October 22, 2013

Santiago: 1 Year Birthday!

You know when you have little to no planning done with regards to your child's first birthday party? You never really imagined this day coming, with ideas that flowed heavily from your mind, dreams and illusions of something spectacular? And then your child was less than 3 weeks away from turning one year old, and you realized you should probably start planning something. anything. really. Well. That's where I found myself last month. And thankfully, after a quick round of internet browsing, I got my ideas together and came up with this simple, maybe a little too late on a Saturday evening, party.

Pom pom tutorial: here.
Decor made from cardboard and acrylic paint.
Tutorial on pennant banner: here.

I found the tissue paper at the Goodwill store and WalMart, the pennant banner fabric from Goodwill, and the string/remaining needed items from WalMart as well. Shutterfly had a deal for 100 4x6" photos for only the cost of shipping ($8) so I took advantage of that and used Santi's cute face to decorate the home! Spent less than $20 on everything. Already had the acrylics and cardboard. All we needed was a little extra time (hello 4am alarm clock for 2 weeks!) and some motivation. Onward!

Also, because the party started at 5:00pm, the lightening was pretty rough. So that left me with a lot of editing on the photos. Ah well, the details :) My loving folks bought him a wagon for his birthday, which was used for my younger brother's wedding since Santi was ring bearer. We tested out ye' ol' wagon to make sure it was Santi friendly. It was!


God completely filled us with so many loving family members and friends. It was a (slightly overwhelming, but...) enjoyable time to get together and celebrate all 365 days of Santiago James! We love you, our little toddler boy. Here's to year two, and maybe better planning for future birthdays. Praise the Lord for our little babe, and all the ups and downs of his past 12 months. Being parents is a goofy, awesome rollercoaster. Can we make more? ;)

October 20, 2013

Green Smoothie & The State Fair

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.
Deuteronomy 7:9

There is no other god but the Lord Himself. He is God alone. He was, is, and forever will be, the one and only God. When we call God by any other name, we are using His holy, sacred name in vain. He tells us clearly through His scripture who He is. To say, "hmmm you know what? I have a better idea, let's call Him _______." Is wrongly saying you have authority over Him, just as our parents have authority over us and named us as infants. I never thought of using God's name in vain this way.

I have been following the sermon from Mars Hill on the 10 Commandments and coming to realize that I have broken the first 3 so far. I used to think of myself as "good" on number 3: Do not use the name of the Lord your God in vain. I was raised in a Christian home and although I didn't truly follow the Lord until a teenager, I always avoided saying "oh my God". To me, that was the big one. If I said it, I would immediately be like everyone else. No one would know that I was a Christian. By saying "gosh" I was BOLD, right? Well, I wouldn't give myself that much credit. But anyway. Apparently even atheists will avoid saying, "God" in that statement since they believe He doesn't exist. So I basically made myself blend in with either followers of Christ or followers of the devil. Those are big contrasts.

In other ways, it came naturally to use God's name in vain. In some instances, I would say I was a Christian, but I was far from living a life truly for Him. Honestly, all I can remember is living a life for me, to fulfill my needs, pleasures, satisfactions. To receive love, and only then give love back. To receive praise, and only then give praise in return. It's completely opposite of how Christ lived and how He calls His followers to live. To sing Him praise songs on Sunday and Wednesday at church, even to pray to Him and ask things in His name (oh how I remember all the times I prayed for a boyfriend!) I believe that during many of those activities I falsely used the Father's name in vain. I made God's BIG name small. His POWERFUL name weak. His HOLY name ordinary.

And by His grace and love, I find myself here at 25 years old. He has completely transformed my heart, soul and mind. I still stumble daily, but instead of catching myself, He catches me and brings me back to my feet. Instead of being overwhelmed with guilt each time I slip, I remember His faithfulness and how He never leaves my side, and that I need to run to His word and spend time with Him to get back on track. Instead of trying to be satisfied with worldly things (friends, possessions, success at work, peak health, blogging, popularity) which always leave me feeling incapable, chasing a dream I will never be satisfied in, I am satisfied in Jesus Christ, my Rock, my fortress, my refuge, my King, my Savior and friend.

So I touched on just part of this verse, because the first line really stood out to me. "Therefore know that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God."

It's all about Him.

It's all about where you will find yourself the day after you leave this earth.

It's all about God. The One God. The only God.

Back in September I was able to convince the family to head over to the Puyallup Fair (also actually known as, "The Fair"). There were animals, there was sunshine, and our baby boy was highly stimulated. Before we jump into those photos, I wanted to share a quick, filling, rich green smoothie in a bowl I recently enjoyed!

Ultimate Green Smoothie in a Bowl!
Serves 1 hungry human or 2 snackers or 3 toddlers?
  • 5 bananas, 2 fresh 2 frozen
  • 3 cups kale or spinach
  • 1/2 cup water
Blend that business! Add frozen berries (I used tart cherries from Costco and blueberries) and call it a woah-that's-so-good meal!  For a baby: add a couple tablespoons of ground seeds, like flaxseed, chia seeds or hemp seeds. This will up the Omega 3 fats which are keen and joyous for their developing brains!

Now, onto the fair! We drove down (up? side ways? I know very little geography even when it comes to my own state...) with my parents, and met up with my sister and my brother in law. We smelled cattle, we gazed upon fascinating birds, and saw some wild creatures you would expect to find in a zoo, not a fair. So much fun, and Santiago at his little age of... under a year? just turned a year? was in awe!

mama and her giant truck filling her mind with joy and wonder

sister love and her love

Who is ready for next year? Santi says, "not me because you skipped my nap and the drive home was absolutely horrendous." Sorry, Sants. We'll try to do better next time. Love you baby boy!

October 8, 2013

Hubby's Half Marathon

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 1 Timothy 1:15

God works in His own (surprising, interesting, unexpected) ways. Just this morning I was feeling in awe of God's unconditional love for this broken world (including the broken world that I am living). I started to list a handful of "even though"'s: even though I don't share your gospel the moment you open the window to do so, even though I have made idols of health, nutrition and in the past, fitness. Even though I'm not the best mama or nanny, and I lose my patience and my selfishness comes to the light. Even though I lose my train of thought while praying and find myself thinking of my to do list. Even though... I am a sinner, Jesus loves me and has saved me from an even darker handful of, "even though"'s. His love is huge. Our Creator loves us more than we can fathom.

And then I open up the bible app on my phone. And the disciple Paul says this, "The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost."

He calls himself the chief of sinners, basically the biggest one. He remembers how he himself persecuted followers of Christ, he wanted them slaughtered. He had a huge list of, "even though"'s and yet the Heavenly Father loves him just as much as He compassionately loves you and I.

I think it's a good lesson in letting The Lord transform your heart to be more humble, by writing down your "Even Though..." list and remembering that God stills loves you, and won't stop loving you no matter what you do. Yes, there are many things He hates as well, but think about it; if you children were intentionally sinning against all you have asked them to do, wouldn't you hate what they are doing, but continue to love them deeply?

He cares. He is our Father. He loves us.


Recently the hubs bubs ran a half marathon. It was early, it was chilly willy, and it great company, it was much enjoyed. I received a quick photography lesson from a 60/70-something year old man who had much camera experience, and to him I say, thank you, sir. If it weren't for him, the photo of Edu arriving at the finish would have looked similar to what you see when you cross your eyes in a bad-lit room while jumping up and down. Photography is fascinating. My husband crossing the finish line at rapid speeds is even more fascinating.

early bird.

the cheesy grin.

the sleepy sandwich.

the police that guide the way.

the running peanut.

The joy of being a grandpa.

The finish.

The happy papa and his cub.

The family smiles.

The they-come-every-time loving support system.
Even though running is a huge part of my husband's life, we acknowledge that without God, none of it would exist. No legs, no strength, no speed, no motivation, no nothing. Run with your eyes fixed on Jesus, not with your eyes fixed on the competition, whether it be against others or against yourself. Run because Christ gives you the freedom to run in His name. Run with a purpose. Run and thank the Creator who gives you the ability to put one foot in front of the other!