Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ummm....fell off the blog wagon!

Oh my goodness, I said I was going to do better at blogging and I did...for a month and then off the wagon I fell. I just looked and realized the last time I posted was Spring Break! Really?!? Darn it, missed summer completely. (It was busy and great) and now we are back into the school year.

Sara started 1st grade and is still loving school. Kate also started playschool last week. She absolutely loves going. She's at that age where she thrives being around other kids her age and getting to play with her new "friends." When I tell her it's school time she bolts to the door and is trying to get into the car before I'm even near it.

Sara started gymnastics this year and loves it so far. Kate is ready to go in and do her "rolls" too...she'll be able to start in January since she'll turn 2 at Thanksgiving.

We are busy and doing life as it comes....and I'll try my best to update sooner than every six months.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring Break 2011 Recap

So...Sara created us a list last weekend of all we needed to do on Spring break. The list went as so...

-go the zoo (check)

-eat LOTS of Ice Cream (check-3 days)

-go to a park with slides and swings (check)
-go downtown to see the buildings (check)

-go the park and feed the ducks (check)

-eat yummy chesse pizza (check)

-play outside all day (check-many times)
-go swimming (check)

And that sums up our Spring Break. Lots of sun, fun, and mommy, Sara, Kate time. So, as I remembered the "list" she'd created us...we made sure by yesterday all of those were done. It was a busy Spring break. But Oh So Fun! Makes me excited for summer to get here so I have both my girls to play with every day. I know Kate LOVED having Sara around this week. It'll be strange next week when she's back to school.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spring Break...YAY!!!

Well....I don't have a ton to say, but I'll bullet point the last few weeks:

-I was sick as can be the past two weeks. No energy at all...just recently starting to feel like "me" again, and only some days
-we've lived in our new house almost a year and I finally hung curtains....I LOVE them
-Sara will be 6 years old this month (OMG), birthday party planning has begun
-Kate is the most opinionated and strong willed 15 month old I've ever seen in my life. I bought "Parenting the Difficult Child" and will be pouring over that soon, very soon!
-Kate started calling my best friend, Lory, "Mimi" it is too cute :)
-Sara has spring break this week....we have no plans and I'm LOVING it :)
-My girls are the light of my life-couldn't ask for more.
-I am loving keeping a gratitude journal (more on that later) inspired by Ann Voskamp's "One Thousand Gifts"

Okay, so there's no rhyme or reason to my randomness, but that's my life. I love it.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sickness abounds

this was Sara on Rodeo day at school....love my cowgirl
It is such a season of sickness, all around. I went to the doctor last week to see about my rash that I thought was poison ivy, well turns out it is not poison ivy....I have Shingles. And if that wasn't enough I also have a strand of mono that has literally wiped me out. I can hardly move, much less chase my little ball of energy around the house. It has been trying, and it isn't coming to an end any time soon by the looks of things.

Then yesterday Sara woke up in the middle of the night crying that her ear hurt. About 4am Kate wakes up and I go in her room to discover that she had thrown up in the middle of the night and apparently just slept in it-gag! I proceeded to clean her up, clean her bed, her room, her blankies,and everything else up. Awesome. Sara went the the doctor in the afternoon and has a bulging ear drum, so we started her on antibiotics yesterday.

So.... I'm sick, I'm exhausted, and I'm taking care of two kiddos who are wanting my undivided attention. This is so motherhood!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Under the weather and a weekend recap

this is my nephew, Caiden, feeding Kate cake at a bday party last weeknd
I feel sick. This seems to be a theme I am seeing in my friends' lives, my blogger friends, my twitter friends, it just seems the bugs are getting the best of some many of us right now. I don't know what I have... I'm EXHAUSTED beyond belief, like can barely make it to Kate's nap time before I crash. I have a weird red rash all over my arms and has spread to most of my body, it itches. Alot. Suspected poison ivy, but now considering other symptoms, I'm thinking it's more of a viral systemic thing-awesome! So, I'll go to the doctor tomorrow and see what they think may be the problem (and please dont' tell me it's "stress" again. There's no pill for that!)

Okay, so on a happier and lighter note...I had a great and SUPER busy weekend. Friday night my girls spent the night with my parents and I went out to Chuy's for a friend's birthday dinner. Yummy. It was fun and a nice visit with alot of folks. I had driven with my best friend Lory and we went back to her house and hung out for a while with her girls and started watching "The Book of Eli" about 11pm and didn't finish until 1am. Yeah, I was tired....so I crashed on her couch. When we woke up Lory, Michelle (her middle daughter) and I had a fun morning playing Mexican Trains (a domino game) and drinking coffee....does life get better? :)

That night we had reservations for Lory's birthday dinner at a great seafood restaurant in Houston. Lory, Michelle, Mandy (her youngest, who'd come in from College Station) and I headed out for a great evening. It was yummy and we had great conversations. I love spending time with those girls, never a dull moment, and always so much love. Only thing that could have completed the evening was if Whitney (her oldest, who lives MANY miles away) was with us, but Maui is a ways off.

*side note- Whit, Michelle and Mandy are my best friend's daughters- they are my sisters in EVERY sense of the word, as Whit has always said, blood couldn't make us any closer- love those girls and they are an integral part of mine and my girls lives. Adore EACH of them :)

Sunday was church, then lunch at Gringo's (another YUMMY meal), home for an hour and a half for Kate to grab a quick nap (and me) :) and then headed back to Lory's for Bible study.  Wow. What a weekend. I'm tired remembering it. Then I started feeling bad and yeah- that's where I am now. Praying it passes. Hoping all out there that are sickly now start turning a corner soon...I'm there in that corner with you for now. UGH!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentines Day 2011 Recap

So I'm not a mushy Valentines Day girl, but I will NEVER miss an opportunity to send out cards...it's definitely my love language. So I'd long ago gone to Target and hand picked cards for my loves. I'd sent off several packages the week before to those far-off loves (like in Hawaii and College Station-LOL!) So come the real V-day, I was just up to giving to those around here.

I started the morning loving on my girls and making Sara special V-day chocolate milk (okay, well I called it that but it was the same chocolate milk she drinks every morning, but she went along with the fact that I said it was special and made a big deal over it, maybe just to appease me, or maybe not- either way, it was more exciting.) I got her off to school and got me and little one dressed for the day. Made a trip to Starbucks to pick up some coffee for me and my best friend, grabbed her a bouquet of roses and headed off to her work to drop off some love for the day. After that Kate took a quick nap in the car and we were off to Sara's school Valentine party (with a half-napped toddler-ouch) I always love seeing Sara in her element at school. To see all the Kinders interacting, to see faces to go with all the names. It was great, but only half enjoyed as I chased Miss Kate out the door every .0345 seconds. Then we leave, exhausted.
Head home for nap, doesn't happen round 2- mommas spent. Kate decides to throw the worlds biggest fit for 20 minutes- really. All because she saw a bottle of Benadryl sitting out and wanted to drink it (this kid loves medicine)

So, I'm fried...I'd actually walked in the bathroom and closed the door during said fit because I need quiet for a fraction of a second. She calms down, we proceed out the door to my niece’s gymnastics class that was having bring a friend day, and she’d invited Sara.

We do gymnastics, leave after fighting/chasing Kate for an hour, and head home...grab food on the way home, eat, change into PJ's and all collapse.

I sit down and my whole body aches. LONG DAY. Wow- what a Valentines Day. (This is pretty indicative of a normal day around here....I'm hoping it one day slows down) But it's my crazy life and I love it. :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Crock pot Chicken Tacos

Okay, so another go to, easy crock pot recipe that I make every few weeks is my crock pot chicken tacos. These have AMAZING flavor. They are so good, and once again-all I do is throw on some Spanish rice and grab the fixings and dinner is ready. No stress, very little time for prep, it's a dream dinner. :)

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can rotel
1 packet low sodium taco seasoning (or I use chicken taco seasoning if I can find it)
about 2 lbs chicken (thawed or frozen)

For Tacos (fixings):
Tortillas/ taco shells
Grated Cheese
Sour Cream
Picante or Pico de Gallo

-Put chicken in crock pot; mix other ingredients and pour over chicken

-cook on High for 2 hrs or cook on Low for 3-4 hours

-Shred chicken in crock pot and serve. So good!
rotel, cream of chicken soup, & taco seasoning mixed
all the "fixins"

all in the crock pot ready to cook

Monday, February 7, 2011

Where do you find community?

my first year as a leader at our High school church camp
We were all created for relationship, for community. It's in the deepest sense of who we are. To connect with others, do life with each other. God knew we weren't good alone, so He created a "help-mate" for us. We are wired for it. Sometimes we go through phases in our life where it comes easy.

For me college was this type of time. To find like-minded people took no effort. I went to a Christian college. I immediately jumped in feet first and got involved. Living on campus it was easy to find events, Bible studies, just the cafeteria was a regular gathering place to meet, talk, do life. I flourished so easily in college.

Now that I'm married, have two children, and don't work outside of the home I find community doesn't come so easily. You have to seek it out, find it and work for it. Not that I didn't work on it before, it's just it was so natural. I'm trying intentionally to find community in this season of young children, of keeping a house running, of wiping noses and doing reading homework at night.

Where do you find community in your life?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

So, we're supposed to have snow?!?

Life has literally come to a screeching halt here in Houston and surrounding areas due to a chance of ice/snow. It's almost laughable to others who aren't from here (okay, it IS laughable.) We have an extreme overreaction to snow, ice, sleet, winter weather "mix" as they call it on the news. Who can blame us? Give us 100+ degree weather and humidity so high you can't breathe- we're fine. Hurricanes- no biggie, we're old pros at boarding up the house and "hunkering" down. But below 30 degree weather and ice, possibly snow? Work lets out early, schools close, the weather forecasters report with impending doom as if Armageddon itself is looming at our doorstep. It's quite comical. Don't get me wrong, I'll be staying home tonight and tomorrow and enjoying the warmth of my house and fireplace. But I just get a kick out of our weather forecast. People...it'll be in the 60's again on Saturday- you don't have to stock up on groceries as if we're getting snowed in for weeks. It's ONE DAY!  :)

Okay...I feel better that y'all have heard my winter angst. Thanks for understanding.
*However, if it DOES by any chance snow, you will probably find a post with pictures of me and my girls building inch tall snowmen, because as ridiculous as the hype is...I'm a little kid all over again at the first snowflake.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

House-Decorating Diaries

We moved in last April and I am still in the process of decorating the house. I put pictures on the wall, stare at them for a month, and then decide I want to completely change the wall. So I take pictures down, patch up holes, touch up paint, and then start all over again. I think it's a sickness, I am addicted to redecorating. The minute it is "done" in my mind, it's a challenge to re-do it. My husband has said repeatedly if he were to come home in the middle of the night and not turn on the lights, he'd kill himself because furniture is moved around here on a regular basis. I try to be content. I do, but there is so much fun in the re-doing process.
I'm in love with the idea of taking old objects and making them new. I love taking unexpected objects (like forks or spoons) and making a decoration out of them. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I see beauty all around me. I love the meaningfulness of a house-having purposeful decorations. The idea behind my decorating is that when you look around my house you see the things that matter to me:  God, family, my girls.

My comfy chair where I read to the girls

my fun double sided mantel- love decorating this

my "formal" living room

my dining room and FAVE china cabinet-Love it!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

meet Kate

My sweet one year old Kate is such a joy. She is the most spirited, strong willed, opinionated one year old that I have ever met. She is a pistol, to put it nicely. I should have known this would be her personality when I was pregnant. Never a still moment, never a quiet day. Pre-term labor from 27 weeks on- yeah. She was destined to be a spit-fire.
I adore this girl and all of her stubbornness, because as stubborn as she is, she is also the cuddliest little thing in the world. She loves to just roll all over me and can't get close enough. She wants to be "on" me constantly. Her little kisses are adorable (okay, so maybe she licks me, but she's attempting a kiss.)
Sara and her are precious to watch together-when they aren't fighting. Kate adores her big sister. She laughs at her more than she'll laugh at anyone else. He big "sissy" is her favorite person right now.
Kate's favorite hobbies are eating, playing, swinging, and going for walks in her stroller. This girl can eat, and eat she does. Anything and everything around. Nothing is off limits to her. I do not leave my house without a well stocked diaper bag of snacks. It's the only way we can make it through anything.
Kate is now walking, climbing stairs, and turning our house upside down. What a fun time!
She is a joy, really is, and is SO MUCH FUN, even in the tough parenting moments. Thank you Lord for my sweet baby girl.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Change is in the air...

me and my sweet Sara last summer
Sara last December-snow day

There is change on its way, I feel it moving in my soul, stirring, calling me into it.

I watch the weather, it's 74 degrees today, predicted to be in the 30's tomorrow-change. I see my sweet one year old, Kate, learning all sorts of new behaviors each day-change. I see my five year old growing into a young lady, not the baby I still see when I look in her eyes-change. I feel my heart being pulled in by my God, beckoning on a new journey with Him, calling me unto Himself-change.

I used to think change was hard, and it is, it can be. I used to think I was so against change-just leave life the same and I'll be able to make it without problem. Neither is that true, or reality. Change is inevitable, even when you try to keep things the same-they change. People change, hearts change, lives change. We have to learn to adjust, be flexible, see God's orchestrating hand in it all-guiding, wooing, calling us to new levels of relationship.

My heart is full of the hope of change right now. Of trusting. Of relying. Of letting go..and giving the wheel back to God, where it belongs. I don't know where He's leading me. But HE is leading- it is most definitely for my best. I can't wait to see where this journey takes me.

meet Sara

Sara is my sweetheart of a 5 year old (do NOT call her 6, she will inform you of how many days/months till that happens.) She is such an awesome little girl, not just saying that cause I'm her momma, but she is just the sweetest, funniest, kind hearted little thing. I love to watch her when she doesn't know I'm looking. She is shy alot of times, quiet, behind the scenes, unassuming. She doesn't like to be put on the spot, never "performs" when you ask her to, and has quite an opinion that she'll offer even when you don't want it.
Sara loves to sing, dance, and draw. She has just learned how to read this year and is highly impressed with herself when she can pick up a book and read the words. She loves to draw me pictures and write me sweet little notes, which I adore. I have a whole box full of my letters and drawings that she gives to me. She loves to bless other people with notes too. I'm always being asked to put them in an envelope and mail them off to family and friends.
Sara has such a heart for Jesus. She loves Him and loves to tell other about Him. She has no shame in sharing the gospel, doesn't think twice about it. Always asking people, "do you love Jesus?" She loves worship music and blesses me always with singing worship songs and telling Bible stories to Kate.
Sara loves Kate. Loves to play with her, tease her, dress her up, and always wants to drag her around the house.
I love my girls, they are unending joy to me. There the biggest blast of my life. It's amazing how two little people can change everything. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Feeding the ducks

Today was beautiful weather. 70's, slight wind, wonderful amount of sunlight- a nice change to the dark, damp, cold days we've had lately. I love the sun. The feel of the warmth on my skin, the smell of being outside---it's why I adore Spring. It's my favorite season to savor.
Since it was so nice out, I told the girls I'd take them to feed the duck once we ran a few errands.
We had a great time, saved Kate numerous times from trying to dive face first in the water to grab the bread back to eat, and laughed a ton together.
There weren't many ducks- mainly REALLY aggressive geese and a bunch of birds- but we had a blast feeding anything that would take our bread. What a wonderful day- I needed that Lord- you knew it. Thank you!

my sweet girls

Sara feeding the turtles and birds

Kate would have loved to tackle this duck

A beautiful windmill by the lake

our bread-stealing birds-they were fun though

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chair Makeover

Isn't it amazing how much a chair can look different just by changing the fabric. I had these chairs re-done by Mandie at Altar'd Furniture a while back. I had found the red fabric and thought I wanted to try to bring red into my kitchen, but I never really loved the pattern. I'd been looking for awhile and ran across some awesome Amy Butler fabric and new I had to re-do these chairs.
So at nap time today I grabbed a screw driver, pliers, staple gun, scissors, and off I went recovering.
I just *love* the finished product. So cute- so me. Happy chairs :)

re-covering seat


Fave Crock pot recipe-Salsa Chicken

I have a one year old who is EXTREMELY demanding of my attention. As in, doesn't let me move 2 steps away from her without screaming and attempting to climb my legs. So I have discovered that getting meals into the crock pot at her nap time (or before she wakes up) makes our evenings run much smoother. Usually all I have to do is throw together a side or a vegetable and we're ready to eat. Saves my life and my sanity.

My favorite recipe is the easiest and yummiest in the book.
-Grab a bag of frozen chicken (or use chicken breast)
-Dump in crock pot
-Cover with salsa (I buy mine from a local Mexican restaurant, but store bought works too)
-add optional ingredients (I love to throw mushrooms in mine and sometimes pearl onions)
-Cook on low for 6 hrs (if frozen) or 4 hrs (if thawed)
That's it. So easy. The aroma is delicious. I make some rice with it or sometimes throw the chicken over a salad. This reheats really well too!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Through my Daughter's Eyes

Sara is my precious 5 year old. She is in Kindergarten this year. I learn so much from this sweet girl. Life filtered through the eyes of an innocent child is a beautiful thing.

Last week Sara had a dentist appointment. Let me give you a little background first, she has had a GREAT fear of the dentist for quite some time. So much so that we've never been able to get her into the office, much less the dentist chair. It's been over a year since we've tried so I went ahead and made an appointment hoping that time and maturity would be on my side and that FINALLY we'd get this girls teeth checked and cleaned.

I'd been talking to her about the upcoming appointment for weeks. Reminding her it was coming, preparing her for what will happen and how it won't be scary. Each time we'd talk about it I'd ask her "how are you feeling about it now?" Each answer was, "still pretty scared."

So the day of the appointment arrives. She's being brave....gets in the car. Stares out the window asking every few minutes as we pass buildings, "is this my dentist office?" Finally we get there. Park. and I turn around in the car. I ask her "are you still scared, baby?" She said, "yes mommy, my stomach is hurting and I'm a little scared." So I ask her what I can do to help her not be scared, what does she need me to do? And then she unbuckles her seatbelt, crawls into the front seat of the car with me and says, "mommy, will you just pray with me. I know Jesus can make me feel better and that He'll be in there with me when I'm scared. Can you just pray now that He takes this funny feeling out of my tummy and helps my feet walk into the dentist's door."

Of course I prayed with her, but I was just stunned. My five year old knows where to turn in her fear. The One who holds her fears...the One who can calm them in a single breath. That's something that took me YEARS to learn...oh how I wished I'd known there was a Father that loved me and would be with me in the scary moments, when I was a kid. Her perspective on things is beautiful. I love living life with her and watching her come to know and love Jesus more and more. What a gift as a parent to watch.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I have a confession to make....I keep waiting to find the "right" post to really get my new blog started. I keep telling myself that once I get that perfect "jump start" post I'll be off to writing regularly. Well, I can't come up with that post. I wanted it to be catchy, unique, creative. But what's stirring on my heart is none of those.

I keep thinking about struggles. The things that each of us face each day. Sometimes they are obvious to the world, others of our struggles are private and no one notices the fight we put into them each day, but we all have them. Struggles are hard, they are trying, but lately I've been coming to a new level of appreciation for my struggles...they drive me closer in my relationship with Jesus. They remind me I am utterly desperate for Him to give me the strength to fight through them each day.

If you've read my old blog in the past, you'll know I have struggled/still struggle with an eating disorder. It has been 15 years that I have fought anorexia and bulimia. I've had victorious seasons and I've had awful and dark seasons where there was no victory in sight. I still fight it. HARD. Every day. Every thought. Every bite. BUT, in my struggle I have learned to lean into Jesus. To beg for His strength to carry me through each minute, each bite. I desperately want to be completely victorious over this one day. I want to look back and see God's hand and His plan in all of it. I want to NOT be struggling with this in my 30's (I turned 29 in December.)  I want to set a good example for my precious girls who I know watch my every move. I'm looking for victory. Trying to figure out how to fight this battle, again.

So, here is my opening post. I'm Jackie. I'm flawed. I have real struggles. BUT..I have a real Jesus, bigger than me, bigger than my struggles. He provides me the strength, He beckons me to His side. He carries me.

Not sure where the next post will go, but I got this one out there....surely the next one will be easier :)


Monday, January 17, 2011

Finding "me"

Have you ever felt like you are just wondering along, day after day, trying to find your way?

My life has changed so much in the past few years, not bad things, just changes and I feel like I'm always in the process of becoming "me." How am I? What does that even mean. Lately I'm thinking, becoming me may be a paradox in my mind. If at some point I don't just accept "me" as I am, where I am...I may be searching forever. I know who I am in Christ- I know the truths of who He says I am. I know it in my head, I'm trying to feel it in my heart and to my bones.

I start a new semester of Bible study tomorrow, I think I'm going in with a new mindset- a new perspective. I am me, I'm Jackie...flawed, confused, but me. I'm not going to fake it anymore. My pastor said on Sunday that he hates fake people and it really hit me. I'm not fake, but I certainly put on the "I'm fine" face and go forward. So my new challenge to myself is to be real, at whatever cost, be real and allow people into my heart and into my challenges with me. What's the worst that could happen...they ignore me? No loss there. I need community (that's a post for another day) I need accountability and I need to be real. So...tomorrow is a new day, new Bible study and a new challenge to myself.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

this is me...

Hi, my name is Jackie...I am a mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend. I'm me-that's a loaded statement.

I have two beautiful little girls...Sara is five and started Kindergarten this year and Kate turned one in November. They are my joy. I love them dearly and love watching them grow into their personalities that are so vibrant and so unique from one another.

I love God with all my heart. He is my heart. My life. My breath.

I was a special education teacher for 5 years and am now staying home to raise my two girls.

I love to decorate, shop antique stores and thrift stores for fun things to re-create. I adore the color blue, strong coffee (well ANY coffee) and a good book while cuddled under my blanket that my best-friend made me for my birthday.

I used to blog regularly. I stopped. For almost 3 years. Not sure exactly why, but I've had the desire in my heart for awhile to start another. We'll see how it goes. So, here's me and here's my thoughts on life, God, motherhood and the in-betweens.