favorite baby/kids products?
Baby lotion

22. people watcher?

23. are you a morning or night person?

24. do you have any pets?

25. any new and exciting news you'd like to share?
Umm... I'm hungry?

26. what did you want to be when you were little?
a cashier- i liked the beeping sound the scanner made

27. what is your favorite memory?
Any memory with my sisters

28. are you a cat or dog person?
dogs, definitely

29. are you married?
I'm wonderfully married! My husband is amazing, and I absolutely love our life together.

30. always wear your seat belt?

31. been in a car accident?
yes, it was horrifying

32. any pet peeves?
Rude people

33. favorite pizza toppings?
Pepperoni and mushrooms

34. favorite flower?
sunflower and almost all wildflowers

35. favorite ice cream?
Cookies and cream

36. favorite fast food restaurant?
Rosa's and whataburger

37. how many times did you fail your driver's test?

38. from whom did you get your last email?
The baby site that updates me on my baby's growth

39. which store would you choose to max out your credit card?
I don't have a credit card, don't want one, and if I did, I most certainly wouldn't max it out unless I had no other choice.

40. do anything spontaneous lately?
Bought hummus today, if that's considered spontaneous. Never bought it before.

41. like your job?
Love it. Most days anyway

42. Broccoli?
Oh yes.

43. what was your favorite vacation?
All of my camping trips with Sam. I positively love to camp!

44. last person you went out to dinner with?
my parents

45. what are you listening to right now?
My husband run down the stairs and our baby make soft little noises in his sleep while he swings right next to me.

46. what is your favorite color?
green and purple

47. how many tattoos do you have?

48. coffee drinker?
Only when my sisters make it for me. For some reason I mess it up every time.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Jumpin on the Bandwagon

I know we're more than a few years late, but Sam and I started Harry Potter! I'm excited; it's really good so far. We went to the library yesterday to borrow a copy, only to find out that there are tons of copies that said were available but were somehow lost. From there we went to a used bookstore downtown and bought the first volume for 1/2 price! I think we'll go there again!

Anyway, we're about 100 pages or so into it, and I think the rest will fly by.

Sam and I have been pretty busy lately, taking care of our little family of four :) Baby boy is with me almost constantly, as he is a voracious eater, and poor Sam, is not quite capable of nursing him ;) I've really started to enjoy breastfeeding again. There's a bond there that just can't be replaced. I'm so grateful this round of nursing has been much easier on me than it was with Ella. Maybe it's because I know what I'm doing now?

Well, short post today. Gotta start on lunch for my nieces and Sam and me. We've got the girls while Sam's sister Stacey and her husband are in Dallas. I've got some cute crafts planned for us. It's cute, they're so excited!

My pretty girl at the park with daddy

My gorgeous little man ready for his first trip out of the house. Going to visit Grandma and Grandpa!

Friday, August 5, 2011

So excited!!

A lot has happened recently.

We had our beautiful little boy, Samuel Lynn III this past Monday, August 1, 2011 at 1016 am. He surprised us all, making is grand entrance to this world at a whopping 8 lbs 13 oz and 20.5 inches long. I was rather amazed myself. Sam and I thought he was going to weigh around 7.5 lbs, since his sister was 7 lbs 1 oz. Noooo, he was much bigger.

It's interesting though, because this labor was much easier on me. Total labor time with Ella was 18 hrs, but little man arrived in 11. I got an epidural with both, although I'd seriously thought about trying all natural labors. After much prayer and deliberation, I decided to look at epidurals as a gift to women, something I should say "Thank you" to God for, and not so much something I should feel guilty about using. I can honestly say that I am very glad I made the decision to get one after all. And Sam is very supportive- he was by my side with whatever I felt I should do. I love him so much.

Sunday night, we had Sam's family over for dinner and a movie. After they left, we finally got into bed around 11. Right before dozing off to sleep, the contractions came at 1115. I knew right away it was the real deal. They felt exactly like the contractions I had when I was induced with Ella. They hurt very low in my abdomen like a severe cramping. Sam and I timed my contractions until they were 3-6 minutes apart and then called my OB. He told me to go ahead and make our way to the hospital. Thankfully, we had everything ready, so we dropped Ella baby off at my parents' house and made it to the hospital around 3 am.

I was 4-5 cm dilated on arrival, so my nurse was in a hurry to get everything done. I got my epidural by 5 am and with that, was finally able to get some rest. I slept until almost 8 and had little man around 10 that morning. It was a great labor and delivery with no complications and manageable pain.

Sam was the most amazing coach and husband throughout it all. He never left my side and talked me through the pain. I love, love, love this man. He's so encouraging, even when he's not sure what to say. It was the best thing, just to know that he was right there with me.

My sweet Momma was there through it all too. She met us at the hospital right after we dropped off Ella. She was my prayer warrior during my delivery, just as she always is. I love my mother so much. Her faith inspires me and the woman she is pushes me to be a better one myself.

Anyhow, I'm off to bed. I started this post before dinner and am just finishing it after a night well spent with Sam's family. I'm exhausted, though very much content. I just want to lay down now and do nothing but sleep.

So, I conclude this post on one last not-too-tired note. I think I'll be posting more often in the future and with lots of pictures! I say that as I write this post on my baby gift from Sam. I'm spoiled, I think. He gave me an iMac 27" all-in-one desktop as my baby gift! I super duper like it :) It's most definitely an upgrade from the Sony Vaio we've been using as our primary computer, the one Sam purchased new in 2005. Yes, we were most definitely due for something new. And the got the top of the line :)

Well, I'm off to bed as I mentioned in the paragraph prior to the previous. I'll leave you with some recent pics of the family. Goodnight blogworld. Hope everyone has a great night.

My beautiful daughter at 16 months

Hubby and me taken a few days before delivery

We're goofy :)

I just like this one because it's a little different.

Gotta love that Ella's eating a pinecone in this one. Silly Ella.

Playing with Momma :)

And finally, he's here!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The first is the third

So...... We finally decided on baby boy's name! Our first son will be the third Samuel Lynn, named after my wonderful husband and his father. I turned 37 weeks this past Monday, which means I have 2 and 1/2 weeks left, if he goes the full 40 weeks. I get more and more eager to hold him in my arms and have a little bitty baby again. Each day that goes by feels like it could be the day. I feel ready.

We were slightly worried, Sam much more so, recently. At my 36 week appointment, my doctor said the baby was transverse, meaning he was sideways in my uterus, instead of up and down. He said that unless the baby turned on his own, I'd have to have a c-section. I know women have c-sections everyday and do just fine, but Sam and I really don't want me to have one unless absolutely necessary. The recovery time, from what I learned in nursing school and the experience of women I know, is about double that of a vaginal delivery. To think that it is major abdominal surgery is enough for me to opt out. When Sam and I heard this, we were a little worried, but trusted in God and prayed that His will be done, no matter what. Thanks be to God, at Monday's appointment, my doctor checked with the ultrasound, and baby boy is longer transverse, but head down! Yaaaay!

And I'm very excited for this weekend. My last two days to work before taking maternity leave will be tomorrow and Saturday. Then, on Sunday, my mom and sisters are having a diaper shower for me :) Since Ella and this baby are so close together, we have everything we need for him, minus few things. Cousin Levi, who is 5 hours older than Ella, graciously gave us all of the baby clothes he's outgrown. We just need a few newborn outfits, a double stroller, and I'd really like to have a new breast pump, although that one isn't necessary. And of course lots and lots of diapers!

We're thinking about this double stroller. It's a Kolcraft Contours Tandem II. Really cool.

It can be changed into so many positions. Here's another way to use it.

I'm just very excited! I want to hold him! I was looking at pics last night of when Ella baby was born, and I just can't wait to have another baby. We are so blessed!

In other news, I recently applied for a PRN position at another hospital in town in the CCU. PRN means it's an as needed position only, so I'm only obligated to work a minimum of 1 in every 90 days. Sweet. I applied after talking to Sam about it, because at my current job, where I'm also PRN, I've been getting cancelled a lot recently. When we don't have many patients in the unit, the staffing office will cancel staff according to how many nurses are needed. They try to keep a ratio of 1 nurse to every 2 patients, depending on acuity. According to policy, full time and part time staff are staffed first, the PRN staff as needed. Well recently I've been cancelled frequently, which works out fine with Sam and me, considering I'm so late in my pregnancy. But, we talked about it, and after I have the baby, I want to go back to working 2-3 days a week. I guarantee my current job 2 days a week that I'm available, but if I'm cancelled, I'll hopefully have another option to make sure I get my days in.

Sam and I are on the Dave Ramsey plan for getting out of debt, and I want to make sure we have my income to devote to paying extra on our car and my student loan. God willing, we'll be able to have no debt by close to this time next year, except for our home mortgage. That is very, very exciting! I know it sounds dorky, but we're pushing to be in that position so that when, God willing, he gets into PA school, we'll have only a very few monthly bills. It reminds me of what we're working toward. We want to be completely debt free so that our income can be used to build wealth and not most of it go toward payments each month.

We've talked about it a lot and do so frequently, still. We want to build wealth, not just to have it, but for several reasons. One is that we want to not make decisions based on how much something costs. I want to do something because I feel we should, without worrying about having to factor it into our budget. Secondly, we want to BLESS people!! Sam and I are always thinking of ways to anonymously bless the people we love in our lives, as well as strangers and the organizations we support. We are big, big proponents of the sanctity of marriage, and we'd love to donate thousands of dollars to Catholic marriage ministries. We also listen to Catholic radio all the time, and how I'd love to give more to our favorite apostolate, Catholic Answers. I want to set up a small scholarship program for all my younger cousins and our neices and nephews to help them as they are pushed to get good grades. I want to bless our parents, so that none of them ever have to worry about retirement. I want to bless our children with a college fund, something which neither Sam or I had. I want to give the people on the side of the road who ask for money a $100 gift card to wal-mart. And so many other things!

We just want to be God's hands at work. And while I most definitey understand that money isn't needed to be God's instrument, I know that if used for good, it can multiply His blessings.

Anyway, that was a rather long post for me, and whole I'd like to keep rambling off all my thoughts and dreams, I need to straighten my hair while baby girl is napping. Blessings to all.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thoughts before bed

Excited. Exhausted. Inspired. Not so sleepy. Grateful. Accomplished. Content. Motivated.

The little boy inside of me is doing flips as I write this post. My tummy looks like it's doing the wave :) I can't wait to meet him. To have such a little baby who is so dependent on us. To be unable to hold his head up or see more than a few inches from his face. To see the difference in our little girl and our little boy. Will he be as rambunctious and inquisitive as her?

I know we'll be very busy as our family grows from 3 to 4, but honestly, I'm not really stressed about it. This baby will be demanding in his own newborn way: the nursing every 3hrs, frequent diaper changes, and the figuring out his needs and personality. Ella will be demanding in the way a toddler can be: the having to watch her constantly to make sure she's not getting into something she's not supposed to, the frequent testing of boundaries, and the cute, but sometimes aggravating assertion of independence.

However, baby boy will stay put when I lay him down. I won't have to worry about him crawling out of his bassinet or climbing the stairs. Ella, on the other hand, despite being only 15 months old, already understands most of what we tell her. While she doesn't always listen, she does most of the time. And it's easy to know what's wrong with her when she cries. So in their own ways, they'll need special attention and love.

I'm just so grateful for my life. I'm most thankful for Sam, who is the most amazing husband. For the ability to have children. That Ella is healthy, intelligent, and beautiful. That we have a son on the way who, I hope, will be just like his dad one day. That God willing, Sam will be on days soon. That we are so abundantly blessed!

I feel ready.

As difficult as my days have been lately, with trying to take care of Ella and keep up the house and be a good wife to my husband, and feeling so completely exhausted at the end of the day with an ever growing belly, I can only say that I couldn't be more content. My roles of wife and mother are so full of meaning to me that no matter what kind of day I have, at the end of it, I can only say thank you to God.

Tomorrow I want to:
Cook breakfast for my love.
Play with Ella.
Make sure we are packed for our trip to San Antonio.
Leave town by 10 am.

My last thought before bed: Love is a verb.

Sleep calls.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Overcoming discomfort

It's been too long since my last post. Every time I check my blogroll for my friends' updated pots, I want to update mine with a new post as well. However.... I recently got a new Moleskine <3 I looooooove these too cute little journals! This is my 5th, maybe 6th one, and every time I get a new one, I just have a urge to fill up all the beautifully blank pages. So, when I've had the urge to write lately, my Moleskine become my blog's competition. And won. And that's perfectly alright with me, because I mostly write just for me anyhow.

Ella update: A few days shy of 14 months, Ella baby is walking all the time now! She took her first step the day before her birthday and has gradually increased the time on her feet each day. While she still crawls occasionally, she is mostly walking. It's so cute to watch. She walks forwards, backwards, in circles, any any other way she can get to her goal destination.

Baby boy update: I turned 31 weeks yesterday, meaning little man will be here in 9 weeks! It's incredible to think about. I'm sorry to report that we still do not have a name picked out, but we're working on a few leads ;o) Other than that, he's growing healthy and is right on track for this part of my pregnancy. Thank you, Lord.

My pregnancy with Ella, as well as my current one have both been great. I haven't experienced morning sickness at all with my sweet baby boy and did only for about a week with El. I am starting to get a little concerned, though,as something new has come up recently. Last Friday I started to have pains at work with just walking. It started about mid-morning and by the end of the day, I felt like I could barely lift my legs, and even then, it was excrutiating! The pain was difficult to describe but felt like it was a bone or ligaments in the very low part of my front pelvis.

Sam, the great future physician's assistant he's going to be, figured it out the next day -(I so stayed home on Saturday). He figured out that I have Pubis Symphysis Dysfunction, a condition not uncommon in pregnant women where the supporting ligaments in lower pelvis relax too much, and cause severe pain with everyday activities.

Here's a pic to show better describe what I'm talking about.
(sorry, had to post it above because this thing is being stupid)

Anyway, after resting all day Saturday, I've felt much better. I can get in and out of the car without hurting when I put weight on my pelvis. This PSD is definitely no fun, but I think that if I go easy on how much I'm doing around the house and not putting too much stress on my body at work, I think I can manage well. 9 weeks, right? I can do this. With God giving me strength and Sam being as wonderfully supportive as he is, I think I'll be allllright :)

Anyway, I want to right more about our journey to become debt free, but my iPad is about to die. I'll have to write about that later. Ta-ta!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Not yet done

I hope everyone is having a lovely mother's day weekend with their moms :) I just want to write a very short post to let y'all know that I've still got another 1 or 2 posts on salvation to write. This weekend has just been very busy, and updating my blog world has not been on the top of my list of things to do. Hopefully I'll be posting the next question tomorrow. That's all for today. Gonna go spend more time with family!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What is needed for salvation?

I believe that we are saved only by the means of God's free gift of grace which we receive when we first accept Christ as Lord of our souls. I believe that God offers His saving grace to everyone, though sadly, everyone does not accept it. So how exactly do you accept that grace? I've heard people say that only faith is needed, the doctrine of sola fide, or faith alone. Others sadly believe they can earn their way to heaven by their own good works. The bible is very clear on both of these doctrines being wrong.

What I believe and what the Catholic Church and the bible teach is that both faith and good works done in grace are needed for salvation. I want to be very clear of what I mean when I say good works done in grace. Examples of these are clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, visiting the imprisoned (Matthew 25.31-36)- all done, of course, with faith in Christ to share His love as he commanded us. Do not confuse good works with works of the law which include Mosaic law, and any of the legal, ceremonial type law that is found in the Old testament. An example of a work of the law is abstaining from pork because it was considered ritually unclean under Mosaic law. Christ fulfilled the old law in His coming to set forth a new covenant (Matthew 5.17).

When some people hear that I believe good works play a role in salvation, they automatically think I think I can earn my salvation. I most certainly do not. I realize that as an imperfect sinner, I fall short of God's high standard. I also realize, that this is why Christ came to die for my sins. His perfect sacrifice covered all of my shortcomings and washes away my sins when I repent. I cannot more clearly say that I believe we are saved by God's free gift of grace. I do, however, want to share why I believe both faith and good works play a role in salvation and why they are needed together.

James 2.14-26: "What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is illl-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to him, "Go in peace and be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith, by itself, if it has no works, is dead."
But some one will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe- and shudder. Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith apart from works is barren? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with with his works, and faith was completed by works, and the scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness"; and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not faith alone... For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead."

That one passage alone is very clear that faith without works is dead, so it is necessary for salvation and I think it alone trumps the doctrine that faith alone is needed. But just in case you want more...

Galatians 5.6: "For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail, but faith working in love."

1 Corinthians 13.2 "And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing." (This is my own wondering, but if you had all faith, so as to move mountains, wouldn't that be enough if you were using the doctrine of "faith alone"? Yet it says here you are nothing.)

Matthew 19. 16-17: "And behold, one came up to him, saying, 'Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?' And He said to him, 'Why do you ask me about what is good? On there us who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.'". (Here Jesus says we must DO something, keep the commandments, not just believe in Him)

John 14.12: "He who believes in me will also do the works I do."

Luke 10. 25-28: "And behold, a lawyer stood up to out him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, 'What is written in the law?' And he answered, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all you heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.' And He said to him, 'You have answered right; do this and you will live."

And what does Jesus say about loving him?

John14.15: "If you love me, you will keep my commandments."

John 14.21 "He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me, and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him."

Matthew 7.21: " Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."


So, I hope this has been sufficient to explain why I believe faith and good works done in grace are necessary for salvation of souls, all through the free gift of God's grace. To me, the faith part is like how we show God we love Him, by trusting in Him. And the good works we do are how we love our neighbor as ourselves and how we bring Christ 's love to others!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Are you saved?

This question is one that is of particular importnce to me. I slightly cringe when I hear someone say something like, "So many people were saved at church this weekend!" When someone asks me, "Are you saved?" I hesitantly say, "Yes." Let me explain my hesitancy here and why I cring when I hear someone say they are saved as if it's a done deal.

There is a Catholic apologetic by he name of John Martignoni who has the best answer to the question, "Are you saved?", I've ever read and I couldn't agree more. His answer, and now my answer, is "I have been saved , but I am also being saved, and I have the hope that I will be saved. Like the apostle Paul, I am working out my salvation with fear and trembling, with hopeful confidence in the promises of Christ." Now let me say here that the answer to this question is the base of this post. I will break down how this answer is so soundly biblical that it's very hard to argue with.

"I have been saved..."

This happens at the moment of accepting Christ as Lord and Savior of your soul- in this we accept His saving grace. Remember step 3 in how you become a Christian from my last post? This is the part where the faith we have in accepting Christ plants the "tree of Christ" within us.

Romans 8.23-24: "... But we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved."

Ephesians 2.8: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God- not because of works, lest any man should boast."

2 Timothy 1.8: "... But share in the suffering for the gospel in the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not in virtue of our own works but in virtue of His own purpose and the grace which He gave us in Christ Jesus."

Titus 3. 4-7: "But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue by His own mercy, by the way of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior."

"I am being saved..."

This describes how salvation is not a once occurring event. It's a process.

Phillipians 2.12: "Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for God is as work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure."

1 Peter 1.8-9: "Without having seen Him you love Him; though you not now see Him you believe in Him and rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy." As the outcome of your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls."

2 Corinthians 6.2: "For He says, 'At the acceptable time I have listened to you, and helped you on the day of salvation.' Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation."

"I will be saved."

The process of our salvation will be made complete on the Last Day, when we stand before God for judgement.

Matthew 10.22: "But he who endures to the end will be saved."

Matthew 24.13: "But he who endures to the end will be saved." (I know this is a repeat, but the Bible repeats it, so I am too ;)

Mark 8. 34-45: " And He called to Him the multitude with His desciples, and said to them, 'If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake will save it."

Acts 15.11: "But we believe that we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will."

Romans 5.9-10: "Since, therefore, we are now justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life."

Romans 13.11: "For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed."

1 Corinthians 3.15: "If any man's work is burned up, he wil suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire."

Hebrews 9.28: "So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him."

So, (deep breath) that is why I slightly cringe when I hear someone say they are saved at the moment of accepting Christ. "Yes," I think, "you were saved when you started a personal relationship with the Lord. However, that salvation is not complete. It's a process, a process that progresses with our daily walk with the Lord. And it will be made complete when we stand before God in our final judgement and Christ, in separating the sheep from the goats, says, 'This one's mine.'" <3

It is with hopeful confidence in the promises of Christ that I persevere in my ongoing salvation and wait with joyful hope at the day that Christ claims me as His own, saying, "Well done good and faithful servant... enter into the joy of your master." (Matthew 25.23)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What does it mean to say that you're a Christian?

Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me." - John 14.6
And in Acts 4:12, Peter says, "There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

That being said, I believe non-Christians can still be saved. Romans talks about how God will judge each person according to what we know. "When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what he law requires, they are a law unto themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, which their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus." - Romans 2. 14-16

Putting all of that together, I believe that is all are saved through Christ and only Him. I think C.S. Lewis said it best in Mere Christianity, "We . . . know that no man can be saved except through Christ; we do not know that only those who know him can be saved through him."

For the people to whom Christ IS revealed, they are given the opportunity to accept Him, and they cast judgment upon themselves if they refuse to receive the truth that He came to die for us and to cover our sins. Luke talks about the day that Jesus sent out followers to towns ahead of his own visits. Jesus said, "Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you; heal the sick in it and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.' but whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into the streets and say, 'Even the dust that clings to our feet, we wipe off against you; nevertheless, know this, that the kingdom of God is near.' I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on that day for Sodom than for that town." -Luke 10.8-12

I recently read a very good summary, in my opinion, on how to become a Christian once the gospel of Christ is made known to you, and I'd like to share. It is from The Handbook on Catholic Apologetics by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli. here are 4 basic steps, and these are highly paraphrased:

1) You first must believe in God's existence and power. This is like trying to find your way somewhere using a map. You would first have to believe the map is accurate and is capable of getting you to your destination before you start on a lifelong journey to get there.

2) You must be repentant of your sins in acknowledgment that sin is not the road to God and it is not His intention for us. This is like seeing that you're on the wrong road and are willing to leave it.

3) The third step is accepting Christ as Lord and Savior of your soul, thereby accepting His saving grace. This step is like turning onto the right road, as Christ said He is the way, the truth, and the life. In this step, the faith we have in trusting in the Lord plants the "tree of Christ" in us.

4) Jesus said, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." - Luke 9.23
Christ calls us to a daily walk of Christian living in which we deny ourselves and live for Him. Ephesians 2.10 says, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." The Christian actions and works of love we do become the fruits of Christ's tree within us.
(In Matthew 7. 15-20, Jesus talks about discerning a good tree from a bad tree by the fruit that it bears.)

Following these steps, is the best simple way I've come across that will ensure I get to the destination I want for eternity- heaven.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Salvation: An Intro to My Bible Study

So I know this is a month and a half overdue, but I FINALLY finished my bible study (that has since turned into multiple bible studies). I feel like I have come to a point at which I can write a pretty good post on salvation and what I believe about how we get to heaven. Now, when I first decided to post this, I intended to make the post nothing but scripture; since doing all of my studying, however, I do believe I will include my thought process here and there so that you can more easily understand why I believe what I do.

I am very excited to share this, as the topic of salvation is one that is often unclear to many people and even argued over. Having used the last month and a half to study, I have lots of notes written down that I will use as the core of each post. That being said, I will write multiple posts on the subject, each pertaining to a specific question related to salvation. When I started my bible study, I opened my notebook and wrote down the questions I knew I'd want answered in my post. The following posts will be titled under each question I looked at answering in my study.

I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed studying God's word about what should be our goal in life: experiencing salvation through Him, who saved us, so that we may one day be with Him for all eternity. What is more important to any one of us than our eternal destiny? When you think about it, our whole lives are not even a single grain of sand in the never ending hour glass of forever. What fills our hearts and how we live our lives WILL determine how we spend our forever.

I will post one question each day for a total of 5 posts. There may be more, pending on length, as one question will have a very long answer from the look of things. Tonight is just the intro, but the meaty posts will begin tomorrow and I hope to have one posted each day subsequent.

Before I conclude this intro, I say a prayer asking God to bless the words I use and the spirit with which I write. I have only the intention of sharing my beliefs with those interested, because I hold them to be based on truth. I pray that God would touch the hearts of everyone reading, as He has touched mine in he course of this bible study.

Comments are welcome, as always, but I do as that if your views are different from mine, you express them respectfully and most of all with the attitude of Christ's love.

Posts to come starting tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A letter to Sam

You know love, I was just thinking about it and I want to tell you a few things I have on my mind.

I feel like the last few days we've been particularly close. I think it's partially in part to our anniversary having just passed and that giving us a moment to contemplate the last couple of years that we've been married.

Well I just wanted to tell you that I love you with all my heart and I think you are such a wonderful, wonderful man. I absolutely love that you are my very best friend. Looking back now, I can appreciate God's divine plan in the way we came to be together. Before we ever dated, we shared a beautiful friendship that grew strong over a number of years. I wasn't afraid to show you my true self during that time because you were my best friend and it wasn't a superficial relationship we had where I put on a facade in order to impress you or try to win your admiration. Then during a later time when I struggled through a heartbreaking relationship, you were there for me and I found comfort in your voice.

And even though I didn't know it at the time, you loved me through it all. You loved me when I was first afraid to give us a chance, when I broke your heart and was inconsiderate and mean to you. You loved me when I wasn't a best friend to you. When I loved someone else. But my favorite part and the one I most love to remember is that you STILL loved me years later when I was realized that I loved you.

You are so wonderful.

I love you more now, than I ever have, because, like I told you yesterday, you are my hero. I admire you so much because you work so hard to provide for our family while struggling to get enough sleep during the day. All that while helping me around the house and with Ella. You are the husband I've always wanted and I believe you when you tell me you will love me for always. I don't doubt you. You've never given me a reason to. Quite the contrary, actually- you've always been most trustworthy, because you've taken care of the heart I've given you. You love me so passionately in the way you hold me, the way you look at me, the respect with which you talk to and about me. In the simple acts of service you do for me, just because you know it's my love language.

I love you more now than I did a year ago or when we were first married because I see how great a daddy you are. Ella is so blessed you have you, not only as a daddy and playmate, but because you will be the standard with whom she compares young men as, one day, she starts to date. She will grow up seeing that you are a strong man, with strong faith who leads our family in the way of the Lord. I knew in high school, even, that you would be a fantastic dad one day; I think several people told you that. I'm so blessed to have seen that come to fruition and much more so that it has been with our daughter.

It still takes me aback at times that I was the woman you chose to marry and spend the rest of your life with- out of all the girls you could've picked. And to think we have a daughter together and a son on the way <3 There's no other person I'd rather grow old and raise a family with.

You are my wonderful man of a husband, best friend, father of my children, and the person I trust most in the world. I can't begin to tell or show you how much I love and respect you.

Thank you for being my everything and loving me so deeply in return. You are the epitome of the verse that instructs men to love their wives as Christ so loves his church.

I love you, Samuel.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A good day

Today is going to be a beautiful day. I can tell already. The weather is gorgeous here and I plan to take advantage of that. Maybe Ella and I will go for a walk later :)

I need to post pics of Ella's birthday party. She looked the part of the birthday princess in a little pink tutu and everything.

I changed up the look of my blog. Guess I was getting tired of the same old thing. I really like this background. It's very serene-like.

Mine and Sam's anniversary is coming up on the 18th. We'll have been married 2 years <3 I can truly say they've been the best two years of my life. I couldn't have asked God for a better husband, partner, best friend, and teammate. I love you, Samuel- truly, madly, and deeply.

Hope everyone has a great day. I'm going to try my hardest to make it the best it can be!

Thursday, March 31, 2011


I am planning to update soon, just have been very busy! I haven't yet finished my post for the Bible study on salvation. Need to get things organized so that it'll make sense to someone other than me.

Anyway, quick update: life is great in the Baumguardner home, except for me being sick the past few days. I don't know if it's allergies or what, but I've had a runny/stuffy nose, sore throat, and throbbing head. I finally got some Claritin today. That, by the way is crazy! The generic brand of Claritin with the same dosage strength and number of tablets cost $4. The actual Claritin brand was $23.99!! What?! That's just insane to me. Yeah, I went with the generic :)

On another note, Ella's getting so big! She's still got the same six teeth since my last post with no new additions, but they're big! Lol, it's weird to see her with big teeth. Her birthday's coming up on Wednesday. Bianca and I decided to have the parties separate, as our family schedules were conflicting. I have a lot to do before the party on Sunday.

Anyway, I'd better go. I've got several things around the house I want to get done today. I can't wait for my post on salvation coming soon but want to make sure it's done right :)

And while I did work this weekend, thought I'd share this just because it's cute!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I've had discussions in the past with friends with difffering opinions from me about salvation. I actually really like discussions like this as long as everyone is courteous and respects other people, regardless of their beliefs. I don't usually post much on why I believe what I believe, but since this one is of particular importance to me and it's been on my mind, I'll share.

I'm wanting to do a bible study today and I think it'll be based on this topic. Sam gave me this great idea to make one post with nothing but scripture about salvation and whether or not a person can lose their salvation. The next post will be exactly that- not my opinion, but exactly what scripture says. I'm thinking of adding something to that post that includes what the early Christian church believed. While I understand that many people believe only what the Bible itself says, I think it's important to correlate both Scripture and what the early church believed and practiced. That way I can understand scripture in the context in which it was written and try to understand it as the people of Jesus' time did. Not only that, but it helps me to see how Christianity as a whole might have moved away from what Christ originally taught.

I think I'll include that after all, though I'm not sure it'll all be in the next post. Anyway, just a heads up as to what's to come. Please feel free to ask questions or leave a comment as to why you believe what you do. I welcome all discussion as long as everyone is courteous to one another.

As a side note, I am very interested in apologetics, but more than being able to justify why I believe what I believe, I always keep in mind that is is more important to show Christ's love than to show how right you are. Like the song says, "... And they'll know we are Christians by our love."

Monday, March 7, 2011


I feel exhausted. But my house is clean. Mostly.

No plans for today, but I hope it's a good one.

Hope I get over this feeling of tiredness.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Just some thinking

Life has been fast paced lately. I worked extra last Thursday to make up for a day I was sick the week before. Then I worked my normal Friday and Saturday but spent all Saturday night and Sunday sick with food poisoning. Uggh... It was horrible. Went back to work Wednesday and Thursday and hardly got to see Sam at all. That's the not so fun part about him working nights and me days. I'm so blessed to be able to work only two days a week. I don't know how we'd do it otherwise. I still feel that even with two days a week of me working I don't see him as much as we want. We've decided it would be best for him to switch to days a while ago, but alas, a position just recently opened up. He's going to apply, and I really really hope he gets it. The only iffy thing is that the requirements said the position would require frequent traveling between labs, and the other lab is in Maryland. That might not be so much fun.

Other than that, life has been pretty great. Ella baby now has 7 teeth!! She got her first tooth February 6th, the day she turned 10 months. I can't believe another 6 have come in since then! It's really cute; she has 6 on the top and 1 little loner tooth on the bottom :) Melts my heart when she smiles. I want to put so many pics and videos of her on my blog, but our computer is super slow at uploading. Bummer. We're thinking of getting. A new one soon, because the laptop we use now is the one Sam bought right before college, like in 2005. He's wiped the hard drive a couple of times already, and it runs fine most of the time. It's just really slow when it has too many processes going at once.

Well we find out the sex of our new baby March 16th hopefully. I'm so excited! Everyone keeps asking if we want a boy or girl, but honestly, I don't know that I'm leaning one way or the other. A boy would be great because we don't have one :-b On the other hand, a girl would be wonderful too, because then Ella would have a close sister. I'm the oldest of three girls. My two little sisters are 16 months apart, and I am 2 years from the middle sister. It was really nice growing up with someone, in my case two someones, close to your age. My sisters and my husband are my best friends. I want that for Ella, too. I guess boy or girl, she will have a close sibling, and that's what's important to us.

The weather is supposed to be in the 70's today. I think we'll go forma walk at the park and let my legs catch a few rays :) I think pretty soon I'll go for a pedicure and buy some nice brown sandals to show off my toes. I'm so glad it's getting warm now!

Bianca and I need to start planning the babies' birthday party. Levi and Ella both turn 1 April 6th. I absolutely cannot believe she's about to be 1. It's amazing how fast time goes by. I so love her and love being a momma :) One of my favorite parts of the day is when I go to pick up from her crib in the morning and she gets so so happy to see me. It's like she knows who momma is <3

Anyway, back to the party stuff, we really ought to get started on the planning. We don't want anything really big or fancy, because they're not going to remember it anyway. But I do want our family and a few close friends there to celebrate with us. The question has become how
much family to invite. Sam thinks we should keep it between our two immediate families and grandparents. I feel bad doing that though, because we get invitations to o to all of my cousins' kids' parties. Everyone invites everyone. The thing is that I have a lot of cousins. At least 25 first cousins on my mom's side (that's being conservative) and probably another 15 first cousins on my dad's side. At least.

While I know they won't all be able to come, it'll still be a big crowd. We're most likely going to have the party at our house. We're thinking of
renting those big inflatable jumpers for the kids and making burgers or something. We have a huge backyard, so we'll have more than enough room. I just don't know. Sam wants to keep it small and I can understand. But to me, family is family. I'll have to ask Bink what she
wants to do.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Love it

A Happy Spouse Is A Happy House By Colleen Martin

Posted by Colleen Martin on November 27th, 2010 in Columnists

So then why am I so busy trying to make myself happy at his expense?  I like to think that for most of the month, I am a nice, affectionate, sweet, and understanding wife. But there’s that one stupid week per month where I can act like a total witch, and unfortunately, my husband bears the brunt of all that angst.

Suddenly, he’s not helping out enough, even though he does everything he possibly can.  Or maybe it’s just that he’s not doing it correctly, or fast enough, or reading my mind.  I’ve even argued with him about splitting an english muffin with a fork. I maintain that they are already fork split, you just have to pull them apart, but he thinks to maximize the nooks and crannies, you need to use the fork to split them.  He sees potential yumminess, and I see another dirty fork in the sink.

Speaking of dirty dishes in the sink, I was recently heard singing “It’s a magical sink, a magical sink, where everybody puts in their dirty dishes and they come out clean.  Don’t worry about cleaning them yourself because it’s a magical siiiiiiiiiiiink!”  Pathetic song and even more pathetic attitude.

Why do I feel the need to bark at him about helping with the laundry, when he has never once asked me to mow the lawn, fix the faucet, take out the trash, or work full-time to support the family.  Why do I see what he isn’t doing instead of all the things he does for us every day?

I think many of us wives can admit to this sort of bad behavior from time to time, and I’ve been looking for ways to overcome it.

First, I put myself in his place.  Would I like to come home to a nice dinner and a clean house, or to a nagging spouse who complains about every detail of his day?  Would I like to get a thank you for all I do, or a list of things to do?  The answer is easy; treat him as I want to be treated.

Secondly, I learn to love him in the language he hears best.  For my husband, that is with physical touch.  Although at the end of a long day, I sometimes feel “touched out” by the babies, a hug or back rub shows him just how much I love him.

Another way to become a better wife is to change my attitude in my daily chores.  I recently read a wonderful article that suggested replacing the “have to” with “get to”.  For example, I don’t have to take care of my kids; I get to take care of them.  I get to go to work to help our family’s financial situation.  I get to make a wholesome dinner for my husband and children.  It truly gives my priorities a much needed makeover at times.

Finally, I can offer it up.  This month of November, as we pray for the Souls in Purgatory, we can offer up all our daily nuisances for their eternal salvation.   It’s not easy being a good and holy woman, but it’s a lot better to suffer here on Earth than in Purgatory.  So carry your cross with grace and with a smile on your face.

These are some of the things I have been trying to do to make my spouse (and house) happier.  What are your tricks for having a happy spouse?  I’d love to hear them!

Copyright 2010 Colleen Martin 


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Little by Little

It's 7:07 pm as I begin this post and already Ella's been crashed out for about 20 min. Silly girl didn't want to take her afternoon nap so bedtime today was 645. She did the same thing the other day and slept 645 to 9 in the morning! Her usual hours are 8 to 8. We'll see about tomorrow :)
I feel accomplished! Over the past few months Sam and I have been seriously talking about getting rid of some unnecessary monthly expenses so we can build our savings faster. We looked at some of our bills that can be modified or completely cut out and set up a mini plan to make it happen.

1) We bought the Land Rover in Oct. with the intention of selling my Nissan Rogue so that we'd have no car payments. There were few repairs Sam's had to make to it and we bought all new tires. With him having school and work, the work on the Rover is almost done and hopefully very very soon we'll be selling the Rogue. Yaay- no more car payment and decreased insurance!

2) We have really not been happy with our current cell phone plan. I don't ever dicuss exact dollar amounts pertaining to our finances, but I'm sharing this one to prove a point. We have Verizon. Sam has a Blackberry with the unlimited data plan and I have a regular phone with Internet capability but I don't have a data plan because I don't use the web on my phone. We share 1400 minutes and have unlimited everything else: texting, picture messaging, no roaming... Well, we pay $195 a month for this "service". We've been trying to understand how in the world we're paying $200 a month for two phones and one of those doesn't even have Internet?! What?! Outrageous considering my parents still have my two sisters on their plan and pay less than $175 for four Blackberries (lol) with unlimited everything!! We went to Verizon today to see if we could lower our bill and I left completely unsatistfied. We're considering paying the early termination fee and switching to another carrier.

3) We went to our gym today (one of the 2-3 times in over a year, sad, I know). We realized what a waste it is to pay a membership fee for both of us every month when we never go. Seriously, this past November made 1 year that we hadn't been and our first time back was one day in January. Sucky thing is that when we joined, we signed a two year contract. Ugh, so wasteful, I know. Well, we went today and paid the early termination fee to get out of it and stop throwing money away. Finally. We should've done that a year ago. Oh well, it's done.

So I feel really good to say that we're taking steps at trimming some of the fat from our budget. All that money will be reallocated to savings or home improvement projects. There are still a few more areas we're going to be looking at and adjusting, but I feel more efficient, less wasteful, and overall satisfied with and proud of our progress.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lately I've been wanting to write, but alas with nothing to write about, I've been quiet.

Right now I lay in bed pondering what I'm pondering. I feel as though I have so many thoughts in my head while I cannot name any of them. Strange feeling.

Over the past 2 1/2 weeks Sam has been talking an online winter interim sociology class to get close to wrapping up prereq's for PA school. Uggggh I HATE this class! The professor apparently thinks sociology is the most important thing in the world and treats his class as such. Sam had 33 assignments and tests in 19 days.... ahhhh! And the professor made the assignments in such a way that he had to read all the chapters to complete them. With him working and trying to get an A in this stupid class I feel like I haven't spent quality time with him at all. He gets home from work, sleeps, gets up and does homework almost until when it's time to repeat the cycle. Ughh... I can't wait until this class is over. Luckily that will be this Thursday. We've already decided we're going on a hot date this weekend. My parents have happily volunteered for babysitting ;) come on Thursday!

On another note, I'm still completely undecided in what I want to do with my career. Here are all the things I'm considering:
A) Family nurse practitioner
B) Acute care nurse practioner
C) Masters of nursing science (a general master's)
D) Certified registered nurse anesthetist
E) master's in nursing education (I'd actually love to teach either as a nurse educator in a hospital or as a nursing professor but they don't pay enough and most of the time require full time hours)

:sigh: I've got a lot of choices and don't have my heart set on any of them. I should decide sometime in the next several months so I can have my application in early for whatever I do. I think most of the programs have May application deadlines. I need to do a lot of research.

Finally, I'll conclude my post with the most exciting news. Ella's going to be a big sister!!! Well we're excited anyway. She, on the other hand, just stared at us blankly as if saying, "Me no speak a the English yet." Sam and I are so completely happy. We're very excited that the babies will be close in age- about a year and a half. If we have a boy Sam will have someone he can play a little rougher with and I won't so much worry. If we have a girl Ella Grace will have a close sister. I can't begin to explain how amazingly blessed we are. I know several couples that never could get pregnant or have been trying for a which and still aren't. I can't begin to put myself in their place- wanting a baby so badly and not being able to have one. I just trust in God's plan for us and know that no matter what what comes our way or what we think should happen in our lives.
"My thoughts are completely different from yours," says the Lord. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." Isaiah 55. 8-9

I want to post some pics of our holidays and recent going-on's in our home. Haha Sam has bought me two very nice cameras and while I can take all the lovely pics and videos that I want, I still don't know how to upload them. I need to get him to show me so that y'all can see beautiful Ella Grace.

Goodnight all :) hope everyone is as happy and peaceful as I feel right now. (I guess talking about our babies helped me get over the sociology thing :)