Friday Favorites

Yay for Friday!!!

Our little fam has a busy weekend ahead of us with a big student ministry event all day tomorrow. Our little man got to spend his morning at The Shed (the student ministry building) while we did some last minute preparations and that would definitely go on his list as a FAVORITE. We are talking a gym, stairs, Daddy’s office.. it’s pretty much his heaven. The only time he loves The Shed more is when it’s full of students that want to play with him. #spoiled


So since today is Friday and it’s a favorite in itself, I thought I would share some favorites of the week!

It’s no secret that we are big Broncos fans in this fam (some of us naturally, some of us forced) and this past Sunday was a big game! Little man got to wear his Broncos best to church Sunday morning and he definitely was not the only one.. Our whole church is full of Broncos lovers! #movedtotherightplace

 If you watched that game, you can see we felt a LOT of emotions. And in the end, we were all just kind of done. But YAY for winning and getting to do it all over again this Sunday!

Since Monday was MLK day, we got to spend our afternoon with JoJo! We went to a late lunch and walked all around the shops of downtown Littleton. A certain little guy LOVED her being here and walking with him on the sidewalk. He is so big and loving it.


If Caleb had a list of favorites, his daddy would be so high on that list. He cries everyday Nick leaves for work.
 And LOVES greeting him when he gets home. I love that my boys are the best of friends.

Since we live in cold Colorado, going to the park everyday is not really a thing. At least not for this Texas girl. (Give me a heater and a blanket, please.) So we CONSTANTLY frequent the library. We went twice this week and he loves it so much every time.

   There’s a play kitchen there for the month of January and he’s a BIG FAN. Especially when big kids are there and cook him pretend food.

 Yesterday Nick got to go with us which meant I was actually in a picture with Caleb! I read an article the other day about moms rarely being in the picture because they are always busy taking them. As I thought back, I can definitely remember my mom hardly ever in our pictures. So hopefully I can be better about that. Caleb may want proof I was there, right? #iwasthere #justmaybeinyogapants #mycoffeeistheretoo

And my last favorite of the week is the stay-at-home date night Nick and I had last night! Since Caleb goes to sleep so early, we still pretty much have a whole evening so last night we board gamed it up. The game of Life, anyone?

 It may look like Nick is praying right there, but he’s actually counting ALL of the money he had. Because he won. And he was the banker. (Not saying there’s a connection, just stating facts.)

Hope everyone has such a fantastic weekend!!!  Don’t forget to cheer on the Broncos Sunday (or just pray they win or pray for Nick.. ha!) Go Broncos!

It’s Momfessional Time

So let’s have a little confession time as mamas. If we are being real, there are some things we may do to just straight survive the day with our littles. Like shoving your mouth full of candy before the toddler rounds the corner and busts you… and then wants some but you tell him we don’t eat candy right now. (Completely hypothetical.) Or move up bedtime because they can’t tell time and well, you’re exhausted and need to be able to watch Netflix on the couch. (I’ve just heard people do this.) But seriously though, we all have our ‘Momfessionals.’ And a little confession time is always good for the soul. So today I’m linking up with the queen of Momfessionals for Show & Tell Tuesday’s to get my own Momfessional on.


1. I tiptoe around the house when Caleb is sleeping. And I very well may ask you to too. When we moved to Colorado, we moved into a rent house that’s definitely an older home complete with floors that squeak like no other. They are LOUD. I’ve tried to instill in my brain where the different squeaks occur in the hallway so I can attempt to walk a different path (especially in the mornings when I wake up earlier than little man). I know this sounds ridiculous and people are always all about just living their lives normally and the babies just have to deal. While I completely applaud you, I will just be over here tiptoeing around my squeaky house so I can enjoy those extra few minutes of him sleeping. #neverwakeasleepingbaby

2. I also completely avoid the bedroom side of the house during his naps. As you can see, I am a bit crazy when it comes to him sleeping. The squeaks are LOUD and the bedrooms (and main bathroom) are all very close to one another. Has there been an hour when I needed to go to the restroom but held it because he was napping? Absolutely. Does Nick now ask me permission about going to that side of the house while Caleb is sleeping? Yup, he knows I’m crazy. And I may or may not have told him that now is NOT the best time to go. He knew I was a little quirky when we got married, right?

3. I pretty much eat all of his animal crackers and graham crackers. I really don’t know who I buy those for anymore. I’ve thought about no longer buying them so I’ll quit eating them.. and then remember they are actually for the child. So the cycle continues. :/

4. He has eaten snacks in his car seat.. that are probably from yesterday. If the boy spots a goldfish, it immediately goes in his mouth. He doesn’t care about that fish’s past. And in the moment of buckling him into his seat, I don’t either.

5. We may have accidentally taught him that clapping means please. So when Caleb was old enough to eat solid food, we tried to incorporate sign language into his life so he could tell us ‘more’ and ‘all done.’ WELL. Sometime in the learning process, we kept (unintentionally) switching the words ‘more’ and ‘please’. I came home one day and Nick was SO excited that Caleb had finally done it! But when he showed me, he actually clapped instead of doing the ‘more’ sign. So somehow clapping kept turning into ‘please’ and I just finally gave up. It was just not a battle worth fighting and I knew what he was saying so it worked for us. Communication is communication, right? And now you’ll be happy to know, he actually says the word please so it looks like we didn’t screw him up after all. 🙂


So there you have it.. Some confessions of mine that will hopefully not land the little man in therapy one day! Do you have any ‘Momfessionals’?! Let’s hear them so I know I’m not doing this crazy thing called mommyhood alone. 🙂

 

 

The First Haircut

Today was a BIG DAY, people. Little man got his VERY FIRST HAIRCUT. (This requires so many capital letters because this is HUGE to this mama.) 

So I have gone back and forth on whether we should get his hair cut. I was fully convinced to do it while we were in Texas for Thanksgiving but yet the humidity curled it all up and made it look oh so adorable.. So my sister pretty much told me no. But here’s the thing. We don’t have humidity in Colorado. Like at all. (I know the thought of no humidity is shocking to my Texas people.) So no humidity equals no cute curling up of the hair which equals long whispy nobody cares about me hair. And so the decision was made. 

   
 
So I braced myself for the big event (and possible tears from me AND him) and made an appointment at a kids’ haircut salon. Now this place has got this whole thing down to a science. He got to choose which car he wanted to sit in, there were cartoons on, stuffed animals hanging from the ceiling, toys to play with, and then you get a balloon and sucker at the end. PURE GENIUS. They even have regular barber chairs set up in front of video games so I wouldn’t be shocked if that’s where Nick started getting his hair cut. (Which they definitely let him know they cut dads’ hair too. I bet they do.)

 
He picked Lightning McQueen (or rather Nick chose for him since the other option was a pink Barbie jeep) and loved getting to ‘vroom vroom’ on the steering wheel. The hair stylist attempted using clippers but Caleb quickly nipped that idea in the bud. He didn’t care that she kept showing him how it just ‘tickles’ Mommy.  
 
So scissors it was! After that, he had a blast. He kept going back and forth between pointing to the sharks hanging from the ceiling, watching Thomas the Train, and pointing to the balloons. And of course he took some moments to wave to the ladies next to us. Because priorities. 

   
   
 
This hairstylist was a pro. It didn’t matter that he whipped his head back and forth a million times, she didn’t skip a beat. #gifted

And then she finished, gave him a balloon, snapped a picture of him, gave me a lock of hair to baby book it, and then gave him a first hair cut certificate. BIG DAY. 

   
 
Check out that handsome stud!!!! He looks like such a BIG BOY. We went to Sam’s afterwards and two different people commented on his hair. I told him that’s when you know you have a good haircut is when you immediately receive compliments. Gotta school him early. 

And I did not even cry! But I would definitely say my love for him grew even more if that’s at all possible. I could just eat him up with how stinkin cute he is. 

  
BIG DAY FOR A BIG BOY. 

All About Caleb

So I started blogging again with the whole purpose of it being a way to document my little man’s life. And since I’m not anywhere near creative enough (or have an ounce of desire) to create some type of scrapbook, a blog it is! But I’ve yet to actually do a whole post about him to share what he’s up to (which is really the only reason half the people read this.. looking at you, grandparents) so today’s the day.


Caleb is ONE! Fifteen months really, but if you ask him, he will proudly throw up that index finger to tell you. He’s quite the bigger boy (always has been) so he’s in 24 mth clothes, sometimes he can even bust out a 2T which kind of breaks this mama’s heart. I packed up a bunch of his old clothing this week and definitely makes me a little sad to see what he’s outgrown. Stay little forever, little man.

He is also starting to walk like crazy!!! I think for a little bit there Nick had lost all hope that Caleb would ever walk. I never pushed it because I knew once he did, life was over as we knew it. But he has figured it out and LOVING being able to do it. He now doesn’t like to be held in public places because he is just wayyy too big for that and thinks that he should be walking instead. (He hasn’t quite mastered it yet so sorry buddy, you will be held thru IKEA.) He also gets a huge kick out of walking back and forth in his crib. It’s the small things, y’all. Let’s just say the kid is a HUGE fan of his new skill.

It’s like he’s starting to grow up all at once because he just now has the peaked interest in learning words and actually SAYING them. After 15 months of saying ‘say this, Caleb’ or ‘this is a blahblahblah’, he has finally decided that yes, that is a good idea Mom! So things he consistently says now are Mama, Dada, car, please and J (the letter).. But he is also starting to make sounds like vroom, meow, moo, and roar. It is all very very cute and I’m pretty in love with his sweet little voice (but I’m sure it’s not because I’m biased at all).

Another thing he LOVES to do is show you his belly. Because no shame. And the good thing about it is he doesn’t require you to show him yours. He’s classy that way.

Ever since he was born, the kid has LOVED to eat. When we started real table food, he was all about anything that we put before him. But now, he has decided to go and get an opinion on us. So basically his tastes are VERY much like his daddy’s. He likes his leftovers cold (yuck) and will gladly say no thank you if you think to warm it up for him. He’s not a huge fan of pasta but will down mac & cheese like its his job. The only thing he gets from me is that he’s a complete pansy when it comes to anything that remotely has any kind of spice. Imagine lots of dramatic gagging that goes on long enough to make sure we get the picture to never ever try that ever again.

He is a HAM. The kid became an extrovert right around his one year birthday and he loves to ham it up. And he also hasn’t met a pretty girl that he doesn’t love or feel the need to flirt with. Youth group is heaven for him because so many cute teenage girls want to hold him. And he’s also an avid waver. He doesn’t care if you’re even looking. Or if you’ve been in the same room as him for 30 minutes and he’s already waved at you 12 times. He is determined to make you feel welcome.

His favorite toys are balls and cars. Hands down. You have to stay on guard around him because his goal in life seems to be to play catch so at any point there may be a ball headed your way. He does LOVE music so he will either turn on one of his music toys so he can jam out while he plays with other toys or just take matters in his own hands and play music on his instrument toys. The kid loves to shake his booty. We joke that sometimes when a song comes on and he’s busy, it’s like he can’t help it but the beat just takes over his body. He’s a little dancing machine.

Every night at dinner, we hold hands while we pray and he has now joined in! It pretty much makes my life. Can’t wait until he starts saying amen. My heart may explode.

His new hang out spot is underneath the coffee table. He’s always thought it was cool to crawl through it, but now he thinks it’s fun to just go under there and chill. Sometimes he takes toys to play with or sometimes he just lays. Who needs to get the kid a fort when he has a coffee table?

 

Here are some other favorite recent pictures of the little man:
 Sometimes you just need to throw your Mickey Mouse robe on and call it a night.


 We have an awesome library near us with the coolest kid section. There are a TON of different things to play with and they switch them out too! He is a BIG FAN. (Which duh I LOVE that he loves the library.)

 This is him CRACKING UP at JoJo’s birthday dinner. It was in between waving at all of the surrounding tables and dancing like crazy. Just hamming it up like usual.
 The poor kid got a cold a couple of weeks ago and has had a cough that has lingered during the nights ever since. This was after a particularly rough night and his hair was all about letting the world know about it. (Definitely think we are in need of the first haircut. Very. Soon.)


He is pretty much SO FUN right now. We love watching him learn and discover how the world around him works.

Thank you Jesus for choosing us to be this precious little boy’s parents. 

 

2016: Resolutions of Sorts

A new year. A fresh start. A blank slate.

It’s funny how some people get so jazzed about making resolutions and then there are people that think it’s the most ridiculous thing in the world (aka my husband, who refused to say ‘happy new year’ and instead said ‘happy Friday’). But I however think it’s fun to look on the new year with excitement and new goals (or resolutions if you want to be traditional). Especially if we are believers in Jesus Christ then we are made new everyday! So today I’ll link up for Show & Tell Tuesday to share my thoughts and hopes for 2016.

 So this is totally cheating but I read an article right before the new year about resolutions to consider and found myself nodding at every single one so I will just share that now. And you can read that and now I’m done. Kiddinggggggg.

The first one I plan on cracking down on is getting off technology more. I have a little person around me 24/7 and the last thing I want is for him to think my phone is more important than him and also connected to my hand. So I am unplugging for chunks of the day. I will set my phone in the kitchen (while we are in the living room) so I can still hear it ring just in case but also can’t reach it to check all of the oh so important things on social media. Because let’s get real, Facebook will still be there when little man takes a nap.


Second on my list is cutting myself some slack. I am a {recovering} perfectionist which just basically means that I definitely still have my moments where I have to remember that life will go on if I have not done everything absolutely perfect or if the house is not perfect or if my kid is not perfect.. You get the picture. So obviously with this, cutting myself some slack is CRUCIAL. Because hello. It’s unattainable on this side of Heaven. My prayer is that I would continue to let those things go this year and give myself more grace. The PRAY MORE definitely fits nicely with this too. Because I can’t let those things go if my sole focus isn’t on Christ and my identity is not found in HIM always. Because that is enough.


My next one that I loved from that article is read more good books and listen to more music. If you know me at all, you know I love to read. I’ve fallen out of that habit lately so I need my people to tell me what books I should be reading!!! (Seriously, let’s hear your faves.) The music thing is MUCH needed in my life today. I need less tv in our home and more really good music. So why don’t you good music people go ahead and suggest all of the great things I should be listening to? Educate me, people. Come on you twenty-somethings and students, help a girl out. (Which when did I get old and become a non-twenty-something. Ugh. Shoot me now.)


So that’s basically it for resolutions, because let’s start small people. And let’s be realistic.

I am so pumped for 2016 though! I am excited for Littleton to continue to become our home, for friendships to continue to form and deepen, and for the student ministry to continue to grow and thrive!

A HUGE thing I’m looking forward to is if:gathering this year!!!

 I’ve done the if:equip study for almost two years now but this will be my first year to actually GO to the gathering. (Insert party emojis here!!!) I am beyond excited!! If you haven’t signed up for an if:local, you totally should.. They meet all over the country (so there’s definitely one somewhere in your backyard) on February 5-6 and it’s not too late to sign up. You can also sign up to receive their daily study which is so fantastic and easy to keep up with. So come on with it.. You could be as excited as me right now!!!

So here’s to 2016 everyone!!! Let’s make it super fantastic!

2015: The Recap

Happy New Year’s Eve y’all! How is 2015 already ending?! Gosh this year FLEW BY. What’s the quote parents always say… The days are long but the years are short? A-MEN to that. 

Last year we brought in the new year as a family of 3… And not a single one of us were awake at midnight. Cheers to being parents! 

This year has brought a lot of change for the Jones fam. Today I am linking up with AndreaErika and Narci for 15 of my favorite things that happened in 2015!

 I am going to go thru the list chronologically because that’s just easiest. 🙂 Grab some coffee and a blanket and get ready for this long haul of a post (or just skim because duh, you have a life). 

  In March, Caleb got dedicated at our last church. It was such a special time because so many family members and friends came to show support for our little man. I love knowing that we have so many people in our lives that will always point Caleb to Jesus.  
    
   
And of course his best friend Maddie was there. #bestfriendsforever 

  This year was my very first Mother’s Day and it was such a SWEET day. Nick went above and beyond to make sure I felt so loved and valued and I most definitely did!  
 Here are all my goodies and notes from Caleb (Nick may or may not have had something to do with writing the notes). 

  Nick also took me on a date that weekend so I could have a ‘mommy break.’ I love him so. 
  That Sunday my mom’s boyfriend cooked for all of the ladies in our family. The food was good.. but apparently our picture taking skills were not. 
  So after a TON of prayer and consideration, Nick and I made a decision in May for him to resign from his position. He did not have another job waiting but we were confident in the Lord and His plan for us. This resulted in a summer of unemployment for him which meant months of our family all getting to be together. This was a season full of us being stretched and growing in our faith and although there were difficult moments, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. We made the most of our family time and had so much fun together whether we were all just going to the grocery store, going on trips, or living at the neighborhood pool everyday!  
    
    
    
     


If we would have gotten a dollar for every time we were asked if we had twins, we’d be sitting on an island drinking fruity drinks right now. Our summer of us 3 plus Maddie Moo is a BIG favorite in my book. (And please Lord don’t give us twins. Those twin mamas are forever heroes of mine.)

  We were brave enough to take Caleb on his first plane ride in June to come visit Colorado for the first time!!!! And I was a HOT MESS about it. But all of the research and planning paid off.. Little man slept the entire plane ride!  
  Colorado was SUCH a great time! Caleb got to spend so much time with his JoJo and meet so many of our Colorado people that hadn’t been able to meet him yet. Who knew we were visiting our future home?! 

    
    
 And when you live somewhere where the humidity is usually fierce and the temps stay in the 100’s, Colorado is a glorious place to visit during the summer. Just saying. 😉

  So this next one is my favorite and non-favorite all in one. What I don’t love is that I turned 30 this year. BOOOO. #29forever

BUT I love that I share my birthday week with one of my very best friends. My sister knew we were not having the easiest time with the whole ‘getting old’ thing so she threw us the best birthday party EVER. (I could write a blog post just about this but it being 6 months later, I think I’ll move on.)  

    
    
    
 

Such a picture fail that I don’t have one with the most amazing sister and my super hot husband that made this whole night such a blast! Lots of selfie stick fun, lip sync battles, and photo booth craziness with some of my most favorite people EVER. 

 A trip to the country to stay at a family friend’s ranch spontaneously happened during the summer. It was a night of so much fun with some super fun fam.      

Babies in the country in their diapers is the best. SO. MUCH. CUTENESS. 

  Apparently it was the summer of travel because over the 4th of July, Nick and I left Caleb for a weekend for the very first time. (Lots of anxiety for this mama.) We went to Austin and Fredericksburg for the weekend with my sister and bro-in-law. Definitely much needed to get away with the hubs and luckily Caleb has an amazing Nanan that he had a blast with that weekend. We even came home to a crawler!       A kid free weekend can definitely be refreshing at times! Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? 😉

  This one is HUGE. We moved to Colorado in September! It was a whirlwind between finding out we were moving, packing with a baby in the house, telling people and a state we love so dearly goodbye, and preparing for a brand new chapter in our lives. WHEW! But such a favorite because remember when I mentioned we knew God was faithful and would provide?! And boy did he show up! Our new church is AMAZING and we love getting to call this place home. Thanks God.. All props go to you.  
 Goodbye to our first home we owned and where we brought this baby boy home from the hospital. (TEAR.)  #texasforever

 Hello to our new (rent) home in Colorado! Nothing like showing up to a house that you found online and didn’t get to actually see in person and find out you really do love it. Craigslist for the win! 

  Somehow amidst all the craziness, our baby turned ONE! What the what?! My family was so sad to think they would miss his first birthday so he received a party in Texas before he left. And then also got to celebrate two weeks later on his actual birthday. (I’m starting him early on the whole birthday month thing. We LOVE to celebrate in our house. Ok, I do.)  
    
 It was a Broncos football themed party. Let’s just all take a moment and pray that this kid grows up to like sports because, well, Nick.  

    
 Donut for breakfast, streamers everywhere, and balloons in the crib. He liked one out of three. Not too shabby.  

 I’ve decided he can stop getting older now. He’s JUST right the age he is. 🙂

  So our prayer ever since we got married was to find true Biblical community wherever God has us. Moving to a new place made that on the top of our list. It was so evident this is where God was calling us. We also knew that we were going to need people to walk thru this life daily with. And AGAIN, God showed up. He has given us an INCREDIBLE growth group for our family to be apart of. Also I have been able to join MOPS and a bible study that are full of fantastic ladies that love Jesus and have welcomed me with open arms. The icing on top is the awesome volunteers in the student ministry are ridiculously amazing and welcoming and such a GREAT group. (Have I mentioned I love our church?) 

So Foothills Bible Church, you are a BIG favorite of 2015. You make me cry tears of joy for giving us the blessing of allowing us to serve here.  
  Just a month ago, I got to be apart of one of my best friend Hannah’s wedding. Wedding days are seriously SO special, especially when it is someone you love so dearly. This is a girl that helped me fall in love with Jesus in college and now her job is to be able to do that for all college girls at Sam Houston State University. Pretty awesome.  
   Matt is SUPER tall. Pretty stinkin’ perfect for our beautiful tall Hannah. 🙂 

  So this favorite kind of doesn’t have to do with me but I just loved it so much that I’m letting it count. Nick’s sister Juliana went on The World Race which is an eleven month mission trip to eleven different countries. A huge step of faith for her to leave a stable job and a life she loved to go serve the Lord overseas. We are seriously so proud of her and loved that Caleb has an aunt that isn’t afraid to live out how Jesus calls us to live. So to you Aunt JJ, we are so thankful that Caleb has you in his life (and ours too of course).

 She got home on Thanksgiving and we were reunited when we returned from Texas. It did not take long for her and Caleb to become good buddies!

  Our people. They are my FAVORITES. God has given us so many incredible people in our lives that mean the world to us. They have shown up in so many ways in this crazy past year of all of our transition. There has been encouragement, prayers, generosity, and amazing support. We seriously are SO thankful. Thank you for loving us well, whether that was taking us to coffee, letting us cry or laugh with you, texting words of encouragement, making sure we were okay financially, or just praying fervently with us. I wish I could give you each a huge hug and have you over for dinner and dessert. Definitely dessert. Be here tomorrow? Seriously love you all. 

  So before we moved, I had the absolute honor of getting to watch my niece everyday. Maddie and Caleb are only 5 weeks apart in age so they have been besties since the start. Getting to spend that first year of life with both of them seriously gives me so much joy. (Was it hard, you ask? Again with the mad respect of mamas of twins.) Even now that we have moved, it is such a blast to see the two of them play together when they’re able to, talk on FaceTime together, or even Caleb just waving and smiling at Maddie Moo’s picture. I love that they are the best of cousins.  
    
    
    
    
 They’re going to kill us one day about the bath and washtub pictures. Whoops. 

  MY LAST FAVORITE OF 2015. (Can you even believe you’re still reading this?!) Well this certainly isn’t my least favorite by far. It would have to be my two boys, especially when they are being so super adorable together. I love to watch them play. Nick is the absolute cutest at making sure Caleb is having a blast. They are constantly laughing and doing the silliest things. Nick is always singing him made-up songs and teaching him fun ways to play with his toys. Nick is also amazing at being so thoughtful and caring of Caleb. He is pretty much the best dad ever. They are two peas in a pod.  
    
    
    
 I’m so glad to call them mine. (Insert heart emoji here.)

  
AND THAT MY FRIENDS are my 15 favorites of 2015!! Is anyone still reading? Have you fallen asleep? Sworn off my blog forever? Or jumped off a cliff? 

If you made it through then you deserve another cup of coffee.. And if you just skimmed to the bottom then you do too (because let’s be honest, you just saved yourself three hours of your life). Either way, thanks for enduring the longest blog ever known to mankind. 

There are many words that can be used to describe our 2015 but I think God’s faithfulness is what speaks the loudest. SO excited to see what He is up to for 2016!

Happy New Year everyone!!! Much love!

A White Christmas

Christmas CONQUERED. 

When you think Christmas in Colorado, you automatically assume a white Christmas. Apparently that’s actually a rarity according to Coloradans (is that even the correct term?). I have even visited for a Christmas before and it did NOT snow. Actually it never ever snowed anytime I ever came to Colorado so I was starting to think the whole snow thing was a hoax. But nope, I was dang wrong. And good thing because it snowed on Christmas this year!!! SO FUN. This Texas girl absolutely loved being able to look outside to watch the flurries come down on Christmas Day. Especially when I knew people at home were hanging out in shorts. 🙂

Snow wasn’t the only thing that made this Christmas awesome! Caleb LOVED Christmas. He got the whole opening presents thing down pretty quickly. And pretty sure he loved being handed new toy after new toy after new toy. (Grandparents are apparently in direct competition with Santa.) 

It was also so special to be able to go to our Christmas Eve service at our new church and to have family join us. There were 42 people that believed in Jesus for the first time at our services! PRAISE GOD! And THAT is why we celebrate Christmas.    

   
We spent the evening of Christmas Eve with some family friends. Yummy food and fun games made for such a great night! 

 If you know Nick at all, then you know his friendship (or love affair) with Phil. They are the bestest of friends and have been since they were kids. Phil’s wife and I joke that we know where we stand when it comes to their bromance. 

 But a really cool thing is that they had a little boy exactly a year after us. Caleb and Grayson are pretty much required to be best friends now and keep the legacy going. (Sorry boys, sure hope y’all like each other.) 

  
Christmas Day was so much fun to see Caleb’s face! Santa brought him a really cool work bench and then also laid out all of his new toys he had received on Christmas Eve. He looked SO excited. But the first thing he went for? The half eaten cookie left over from Santa. #priorities
 
He settled for a muffin instead.  

    
    

 JoJo and Aunt JJ came over so he had such a grand time getting to play with them all day! As JoJo calls it, we watched ‘the Caleb show’ all day.  
 We ended the night with Nick reading us the Christmas story. Absolutely love the thought that we get to start this sweet tradition with our boy. As fun as Santa and Christmas lights and presents are, we pray that as Caleb gets older, he would think of Jesus first when he thinks of Christmas. 
Thank you to everyone that loved our boy well during this season (and always)!

I hope everyone had such a great Christmas season! We were challenged yesterday at church to reflect on this past year and really work through how God wants to use us in this coming year. Can’t wait to see what is in store for 2016!
  

The Season of Hope

I remember it like it was yesterday. Nick and I were newly married. There was a lady from my church who lost her husband. I could not even fathom it. This was a couple that had been married years and years and still were just SO in love. He still always doted on her big time and she treated him like the king of the household. They were the things relationship goals were made of. And just like that, it was gone. I was just so unbelievably heartbroken for her. I remember sitting on our living room floor crying to Nick, explaining how I just did not see how she could go on. I knew that he was her everything and it broke my heart that all of it had come crashing down on her. 

What Nick said next completely shook my world and definitely molded how I viewed our marriage from then on. He reminded me that NOTHING could come before Jesus. Husbands and wives don’t have more precedence over Him, children don’t come before Him, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING should be more important in our lives than Jesus Christ. All of this I already knew so it should have come to no surprise, but yet there I was a brand new bride and so full of excitement about my life with my husband and all that was to come. And I was supposed to be okay if God just decided to rip that away? No AND yes. Of course with loss comes overwhelming sadness and devastation and broken hearts, but in that there is still HOPE. Hope that can only be found in Jesus when HE is who we live for. My friend’s life still went on because although her husband was her everything, Jesus was her ULTIMATE. Jesus is who she lived her life for, not her husband. 

At that moment I was challenged to evaluate my life to figure out if Jesus was truly my King, or if I was putting Nick in that wrongful place. Such a romantic moment for the beginning of marriage, right? But actually it SO is. Nick loves me so incredibly much and he would do absolutely anything for me. But he can NEVER love me as much as Jesus does. Nick is a sinful human after all. He will fail me even if he doesn’t want to. And the same goes for me. It truly is inevitable. 

I am not in any way undervaluing the hurt and pain that people go through, especially when losing a loved one. I know that pain well. When I look at my husband and my one year old, I want to hold them close to me so the world can’t leave its mark on them. But at the same time, I have hope in a Savior that loves me and will never leave me. 

This season of Christmas can be so hard for some. There is loss, hurt, abuse, anger, and all kinds of emotions that can sting a little deeper because this is supposed to be ‘the most wonderful time of year.’ BUT YET. God reminds us that more than anything, this is the season that we celebrate HOPE. He sent a little baby named Jesus that came to save the world by reconciling all of us broken people to the most amazing God. What great news that is! If we trust in Jesus, we know that although there may be pain, this world is not our home. We are able to serve Him here until the day that we are reunited with Him in glory. I so pray during this season (and always) that everyone will come to know Jesus in the most real way. 

‘Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.’ Romans 5:2-5 

So during Christmas time, I celebrate this hope! I pray that you have received that hope as well. And for those that have, my prayer is that you would be able to cling to Jesus fully, especially if you are in a hard season of life. 

‘I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.’ John 16:33

MUCH LOVE. 

Christmas is getting so much closer!!! LESS THAN TWO WEEKS. Ahhhhh!!!! 

Here are some things I’m loving right now…

  
My mom and her boyfriend, Steve came to visit this past weekend!! Since for us this year meant Thanksgiving in Texas and Christmas in Colorado, some of my family are coming to us. I’m pretty confident it has something to do with a certain little one year old but I’ll take it. We did Christmas together and Caleb LOVED it.  

    
   
I’m pretty sure Nanan could get a job at the North Pole what with all the gifts she brought. Santa’s got some competition. 

 
Another thing I’m loving right now is this picture.  

 
I seriously crack up every time I look at it. SO DRAMATIC. They encouraged me to sit with him to ‘help’ the situation.  

 
Obviously it worked. I felt a little uncomfortable of the proximity of Santa as well so I guess I can’t blame the little guy. They also had us take this family picture which we were totally not prepared for. (Apparently we went for the whole North Pole photo shoot. My goodness.) 

 
Another thing I’m absolutely LOVING is how Caleb is taking his afternoon naps lately. He now plays in his crib for a good while and then just plops right over. The other day he fell asleep sitting up, just leaned back. And today this happened. That CAN’T be comfortable. 

 
So Christmas to me equals lots and lots of goodies and sweet treats!!! Last week I baked a million and one cookies and I certainly have done my share of eating yummy things wherever I go. BUT. Nothing says Christmas to me like my mama’s Texas Trash. (How country did that sound??) I LOVE IT. Ever since I could remember, my mom always makes a ginormous batch of ‘trash’ and then gives it away as presents but we always kept a ton at our house too. Talk about snacking your way thru Christmas. I made sure that I would not miss out just because I live far away and she did not disappoint.  

 
I seriously can’t walk by the container without eating some. Although I am concerned why that other name is on it and why he keeps reminding me that it’s not just mine.  

 
I do love so so so many things about Christastime, but definitely on the top of the list is going through an Advent devotional as a family. Nick and I have always done this since we have been married and it is such a rich way of preparing your heart for Christmas. Sometimes we try different ones, but the one we truly love is John Piper’s. This is a free printable, y’all! Definitely worth checking out because it’s certainly never too late to really study why we celebrate Christmas. And it has been so sweet to walk through this with Caleb. Sometimes he sits in our lap and listens and sometimes (most the time) he’s just in the room playing. But it totally counts. 🙂
 
The last thing I’ll share that I’m SUPER loving right now is that this little cutie is headed my way tomorrow (along with her parents)! AND they are spending a whole week. Here’s to lots of playtime and cuddles and fun showing them around! 

 

That’s all for now! Hope everyone is having such a fantastic Christmas season so far! 

The day I said YES. 

Y’all. Today is a big day. Four years ago today, Nick asked me to marry him and I (obviously) said YES. (Well I actually didn’t say anything at first.. I just laughed.. but we’ll get to that part in a minute.) So to celebrate, I thought I would take a trip down memory lane and share how Nick proposed (and because he did such a stinkin fantastic job at it!). 

So it was Saturday, December 10, 2011. All I had on the agenda for the day was Nick’s youth Christmas party that evening (he’s a youth pastor just to be clear, not actually a youth). My roommate Katie and I were known to sleep late and lay around and watch TV on our sectional most Saturday’s, but that day she got up, got dressed, and was gone. This honestly should have been my first red flag because we rarely did things without the other AND she rarely got up before me. But oblivion was apparently my friend that day. 

Nick came over that morning and brought me Starbucks (such a keeper from the start). We hung out for just a short bit because he said he had to get to church to help decorate for a wedding there that night and that it would take ALL DAY LONG. (Funny side note: It was the wedding of a girl he dated in the past but apparently none of this bothered me at all.. Still doesn’t.. Just funny this was his excuse to avoid me all day.) We said our good-byes and that we would see each other when he picked me up for the Christmas party. 

I seriously vegged all day long. Ohhh the single days. It was like the super long get ready for the evening kind of day. Take a shower. Watch a tv show. Blow dry my hair. Watch 10 tv shows. Put my make up on. Look at Facebook. You know those days (or did know them for the mamas out there). It seemed like everyone in my world was busy that day (or just avoiding me, I came to later find out) so it was a very quiet day. And Katie never came home ALL DAY LONG. Weird. But me and oblivion were still hanging out.

All the while, I was apparently being a real stinker at committing to the Christmas party. My sister and brother in law were supposed to come into town for the Cowboys game the next day and she never really gave a time they were getting there. I felt weird about dragging them to my boyfriend’s Christmas party with teenagers I only kind of knew but also felt bad about making them sit in my empty apartment. So somewhere in the world, Nick was freaking out that his plan was all going to come crashing down. Whoops!

Whenever my sister finally told me they were showing up apparently gave me the go-ahead to go to the party. Nick picked me up and the first thing I told him was that I had a headache. I actually don’t remember that part of the story at all but Nick does and it apparently freaked him out even more. Ha! Poor guy. Let me just tell you that homeboy was hanging on by a thread. He was an anxious hot mess. He had been for weeks but I didn’t have a clue what his deal was. But he played it nicely into the story. 

As we are driving on our way to the party, he randomly pulls into our Starbucks (our first ‘date’ was there and where we constantly went while dating). He begins to talk a million miles a minute: ‘So I know that I’ve been really weird lately and I’m really sorry so I thought that we could come to our Starbucks. I already called and ordered our drinks and the shutterfly book I made you of us came in and I dropped it off here so I thought we could look at it, drink coffee, and be happy.’

UM OK. 

So many red flags. First of all, who calls into Starbucks and orders their drinks beforehand? Famous people? Definitely NOT us. And secondly, he was an absolute freak show the way he said it all. But hey, I went with it. Nick has always been a super thoughtful guy so it didn’t seem too big of a stretch that he would call the baristas to pre-make our drinks (what?!). 

We walked in and sure enough, there was a table set up with our drinks (with our names on it) and a book he had made on shutter fly of our dating days. We sat down and he started ZOOMING thru the book with super fast comments (‘oh yeah, look at us there’, etc) but I didn’t see a single page. I was more concerned with the fact that everyone seemed to be STARING at us. I even leaned over and whispered to Nick at one point that everyone seemed to be looking at us. But this still didn’t tip me off because I just kept thinking that if I was sitting in Starbucks and some couple came into a pre-set-up table, I would definitely stare too. 

Well we reached the end of the book and at that moment, the barista walked over to our table with a mug with a J on it filled with coffee beans… And sure enough, something REAL sparkly sticking out. FINALLY IT HIT ME. This was happening. I look over to Nick and there he was on bended knee. Neither of us could tell you a thing he he said.. I’m sure it was all very, very sweet.. But at that point everything was a blur. I do know that he ended with ‘Will you marry me?’ Let me just say that when I get nervous, I laugh. And so that’s exactly what Nick got in that moment. I didn’t even realize I hadn’t answered him until he said ‘You’ve got to say something because people are watching.’ Whoops!!! Yes, yes of course! Everyone cheered and out popped my sister and bro-in-law from behind the Starbucks counter. They had videoed and took pictures of the whole thing. SO FUN! 

  

And this is apparently how I announced it to social media (because that’s when you know it’s official).. 


I still have the coffee mug with the original beans as a decoration in our home! 

 
  

So you know what my next thought was? Oh good, now it will seem normal to bring my sister and bro-in-law to the youth Christmas party since we have just gotten engaged! I am such a weirdo. 
So we all piled into the car and headed to where the Christmas party was. We walked in and everyone screamed ‘congratulations!’ ane tons of camera flashes went off. In my mind, I still thought this was the youth group being so excited for us. When I could finally see again after all the flashes, I started to (slowly) recognize that these were MY people, my best friends, my family. It was a surprise engagement party!!!

   
 I’ve never been the quickest. Ha! Nick still thinks it’s hilarious that I thought he would propose and then take me to a youth event. I mean, you marry into the ministry, right? I wasn’t mad about it! 
   
  Nick’s work wife, Shannon (what I like to call her because she pretty much rocked at keeping him on track) hosted the entire thing for us. The decorations were fantastic and the food was so great. She made the evening SO special for us. 
   
 Family pics were a must since Nick was now going to officially be apart of the family! (I’m sure Chris was VERY excited to have another guy.) I even called my mom between Starbucks and the party to tell her I was engaged and she did so great at acting like she had no idea (or that I was about to see her in 10 minutes!). 
  
Some of my very best girls were there too! These girls didn’t know it yet but this was totally a bridesmaid picture (just missing 2 girls!). 

  
Look at that happy crazy couple! We were SO excited!!! That night still feels so surreal because Nick did such an amazing job of finding a special way to ask me (because coffee is my love language) and also organizing so many people I love to be there to celebrate with us. (There were other people not pictured that were there too! And my dad and stepmom sent a video because they were on a cruise so that’s a fun memory too.) 

I’m pretty sure Nick was so glad it was done because it required so many lies and so much energy to make sure it would all work out and for me to not find out. But it worked out perfectly!!! SUCH a rockstar. 

And five and a half months later, we were MARRIED… And we lived happily ever after 🙂