February 24, 2015

Snow Day!!!

We had an unexpected, legitimate snow day today, and I loved every single bit of it! We've been hoping for a little bit of snow since our ice days last week, but the weather man predicted that it wouldn't stick. How wrong he was! We woke up this morning to find it would be indeed be a snow day! It started snowing in the morning, and it just kept coming down all day long! 

We were so glad Oliver got to experience snow this year! I remember we took him out when he was a newborn for just a few minutes when we got snow last year, and he screamed his head off.  He was a blast this year, and I know he will be even more so next year!

Of course his favorite thing to do was to eat the snow. No surprises there since he's a bottomless pit who eats anything and everything and then some. 

Thomas and I went out and built a mini snowman while he took his afternoon nap, and he thought it was the best thing ever!!! 
He stole the snowman's nose to eat and Thomas and I were pretty much crying from laughing so hard! 

Do you see it tucked in his hand here? Not a chance we were getting that carrot back from him.
When we got back inside, he disappeared to the back door countless times to point at, wave to, and blow kisses to the "mon mon."  

He's the absolute cutest, and I couldn't be more thankful for all of our extra family time over these past two weeks. The rest of our day was filled with lots of relaxation, playing, reading (and reading and reading and reading), and a little bit of playing in daddy's clothes! 

 He has so much spunk and I can't get enough of it! 

I have tomorrow off as well, and we're pretty sure Thomas will too!  I am so looking forward to another snow day and I especially can't wait to take Oliver back out to see his new friend the "mon mon" again in the morning! :) 

February 18, 2015

Finding Peace in Suffering

In the midst of loss and suffering, I have found God drawing me closer to him more than ever before.  It still doesn't make sense to me, and I know it probably never will in this lifetime, but I am starting to feel a real sense of peace.  Thomas and I have been getting up early to read the Bible and pray the rosary every morning before work, and it has made such a difference in our walk with God, our relationship with one another, and the way I have been coping. 
I have found so much comfort by reading God's word. I find myself feeling more and more at peace by reading his promises, as I know that he is faithful and trustworthy (Psalm 145:13). These are some of the verses that have brought me both peace and hope over the past couple months:

"Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out to our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us."
- Romans 5: 3-5

"Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
- James 1: 2-3

Both of those verses have reminded me that God is using my loss to mold me and shape me. He's working on my heart to help me become a stronger, more faithful Christian.  He is bringing good out of suffering, and I know this trial will bear fruit that I haven't even seen yet.

"I will give you treasures out of the darkness, and riches that have been hidden away, That you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name."
- Isaiah 45: 3

In the midst of darkness and suffering, there are treasures to be found.  One of the books I am currently reading is called Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn't Enough.  The author, Kay Warren, says "God uses intense suffering to reveal to us great wealth that is hidden in the secret places of sorrow." The treasures that I have seen come out of my suffering are a closer relationship with God and with my husband, as well as a renewed spirit, strength, and hope to make it through my days. 

"But I will call this to mind, as my reason to have hope: The favors of the Lord are not exhausted, his mercies are not spent. They are renewed each morning, so great is his faithfulness. My portion is the Lord, says my soul, therefore will I hope in him."
- Lamentations 3:21-24

God is faithful and his mercies are renewed every single morning. Every day I wake up, I can see signs of his mercy, love, and grace if I take the time to look. If I take the time to spend with God. If I take the time to give him thanks for all of the blessings I do have. 

"Know that the Lord works wonders for the faithful; the Lord hears when I call out."
- Psalm 4:4

"We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose."
- Romans 8:28 

I believe this is true, as I see his grace and his works present through it all. I do believe with all my heart that God is good and God is faithful. 

"For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal."
- 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

We all have hard times, and we all experience suffering. I know what I've been through is nowhere near the pain some of you may be experiencing right now.  Whatever you may be going through, I pray that God will bring you peace and comfort through these verses. I pray that he will help you to focus on what is unseen, and that he will wrap you in his arms and draw you closer to him. 

February 17, 2015

Ice Day

Today has been so good and so needed.  I have been exhausted recently, and we have had a lot going on, so it was a wonderful treat to find out we both had the day off of work.  A much needed snow day, or rather...an "ice day." I'm so thankful we had the chance to slow down, relax, and spend some quality time together as a family. 

We had a slow, cozy start to the morning consisting of sleeping in until 7:30 (glorious), eating apple cinnamon waffles, drinking orange spice tea, and reading God's word. We've been working our way through a one year Bible plan, and it's been doing wonders for our hearts. 
It was a bear slippers, sweatpants, and warm socks kind of day with nothing on the agenda, which was more than okay with me. 

The most we did today was play games, drink homemade hot chocolate, and walk around the neighborhood to check out the winter wonderland...if you can call it that! 

Everything, and I mean everything, was covered in ice - a rare sight around here! We probably should have brought our outdoor pillows inside overnight... 
Even though there wasn't any snow, it was beautiful seeing everything covered in ice! 

God is good and he knows just what I need and when I need it. We both have off from work tomorrow too, and I couldn't be more thankful for another day with my two favorite men. 

February 15, 2015

Valentine's Day 2015

My parents were planning on coming this weekend to watch Oliver so Thomas and I could have a date, but my poor dad caught a stomach bug! It still ended up being a special and sweet day with my favorite guys! We started off the morning with a pancake breakfast made complete with pink milk! ;) 

I was planning on making heart shaped pancakes, but a certain little someone keeps stealing my cookie cutters from the cabinets, and I haven't yet found all of his hiding spots! 
We shared gifts, and I gave Thomas a jar with "Riesens" why I love him! Not original - I found the print here, but he still loved it!! 
Thomas gave me the most thoughtful, creative gift, as he always does!  Y'all know we are huge board game fanatics, so he created a new version of Scrabble for us to play called "Cuddle," which included a "bear hug bonus" and a "triple kiss jackpot." I love that man of mine!

We got Oliver the absolute sweetest book called Counting Kisses, but I bought it over a month ago and have no idea where I hid it! I searched high and low, but could not find it, so poor Oliver didn't have a gift to open (not that he even knows he's missing out hehe).  I'm sure I'll find it now that Valentine's Day is over! 

Thanks to my grandma, we went out for lunch as a family to the Indian buffet! We are obsessed with Indian food. It was a bit spicier than what I make at home, so Oliver only ate some of it, but he could not get enough of the mango pudding with fruit! We walked around a bit after lunch and explored until the wind got to be too much. 
Oliver is at such a fun stage with his walking! He's taken up to 22 steps on his own (not that we're counting or anything), but he still needs a bit of a confidence booster! He loves being able to hold onto a hand or a wall to walk and once in a while gets the courage to take slow, cautious steps on his own.  It's been so exciting to watch his progression! 

Thomas and I had the best treat when Oliver went down for his afternoon nap - a brownie, chocolate mousse parfait! I combined this brownie recipe and this mousse recipe and it was perfection in a wine glass. Seriously, go make it before Lent starts next week! :-P

And even Oliver found himself a Valentine this year, so we were all happy! ;) 
Hope you all had a sweet day filled with lots of love!