Sunday, April 17, 2011

Happy Palm Sunday!

A very happy Palm Sunday it was! So for all of you who are not familiar, this is the day that Jesus rode on a donkey through the town of Jerusalem and was praised as "Hosanna the Son of David!", "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!", "Hosanna in the highest!" (Matthew 21:9)... not more than a week later did the tables turn... but back to Palm Sunday/Today... it was a day of praise! People on the streets threw down their jackets/cloaks and waved palm tree branches in the air... all for the Prince!

Today, Mark and I took a leap of faith. We went to the 11 o'clock service. *gasp!* Ethan's nap has traditionally started between 10-11am and sleeps for a few hours. Today we thought we would try and keep him up and revisit the 11am (our favorite leisurely morning service)

Hallelujah! It. Was. Wonderful! Ethan didn't look back we dropped him off at the nursery (running toward all the other cuties and toys). Mark and I spent the next hour in praise, worship, and growth... so thankful!

Check out the sermons we've been following on Seeds - How it all began in Genesis and why we need a Saviour here.

For all you moms out there... you know that it is HARD to get out the door with a little one. We have been going to the 9:30am service for the past month or two because of Ethan's nap schedule. This means both Mark and I have to get up early and take turns getting ready so that we will all be there on time. Today was freeing! We got to take our time in the morning, Ethan had his 30 minute breathing treatment, breakfast, and none of us felt rushed at all! Praise God! Let's hope this continues!

More praises to come.......

Typically after a 9:30 service, the 3 of us would go home for E's nap. Today, we were able to go out to lunch (Yo Quierro Taco Bell!) and Sam's Club (Mark was curious). The boy did great!! He conked out on the way home sleeping from 2pm to 4 something pm. I'm likin' it!!!

In the mean time, Mark and I got to spend some time doing yard work together. I planted some tulips (I know, they're supposed to be planted in the fall.... oh well!) and he mowed the lawn and assembled some patio furniture and planter thingies for me :)

All to say... it was a wonderful Sunday!

Here are 3 pictures that make me smile. These were pictures of Ethan right after church got out... on our way to lunch. This guy was ready for more fun... no nap necessary :)

Peace be with you!
Sending toothy smiles you way!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Young Boys Lately

Life is pretty busy lately... and honestly, I like it that way! However, I know that it's important to hit the pause button occasionally in order to enjoy life before it completely passes you by. This blog is wonderful for making me do exactly that! Enjoy where I am in my journey and reflect a bit :)

Two of the most important people in my life are my boys. I love them unconditionally and they bring me so much joy. God's most precious gifts!

Since coming back from Ethiopia, I've been enjoying my little man so much! He is growing by the minute and learning something new everyday! His little personality is starting to shine through... he makes his Daddy and me laugh every single day!

Here are some pictures of Ethan Mark and what he's been up to lately...

The "Ooooh!" face
Makes me laugh everytime!
He does this when something happens... if you turn something on, roll down his window in the car, press a button...

On sunny days, Ethan likes to chase bubbles!...

... and eat the bubble wand :)

This kid cracks me up!!!
Making faces on the sliding glass door.
Our windows are never, ever clean for more than 2 minutes these days!

He still loooves his car...

Ethan is in a sun glass phase. He likes to put them on and off and on and off...
then on you and off of you and on and off...
you get the idea.

Probably the funniest part is that my glasses almost fit his face!

He's in a pointing phase...

A "feed myself" phase...

A hat phase... simular to the on and off glasses phase...

And still... a "put everything in my mouth" or oral phase...

Once after a nap, I walked into his room after he had tossed everything out of his crib

He was quite pleased with himself :)

Relaxing in his crib

Ethan loves his peek-a-boo books from Grandma Wager...
he makes the "Oooh!" face when the noises go off!

Ethan likes to pretend he's sleeping sometimes. Maybe it's because we (Mommy and Daddy) like to pretend we're asleep so he'll wake us up. Check out the "Wake-up Daddy" video clip!

Our biggest, little boy loves his quad that Grandma Young gave him!

Ethan got his first "Goose Egg" bump on the head.
It was a doozy!

Nothing some love, popcicle, and Wiggles Video can't fix!

Our kiddo loves the park!


And then there's my husband. Seriously, the most wonderful man in the world! I am so grateful for him... he fills my heart with such love and appreciation! I know that I am blessed and I credit God for the love that we share and how amazing our marriage is! Mark is not perfect and neither am I (we'll be the first to tell you that!)... we have put in our time and have learned from our mistakes. It's true that "in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." - Romans 8:28

I really feel like we are in such a good place because we are more focused on Jesus than we have ever been! There is much fruit in that! How sweet the fruit is...

When I came home from my missions trip to Ethiopia, Mark picked me up and brought me home.
He had spent the afternoon cleaning up the place, he vacuumed the house, and filled it with flowers.
What is it about flowers that makes me SO happy?
Roses and Tulips are 2 of my favorites!

These roses were some of the fullest and most beautiful I've ever had! They just kept blooming!

A single rose by my side of the bed.
This one lasted for weeks!

I am so grateful that Mark understands and supports my decisions to serve the Lord.
How many husbands would be encouraging of their wives who want to leave them and their 13-month-old child to go half way around the world for 9 days?
I truly believe God will bless him for his sacrificial love :)

Projects, Projects, Projects!
Mark is a busy man these days... always something to do, fix, or build around our home!
One of the latest is his work out center in our garage.
He purchased this structure on Craigslist for $100! and it came with the bench, weights, etc.

The fun and tacky foamy floor is supposed to be for playrooms, but works well as a gym floor too.
We know one thing... working out will be visually stimulating!!

Mark's little helper liked to taste his Daddy's tools

"Daddy, I'm not so sure about this work out stuff... I think a playroom would be more fun!"

While I was in Napa for his sister's bachelorette weekend, Mark dropped Ethan off at my parent's house (thank you Grandma and Grandpa Wager!) and worked on several projects in our backyard.
One of them being....
a vegetable garden!!!
If you knew how much I wanted a vegetable/fruit garden, you would know how much this means to me!!
I'm sooooo excited!!
Truly a labor of love... this is right up there with one of the most romantic things Mark has done for me.
He made it by himself and he did it all for me :)... while I was off having a fun weekend!
I told him I'd return the favor and try my best to grow something edible for him ;)

The wine barrels are another place for veggies, fruit, herbs, flowers, etc.

The back yard is finally coming together and Mark is thriving on his projects that help complete it!
It warms my heart to see him fulfilled in providing for his family in this way...
He recently told me that he loves landscaping and wouldn't mind exploring carpentry.

I told him... whatever helps you walk in the steps of Jesus! :)

I can't wait to post a blog on our yard once we finish up a few more projects! I've been taking pictures of each step along the way...

So, that's what my boys are up to lately :)


Monday, April 4, 2011

Emerald Hills, Fabulous Wine & One Beautiful Bride-to-Be

The rain stopped, the clouds parted, and the sunshine is finally here! And... what better timing? My sister, Christie, is getting married and last weekend was her bachelorette bash! A weekend in Napa with the sun on our faces... you know we were in vineyard paradise!

Here are some pictures of the festivities!

First thing's first...
Here were the invites for the weekend

I loved the index cards which laid out the weekend events...
how else was I supposed to fit all the info onto one invitation card?
Plus, then I didn't have to choose one patterend paper ;)

Let it begin!
We started out the weekend meeting at my Mama-in-Law's house before lunch.
She had a yummy spread of croissants, donuts, fruit, and juice.

Once we all met up, Christie tried on her georgous wedding gown on for us all.
What kind of MOH would I be to show you that?

The weekend took place in Napa at the Vino Bello Resort

And so has our stuff!

Luckily we had 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a full on kitchen and living room!

Makin' herself at home :)

The Queen on her "Queen Bed"
(sounds better than a King Bed)

Her queen tub...

and royal shower...

The powder room

The hallway that connected our rooms

Time to start the Lingerie Party...


Wine Glasses?

Fun Glasses?

Gifts to Shower the Bride?
(You're welcome, Nate :)  )

Deliciously Creative Cupcakes?
A Dozen Checks.

Decorative Flags?

Party Favors?

Flowers? Feather Boa? Bridal Veil?
Check. Check. and Check.

Beautiful Sister?

Flags made with my Cricut!

Yes, we hung some lingerie...
No, we won't tell you whose they are...

We (Katie, Jennifer, and I) set up the party while Christie and her girlfriends enjoyed some wine tasting in the lobby.

Here was her reaction to the decor!

It's time!

The flashing ring that didn't flash.

Sangrias in a Martini Glass?
Why not!

She wasn't double fisting! She was "holding" the drink for someone else!
But seriously... she just tasted it :)

Sisters one day

Sisters :)... and party hosts!

Opening the party favors

Dinner on the balcony

Lingerie Party Games...

This game was pretty fun! We had to partner up and draw a sassy number!
We all got a bit creative...

Talking about the game plan... thinking strategy...

Time's up! Let's see what we got...

Jennifer and Allie


Ruthie and Kayla


Sophia and Katie


It was a hard decision...

But Miss Sophia and Katie won...
Peacock Pride!

The next game was "Pass the Present" or "Hot Potato"
Whoever is holding the gift when the music stops has to wear the Teddy wrapped inside!
We had to clarify what a Teddy is...
Once we all understood... no one wanted to touch the gift!

Christie had it!

Not looking forward to the fashion show...

A Teddy :)

Putting it on as promised...

The final game was Lingerie/Honeymoon Charades!

Signature joke of the trip!
Her phrase was "Buck Naked"...
Deer? Antlers? What??

Phrase: Discovery
Here's Christie trying to act out the Discovery Channel...

Toast to the Bride!

Time for Dessert and Gifts!

To make this appropriate, I'm not revealing the bedtime wear
(You'll have to wait longer Nate!)

Door knob and card I made with my Cricut!
Love that machine ;)

We all slept well that night!

The next day we got up for some wine tasting!

Rubicon Estate
(sounds like a Transformer to me!)

The girls humored me and did a mini photo shoot!

Ruthie... look for her in the movies!

The Star of the Weekend,
Christie Elizabeth  

Sophia... She'll be looking for your vote one day!

Katie having some fun :)

Cousin Erin who enjoyed wine tasting before some big exams
(toughin' it out in nursing school!)

America's Next Top Model Pose

The Photographer...
Love that my dress has pockets!

Time for lunch and some beautiful flowers :)

One more winery...

It's not often that I take pictures of the bathroom...

"Thank You!"

Mani/Pedi? Yes, please!

A night on the town!
Walking to dinner...

"I see your truuue colors... shiiiining through!"
Happy about our nails :)

My dinner! Penne con Pollo with a chipotle sauce!

Complimentary Pink Shots!

Not so yummy...

Nail Twins!

On our way out...

Walking back to the car...

.... couldn't help but notice...

Couldn't help ourselves :)
Christie doin' what they do on the Discovery Channel ;)

Next day loungin' by the pool before check out.

Jennifer and I looking super relaxed... squinting even though our eyes are shut.

All in all it was a success!
We all left Christie's Bachelorette Weekend with some girl time, good laughs, and....
sun burns.