Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Easter Egg Decorating 2013

 Easter Egg Decorating 2013
Easter egg decorating 2013 turned out to be pretty fun! Both the boys are at an age where they can understand (for the most part) how to do it, and they had so much fun decorating their eggs! Jax was hilarious with the bunny ears and wanted to put them on over and over!
So funny! Love my boys & Easter traditions:)

Monday, April 29, 2013

2013 Komen Committee

2013 Susan G. Komen Tyler Race for the Cure Committee

2013 Cochairs- Brenda & Cindy
Until you do it...you have NO IDEA how much work is put into an event as huge as the Race for the Cure.  So many volunteers spend countless hours planning to make the event a success.  Somehow it all comes together!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Train show

Today we took the boys to the train show at Harvey Hall. They had so much fun watching trains! Trains are serious business in our castle!! We even saw a real train crossing on the way home! Noah exclaimed, "Wow! That was fantastic!"

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, April 18, 2013

15th anniversary celebration with the boys

Noah giving Daddy the paper that talked about the year's highlights

How cute are my boys? They had fun celebrating Mommy & Daddy's 15th anniversary.
(But keeping them from destroying my balloons before Daddy saw his surprise was a BIG challenge!) XOXO

Happy 15th Anniversary Michael & Brenda

Our bed filled with 15 balloons & 15 pictures

1st Anniversary in New Orleans (Also where we spent our 15th Anniversary)

3rd year of marriage...funny...in New Orleans again!

Fourth Year- Easter

Year 9- Very pregnant with Noah

Year 10- The year Noah joined our family
In honor of our 15th wedding anniversary, I got 15 heart-shaped balloons and then found 15 pictures...one from each year of our marriage.  I tied the pictures along with the year and number of years married to each balloon. On separate sheets of paper, I compiled a short list of memories from each year.  Noah got each balloon, brought it to Daddy, and then had Daddy read to him the events of the year.  It was a special way to reminisce, look back on our history, and teach the boys a little about the history of our family.  (And of course they loved the balloons!)
Year 15! Our beautiful family of four! Happy 15th Anniversary!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

"My penis did it."

"My penis did it. " I'm sure the title of that post got your attention...
Noah and I were sitting in his bed last night after he had a temper tantrum about going to bed.  Mommy was not amused, particularly since I had to carry him kicking and screaming up the stairs, as he refused to walk upstairs.  NOT fun for Mommy's neck.  Anyway, after we had both calmed down and discussed how we could make better choices in the future, Noah replied, "Mommy, I really didn't do it.  My penis did it."  I explained to him that it was his choices, not his penis, that caused the problem.  He then replied, "Mommy, my hot dogs did it." No, this was not a penis reference, as this kid ate 3 turkey hot dogs for dinner, and somehow the hot dogs caused his misbehavior.  Of course, by this point, I was more than amused, and we giggled it out. The things my kids say. I'm sure one day when he's a teenager and we're having our differences, I'll kindly show Noah this post as a reminder to make good choices, in order to avoid social humiliation. Just kidding.  I'd never do that...right? 

Joy to my world

There are days when the demands of motherhood overwhelm me and I feel like I fail miserably.  That, folks, is just part of it.  Yes, there are more good times than bad, but some days are tough! I think if more women were just HONEST about this reality, there would be a lot less depressed women; as comparison is the thief of joy!
Then there are other days...days like today...days I just wish I could savor like a warm, buttered biscuit or a homemade sugar-cookie right out of the oven (yes, I love my carbs!) My day started off with my boys deciding that they wanted "beads and bracelets" to wear before school. So, of course, I dug out some that would be ok if they got broken, and just reveled in the joy that my boys have in the simple things...like Jackson running to the kitchen to show Daddy his beads around his neck...or Noah saying, "Here, Bubba. You can have my beads," as he placed his beads around Jackson's neck.  Just soaking up their joy for life, their way of finding fun in the seemingly small things----is SUCH a lesson for us "grown-ups." Of course, I put myself into that category loosely;)
Fast forward to after school ice cream and driving around looking at construction sites; watching the cranes, bulldozers, and dump trucks with awe and wonder.  Daddy arrived home early and the boys played in the nearby dirt that is a plenty where our future neighbor will be building soon. 

The weather was warm, and the wind was just windy enough to not result in discomfort.  The boys & Daddy began playing "baseball" with their plastic bats, and even Mommy took a few swings in the front yard! Then we went to our neighbor, Cindy's home and sang her happy birthday before her birthday dinner with her family before heading inside for a bath. 
Soaking up the goodness of this day was almost emotional.  I sincerely know to the core of my being that I am BLESSED.  I know people say that, and I'm really bothered when people FAKE it...but I FEEL it.  I watch my husband of 15 years (tomorrow) pitch the plastic ball to my 5 year old son, see Noah swing the bat and hit the ball with all his might...as Jax has another plastic bat that he uses as a pretend pony ride...and I think, "THIS IS THE STUFF OF LIFE...moments like THIS."  Sure, trips to Disney and lavish vacations are fun...but CONNECTING, through genuine laughter and unconditional love...THIS is what I want my children to remember...this FEELING. 
I am not a perfect mother by ANY means! I make mistakes every single day.  Today is no exception.  But, I'm thankful that for THIS day, THESE moments... I am able to keep tomorrow's to-do list on TOMORROW's schedule, and stay present in these moments.  I know they'll be gone far too soon.  I don't know WHY God has blessed me this way.  I am flawed...deeply flawed.  I giggle to myself, as I picture Froilan Maria singing in The Sound of Music, "Somewhere in my youth or childhood...I must've done something good.  Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could. So somewhere in my youth or childhood----I must've done something....some....thing.....good." (Can't you just hear the duet between Froilan Maria & Captain Von Trap?!?! I know you were singing it in your head!)
My family of 4---joy to my world.

Love is a verb; crayon edition

I've said for years, "Love is a verb." Love is an action word. So, today's example comes from my dear friend, Courtney. This lady works SO hard as full time single mother that's ALSO going to school as well as volunteering for our Drug Court program. She is something. So, she sent me a text today asking me if my kids liked to color. Of course they do! Then she sent me these pictures:

Yes, folks....the one day off my sweet friend has...she spent making heart-shaped crayons for my kids!
Seriously?! Yes. I couldn't make this up! I'm humbled by the friendships that God has hand-picked from his angel tree & placed into my life.
Love is indeed a verb----as so colorfully demonstrated by my dear friend, Courtney.

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My heart is full

I am blessed each week to participate in a therapy group for mothers in recovery.  I can honestly say that these group of phenomenal women teach me far more than I could ever teach them.  They have survived countless traumas, addictions, and have endured more heartache in their young lives than I could ever imagine in a lifetime.  They inspire me, fill me up, challenge me, and move my spirit.  It is truly God's work, and I am happy to bear witness to the beautiful difference that God and healing has made in their lives.  These women inspire me.  Tonight, as group started, I was happy to see that one of my long past group members (and current best friends) joined me for group. Courtney has amazed me since the moment we first spoke on the phone. I don't think I'll ever forget that first phone conversation.  I knew she was something special, and boy was I right! The ladies from my group brought me a birthday card that they had all signed, and they were so thoughtful in their messages.  It brought tears to my eyes.  Courtney also brought me some presents...so thoughtful as always----and although I don't have a picture of everything...here are some of them.  Devotion books for mothers---perfect. What mother doesn't need to slow down and have her cup filled? I know this mother does!   Courtney also gave me a plaque which read, "So many people come into our lives then leave the way they came.  But there are those precious few who touch our hearts so deeply we will never be the same."  I read the words, and looked up, my eyes finding hers.  Tears filled both of our eyes. She whispered, "That's my favorite. That's what you've done for me." 

I am beyond blessed and deeply humbled to have even a moment with these incredible ladies!
As I am an untraditional kind of gal...I don't always open a book to the first page. I just opened my devotion book up, and the page I landed on read,

"It's not what your have but what you give that touches another's life."
INDEED! My heart is full. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Happy 39th Birthday Mommy!

Happy 39th Birthday Mommy!
Michael & I picked up birthday cake and cupcakes onthe way home from New Orleans, and had a birthday party for Mommy with all her boys Sunday night. What a fun time! The boys were so excited to have us both home, and the fact that we brought an instant party made it all the more awesome! When trying to light the candles on my cake, Jax got up and blew them out! We all laughed...so he did it again!!! And again! It was a miracle that we "all" finally blew out the candles on the cake together. Jackson is quick! When Noah asked me how old I was on my birthday, I told him, "39." He said, "Wow, Mommy.  You're getting old!" 
Ha ha. I own my number, Noah! And my birthday couldn't have been more fabulous!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Surprise Visit to New Orleans

Michael called me Friday and asked me to pack my bags, because he was taking me on a surprise trip to New Orleans to celebrate my birthday/our upcoming anniversary.  Of course I was surprised! He had all the childcare lined up, so Friday night we arrived to New Orleans late and stayed in a beautiful hotel in The Big Easy.  I actually SLEPT until 9:30 the following morning, which I rarely am able to do! As luck would have it, we arrived during the French Quarter Festival, which is a large, free music festival.  We ate at Cafe Du Monde, Emeril's, and had the best food ever! I'm going to be lucky if my pants fit this week after that carb-a-thon! I love the whole vibe of the city...from the music to the street performers.  There was even a fireworks show overlooking the river on my birthday. How cool is that? Fireworks on my birthday! Pretty special! This trip was exactly what I needed! THANK YOU Michael!