Momma of Dos: August 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

{A Change in Pace...Kind of?}

So, changes are about to come. {Personally, Career wise, Blog-wise, Family-wise!}



Not sure how, or IF they will even affect my Blog. I love Blogging. As you all know I am NOT a Stay-@-Home Mom like most Momma Bloggers ::insert highly disappointed face here::. I have an outside the home government job.

Recently that outside the home job has become a bit more hectic as I am changing departments and well life will be a bit different. We will also be well into a new semester in a few weeks here and Ricardo's BUSY school & work schedule will be CRAZY!

Again, not sure how or if it will affect my Blog but I hope you stick around...see what's new and tell your friends to join us. I have a feeling the fun is just about to begin!

I hope and pray that my change in pace is for the best and that I can continue to update you guys and feature new ideas and concepts as they become available. As well as share all the fun things that this semester bring us. I know some of you don't know..but my Hubby is a FT student and I usually think of our life in semesters. This is his last FULL semester...if all goes well and God willing he will only have ONE class left after December ...and then he will be a GRADUATE! Yay!!!

In the mean time we will see where our little lives take us and what God brings to them!

Again I hope you guys stick around and invite others to join us on this little crazy journey we like to call...LIFE!

Have a great week everyone!  

Monday, August 29, 2011

To Coupon or NOT to Coupon..that IS the question?

I have started a series that has now generated more questions than I thought it would....in myself.

If you missed the past few post then let me update you; HERE and HERE and from last year HERE & yes...HERE.

This week I will tackle coupon clipping! {In some sense.}

Yay. I love coupons!!!

But, that wasn't always the case. I was never a bargain hunter or "sales" kinda person. Oh Boy, has that changed, as many other things have as well.

Like always saving accomplishments have come from my Husband. He was one to NEVER buy store brands but still find good deals. Now that we have kids we try our absolute best to find good deals and more importantly look for good coupons.

Being that I am an Internet Junkie! My more effective source of finding coupons has been online. While I was pregnant with my son I signed up for Momma sites which then generated TONS of good brand sites where I could register for not only coupons but samples as well! Once I started receiving samples and knew what I liked I then looked for coupons for those brands only.

What I do is register on their sites:

1. Pampers
2. Similac-Strong Moms
3. Huggies
4. Enfamil
5. Johnson and Johnson
6. Gerber

Or if you don't know about specific brands another way to get great coupons is by registering for specific stores they feature coupons and savings on their sites; here are some of my favorites:

1. Babies'R'Us
2. Target
3. HEB
4. Kroger

Another online source is specific everyday brands:

1. Kraft
2. Proctor and Gamble {Which feature many brands}
3. Scott Tissue Paper
4. Bounty Paper Towels
5. Colgate

Truth is it takes some research but it's worth it.

Some of the websites offer sections for you to only print coupons and do not require you to sign up for their communities or sites but it's like a "preferred customer" deal if you do. And, you end up getting more offers that are  not otherwise advertised on their pages. Also, sites like Pampers and Huggies have a reward system where you accumulate points and can then redeem them for really cool items, my favorite have been FREE prints from Shutterfly! {My favorite online Photo sharing site!}

Like with everything you must read all the fine print but most of these sites are very straight forward and only want your business. I know most of us are weary about entering too much information on websites but I NEVER share my SS# or Telephone number and if my DOB is not needed then I don't add that either. Plus I use my nickname and not my real name. You do want to enter your address if you want to receive the coupons to your mailbox  otherwise the standard is that they will email then to you and you can print them at home AND you  DON'T have to accept any extra offers just make sure to read them all. Some are really good.

The more conventional ways are daily specials in the newspapers or in your mailbox which I believe come automatically.

Another good idea would be Coupon trading? Save your coupons meet up with your favorite Momma friends and trade coupons! Who knows you may get a good deal...


{PLEASE NOTE: I am in NO way affiliated with ANY of these websites and I do NOT receive any kind of compensation for naming them here. I am in NO way to be held responsible for any personal information that you wish to disclose on any of these sites. These are all merely suggestions and you NEVER have to use any of the sites that I have mentioned here.}

Friday, August 26, 2011

{32 Yrs. 32 Reasons?}

My Husband is 23 today! Oh sorry...typed that really fast..I meant...32...YAY!

I have written about him and his love HERE and HERE...and probably many other places as well.

Our True Love story is written here:




Ricardo is to others...nothing of what he is to me...or in person. {If that makes any sense?!}

Here are 32 reason why I love him {there are surely many many more}:

1. He makes me laugh ::LIKE NO OTHER::
2. He loves me for me.
3. We have TWO beautiful children {who look like him!}
4. He is strong {in front of others}
5. He is humble {at all times}
6. He tells me EXACTLY how it is..NOT exactly what I want to hear!
7. He is REAL.
8. Unknowingly he is Godly.
9. Purposely he is Faithful.
10. Lovingly he is mine.
11. He cooks!
12. He is too smart..for his own good...
13. He is family oriented.
14. He loves doing..just about anything fun!
15. He is supportive!
16. He lifts me up even when I don't want to hear it.
17. He sets me straight when needed.
18. He communicates with me! AT ALL TIMES. OR WHEN IT REALLY MATTERS.
19. He is not scared to speak his mind.
20. He is independent and dependant..when they are needed and where they are needed..if that makes sense!
21. He doesn't scare easily {hence the standing up to my father for so many years and finally marrying me}
22. He doesn't get pushed around {even by me}
23. He is his own person {ALWAYS!}
24. He loves to dance! {and music!}
25. He doesn't mind holding my purse or now diaper bag! {He is still manly while he does it.}
26. He encourages me to move forward!
27. He has helped build my dreams!{ all of them.... and is now helping me accomplish them, hence the supportive part}
28. He helps me care, provide and discipline our children. {all are very important, I think as parents we should be on the same page about it all.}
29. He is a very hardworking person.
30. He does the dishes when I really don't want to.
31. He hugs me and holds me when I am sad.
32. No matter what, he keeps our mutual family and individual goals in mind at all times before making ANY big decision...as do I!

I love HIM! {Always and Forever...after....}

Happy Birthday to my HubChub!!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

{Thankful Thursdays} LINK UP!

This week I am most Thankful for:











Paths Crossing {I have been faced with many new decisions this month and this week. So, it puts me at ease to know that other Momma friends/Bloggers are experiencing the same...challenges in decision making.... Thank You Ladies....your support, listening ears and advice make a world of a difference for this Momma!} 

Mother-in-Law { She watches my kids...for...FREE. 'Nuff said right? No. But wait! She watches them when I have late night meetings, she feeds them, she makes them laugh ::in.tears.now::, she protects them, she gets after them,she feeds them..and ME some nights, she bathes them, she plays with them, she changes them, she teaches them, she speaks SPANISH to them,she dances with them,she holds them, she give them quiet time, and guess what... she absolutely LOVES them!! I admit. Like anything else. Leaving my kids with anyone is difficult. And, my Momma heart filled with doubts as to if my Mother-in-Law could do this for me...she has a busy...BUSY household...but she does it so well...and I am SO BLESSED!}

Little Good-Bye's {Again, leaving my kids has been a Momma challenge that for months at a time has made me walk away in tears and doubt. But this week my son walks in my Mother-in-Laws house... sits on the couch, stands by the door or is held in Grandpa's arms and calmly says... "Buh-Bye" with a smile. My Momma heart sighs with relief and I walk away..still in tears but happy and at ease... Thank You Jesus for this answered prayer.}

Support {From my Husband, above all. From my Mom and my Sister. From my Cousins-in-law, my Hubby's younger cousins who are mine as well. From my Momma friends/Bloggers. From my friends as a whole. From my co-workers. From those in and out of my life....it's amazing. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART! I MORE THAN TRULY APPRECIATE YOU ALL. I LOVE YOU.} 

What are you most Thankful for this week??

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Drought.

~Praise and Worship Wednesday~

You know how sometimes your soul seeks and all it hears is silence....

Well, I feel like this Summer has been that way for me.... for almost 3 months I have been searching....

And, then the other day as I drove to work it hit me...the drought....

Texas...Houston... dry...no rain....the earth seeking the rain... and when it comes...it will "revive"..the land will rejoice..in the rain...

That's how I feel..when the "flood gates of Heaven open"...and He comes at me...like the RAIN...I will feel revival...and rejoice!

Because yes.. "My Soul Longs for You".....

::deep breath::

I am reminded that this is NOT where God wants me forever but this is where He has me NOW..so I will embrace it...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mommy Love {Guest Blogger} ~ Tambien en Español


I am seeking anyone interested in being a "GUEST Blogger" on my Blog; Spanish or English is welcome! {You don't have to have your own Blog, you simply have to want to share your story with us!}

I want to feature a "Momma Story" from September 1st to September 16th; Since that is Santi's Birthday and it's when I became a FIRST time Momma!

In return I will feature you and your BLOG/Business/ OR SELF for FREE!!!!

Your POST should include the following:

Your name and who you are, what you do and what you love:
A picture of you and your kids {If your post is NOT anonymous}:
Your Blog/Business/or Self {OR ALL of the mentioned}:
Number of kids you have:
Their names {ONLY IF YOU WANT or you can use Nicknames}:
And then your story:
How old you were when you first became a Momma?
Was {were they} it expected?
Did your pregnancy {ies} go well?
Was your pregnancy {ies} what you expected?
Did your delivery {ies} go well?
Was your delivery {ies} what you expected?

Finally....MOTHERHOOD....

How was your first year?
Was it all that you expected?

{Format: You can either; answer each question and send it back to me or write your story as if you are posting on your Blog and I will review and then let you know if your entry was accepted! Don't forget to include your Blog links/FB Links/Twitter Links/ Or Business information that you wish to share!!!}

I will need 16 MOMMA'S willing to share all with my readers. Your post can also be anonymous if you'd like. So, no pressure there. Please feel free to share this information with other Momma's you think might be interested.

If I get more than 16 Guest Bloggers I will let you know if your entry was accepted!

ALL ENTRIES MUST BE SUBMITTED BY TUESDAY AUGUST 30TH!!!

Thank you for all your continuous support!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

{En Español, En Español}
Quería saber si alguien estaba interesada en ser una "Blogger invitado" en mi Blog; en Español o Inglés seran bienvenidas! {No tiene que tener su propio Blog, simplemente hay que desear compartir su historia con nosotros!}

Quiero contar una "historia de Momma" desde el 1 de septiembre al 16 de septiembre; Ya que es el cumpleaños de Santi y es cuando me convertí en un Momma por primer vez!

A cambio de su participacion les dare un lugar a usted y su BLOG/negocio/ o simplemente de usted gratis en mi Blog por un dia!

Su historia debe incluir lo siguiente:

Su nombre {Lo que le gusta, y quien es usted}:
Una imagen de usted y sus hijos {si no es anónimo su historia}:
Tu Blog/negocio/o simplemente usted{O todo lo dicho}:
Número de niños que tiene:
Sus nombres {sólo si desea o puede utilizar apodos}:
Y, su historia:
¿Cuántos años tenia cuando se convirtió en una Mama?
¿Se lo esperaba?
¿Le fue bien durante su embarazo?
¿Fue su embarazo, lo que espera?
¿Su parto salio bien?
¿Fue su parto lo que espera?

Finalmente....SER MAMA....
¿Cómo fue su primer año?
¿Fue todo lo que esperaba?

{Formato: Igual y puede responder a cada pregunta y envíelarmelo o escribir su historia como si lo va publicandar en su Blog y yo lo revisare y le dejare saber si fue aceptada la entrada! No olvides incluir tu Blog /FB / Twitter / o información de su negocio que desee compartir!!!!!!}

Voy a necesitar 16 MAMAs dispuestas a compartir con mis lectores. También puede ser anónimo si desea que su entrada. Por lo que no hay presión. No dude en compartir esta información con otras Momma que crea que podría estar interesada.

Si consigo más de 16 Bloggers invitadas les dejare saber si fue aceptada la entrada!

TODAS LAS ENTRADAS DEBEN PRESENTARSE EL MARTES 30 DE AGOSTO DE!!!!!!

Gracias por su apoyo continuo!!!!!!

{Summer TO-DO's}

Summer 2011 has been pretty "un-eventful"....I am NOT pregnant for the first Summer in 2 years, HA. I know. Crazy. And, other than us having two very busy children, Ricardo has been in school all Summer and well money has been tight. I am not complaining. Going to the corner store is a challenge these days, and once I get home, I want to stay home!  Can you blame me?





Our Summer has been filled with reading books, working on Santi's speech, watching movies, lots of fun Birthday parties, and lots of visits to "Gran-mA's" house. It's been fun.

Our favorite movie this Summer has been Tangled {It was Shrek last Summer}, I know every line and Santi sings every song! It's lots of fun.... I love it. It's a girly one for sure, but has lots of humor/action for the boys! Santi loves it when "Flynn Rider" gets hit in the face with a frying pan.... {My Husband thinks it's far too unrealistic and reminds me every time that he would have died in real life...ahiii.}



Just last week we got what I am now calling our favorite book of the Summer {Love You Forever}, if you haven't read it... DON'T...unless you want to cry your eyes out! Ha. I never knew children's books would take the place of my 100 {plus} page how to on life books...sitting in my living room balling my eyes out as my almost 2 year old tries to console me...PRICELESS. I kid you not. It's the sweetest most amazing Mommy book EVER. EVER. You must read it if you haven't!



This Summer has also been filled with lots of walks to and thru the park; as well as lots of nights in the swimming pool! Texas is hot and we haven't had rain in like a ga-zillion days! No joke. 

In all our Summer was great but we SO ready for the snow! If we had annual snow in Houston that is....

What was your Summer filled with???


Monday, August 22, 2011

{Money Matters Monday}

This is a follow up to my "Finances and Such" post from last week...

Here are some tips and things that we  have "downsized" on. Over time, you don't realize they are gone but it makes a difference.

PLEASE KNOW THAT WE ARE IN NO WAY BITTER ABOUT OUR CUT BACKS AND THIS IS NOT A COMPLAINT POST...We realize that right now...we are in a time of downsizing, for the good of our little family. Plus we realize that it's a little more "do-able" since the kids are little and will not remember that we didn't have extras as they grew up.

Let's begin.... 

We no longer have:

  1. Cable {Only Internet for Ric's school}
  2. A home telephone {Does anyone?}
  3. Someone who cleans our house {Shame on me..I know...}
  4. A Yard guy {We limit the amount of times the yard guys come}
  5. A Car note {and we don't plan on having one until next year when Ric' God willing finishes school!}
Things we no longer do:

  1. Go to the movies {we Red Box baby!}
  2. Go out to eat {Rarely}
  3. Have people over constantly {We used to host pretty large crowds at our house but we don't anymore}
  4. Have long vacations {We do shorts trips here and there, when we can, only}
  5. Go out with friends {Not that we don't love you guys, just that we can't afford it right now..that's all}
  6. Go shopping {We don't buy clothes or shoes often or on a whim anymore...}
We only shop:

  1. For needs not wants {house and kids; food and school}
  2. If it's on sale {we stock up!}
  3. With coupons {We are DEFINITELY Coupons clippers, and I will be that person holding up the lane, so move on please...}
  4. With lists and meal plans in minds {My Husband is the King of list making....more than me!}
We just don't:

  1. We don't have Internet on our phones or expensive data plans. {My only splurge is $10.00 a month for unlimited texting...}
  2. We don't have fancy phones or gadgets {We did spend on an electric can opener...::shrugs shoulders:: HA.}
  3. I don't go to the hair salon and have not gone in years...except for a trim, I don't get my nails done {rarely I get a pedicure}, I don't get my eyebrows done {I do my own}, and I don't shop for clothes or shoes unless it's for work.
Don't get me wrong, we are NOT totally deprived of these extras and there are times when we do try to gets things that we want, and as much as we try not to eat out for dinner, we do spend on lunch. We definitely try our best to live within our means and according to our budget. Also, we are so very Blessed to have amazing Mom's who can help us. Ricardo's Mom watches our kids...FOR FREE. Nuff said! My Mom serves as my car pool, she lives close to my job so I drive to her house park there and she brings me into downtown, that saves me about $6 to $12 a day on parking.

{PLEASE NOTE: Ricardo and I are NOT financial experts and what we do may NOT work for everyone. I am simply sharing our system in hopes that what we do does help someone out there.}

Next week.... Coupon Clippers!





Friday, August 19, 2011

What's in a ring?

5 years of Marriage....

{Marriage is work. We work on it together...as a Team "Team Gomez" everyday and Love it. We love one another, we respect one another, we communicate with one another. No one is above the other and our children come first. Family consist of 4 people; Daddy, Momma, Lil' Daddy and Lil'Momma we all rely on God. He is who keeps us going and shining!}

12 years of History.....

{If you would have told me 12 years ago that I would have married Ricardo G., that we would have TWO amazing Blessings; and those to come, I would have said....PU-LEEZE! Today, I say....Thank God. I am Blessed. }

2 Amazingly Beautiful children...

{Our children are the best and most amazing accomplishments and gifts that God and this life could have ever given us. Nothing else matters. Ever. (Except God) }

and ONE Hard working Hubby!

{He really is...I love him, admire him and support him in everything that he will ever want to accomplish for the better of our little family of FOUR.} 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

{Wedding} ♥

Not mine.

Ha.

In my {Thankful Thursday} LINK UP! I mentioned a wedding...

~Brissa and Juan David~

Here are some pictures from that wedding...  I didn't get many..I blame my lack of photography skills and poor equipment... excuses, I know! The food was YUMMA beyond YUMMA! Ha. Very traditional Mexican food! Gorditas de chicharron y picadillo, arroz, frijoles y una agua de Limon! Me encanto. No le tome fotos a la comida! Bad Connie. But trust me, estuvo todo muy delicioso y muy, pero muy bonito!

My favorite moment was when Brissa danced with her father...and he sang in her ear they swayed back and forth...all I could think was one day, God willing, Ricardo will be holding Cami that way..I hope he doesn't sing {Ha.}but if he does...It will be from pure Love and from his big ol'Daddy/Man heart! It was an amazing night.

We almost didn't make it out to Wimberly, Texas to Red Corral Ranch; as we attempted to get on  I-10 in Houston...OUR CAR BROKE DOWN. {As my friend Casey would say..DRA-MA!} Thankfully we have amazing friends and family always willing to help out!

Ricardo and I drove the 3 hours; talking, dreaming, praying that one day, and enjoying the dry but beautiful view! We fell in love every step of the way to Hill Country. We sang and remembered.

Congratulations Brissa and Juan David. Les deseamos mucha felicidad y muchas Bendiciones en su matrimonio....

{Thankful Thursdays} LINK UP!

This week I am most Thankful for:








Weddings {What better way to start off our Anniversary  week, than to have attended a traditional Mexican wedding on Sunday evening. It was Beautiful. It was a great little adventure and get-away night for Momma and Daddy to Wimberly, Texas. I think we will move there one day...no joke. It's amazing!}

A Perfect fit {So, I have said it before. Times are tough. And, I am low maintenance. Therefore. I don't ask for much and try not to want more than I can have. So, when it comes to borrowing clothes and SHOES these days. I have no shame. I simply ask. Thankfully; Ricardo's Sister is about  my size in clothing and his little cousin is about my size in SHOES. Which she let me borrow for that wedding on Sunday! Thank you ladies...you always make me feel like Cinderella...by the way Miss. E..I lost a slipper at the ball..and uhm you may not get either one back! HA!!}

Toothless Grins { I had almost, ALMOST, forgotten what a toothless grin looked like and how much it fills your heart....overflows your joy and brightens your days....My little Mama helped remind me of that this week as she flashed that toothless grin at me all week... ALL WEEK. I love her. I am Blessed.}

Night Owls {Ever since my little Man was a baby, he's been a night owl. These days..when I can't sleep..he is my faithful companion. We walk around the house and seek out new adventures. Laugh and create new memories. I love him. So, MUCH.} 


Days off {It gives me time to re-group, re-think and re-energize...and time to pretend that I am a Stay-at-Home Momma.}


 


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

When I feel Blah....

{Praise & Worship Wednesday}

Just the other day, I was having a conversation with a dear friend. About approval. How I obsess and how it makes me nervous. How I worry and how it infects me. It makes me over think...me. It makes me over analyze, relationships. It makes me BLAH. Beyond my belief. Beyond my control. It makes me spin...out of control!

It's the enemy. I know.

That same day I am blogging, fb-ing, pintrest-ing, and so on and the enemy fills my heart with lies....so I wait. And....

I pray...

Dear Lord, heal this heart, and rid it of unnecessary jealousy. Surely it's not what you want from me or for me. And, we are all loved by you the same...

Then I noticed a new fan on my Blog... and as part of her profile....a scripture....

As I am a seeker....I search....and.....then....I find. 

And, immediately. 

Peace. 

This week. I will tattoo this verse into my soul and never forget the task at hand...

TRUTH. 

not...

ever.....

popularity...

Always TRUTH.

Luke 6:26 The Message (MSG)
 26"There's trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests—look how many scoundrel preachers were approved by your ancestors! Your task is to be true, not popular.

 My answer: "Your task is to be true, not popular."

"Your task is to be true, not popular."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Finances and such. {Money Matters}

Finances. The word makes me blah...all.over.this.page.

No really it does. Luckily I married a man who LOVES the word, not like he will marry it or anything but more so like he tolerates it and knows he has to live with it, so he embraces it.

Therefore, what I have learned about finances. I have learned from him. It's true that habits, especially bad ones are inherited. {In a way.} We grow up with our parents and we see what they do, how they live and where they spend. We are taught by behaviors that certain things are "OK", but I think it's up to us to break those cycles and habits by learning better and improved ones.

My spending. For example. I was taught that if you have the money you should spend it...in so many words. My parents grew up; "without", so when they became working adults with children, they decided that they would live "with". Not always a good thing. I believe we can't give our kids EVERYTHING we didn't have. I learned that with TIME. Lots of time. And through my Husband.

Ricardo is a budget watcher and savings creator. He doesn't like animosity when it comes to money and he doesn't like to think he has more than he actually has.

When we got married. I was the opposite. Never, EVER, knowing what was in my bank account and not knowing what tomorrow, may or may NOT bring! I know. I sound like a monster...or do I?

Truth is. That's how I grew up, so there are more than ONE of me out there.

How am I attempting to break that cycle? By going to the school of life...and finances given by Ricardo G. my Hubby. {Ladies, he cooks too!}

So, here is what we do:

Hubby:
  •  Is a note maker. He makes all kind of written and mental notes about our spending. Never missing a beat. 
  • He has BILL time. He makes time at least ONCE a week to sit down and go over bills. {When they are due and how much is due.}
  • He has an organized system of balancing his check book. {He prints his current bank statement and verifies that all his current spending, he saves all receipts, is being cleared. He does this at LEAST once a week.}
  • Once he has verified EXACTLY how much money he has in the bank and when the specific amounts are due on bills, he starts writing checks. Once those checks are mailed {or amounts are paid online}, he subtracts that money from his account and ONLY spends based on the amount left. So, if his bills are $250.00 and he has $500.00 in the bank until all the bills are cleared he assumes that he ONLY has $250.00 in the bank and works from that. NEVER over spending.

Me:

  • I am the supporter. I make sure all the bills get to Ricardo in time. That means. I am the mail keeper. I only keep bills and important mail. Throw everything else away. Immediately. So, I sort mail everyday. 
  • I also keep my receipts and balance my checkbook weekly. I do everything online so I don't really print much. 
  • I assure that I have extra money by not over spending or spending on things I don't need. {I try not to spend cause I want. And make sure I keep tabs on what I do spend on.}
  • When Ricardo sits to do bills, I stay close by with my check book and exact amount of money in my bank account to help with the check writing. {We do this together every week if possible, if not at least every other week. TOGETHER.} 
One thing I have learned is my partnership with my Hubby. We live together, so we spend together. It's the only way. Of course he knows that I deserve some me time which usually consists of spending, when I have extra money, at Hobby Lobby or getting my pedicure and eye brows done. I am pretty low maintenance.

In all we watch what we spend and try not to over self~indulge.....and we know after almost 5 years of marriage that COMMUNICATION is key!!!! 

Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)

5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
   “Never will I leave you;
   never will I forsake you.”


{PLEASE NOTE: Ricardo and I are NOT financial experts and what we do may NOT work for everyone. I am simply sharing our system in hopes that what we do does help someone out there.}  


**Next week...we talk about downsizing.

Monday, August 15, 2011

But, How do you know?

You know when you're little and your head fills with ideas, goals and fantasies about what you want to be when you grow up? I thought I knew. Some people just know. 

When it came to Motherhood; I knew I wanted to one day be a Mom but I never saw it as a "career" choice for me. It was always something extra...a perk if you will.

And, I started my life journey at 18...college, jobs{sssss}, love, community, involvement, growth, faith, marriage, friends, hobbies....

But, it's not until I start that quiet journey in my house during nap time...of picking up the sea of toys that seems to never end, the mysteries under the couch, the stuffed animals {friends of Santi} in the big blue tent sitting in the middle of my living room, arranging the books on the shelves, putting tiny socks in the washer, and cleaning up Cheerios and spilled milk off the floor that I think....

When I grow up..I want to be a Momma.

And poof! 

I am. To, TWO beautiful children. {Blessed, I know}

But, I never thought I would be. I never thought THIS would be me. I never thought I could enjoying being a Momma the way I do. My now, one and ONLY career of choice! Because, I may not be a Stay-at-Home Momma but I am a full-time Momma and I am so happy that this journey {God & life} has given me such an amazing career!

How about you...did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up? Did you ever imagine to be where you are now?

I sure didn't....

BUT, I AM IN LOVE WITH IT. 

 More and More... every.single.day! 

Great Monday All. 



Saturday, August 13, 2011

{Had to Share}

Times are tough...People are scared...but no worries..God is always there for you. 


From my Saturday Devotional today: 

{Purpose Driven Life} "A good example for us is in 2 Corinthians 8. Paul says this about the churches in Macedonia: “Though they have been going through much trouble and hard times, they have mixed their wonderful joy with their deep poverty, and the result has been an overflow of giving to others” (2 Corinthians 8:2 LB). Joy and generosity always go together."~ Rick Warren


Friday, August 12, 2011

Slim and Fit. NO NOT ME!

Like it's the plague..I run from it.

I stand in front of the mirror every morning these days and see.....

a thinning hair line, flabby belly, giggly arms, an eeek complexion, and dark circles under my eyes and think... ok...lets get started....{I don't scare easy. I know what I look like. I have no shame.}

I tuck and fluff, and hide and conceal {well not really, I don't wear makeup!} and brush and move on....

And when it's all said and done..I head to work.

And low and behold... someone who doesn't  need to fluff and tuck...cause she naturally has thick straight hair, and her jeans look amazing on her and her arms don't have the giggle that mine have. {HA.}

I smile.

And think...I'M NOT 21 ANY MORE!!! {Ha.} Wow. What a difference 10 years makes....

And I think... God made me and He loves me. So, I love myself. My Husband loves me. My children love me.

That doesn't mean I don't plan on working on it. Because I do. One day. Soon. When uhm....I will. I will. In the end, I want to be fit to run around and chase Santi and I want to be healthy to one day see my daughter grow into a beautiful young lady. Because, I do care about myself. I just don't worry too much about what I "look" like. Does that make sense?

I have always, ALWAYS, struggled with my weight. I know that it's a lifestyle change and that you have to yes..you guessed it...WORK AT IT! Work at it. WORK AT IT. BUT, I am not going to obsess. God knows what and when, and how and where. I will simply attempt to live a healthy and active life as a Momma of Dos and Wife to One. That's all I can do. Is try...

Right?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

{Thankful Thursdays} LINK UP!

This week I am most Thankful for:


Garage SALES {This week my Aunt came over, a chronic garage sale hostess, and she almost cleared out ALL of the things I didn't want in my cluttered garage..it was great!}

A Listening Ear {This week, I have had so much, SO MUCH on my mind and God has given me so MANY wonderful listening ears, who don't mind it...because in return, I listen to them..it's a win win situation. Really it is.}

Decisions {They are good. They are difficult. They are life changing. I don't like them, but secretly I crave them. They remind me that Thankfully, I have options. Options are not always a bad thing... I think.}


{And every week, every day, every minute, every second; I am Thankful for my Hubby, my Children, my Parents, my Siblings, extended Family {mine and my Husbands}, Friends and people who inspire motion!} 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Role Models.

{Praise & Worship Wednesday}

As a child I looked up to many, many women in my life, as an adult, it's the same. I don't think I ever expected anyone to look up to me.

That's changed now. I have children. I have a daughter. I want her to love me and admire me for who I am. For whom God has made me to be. BUT, I always remind others, that I am in the end...HUMAN. I do make mistakes. I do talk too much and I do put my foot in my mouth!

I was so convicted last night when my Husband pointed out a fault in my tongue last week. My questions are....How? How do you apologize after you've stepped out of your comfort zone, only to put your foot in your mouth? How do you speak your mind without judging? How do you let it all go? I am not only reminded of scripture and call for grace and redemption... but I am also reminded of that song...from John Mayer...."My Stupid Mouth"...and I feel horrible.

So, I pray.


James 3: 5-10
Taming the Tongue
5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by human beings, 8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.

Ephesians 4:29-30

Instructions for Christian Living
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.


And, I change...

 


 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

AS A MOTHER....

All we can do...

...is try!

Yes. It's true.

That's how it is in Marriage. You TRY and work at it.

That's how it is at a job. You TRY and work at it.

That's how it is in life. You TRY and  work at it.

So, when it comes to how I see parenting and the future {and current} upbringing of my children...YOU TRY AND WORK AT IT.

I haven't been a parent long, but I have parents. And, like many of us, they are human. They've made mistakes. And, as chronic observers, Ricardo and I note things and situations that we know we don't want to repeat in our children's upbringing and you know what...we TRY and work at it. Everyday. Together.

From what I have lived the last TWO years, I know it's difficult. To be all that God wants me to be. I fall back on Proverbs 31 and think...REALLY? And then think; well she did it, why can't I! And, so I try. Everyday. As I do with my Marriage. Never giving up. Always looking UP towards God for daily guidance and never slowing down! I figure to keep one step ahead of my kids I have to be floating on air!

I see other Momma's and think "wow.", "WOW!", "really?", "hmmmm" , "maybe I can try this instead?", and then think about it all and take it all in. At the end of the day, ONLY God knows the challenges, the accomplishments, the sacrifices, the journey that He has chosen for me as a Mother.

Only with Him, thru Him and for Him...can I prosper as a Mother.

There are so many things that as a young "Traditional Mexican Mother" born and raised in the U.S., I would like to instill in my children. For one, our Faith. Prayer. Alone time with God. Knowing that you don't ever have to be a people follower if you are a Jesus follower . That as a Momma, I will always be here for them but that they also need to learn to stand on their own TWO feet for when I can't physically be there. I want to teach them SPANISH. It's so important to me for them to know their roots, Mexico is such a beautiful place, amidst the current turmoil, it is rich in scenery and culture. I want my daughter to have a traditional Quinceñera. That, I think has been lost in recent years. I want my son to be a gentleman; independent, caring, loving, strong, courteous, hardworking, and dedicated. I want my daughter to know that she doesn't need a man in her life to make her feel loved, accepted and supported. But, only God can help me and ONLY He knows how much of this will reach their little growing hearts. {It tugs at mine everyday....}

I pray. That it will. 

All, I can do is try

I know it's an everyday struggle to be a Mother. But, you know what I am here, I have been called to this place and I have accepted my mission....and trust me, I will not just TRY. I will give it 110% to get things done.   

I also have an amazing group of Momma friends as support, to go to for further advice and counseling.

I will try and only God can pick me back up if I fail...



Monday, August 8, 2011

Mexican Baby's Diet {No, en serio...}

This weekend I got an idea for a post as I fed my Lil'Momma...

I wrote something about it HERE. But, not sure if I have ever expanded on it.

So, we know that I am Mexican. Mi familia es Mexicana. Mis hijos son..pues MEXICANOS! {HA.}

No fighting it...

Here is proof:


Therefore...it's true that you ARE what you EAT.

We are Mexican..so we eat Mexican..not people..the food! {Hehe...a little Mexican humor!}

Ever since my son started eating "solids"..more like "mushies"... he has been eating Mexican food or homemade food. {Pozole, Caldo de Res, Arroz con Frijoles negros, Bolillos, Tortillas con sal, Crema y queso fresco, Sopes, Elote en vaso, Barbacoa, Sopa de fideo con platano, Carne Asada, etc etc..yes most is not that good for you but homemade it's a little better than store bought.} We have made it a point not to make our children into fast food or processed food kids....in a PERFECT world that would have completely happened...don't get me wrong.... My kids do eat healthy homemade meals but EVERY once in a while..Momma is tired and Daddy gets home late, so those nights we allow not only ourselves but our kids as well to eat processed foods...more so than fast food.

We have planned meals most weeks and on days when things don't go as planned we make things like:

Frozen Pizza{Usually DiGiorno..it's pretty good} , Mac'n'Cheese {Classic favorite, sometimes I use the box and others, I make my own..just pasta shells and Velveeta cheese, super easy} and Instant soups {Spicy ones for us and non-spicy for the kids}....

These are actually pretty good {They have several flavors and there are other brands} :






One of the most used processed food in our home is BEANS. {Duh.} This brand is actually pretty good:


 
As for fresh fruits and veggies....

We eat them all!

Some of my son's favs are:

Watermelon, Bananas, Blueberries, Cherries, Apples, Peaches, Pears, Pineapples, Melon, Platano Macho and Grapes.

He will eat just about any Vegetable; Carrots, Chayote, Sweet Potato, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Broccoli, Cauliflower, you name he loves it. Raw or cooked! With Italian dress or without! He also loves Lemons and Limes!

When he was little I simply boiled or baked {baked it better!} and then mashed them up and gave them to him...NO SALT. NO EXTRA CONDIMENTS. Just the veggie or fruit.

I didn't take any pictures of the food. But, I love making them all for Santi and now for Cami!

Also, Santiago also loves CHEESE and Yogurt! LOTS! It's another thing we got him used to since he was a baby...but he loves Doritos and Kool-Aid the same....so who know what he will be like in the future; I do know that he will NOT eat chicken nuggets or hamburgers from any fast food restaurant and he will NOT eat any type of canned pasta! He definitely knows the difference and that was what we wanted to get at when we started him on "mushies".

He also loves fries but we limit them from fast food places and bake our own instead. He has only been inside of a  McDonald's once and once to Chuck-e-Cheese. We don't want to totally deprive him of the world but we want him to know that he has options and that home cooking for the most part is cheaper and better for you.

We also limit sodas, sweets and too much bread or tortillas. We cook most meals with Extra Virgin Olive Oil {Or as Rachel R. like to call it..the good'ole EVOO} and we try not to fry to much, our oven is used often and we cook as a family! {Clean up is all Momma's! HA.} 

On top of that both of my kids are super active...Santi could spends days at the park and never get tired!


And, we drink lots of water and don't go a single day without it...


And trust me, we do eat junk food but try REALLY hard not to! We try to be as healthy and active as our busy Momma and Daddy lives allow us to.....


Is your baby a Mexican baby?

{Again, I receive NO compensation what so ever for any type of product advertisement.}

Friday, August 5, 2011

Finding Friday {&Suggestion Saturday}

YAY!

One more NEW Feature to cross off my Momma Goals for this Blog!!


Here are some of my "cool finds" for the week:

I held on to a lot of my lil'daddy's{for newcomers that's what we call my son} clothes and just items from when he was baby just in case I have another boy and for sentimental value. Well the clothes and shoes I think look super cute on my lil'momma {for newcomers that's what we call my daughter}and well here is a picture of an old find that I think looks super cute on her!!!

They are chanclas from Cuernavaca, Mexico that my Grandmother brought back for my son when I was still pregnant.



Also in this picture is my new find for the week. This little thingamajig is quite handy when leaving the house. It's a powdered milk dispenser. I found it at my FAV store TARGET for about 4 bucks. It's worth it!

Also, while I was out at the local CVS, I found a really good deal on a round brush. I have the worse curly hair ever and I NEED a round brush in my everyday life. The one I had was OLD and the other day I had to save it from the mercy of my almost 2 year old, as he chunked it into the toilet. Don't worry I am so cool I caught it in the air! ::HUGE SIGH OF RELIEF::  Oh yeah and the brush was only $1.24! It was on sale for $4.24 and I got $3 back in a coupon! Pretty cool, huh?!



Did you find something cool this, week??

.....if so FEEL FREE TO SHARE!

{BTW, I don't get ANY type of compensation for doing reviews or promoting stores and sales...It's just for fun!}



{T.GOD.I.F} ♥

No really, THANK GOD.

Turning 30 has really, I mean REALLY messed with my emotions {hormones} !!

“Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes.” (Ephesians 4:23 NLT)

I mean. I cry. I dwell. I wallow. I blah, all over my Besties! Seriously. Seriously, Momma? Get a grip! Life is NOT that serious. It's. not. that. serious. it's not.

“You must put on your new nature because you are a new person, created in God's likeness—righteous, holy, and true.” (Ephesians 4:24)

The last few weeks I've had this line from the movie Tangled in my head {Not cause we've seen it about a billion times in the last 4 months but yeah...}: "You know, I can't help but notice you seem a little at war with yourself here.." It's that scene when she leaves the tower to venture out, to see her "life begin"...I guess that's where I am at right now.

 “For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him” (Philippians 2:13 NLT).
As a new Momma of Dos and Wife to a super busy Student and Intern...it just seems like "my" life has not yet begun...I know I am a super BUSY "OTHCWMWB" but some days..I still want more.

Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of. Play it safe and end up holding the bag. Luke 19:26 (MSG)

Eeek. I know. MORE. I hate the rut of want...but I think it's more the desire to serve!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Psalm 3:5-6 NIV)
I know God is working. His work is fruitful. I trust in Him. LOTS!

Psalm 42:11 “Oh, my soul, don't be discouraged. Don't be upset. Expect God to act!” (TLB).


BTW. I don't think a Blog post can ever be too scripture heavy....

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." New International Version (NIV)





Thursday, August 4, 2011

{Thankful Thursdays} LINK UP!

I am up late. My son couldn't go to sleep. He finally does and I can't go to sleep! Go figure. 


Anyway. Really excited. It's been a crazy couple of weeks {or Month really}. And this week...God seems to be in my ears, on my mind and flipping my heart inside out! I know. I love it.

So, here we go....



This week I am most Thankful for:

Growth { In talking to an old college friend...whoa, makes me sound old, any who....in talking to an old college friend..I realized...that..I am NOT who I was....not even 3 years ago...I was crazy "young" not in age but in maturity. I know they say that with age comes wisdom but I never new it would be THIS true! Amazing what a few years does.  I feel strong and faith-filled. God has definitely brought me a long way. I can only grow more and learn more.}


Priorities { I was driving home last night and realized that I no longer drool over pretty little cars but instead am in dyer need of a nice roomy mini-van! I know. What 30 year old asks for a mini-van!? Ha. I do. I do. I am just glad that God has refocused my life and that I am no longer about things and situations but rather about a deeper meaning of family and faith as well as experiences and facing trials.}

Challenges { I've know for years now that God will not give you more than you can handle only that which will make you stronger and it's amazing how much He thinks I can take on! In the upcoming weeks my Husband will start what we pray will be his last semester in school, I will attempt to go to church more often, craft, and yes..the horror...workout more. ::insert screeching knife sound here:: Our schedule will be tight. My Husband also expressed that he may quit his internship to focus on his last semester in school and without hesitation I said..."do it." God I know You are here. I know You are with me. You will provide and give me peace!}

I guess you can tell the kind of week I've had...heavy..next week will be better...I promise. Ha. 

What are you Thankful for today?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

BLOG LOVIN'

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

{Acceptance}

~Praise & Worship Wednesday~

July was a very, very, VERY emotional month for my family. {We lost my Tia Lola to a long time battle with Lung Disease early on in the month....it hasn't been easy....she lived in Detroit....It's been a ride..}

Personally, I have been struggling on a "professional" level. As a young girl it was emphasized that as a woman born to Mexican parents in the United States, the ONLY way I would EVER "make anything of myself" was if I received an education. The fact that you finished High School in my time was a HUGE deal. So, If I could graduate College...I'd be some type of a Hero to my family. The chosen ONE. To progress and bring riches to my family here and abroad. {No joke.}

Having a College degree was glamorized. I thought I would be one of the Sex in the City girls only a bit smarter and hopefully with some morals. {Ha. Don't get me wrong, I am total fan but you know what I mean.} I thought that after 4 years of school I would have the big house, with the fancy car and carry my suitcase in to work every morning, dressed in a different color pant suits every day of the week.

Boy. Was. I. EVER. SO. Wrong.

These days I don't care about what I wear or where I live or drive. I simply want to be happy in the place that I spend 8 hours a day in. And, I want to be assured that after 5 years of college {don't judge} receiving my degree WAS the smart thing to do! I want to be grateful and thankful that I can sit in an air conditioned office every day and love what I do for a living. Know that I matter, no matter what, feel like I make a difference in those people who I come in contact with on a day to day basis.

I've loved my work in the past; I worked at Texas Children's for 7 years and helping the Hispanic community came easy and was very fulfilling. Then I moved on to the Worksource and I had the same experience and was even taken into account by management. Then a "better" opportunity came along and things were amazing. Now, it's not the same... I must move forward and life must go on for me....

But, like many in this economy, I am suffering... and it makes me miserable to know that I am just here. Stuck. Not really making a difference in my community. The way I know I can!

But, you know what? I know who I have and what my heart is filled with!

I have Jesus in my life and joy in my heart!

This month has been difficult but as August begins God is slowly showing me His light and His presence once more in my 30 years....slowly but surely. I keep the Faith.

Just this weekend. Saturday actually as I busily helped my Husband complete his presentation on the DREAM Act {Which by the way went excellent!}..God spoke to me...In my most favorite way...Music.

My absolute favorite station here in Houston is KSBJ. I love it. Love it. Love it.

Here is WHAT God said to me:

"Oh, don't hang your head
It's gonna end
God's {I am} right there
Even if it's hard to see Him {me}
I promise you that He {I} still cares
When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little bit longer
He {I} knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger
The pain ain't gonna last forever
And things can only get better"~[Mandisa]
Be strong in the Lord and,
Never give up hope,
You're going to do great things,
I already know,
God's {I have} got His {my} hand on you so,
Don't live life in fear,
Forgive and forget,
But don't forget why you're here,
Take your time and pray,"~[Sidewalk Prophets]
And while I may not know you I bet I know you
Wonder sometimes does it matter at all
Well let me remind you it all matters just as long as you
Do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you
Cause {I}He made you!
... do every little thing that you do to bring a smile to {My}His face
And tell the story of grace with every move that you make
And every little thing you do.."~[Steven Curtis Chapman]
"wherever you are--breathe out and breathe in again

And know that life is hard but it's worth the breathing
Oh, listen to me now for love, oh, love is waiting for You just to say
Here come better days
And here come better days
Better days and a better place I know
...wait, oh wait, For grace has found me and shaken up my soul
And grace will follow wherever you will go
Listen to me now for grace, oh grace is calling just for You to say
Green grass and I am laying in the sunlight of You
And the wind is moving through the trees ushering You
And the better days You bring--and better places found"~[Robbie Seay Band]

I loved it. And felt so Blessed.
 
I know it's difficult right now and I don't see the light....but God is with me..I have grace and peace and YES..better days will come...and they will stay with me forever..in Victory!
 
Blessed day readers.
 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

{Marriage} ♥

I figure June was about Me {and turning the B-I-G 30!}. August will be about my Husband. {Not only is our 5 year Anniversary this month, but so is his 32nd Birthday! {Yes, I know he is OLD! HA. I joke.}

I know that no relationship is perfect....

But, what makes a relationship work?

Not only are relationships not perfect but neither are people ::insert horribly fake surprised face here:: {HA.}

I know this...trust me..I know. 

What I have learned in my  FIVE years of Marriage {and 12 years on this journey with my Husband}is this:

Communication is Key, but Silence is truly is Golden {How do they say...know when to pick your fights...oh.boy. is this true.}

You must be sincere. No room for being selfish. Life is no longer about you. {It's about TWO!}

It's about TWO {becoming ONE}. IT'S ABOUT TWO. {In Marriage NO MATTER what; you leave everyone EVERYONE else behind and become TWO. NO ifs, ands or buts about it. No joke.}

Truth. It ALWAYS comes out. If you lie. You are only, ONLY lying to yourself. There should be NO hiding. 

When it comes time to face a problem. You face it. There is no where to run...{other than to God}

You have to be consistent. In what you DO {actions speak louder than words}, in what you say, and in what you expect.

You can't change HIM. He can't change YOU. You are who are. You are with one another. You've accepted that. 

You must be persistent. In your Love and in your FAITH.

With Truth comes Transparency. You have to humble yourself and be trustworthy....

Respectful. Above all. In this day and age Social Networks consume our everyday.... You show respect to yourself and to your spouse at ALL times, no matter what.... or it could come back to haunt you.

Use kind words. Once more. Respectful towards one another. Especially in front of others...

You work TOGETHER towards a common GOAL. We can't each have a separate agenda. {And, our agenda was set forth 12 YEARS AGO. From the beginning we knew that this point that we are at now is where we wanted to be...TOGETHER.}

Together-ness. In ALL that we do! We don't have different schedules. We don't have TWO different families. We have each others backs and we MOVE FORWARD TOGETHER. {Now with children we realize we have to stay strong as a unit, so that our children have a consistent and persistent upbringing. We realize that we will accomplish more UNITED rather than divided!}

Above all we are friends. We talk. We laugh. We live. We share. We dream. We plan. We worship. We praise. We pray. We sing. We fall in love. We have fun. We love on another. We support one another. We are here for one another. There is NO one, no girlfriend, no Mom, no Sister, no Dad, no friend, no co-worker, no Brother, no classmate, no acquaintance that we ever place before God or before each other. He is all I have, and I am he has...that's how we have made it work! 

We have found that GOD has really brought us here. We Love Him and follow HIM, no matter what path he leads us down...because in the end we KNOW that we are NOT ALONE. Never. Ever.

We have FAITH. We have HOPE. Above all we have LOVE.

{Trust me we are NOT perfect....ever.....}

We work at our marriage EVERYDAY. Every hour, every minute, every second.... We WORK TOGETHER at it!!! Just like anything else in life...it's a true WORK IN PROGRESS!!!!

Our want{Love}, need {FAMILY} and ability {GOD} to work at our relationship is what has kept us together for 12 years....

[ I am sure there are many OTHER lessons I have learned....it's been 12 years...there have been many...these are the ones that I can remember right, right now.... ]