Friday, February 24, 2017

Redefining Myself

Chances are if you look at the areas in your life that you are not satisfied with it will take much more than a quick fix. I know this only because I just walked through it and I am still currently walking through it. Seven months ago I had one goal. Lose Weight. I could use this post to go into all the specifics of what my eating looks like, what I cut out and what I added.  I can tell you how many days a week I workout and what they consist of.  What I learned about building muscle and losing fat. What I did at the beginning and how I have progressed since. Let's be honest life will get in the way and circumstances will change. I've been down that road before. I have had seasons where I have been incredibly fit but  I always found myself starting over again. I would always ask myself WHY do I let myself fall off and  have to start over again? It's awful!  This was a common thread in my life.  There were countless times I had started something and rarely saw it all the way through and if I did, it wasn't with all my ability. It was the same with my commitment to my faith. I was saved in 2001 and baptized in my early 30's. I knew it was important and I tried to have quiet times, daily devotions, attend bible studies and conferences. I would have mountain top experience, then times of complete disconnect. Why? I would tell myself I'm in a busy season, one day I will have enough time to do all those things well. 

Once this weight is off, how will I be able to sustain this lifestyle? All these changes I made in my eating and workout routine were effective in my success but I wanted THIS time to be different! I wanted to be different! I started a book/bible study at the gym with a few girls a couple of months into my journey. It was all I could commit to at that time. This book was EXACTLY what I needed at the EXACT time I needed it.  

I started to reevaluate different areas in my life. I was not giving my best to my marriage, my kids, my friends and most importantly myself. The things I valued most in life were suffering and I felt like time was slipping away. I was fearful of going through life and looking back with regret. Having my oldest go away to college might have been one of the catalyst that lead me to this journey.  There is nothing like hugging your child and driving back home without them to make you realize how incredibly quick time goes by (and how much older you are ;-)!

So I prayed.. and I prayed some more. I asked God to reveal to me what I needed to change within myself and practical choices I could make to start to rebuild MY life. Talk about a humbling experience! An experience that literally brings a huge lump to my throat as I type this. The distractions of having kids and a husband kept these areas hidden, buried for years were now coming to the surface. 

The first thing HE showed me was I needed to re-evaluate HOW I spend my time, and WHO I am spending my time with. Were these things and these people encouraging me to grow as a mom, wife and as a person? I can not be everything to everyone, its just not possible. I needed to be content with that! As a people-pleaser this was something that was very hard for me.  I don't think any of us like to feel like we are missing out on something or disappointing anyone. I had to remind myself (multiple times of day when insecurity would try to creep in) what my ultimate purpose in life is! It is to GLORIFY him! He showed me not to be overwhelmed with these decisions but it is literally ONE small choice at a time each day! 

As the weight started to come off SLOWLY (insert patience) like as in not one pound in a month. I started to feel lighter emotionally! It was like the layers of burden, responsibility, pressure, stress, over committed began to shed too.. It wasn't until I completely laid everything down before the Lord was I able to start redefining myself! My identity was no longer in my kids, my husband, my friendships or anything else in this world. I began to say YES to things I use to say NO to out of fear. 

I am so grateful the Lord revealed these things to me. I can say today I am in the BEST place I have ever been! I carry myself a little taller, I have more fun with my kids and I am proud of where I am at (I don't think I have ever used the word proud to describe myself before now).  My life is definitely not PERFECT but every day I will strive to be a better person than I was the day before! I will continue to seek God in everything I do and give HIM all the praise! 

Monday, March 14, 2016

6 month mark with little B

All day yesterday I kept thinking how can it be 6 months…1/2 a year since I held this sweet girl for the first time… She really has just come out of her shell (not that you can tell by this picture).. HAHA!!! Thank to our sweet friends The Burgess Family we met on our trip that sent this shirt to Brooklyn for Chinese New Year..

A few milestones in the last month which makes me feel like she is already growing up so fast.. (sniff..sniff)

*no more crib.. She officially sleeps in her big girl bed with no rails. She is in the exact same position she went to sleep in when I get her in the morning

*no more bottle.. She was on a bottle at the orphanage and I was super hesitant to take this away too soon because it was most definitely a soothing thing for her. We switched to milk in a cup and she did great! We don't even warm it up anymore.. HAHA

*no more DIAPERS… She is "mostly" potty trained as of last week with a couple of accidents and pull ups at night. Can I get a hallelujah!! She took to it so easy and is eager to please

We have our 6 month post adoption meeting next week and paperwork due with our agency. It seems like its certainly a milestone in our family.. One that came with some challenges but overall I can't be more thankful for how well she has adjusted.

We finally got our family pictures printed and hung in the house yesterday.. Brooklyn squealed with delight to see her face on the walls. I need to be better about printing pictures out and hanging them. The last one I had hung in our frame in the living room was before Colton was born.. oops.. 

Here are a few more pictures of her enjoying a popsicle for the first time..and being goofy. Adoption is AMAZING!

I will do another blog soon about my oldest preparing for graduation and college bound soon… (Hold me)!!!

Lots of love,

Sunday, January 10, 2016

December wrap up

This post is sure to be the longest one ever.. Too much fun this month but I will try and keep it to just the highlights ;-) Mid- December marks our 3 month anniversary with Brooklyn.. She has certainly becoming more comfortable and her personality is shining through more and more…

She has become a favorite at our local gym and is always so excited to see me when I pick her up which I love!!! I wish all my kids jumped up and down when i walked in the room ;-) I may have to start requiring this.. HAHA

Colton our 4 year old has had the hardest time adjusting to his new little sister. I will occasionally see them playing together and it makes my heart smile!
We had a great time celebrating Christmas little early with Dan's family. The little cousins exchanged gifts and this was Brooklyn's first time to open a Christmas gift. She got the hang of it pretty quick. ;-)

We celebrated Christmas Eve and I especially felt so grateful to reflect on our journey to bring our girl home. How we have the privilege to teach and show her God's love for her. One that we don't take for granted and pray we do well.

Christmas morning was perfect!!! Cozy, Exciting, Relaxing and full of family time.. All the things I love.

I mean this face shows you her personality. she is so funny and makes us laugh all the time! Note the little pack n play in the back.. I love watching her put her dolls night night in there..
One of my favorite things is when the kids get gifts for each other. This is when Nathan got Brooklyn a doll and she is saying Thank You. It so fun to watch them get excited about giving. So fun to see lots of pink girly things in our house.
My mom, her husband, my brother and his girlfriend joined us for Christmas dinner. It was full of ugly Christmas sweaters, yummy smoked turkey and tasty cheesecake.

As 2015 came to an end, Dan and I took a trip to California for some relaxation. It was a great time for us to commit to each other new goals. Strive to do better in 2016 with God as the center of family and our own personal lives.. We have some exciting new ventures coming up! Working to simplify our lives to what matters most. Make this the best year yet!


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

So much to be thankful for

Dear God, I wanna take a minute, not to ask for anything from you. 
But simply to say THANK YOU. 
for all that you gave me.

This is truly my heart… So thankful for so many things…This has been a year of ups and downs for our family. One that has tested our family and our marriage. As I look back on those events that took place I am truly thankful for what I have learned and taken from each one of them. God is good ALL the time! Celebrating each day as a true gift from God. My perspective and the lens which I view the world has changed. The gift of health, the gift of family and the gift of life long friends  are what I am most thankful for this year!

We have had a busy November!!!

Rylan's football season came to end with his team making it to the semi-finals. We were so proud of all the boys and all their handwork! As the season came to an end, I was reminded how we were in China the very first game and we had not gotten Brooklyn yet. Wow!! What can happen in a short season!

We took a very short trip to meet our new niece and cousin in Houston.. It was my first road trip with Brooklyn and she did AMAZING!!! No snacks, no toys and no movie. She was completely content with looking out the window and catching a nap. I think my boys could take some lessons from her.. haha

We survived family picture session! I was so excited for this years pictures. I can finally put some pictures up with our sweet girl!
Dan, Brooklyn and I enjoyed watching Colton and Rylan's thanksgiving programs at school. They did such a great job and we are so thankful they are loving their schools and teachers!

We love to participate in the Operation Christmas Child. We took the three little ones to Target and had them fill their own boxes up. Brooklyn and Colton delivered them to be shipped.
This year was the first year all of Dan's side of the family got together for a weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving. It was awesome to see all the cousins play together and pair up in little groups. There are 17 grandchildren ranging from 4 weeks to 17 years old. You can imagine there is allot of noise and fun going on! Beautiful lake house in Crockett, TX.

 This was Brooklyn's first time to be around all her cousins, Aunts and Uncles. I am so thankful she has so many people that love her and built in friends for life!
On to.. Christmas!!!


Monday, November 9, 2015

6 weeks home

It really blows my mind to think we have already been home 6 whole weeks… It seems all so normal with her but still very surreal at the same time. Not even sure if that makes sense.. It truly feels like she has always been apart of our family.. There are definitely moments where she is sad and we aren't really sure why but those are very few and far between. My love for her grows more and more every day. She is such a loving girl who gives us so much love. I was reminded of this moment that happen last week when I came home from boot camp at 6am (yes it starts at 5am) and she greeted me at the door with a big smile and a hi.. Dan said she woke about 5:45am, of course I already had in my head what I was going to do before the kids woke up and that was all scratched. I grumbled past with a quiet hi and grabbed my coffee. I went to sit on the recliner to drink my coffee. She squeezed next to me with a blanket and covered part of my leg with a big smile. This sweet girl who weeks ago wanted nothing to do with me has open her heart to me in the biggest way. It almost brought me to tears and made my day!! She teaches me so many things daily and such a tangible reminder how God's plans are so much bigger and better than our own! Thank you Lord for calling us to adopt, thank you for placing this sweet precious girl in our family!

Monday, October 12, 2015

One month recap

Its hard to believe a month ago we got this sweet girl we call our daughter, the boys call her sister and friends call her baby B ;-)

Just a little two weeks home and I can tell you the comfort of my own home and the convenience of my own town I am so incredibly thankful for. The voice of a friend or family member calling to check on us has been comforting! Here are a few pictures from the airport when we arrived home…
 Sweet friends adopted from China waiting on their new friend!

 I seriously love each and everyone of these kids and their families!! When you haven't slept in over 20 hours how could you not smile (and cry) at these faces!!!
Isn't' this picture precious!!! 

Life at home these past two weeks have been been an adjustment to say the least… The first few days was a battle of sleep deprivation, mom guilt with my other kids and trying to bond with our new girl. A roller coaster of emotions…Since I would be up at 4:30am I would play my worship music, spend time with the Lord and pray specific prayers over our family and me! This has been the single thing that has gotten me through most of those days it certainly wasn't my own strength… I will say once we figured out her sleep schedule and moved her crib to her room. She has slept all night!! Can I get a Hallelujah!!!!! Its amazing what sleeps does for you! We are settling into a routine nicely… This week I am attempting to lay her down for a nap as I notice she gets extremely cranky around 5pm and is too early for bed so we will see how this goes! She has been transitioning so well, we have been able to take her out a little bit here and there. She is so friendly to everyone she meets!

We haven't wasted any time getting her checked out by medical professionals either. She had her pediatrician appointment the first week and needed 6 shots, blood drawn a physical. She was a trooper!! Our pediatrician called in our application to Scottish Rite to have her club foot consulation. They were able to get us in the next week.. They did X-rays on her legs and examination. Huge Praise.. She needs no additional treatment or therapy at this time unless she regresses. We are thankful to have that behind us. Onto the fun things like Fall and Christmas!!! Here are a few pictures!

 Already trying to race her big brother!

 Enjoying evening rides on the golf cart. 

 My friend took this picture at my 7 year olds football game. It literally made me laugh out loud. Can you read Colton's body language loud and clear in this pictures.. HAHA!!
 First time on the swing and she loved it and was giddy!!

Picking out pumpkins at the Pumpkin Patch.. So fun!! These moments experiencing the first of things with her is such a joy! Thank you for all the prayers!


Friday, October 2, 2015

Video dedication to our sweet girl!

Happy Friday!!!

Here is a video that Nathan put together of our trip including our Gotcha Video. I am planning to update our first week home  and update the missing pics this weekend! Enjoy!

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