November 22, 2016

The Blessings of Friends and Family

Living in the Village, I have met some wonderful people. I have met people from all over the world and have come to have a deep love and appreciation for them and their cultures. I have made lasting friendships with people who have been great examples to me in my life. The friendships I have made here are ones that hold a special place in my heart.

These are incredible people who are striving to better themselves and their families, who sacrifice for something far greater than money, who serve and lift one another. These are people who take advantage of the opportunities they have to learn and to grow and to make lasting friendships. This is a community where we serve and lift one another up during the hard times.  We are all going through similar things and in that way it helps strengthen our relationships with one another. 

Although we don't have much, we have all we need! I feel so blessed! I am grateful for the people in my life who have come and gone and who are here with me now. They are truly amazing people and I feel so blessed to be among them.

One of those amazing people, is my sweet husband, Travis.  Although, life hasn't been very easy for us at times, and there have been some really rough patches, we've made it though and our love for each other has grown in ways that I never imagined.  Neither one of us is perfect, but despite all of the struggle we have faced in our life together, we have learned some precious lessons and have grown to respect and love each other more and more each day. 

Out of all of the people I've met, previously in my life, he was the one that I chose. I chose him, because I knew that whatever was in store in the years ahead, would be worth it. I knew he would be the one I would want cheering me on making life a fun and entertaining ride. Travis, is my best friend, the love of my life and I am so truly grateful for him and all of the love that he gives to me. 
He is a great example to me of what it means to be a disciple of Christ and has a great capacity to keep trying and never give up when things get tough.  He keeps pushing through despite all the hurt and pain that may come into our lives. He will brighten anyones day with his silly jokes and smile. This man enjoys life and loves new experiences. He strives to be a better husband, father and person every single day. I know we still have plenty of adventures ahead of us in the future, some great and some...not so great, but I am so grateful I get to go along for the ride with him.

I'm grateful for our 2 crazy and energetic kids, Emree and Miles.  They each have a special spirit about them that goes beyond anything that I can comprehend. They teach me so much about what's most important in life and help me to be a better mother and daughter of a loving Heavenly Father. 

 Emree has a beautiful, independent spirit. She loves dancing, singing (both on her terms),watching movies, dressing up, doing her hair and makeup and loves to be silly (just like her daddy.) She loves the outdoors, playing with friends and the Little Mermaid. She loves painting, drawing and reading stories. 

Emree is very observant and can recognize when someone is in need. She is a leader and will take the intiative to do whatever needs to be done and get it done (except maybe when it comes to cleaning her room.) ;) She teaches me to be kinder and to take a deep breath when I just can't handle life. She is very compassionate and loving and is a great example to me. I am so grateful for her and for the love she brings into our home.  

Miles, is a sweet, sweet boy. He has a more gentle nature about him, although he can also be very independent himself. He is my child that gets into EVERYTHING!! If you don't want him to find it...he will. ;) He LOVES trucks! He loves books and riding bikes with daddy. He is a silly one and will brighten your day with his little jokes and laughter. 

Miles is a cuddler and hugger. Whenever I'm having a hard day, he is the first one to give me a hug and a kiss. He is thoughtful and kind. I remember one day sitting on the floor thinking to myself "I'm a little cold," and the next thing I knew he was bringing me my cozy blanket. I'm grateful for Miles and the spirit that he brings into our home. 

 I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to be Emree and Miles mother! They mean the world to me and have brightened my day, even when I didn't want my day brightened. ;) They bring such a sweet spirit into our home and I am so, so, soooo grateful to have them in my life!

I am so grateful for my family! There is nothing more important to me!

There are so many, many more people who have made a difference in my life and have meant so much to me! You are one of them. I am so grateful for those of you who take the time to read my blog. It means a lot to me to know that you enjoy the words, thoughts and stories I have to share. Thank you!! I am grateful for you and the examples you each are to me! 

I hope that you all have a great week, spending it with those that you love! 

Happy Thanksgiving! 


November 15, 2016

It's the Little Things

Every year, at this time of the year, I am reminded of the little blessings that I have been given.
My gratitude stems from lessons I learned during our time in Guatemala. That time is close to my heart and probably always will be. I never realized how much I had till I didn't have it anymore. Now I am even more grateful for all that I have and I want to share some of those things that mean so much to me, even now, a little over 2 years, later.

I am so grateful for clean drinking water. Other countries don't have the luxury we do to have clean water that we can drink. Often just drinking the water from the tap, you would get some sort of parasite and would be sick for days. Because we had to buy our drinking water from the store in Guatemala, often times we would find ourselves drinking more soda than water, because we needed to conserve our water for other things. I am so grateful for the water that comes from the tap and for our Brita! What a blessing it is to have clean water in our homes.

I am also so grateful for door knobs. In Guatemala, all we had were gates and latches/ locks. Anytime we went in or out of the rooms in our home, our door would lock. We had to tie a string to the inside of the door so we could open the door without having to unlock it every time. It was a little bit complicated and didn't look very pretty. I am grateful to live in a home that has door nobs.

I am grateful for a washer and especially a dryer, even if I have to pay for it. ;) At times I remember having to wash my clothes by hand and there weren't many dryers in the town we were in so we air dried our clothes on a clothes line. It was a day, sometimes two day, long process. It is such a blessing to be able to have our clothes washed and dried within a few hours.  

Awww...look how little she is ;) 

Guatemala Power lines 

I am grateful for electricity. We had electricity in Guatemala, but nothing like here in the U.S. Our internet down there was also, so slow that we would have to pause netflix every so often to let it's so nice to have fast speed (well in my mind fast speed) internet!
The power would also, either go out or be shut off often and randomly. And with no electricity, that meant you also didn't have any water...we are so blessed!

I'm grateful for my bed! Oh man, this one I look forward to every single night! We slept on a twin mattress for 5 months, me and my husband...together. Some people have thought I may be a little silly for making a big deal out of this one, but it really was hard sleeping on a twin mattress with 2 of us trying to stay on the bed at night. I was also pregnant at the time so it made it especially difficult. So far in the course of our marriage, I have slept on an air mattress for over half of each one of my pregnancies and as most women know, pregnancy isn't always the most comfortable thing so...yeah...I am so so soooo grateful for my queen sized bed!!

I'm grateful for comfy blankets! Anyone who knows me well, would know that I can't be without a comfy blanket, especially at night. The country of Guatemala doesn't have many comfy items around and I had a difficult time adjusting to the fabrics there. I remember one night, we stayed in a hotel and when I saw they had soft towels, I cried, because it had been so long since I had felt anything soft. I am so grateful for comfy things!

I am grateful for privacy. Oh boy, do I treasure privacy. We basically didn't have any for 6-7 months. Our home was 3 rooms straight off of a patio area. The people in Guatemala sure did know our whereabouts. ;) Plus, you had to be very quite or write down certain information so that others could not hear. The people were very good at ease dropping down there and would make very good use of the information they received. ;)

I am grateful for an oven. All we had in Guatemala was a gas stove with 2 burners.  It made it hard to cook all the things we were use to eating.  We had to learn a whole new way of cooking, but we survived. I am also, so grateful for a microwave. We have had one for almost a year now and it has made life so much easier. Cooking can be done without one, but it sure does make it a whole lot easier! ;)

Lastly, I am so grateful for our car! We went 2 years without a car before getting the one we have now. The day we got a car was a beautiful day and every day I thank Heavenly Father for the great blessing of having a car. It's not the perfect car, but it gets us around and I am so grateful for that blessing in our life!

My experience in Guatemala and the memories I've made during that time, has helped me to keep gratitude for these simple things alive in my heart. We have been blessed with so much! Each day I try to always remember those blessings and recognize the new blessings that come my way! It's the little things that make up the big blessings! Take a moment and look at the little things in your life that make up the big things. Your life is so good and you are so blessed, just look around! :)

November 6, 2016

Embracing the Craziness

Once upon a time, when I was a little girl, and into my teen years, I hated my curly hair. I never knew how to make it cute like all the other girls I saw with the long, beautiful, soft barrel curls, but my hair refused to do what I wanted it to.

Instead, it was a mess of curly waviness that could not be tamed. So, as I approached High school, I began to straighten my hair. I straightened my hair everyday, sometimes multiple times a day, never giving it a chance to be it's wild and natural self. I even contemplated straightening it permanently.

Fast forward to about 6 months ago. I was in a rut, tired of the same old thing and frustrated with straightening my hair. Despite all of my hopes, my hair did not want to be straightened any more, leaving me with half straight half curly hair and that was just not workin' for me.

So, one day I decided to let it be it's natural, wavy, curly self. To be honest I was really nervous to go out in public and let others see my curly locks in all of it's glory. No one had seen my hair down and curly since I was little, I always wore it up (unless it was straightened of course.)

The day I wore it down, I finally felt like me. I finally felt like I didn't have to try so hard to be like everyone else, having cute, soft barrel curls that I always dreamed of having. Instead, I decided to embrace the craziness and you know what?! I LOVE IT!!

For me, letting my hair down and be itself, was like giving me permission to be myself. It might sound silly going on and on about hair, but it was given to me for a reason and whatever reason that may be, I am so grateful for my crazy, curly hair!

Instead of feeling embarrassed about who I am, I am embracing it and showing myself that it's okay to be me. The more I let myself be me, the more I grow to love who I am and love all that the Lord has given to me.

As this month goes along and I share some of the things I am grateful for with you, I hope that you take a moment to see the little things that you have been blessed with in your life.

The Lord has blessed me with so much and my curly locks are one of those blessings that I have learned to truly be grateful for! :)