Monday, May 16, 2016

Sweet Surprises...

Have you ever had those moments with your kids where they totally surprised you by the way they acted or maybe something they did? It could be random acts of kindness they showed to another kid/ you or even something like swimming the length of the pool by themselves. It's in those moments where as a parent, you feel proud, excited, amazed, and yet a little sad all at the same time because it's a realization that "Wow, my child is growing up..."  And so folks, this post is about that...a moment that I am so grateful to have had with my oldest daughter J.

So one of the perks of being a SAHM with 2 toddlers is that you get to take them to fun places during the week! I really love taking my girls out and doing things together. For example, we've done mini hikes, go to the beach, walking the mall, going to the park, going to Children's Discovery Museums, etc. You get the idea. The things we do doesn't have to be extravagant because really it's about the experience and the time we spend together! So one of our favorite places right now is Happy Hollow Park! If you haven't been there, it's a great place for kids under the age of 5. It has a farm, a mini zoo, rides, several playgrounds, and lots of green space for kids to just run around!

J and M on the Mini Putt Putt car ride at HH

This past Thursday, the girls and I went with our friend and her 2 kids to Happy Hollow. We've been to Happy Hollow (HH) so many times I've lost count. Anyways, the girls are pretty familiar with the rides and what to expect at the HH. The favorite thing right now for them are the rides. However, there are rides where you have to be a certain height to ride it with an adult or by yourself. My oldest daughter J has gone on all the rides at the HH except for the Pacific Fruit Express Family Roller Coaster. Yes..the roller coaster! I can't even remember the last time I rode a roller coaster! Anyways, to go on this ride with an adult, you have to be a minimum of 36 inches tall. Well, J is definitely taller than 36 inches and so now it was a matter of whether she would want to try this ride.

Pacific Fruit Express Family Roller Coaster

The last time we were at HH, it was  about 2 months ago and I had asked if she wanted to try the roller coaster and she gave me a definite NO. So, this time, I asked her again and she said no again. I left it at that. Well, during our picnic lunch, we sat by the roller coaster and watched other people ride it. She was still a little hesitant and scared as she watched the roller coaster. Then one of her friends went on the ride with her mom, we stood by the fence to watch the ride and I watched as J, her sister and friend cheered, clapped, and laughed while watching the roller coaster go by. It was the most cutest and precious scene.

J, little sister and friend watching and waving as the roller coaster goes by
This is when I asked J if she wanted to go. Her friend was totally encouraging her by saying "You can do it, It's fun!" Well lo and behold...she said YES! Say what?!! Oh my goodness.. now I was the one that was scared for her because I really didn't know how she would react once we were on the ride.

Here we are! Right before the roller coaster ride starts!! She's still smiling!

So...how did she do on her first roller coaster ride? See for yourself! Check it out below!

video

Yes my girl did it! I was super proud of her because it took a lot of courage. She was one brave chica! I was one happy mama and yet sad because my little girl is growing up. BUT..she's learning to become a brave and courageous girl who is willing to try new things and for that..I am PROUD of her. This was the biggest and best Sweet Surprise of the day!



Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Thankful Tuesdays!

Happy Tuesday everyone!  Once again, it's Thankful Tuesday! Seeing how this past weekend was Mother's Day, it's just natural to blog this Thankful Tuesday about my own mom. So here are a few things I'd like to share of how much I appreciate my own mother and very thankful to have her as my mom.

To my mom..
* I appreciate your strong faith and belief in the power of prayer. You always prayed for us (your kids) and had a strong faith that God would take care of us no matter where we were geographically or spiritually.

* I appreciate your love for the piano and music. Your dedication and affection for music has taught me how music can be a form of worship, reflection, and relaxation.

* I appreciate your patience. You had so much patience with my brother and I when we were younger and you still do.

* Thank you mom for loving me for who I was when I was younger and who I'm becoming as I'm growing older.


As I was looking for pictures of my mom and I. I realize that we don't have many of just her and I. Mom - we need to take more selfies together! 


Monday, May 9, 2016

Motherhood..

Hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday! It was a great weekend of celebration and relaxation in our family. We are fortunate enough to live close to both my mother and mother in-law to be able to celebrate with both of them this past weekend. Growing up and celebrating Mother's Day has always been just like any other day of saying "thank you" to my mother for being my mom. I don't think I ever understood the importance of celebrating my mom and what it truly meant to be a mother until I myself became a mom.

Motherhood...there are so many words and feelings that stir inside when I think about what it means to be a mom. I'm no veteran to motherhood because I've only just begun, like 3.5 yrs. ago but in this short beginning so far, I've come to appreciate my mom so much more than ever before and realize that being a mother is the most difficult and joyous thing ever!



You see, I realize that as moms, we put so much of ourselves into being the best moms we can be for our kids. We sometimes have high expectations for ourselves and we can be our own worst critics, which is so true for me. We try the best that we can with what we have.

Lately, I've been finding inspiration and encouragement through my conversations with fellow moms around me and reading words written by other blogger moms. I wanted to share with you two of the blogs that I read this past week that gave me encouragement as a mother.

First, I loved reading Joanna Gaines' letter to moms. (If you haven't read her blog or seen her "Fixer Upper" show on HGTV, you have to check it out!) I loved her honesty and her words of encouragement in what she wrote. I loved the main points that she wrote about the different facets of motherhood: You are enough. Taking the time. The littlest things. After reading her letter to moms, all I could say out loud was "Amen sista!" Such an inspiration and a great reminder for me as a mom. I highly recommend reading what Joanna Gaines wrote!

Second, I loved reading the Small Seed blog post about "Embracing Grace in Motherhood: Ruth Simons". Several mom friends introduced me to Ruth Simons and her wonderful scriptural artwork that she posts on Instagram (@gracelaced). However, what's even more powerful and inspirational are her words in her blog. In this Small Seed blog post, I really loved the main points about embracing grace in motherhood: When we are serving our family, we are serving Christ. Get rid of the checklist. With God all things are possible. We become stronger as we rely on the strength of the Lord. Can I just say that I am so thankful for all these words of wisdom and inspiration!

It's hard to remember all these things when you're in the midst of a toddler tantrum or cleaning up poo smeared all over the crib. Yes, motherhood is hard and trying at times but it is the best gift that God has given me.  I'm trying my best to enjoy every moment of it because truth is, my two little girls are growing up and I (and my hubby) feel it's happening so fast. So on that note my friends...I leave you with this video and song by Nichole Nordeman "Slow Down".  It encapsulates the joys of being a mother and parent as well as the heartache of seeing your kids grow up right in front of you. **Disclaimer: you're gonna need a tissue or two. Thanks to my hubby Dave for sending this to me.** 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Thankful Tuesdays!

Welcome to Thankful Tuesday! On Facebook, everyone does #TBT (Throw Back Thursdays) and it's super fun to look and reminisce on the past. I thought I'd start something new on my blog called Thankful Tuesdays! It's not something new because there is a #thankfultuesday but I thought for myself, it would be a good practice to blog every Tuesday about one thing that I'm thankful for. It's a way for me to take a step back in my life to see the blessings that God provides and the ways He's working around and in me.

So for my first Thankful Tuesday blog post, I am thankful for my little family.



6  years ago, I would have never imagined that God would bless me with a little family of my own. We struggled with infertility for a couple of years and when our first daughter arrived, it was the most amazing  gift ever from God! Then 18 months later, our spunky second daughter arrived and that was the best gift that God truly blessed us with. I am very thankful that our girls are healthy and happy. I am thankful for my husband who has walked with me and supported me through the entire journey of becoming parents and now being parents. I am thankful that he loves spending time with us even when he's tired and has worked a long day. I am thankful that my girls love to spend time with me and their daddy in this season of their lives (I hope this never ends and they'll continue to enjoy spending time with us as they grow older). I am thankful for all our little family moments from big ones like family camping and road trips to little ones like playing hide and seek before bedtime. Yes, I am grateful, thankful, and blessed by this little family that God has given me. Love.

Monday, May 2, 2016

My Hopes and Desires...

I can't believe 2016 is almost halfway through, how are we in May already? Time seems to fly by so much quicker as you get older. Hence, time is precious and every minute counts. I've been thinking a lot lately about my hopes and desires. At the beginning of each year, a lot of people make New Years resolutions or goals. I use to do that too and those never panned out. For example: I'd make a resolution to exercise and workout (haha, yea right). Those of you who know me, I hardly exercise and there's absolutely no motivation for that.

Anyways, I began think about this whole New Years resolution/goal in a different way. What if I thought of it as hopes and desires? I mean, who said you had to make New Years resolutions/goals at the beginning of every new year? 

So in this season of life, these are some of my hopes and desires. These aren't set in concrete and of course as life continues, new ones will arise and these will evolve.  

In this sesason of life, I hope and desire:
  • to understand and practice what it means to REST in God's presence.
  • to be present to my kids and husband and serve them wholeheartedly
  • to build deeper friendships with my friends 
  • to serve the people around me with humility and a grateful heart 
  • to be more aware of the blessings that God provides in every situation
Short and not too complicated. It's always good to actually write these down because it makes it concrete versus being up in my head. What are your hopes and desires? Would love to hear from you guys!