What Keeps Us Going

Today is the last day of the first month of 2017! 

Wow!

Time flies, doesn't it? Christmas seems like it was forever ago. Life is back to 'normal' (whatever normal is) and that can be different from week to week, sometimes from day to day.

So here I am, sitting down at my dining room table as snowflakes are trying to cover my lawn and while doing my daily soul feeding I was reminded of what my husband has been teaching in church this whole month based on Hebrews 11:1,

"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see."

Faith is a journey. A journey that is often challenged by unwanted elements along the way. At times it will hasten us to walk through peaceful trails with amazing landscapes, the sound of a calm stream and the chirping of birds. Other times we'll be nudged to embark on journeys that will take us through rough terrains. Sometimes during this journey, the view will be crisp and clear, filled with a warm sunshine and beautiful summer blue skies while the next day we may encounter a rainstorm, perhaps a snow storm, a killer cold front, and as if that wasn't enough, a heavy fog moves in and obscures  the already limited view we had prior to its abrupt arrival. It is at these times when faith is the hardest to uphold because we feel breathless from the journey thus far and our vision is tired of trying to see beyond the disappointments. 

Faith often fights to remain constant in our lives and rise above the elements of the broken world that surrounds us. It is in the rough terrain that our faith is tested and it is also there where it can crumble but never forget that it is here also when our faith has the capacity to break through the unexpected, the harsh, the ruthless, the inconceivable. It is when we find ourselves in this very place that we must stop at the tracks and let not our sight but our faith drive us. It is at this moment, when our vision is focused on what we CAN see, that we must fight to focus on the unseen, the things of eternal significance. This is not about ignoring the reality we face or pretending it's not there for "Faith is not something that goes against the evidence, it goes beyond it." (Allister McGrath). 

So when faith seems to be at our weakest point, let's stop long enough to remember the ones that have gone before us, like those mentioned in Hebrews 11 such as Abraham, Sarah, and Noah. Those who have gone through it and whose faith remained through it all. 

"The issue of faith is not so much whether we believe in God, but whether we believe the God we believe in." - RC Sproil

Sight will often deceive you but faith will never fail you. When your sight is threatening your faith remember that the one you are placing your trust in is the God that can do the impossible. 

"It's what [and who] we trust in but don't yet see that keeps us going." (2 Corinthians 5:8)

 

 

Est. 2005

Over 15 years ago I met this cute british boy and a friendship began. Little did I know at that time that he would become my husband a few years later.

This week we celebrated our 10 year anniversary. The day began with some beautiful flowers from the hubby. He knows how much I love flowers and these were a beauty...take a look.

This year we were supposed to be heading to Italy but a little someone came into our lives almost 5 months ago and well, the plan is now to head to Italy next year. But I wouldn't change it...my little lad was a much better anniversary gift! 

So instead, these two foodies got all dressed up and went to try a new restaurant. It was the first time little lad stayed behind. I kept thinking about him all through dinner! I'm sure some mommas out there can relate! :)

It's hard to believe that 10 years have already gone by and I wouldn't change a thing. Not that it's been without its challenges but we wouldn't be at the place we are today if it wasn't for all the ups and downs along the way. I love how much we've learned about each other, how he's pushed me to be better, the things we've accomplished together, how we haven't let differences in personality or points of view become a division in our relationship. I love that I get to call him husband and that he calls me his wife. 

10 years have gone quick. We've done so much in our time together. 10 years of birthday celebrations-and some big ones, like my 40 year milestone-we've had to make critical decisions along the way, we've also embarked in new adventures. As I look back, so much has happened in the last 10 years. But here, let me give you a recap of how our little love story has played so far...

Brit boy comes to America.

Latina girl meets said boy.

They met in the midwest out of all places.

Brit and latin chica become friends.

No love sparks happen at first.

Chica thinks boy is cute but he's younger than her, so no.

Boy is not even thinking about chica at the moment.

4 1/2 years of friendship later boy and chica pull an all-nighter at IHop.

During all the chatting, chica starts thinking, "hmm...Alex is a good looking lad and hmmm...I think I kinda like him."

At the same time, lad is thinking, "hmm...I don't think I can look at this chica only as a friend anymore."

After IHop, they say their goodbyes and boy flies back home to England.

Not long after boy comes back to the USA.

Lad and chica meet for dinner at Outback.

Brit lays down his cards on the table. 

Girl is still not sure because of the age difference but they still hook up. 

Long distance relationship starts. 

16 months later boy asks girl the big question.

Girl says yes!

The planning of a wedding begin.

The big day arrives.

They said their I DOs.

They honeymoon in Mexico.

They lived together and worked together and survived to talk about it. :)

Couple moves from midwest to east coast. 

After two years in the east coast, couple begin the journey of starting a church.

Said journey is challenging, very challenging, but very rewarding.

Couple of years after that they go through another challenging time in life...

...they face infertility. 

Couple give fertility treatments a try. 

Treatments fail.

Disappointment is deep,

Disheartening.

Couple goes through the process of accepting and being okay with not becoming parents.

Out of left field, God surprises couple.

Baby is on the way.

Baby arrives.

A new journey begins.

And in between all these major things in life they've experienced in their marriage, the brit and the chica have taken time to make memories. Lots of memories.

The two have traveled.

They've been spontaneous.

They've satisfied their foodie interests. 

They've made room to laugh, to cry, to chill, to enjoy the simple things in life.

And they're still making memories.

It's been a sweet-sometimes hectic-at times challenging-kinda of a ride. 

I'm excited to see what the next 10 will bring! 


PHOTOS OF OUR BIG DAY 10 YEARS AGO



The Journey Thus Far

Well, it's been almost 4 months since our little lad made his big entrance. Wow...and what a journey it's been thus far!

A lot has happened from the moment my water broke to today! Lots of getting to know this little person that comes packed with smiles, gooings and cooings, crying and tears, colic and gas...oh the gas!!! :) Amazing how there is so much to get to know about someone so young and little. It's been fun getting to know him.

Many have asked, how's it been? Is it all that you had imagined? It's hard to explain in words all of the emotions that come tied to this experience of becoming a mommy. So to best express it, I thought I would do so in a Q&A way. So here we go!

WHAT WERE YOUR FIRST THOUGHTS WHEN YOU SAW THE BABY? I cried as soon as they placed him on me and I said, "We've been waiting over 8 1/2 yrs to meet you!"

WHAT'S BEEN THE HARDEST? At the beginning it was breastfeeding. Many told me that it was going to hurt but boy, you really can't prepare for it till it hits you. Some moms don't have any issues but I did and then one day I finally found a thing called 'nipple shield' and my world was alright again! :)

WHAT'S BEEN MOST SURPRISING ABOUT BECOMING A MOM? How instant your love for this little person is. He's a brand new little guy you just met and BAM! the love comes all over you! It's amazing. AND how much rejoicing can come about from a poopy diaper when baby hasn't pooped in days! :)

WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING PART ABOUT BEING A MOM? So many but if I have to one would be the love that this little person gives you, you can sense it even though they're not even able to formulate any words yet!

WHAT'S BEEN THE MOST CHALLENGING? Dealing with colic and teething! Okay, I said it earlier but the gas this child can store in his belly, yikes! Lord help us all! For his first 2 1/2 months of existence our poor little lad's stomach was not his best friend. Bless him...it was tough. We quickly became good friends with gas drops & gripe water and thankfully it's all good with the world now. But I guess that was replaced with teething because this little lad decided to start teething early. The drooling...UGH! Me no likey! I need to teach this child of mine he doesn't have to be such an overachiever! But this too shall pass...in how many more months??? Jesus take the wheel!

HAVE YOU DEALT WITH ANY ANXIETY? Just a couple. The first was having to take him out all by myself. For the first two weeks I had people with me so it was no biggie but the day I had to go run errands all by my little self, oh man, anxiety set in. I thought I wouldn't be able to carry that carseat and that I would drop him because it would be too heavy. I remember when I had to go grocery shopping...I thought, "how in the world will this 5ft 1inch Latina chica be able to see past the carseat while pushing the grocery cart?" (yes THE ONE inch in my height is important to mention...hush!). Anyhow, but I did it and now it's no biggie. I have a feeling Evan wishes mommy would still be anxious enough to just stay home because mommy takes him to too many Target and TJMaxx trips. :) And well, I still look short and weird while grocery shopping but I make it work and if you see me at Wegmmans and laugh at me, I'll probably join in and laugh at myself as well! The second anxiety? Cutting his nails! Yeap. And let me tell you, the first time I did it, I...ummm...caught a bit of his finger and well, I felt horrible! He cried and I did too. I still don't like cutting them nails but sometimes you gots to do what you gots to do! 

HOW WAS LABOR? Ha! That's a funny one. My water broke on a friday morning around 4am. I kept thinking I was peeing myself. This went on until it finally hit me that maybe my water had broken. When the doctor told me to go to the hospital to get checked (at 8:30am) Alex and I decided to do a few things before heading to the hospital. A few things as in hang a shelf in the baby's room, vacuum his room, put the rest of his clothes away, get my bag ready (I know...procrastinator right here!), take showers, cut the hubby's hair (yeah, you heard right, as in giving him a haircut), oh and giving myself a haircut too (cause I wasn't going to go give birth with bad hair friends!). I know, we are cray cray (yes, I said cray cray-I have a newborn, leave a momma alone!). We finally made it to the hospital by 11:30am and hadn't really had any contractions yet. We still couldn't believe this was happening even after the doctor came in and told us my water had broken. A baby coming on Easter weekend is never easy for pastors of a church. We told the little lad that he could come any time he wanted EXCEPT Easter weekend. Ha! We could tell right away that he was going to be a good listener. Once contractions kicked in I was handling them pretty okay. The only struggle came when I decided to get the epidural and the only anesthesiologist in the hospital got called into emergency surgery. Two and a half painful hours later I got the meds and let me tell you, they were heavenly! But hey, he was worth it! I mean...look at that face! :)

WAS LABOR BETTER OR WORSE THAN YOU HAD EXPECTED? Ummm...I guess just what I had expected. I knew lots of pain would be involved. Once the epidural kicked in I kept pushing the med button they gave me. Alex kept asking me, "are you in pain?". I'd replied, "No. Why?". "Because you keep pushing the button for meds." to which I replied, "I just want to make sure the drugs are really in for when it's time to push cause this chica is not going to be feeling no pain!". No wonder it took a little bit for my legs to stop feeling 'numb' after giving birth! :)

HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT, 'GOSH, I CAN'T DO THIS' AND WHY? The only time I'd thought this was when I was trying to breastfeed. I was in so much pain in more places than I could count and I felt as if I was just not going to be able to make it. I thought I was NEVER going to heal and was never going to feel myself again. I remember being in the bathroom and crying and telling Alex, "I'm not good at this thing" and Alex padding my back and telling me, "you are doing great babe!" How dramatic was I! LOL! Glad that stage of it is over! 

WHAT PART OF LIFE HAS CHANGED THE MOST SINCE HAVING THE BABY? Going out takes more effort and more memory. There's always a checklist to go through before leaving the house. Bottle-checked. Paci-checked. Burp cloth-checked. Diapers-checked. Wipes-checked. Breastfeeding cover-checked. Carrier-checked. Yeah...it takes a bit longer and if we forget something important that I can't just buy somewhere then a trip back home is a must. So, I just make sure I have things ready the night before so leaving is not such a big ordeal! :)

WHAT HAVE YOU ENJOYED THE MOST THIS FAR? Wake up times! I love it when he first wakes up, specially in the morning. He is so talkative and gives smiles left and right! That is one of the things I'll miss the most when I go back to work...seeing that little face when he sees me in the mornings. Priceless! Wouldn't change it for the world!

WHAT ADJUSTMENTS HAVE YOU HAD TO MAKE? A few. I have to be ready for interruptions. I can't just say I'm going to do this and finish it once and for all because more than likely a little someone may start crying inconsolably, wake up from a nap, have a poopy blow out. Talking about interruptions...little lad is up from his nap. Guess this is it for now friends! 

To be continued...