Saturday, April 19, 2014

So that I might live.

Happy Easter weekend :) Easter is always a wonderful time to spend with family and dear friends, all while consuming some delicious food (ham and deviled eggs anyone?) as well as copious amounts of chocolate and jelly beans. The egg hunts, painting eggs, the Easter Bunny. Little girls wearing beautiful dresses and bonnets, little boys in their Sunday best. It's a perfect time to get that family photo you never usually find the time for. The weather is almost always perfect {gotta love So Cal} and even though Spring officially started about a month ago, Easter just naturally feels like the official kickoff to spring time.

But we know Easter is more than the fluff. Jesus; the Son of God, the Prince of Peace, died so that I might live. That I might escape death. I found a quote from an unknown author that says, "For when He was on the cross, I was on His mind." The thought of that is incredibly powerful and emotional. That's a love I cannot even fathom. How precious I am to Him. Me. A sinner who is so undeserving. How precious we all are, even those who might not believe.

On Good Friday I gently explained to the kids what the day was all about. We read a very age appropriate story and then after I outlined a cross on some sketch paper and told them to paint it however they wanted. They both really enjoyed it and now I have some forever artwork to cherish from my two favorite artists.

"God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by His power."
1 Corinthians 6:14


Jack, Easter 2014

Lily, Easter 2014
While Easter is a time for reflection it is also a time for celebration. I celebrate, because He is risen. His body is no longer on this earth. He suffered on earth and now rejoices in heaven. Thanks be to God! Because of Him I will fully enjoy this Easter Sunday. I will soak up being with my loved ones. I will dye eggs. I will eat copious amounts of chocolate. I will praise His name. I will live.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Springing into Spring.

Well that went by rather quickly. The first quarter of 2014 is over and just what do I have to show for it? Actually a lot in real life, in blog life however...not so much. The truth is I'm tired. My body is tired, my mind is tired. A lot of people's needs need to be met before my own and truly I'm okay with that. I know that this is just a season of life, one that I'm sure will go by much too fast. My sweet third born will be {s e v e n} months old on Easter Sunday which is a bit mind boggling. She's rolling, she's scooting, she's teething, but MOST importantly she's sleeping! The sleep thing has been a game changer in my mental well being, ha! She sleeps from about 630pm until 5:30am. Wakes up to nurse, and then is back to sleep until 730 or 8am. My Lily is newly three and had the happiest birthday. She loves sleeping in her bottom bunk, loves her ballet classes and as of about 15 minutes ago is officially potty trained (more on that later!). My Jack is thriving in Pre-K. He's a natural leader, kind and empathetic to his fellow students and loves doing homework. M and I made the tough decision to hold him back from Kindergarten next year, but it's a decision I feel more confident about with each passing day. It was a tough decision at first, because we know that in many many aspects he is totally ready to go. In the end though we decided to give him that bonus year, the gift of time. The gift of no intense homework (yes, Kinder has changed), not having to go to school  
e v e r y d a y. The gift of being little for just a bit longer.

Bunk beds and big kids.


Lily is three.

It's official: I drive a minivan.
Look who's eating

Happy babes.

I've been feeling very inspired lately, almost like my soul is going through a bit of a rebirth or something. Decluttering, decorating my house and attempting some DIY projects are in the works. And when I find myself in the midst of some quiet time I'm putting my phone down and picking up a book. One of my best friends recently told me she's already read 11 books this year! ELEVEN! I can't even remember the last time I finished ONE book. My husband often says that we pick and choose the things we make time for and I really couldn't agree more. I suppose now I'm choosing to make time for things that inspire me, that nourish my soul. The quiet moments that are few and far between I want to fill with more praying and reading, painting and blogging. Quality over quantity. Perhaps this rebirth is inspired by this Easter season that's upon us or perhaps its because it's officially Spring. Either way I feel God is leading me on a journey. And more than ever I'm ready to be led.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Year in Review

As 2013 comes to a close I can't help, but be a bit amazed at just how quickly this year has flown by. Was it just a year ago that Marcus and I were still on cloud 9 from having our best Christmas ever? That we only had two little ones around our Christmas tree? Amazing. The end of another year is really a time to reflect and remember. Was I kind enough? Did I love my neighbor enough? Did I grow as a wife, mother, sister, and friend? I know where I struggled, where I asked for grace. I also know that I savored. I savored so many moments with the ones I love. Even though I tried to blog as much as I could this year, here's a b r i e f  recap of my 2013 highlights:

January:
I found out I was pregnant with Eva! It was a great way to kick off the year :)












February:
My little Lily got glasses. It was emotional and eye-opening (for both of us!), but I love knowing she can finally see the world through her tiny purple glasses.












March:
Lily turned TWO! And had the cutest Tangled party that you ever did see.












April:
We found out baby number three was a GIRL!












May:
Jack turned FOUR! He still is my favorite super hero.












June:
My baby brother turned 21.












July:
Marcus turned 30! Our trip to Avila Beach was one of the most memorable days of not just 2013, but of my life.












August:
Our family vacation in Laguna. It was our last trip as a family of four and we created some wonderful memories :)












September:
Eva was born! One of the best days of my life.












October:
M and I celebrated 6 years of marriage. He surprised me with a wonderful dinner at The Beachcomber!
(M's sweet FB post)




















November:
My dad turned 60! and Eva Louise was baptized.

(Jack at Pappy's party.)
(yum, yum.)
December:
This whole month has been so magical, but the highlight most definitely was Christmas morning at our house.

(princesses and ruby slippers! oh my.)








(comfort and joy)
(baby's 1st Christmas)




(We're on the nice list!)
As the year comes to a close I'm looking forward to setting new goals and making fresh starts. Who doesn't like a good fresh start, right? I definitely have some resolutions and some big plans for 2014, but as with all plans I p l a n to take them in stride. Sometimes just sitting back and watching God's plan unfold in your life can be pretty exhilarating. Really my prayer for myself and the ones I love most is for good health, less stress and a deeper relationship with Christ. I can't really think of anything more important or necessary as I head into 2014. Cheers to you and yours.







Thursday, November 28, 2013

Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart.

Happy, Happy Thanksgiving! First and foremost I am so thankful that I have a moment to write down all that I'm thankful for on this most wonderful day. Since having my third little babe I've discovered:
1. your alone time diminishes less and less with each child you have
{and}
2. once you have a third child you will HAVE to do at least one load of laundry everyday of your life for the next 18 years. The things you learn, right? And I wouldn't have it any other way.

I have so much to be thankful. We all do, don't we? I mean it's so easy to let the despair, heart ache and stresses of the world sadden my heart. It's easy to focus on all that I don't have and what others seemingly have. It's so easy to wish that I had more material things, to long for the newest, the fanciest, the shiniest. It's so easy to let jealousy trickle into my heart. To focus on my many inadequacies and short comings. It's just. so. easy sometimes.

Thank goodness I serve a God who has overcome this world.

I serve a God who loves, protects and provides for me. Everyday.

So today I give thanks with a most grateful heart. I have a husband who loves and inspires me--I'm so grateful that even after 11.5 years we still dream big. I have three beautiful, healthy children who are teaching me more about life here inside my little home than I could learn anywhere else. I have a mom who continues to be my mentor, counselor and best friend--the older I get the more I realize I need her. I have a family that would drop whatever they're doing to help this girl out--they've shown me this time and time again. I have some incredible friends who bless me more often than I deserve. I am healthy. I have not just a house, but a home. I have the love of Christ rooted so deeply in my heart, I shall want for nothing.

Today and everyday, I will remember to hold these truths in my heart. Happy Day, Happy Life, Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.


Friday, October 25, 2013

All About Eva.

Five weeks ago today our lives changed in the most beautiful of ways. Eva Louise Martinez was born at 9:03am on September 20th, weighing in at 8lbs, 20 inches long--my biggest newborn!

Meeting Eva. One of the happiest moments of my life.

I was admitted to St. Jude around 11pm the night before she was born. I had been having contractions on and off all day, but nothing was staying consistent.  I was nervous that since this was my third baby things might go a little bit faster than I was ready for so I figured it was better to get checked out. We arrived at the hospital around 9pm and the nurses decided to monitor me before officially admitting me. Like it had happened throughout the entire day contractions were regularly coming and going, but not as close together as the nurses would have liked. They were getting ready to send me home when all of a sudden Evie's heart rate dropped low; dangerously low I later found out. After that brief scare the doctor decided to admit me and things rolled right along. After that my contractions became about 7 minutes apart (consistently!) and they were intense. Shortly after midnight I received the epidural (God bless whoever invented that) and then...we waited. I couldn't get much sleep, but I was comfortable enough considering the circumstances ;)

Once it was time to push the epidural had worn off. This was a MAJOR BUMMER! However, the silver lining was that I only had to push for 3 minutes. Thank the Lord! She came out screaming and honestly hasn't made so much as a peep ever since. When I first laid eyes on her I instantly fell in love. There is no greater joy than seeing your baby for the first time! And it is as equally wonderful and elating with each baby I've had. Babies are miracles. They are prefect gifts from God. Simple as that. We spent one night at the hospital and then were ready to get back home to our big kids and start life as a family of five.

Jack is such a proud big brother.
2 days old.

And then there were 3.

The kids have adjusted pretty well to our new family member. Jack is seriously the best big brother ever! He is so in love with his new sister and is always willing to help me with whatever I need to do for the baby. I'm so thankful for his loving, tender heart. God knew exactly what he was doing when he made Jack our first born. And I have been very pleasantly surprised by how terrific Lily has been. Considering the fact that she's 2 1/2 and loved being the baby of the family I had prepared myself for her to have more of an adjustment to our new dynamic :) Wouldn't you know? She's been awesome! She's constantly asking to hold her "baby seester" and always showers her with smiles, kisses and hugs. Multiple times a day she'll tell me, "I love my baby seester, mama!" It makes my heart melt like you wouldn't believe. I'm looking forward to seeing how each of their relationships bloom with one another in the years to come. Having siblings is such a gift and my hope and prayer is that these three will grow and stay the best of friends.

Sisters.
So. How is life with three? Honestly, it's been a pretty smooth transition. Jumping from 1 to 2 kids was more difficult for me than jumping from 2 to 3. There have been a few days that have been a bit challenging and overwhelming thus far and I'm sure there will be more to come. Luckily I have a wonderful and supportive family that steps in when they know I need it. Having my sister-in-law run to my house from 7 houses down was such a blessing when I had a crying newborn and asthmatic 2 year old last week! (Thanks again Ash :) And there isn't even anything I can write on this blog to do justice with just how amazing my mom is. She knows what I need before I even know. And my in-laws are always willing and ready to help with whatever I ask for. I'm constantly blessed by so many who love our family so much.

Dream baby.
Even though Eva's only been in our home for 5 short weeks, it feels like she's been in my heart forever. I can't imagine a more perfect addition to our family. Every time I look at her I see so much of Jack and Lily. Some have said she's the spitting image of her dad, while others have said she's a carbon copy of me. It's fun to see her changing features and the ways in which she looks like so many of the people we love most! One thing is for sure--she is 100% Eva. She's got her own look, she's got her own personality and we are just loving watching her grow.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Waiting. {Hitting the 38 and 39 week check point!}

You know the hardest part about having your first two babies arrive before their due date? Expecting your third to do the same. Baby number three isn't even late, but it feels like she is to me. She still has six more days until her expected debut and I feel myself getting antsier and antsier everyday wondering when she will come. I'm trying my best to relax and enjoy however much time is left on this pregnancy journey, but instead I'm filling my time up with tons of busy work around the house. I was up at 7am yesterday scrubbing the inside of my refrigerator! My husband officially thinks I'm nuts. I'm really going to make an effort this week to take a deep breath and just be in the moment. In fact, starting tonight I'm going to kick my feet up and begin watching season three of The Walking Dead once the kiddos are asleep :)

38 weeks.

39 weeks.
At my checkup last week the doctor told me I'm 80% effaced and 1 cm dilated--that's progress! I asked if he had a guess on when he thought she'd be coming and he said it was a 50/50 chance she'd arrive within this next week. I told him that wasn't a guess, ha! I realize he doesn't have a crystal ball and that this little girl is going to come when she's good and ready--I just hope it's sooner rather than later ;)

So if anyone needs me I'll be here. Waiting. ;)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Nesting and Resting

With my due date set anywhere between September 18th and 22nd, I'm literally at the point where I'm able to count down the days until I meet this baby girl. Yesterday I finished packing my hospital bag and installed the infant seat in my car--I can't believe I'm so close to the end of this pregnancy! This has been without a doubt my fastest pregnancy yet. Yes, keeping up with a 4 year old and a 2 1/2 year old definitely keep me busy, but I actually thought the last month or two of this pregnancy would drag. Mainly because, I'm not a huge fan of hot weather so I was sure these last few weeks would seem like forever!! And I'm glad to say they haven't! :) Here's a little evolution of the belly the third time around...

6 weeks pregnant.
Can you believe I thought I looked fat? Oye.

12 weeks.

16 weeks.

20 weeks.

24 weeks.
28 weeks.
32 weeks.
36 Weeks.

Today at my appointment the doctor checked my cervix and I am 50% effaced and baby's head is low--I'm making progress!! My doctor doesn't think I'll go into labor over this next week and I am completely fine with that. Mainly because I have a facial appt., hair appt. and nail appt. all scheduled within this next week and I reeeeally don't want to miss them, haha! I mean a girl's gotta look put together when she's pushing out a baby right? ;) {I kid, I kid} I'm having contractions everyday and am excited to see if I make anymore progress by next weeks check up.

Even though the kids and I are spending much of our time in doors, we've still had some fun things going on. First and foremost, Jack started pre-school yesterday! He started at a new school which is always a little bit nerve wracking, but when I picked him up he was smiling from ear to ear with his art project in hand. He has two teachers {Miss Robin and Miss Mary} and both seem really lovely. Miss Robin said that by the end of this year each child should be able to write their first and last name and be able to do simple addition on their own. I guess we'll have to see! I'm still not sure if Jack will be making the leap to kindergarten next year or the following year, but either way I'm just so excited to see what this year has in store for him.

Such a big boy!

Sissy was excited for him!
This is his first year going two days a week and I'm actually excited for the change. It's always hard to see your baby leave you (if only for a few hours!), but having him gone is giving me some quality time with Lily before the baby comes AND is able to give me some time to work on projects around the house. My nesting brain has been on overload lately, so I want to get any last minute to-do items checked off so I can spend some much needed time resting!! And even more than resting I really want to just spend quality time with my two little ones. A new baby coming into the mix is going to be an adjustment for everyone and I just want to take the time to be really present with both of them right now. Even happy adjustments take some getting used too! :) These next few weeks will be spent snuggling together, watching movies, coloring together, reading books, eating lots of popsicles on the front porch and running through the sprinklers.

Being super pregnant also equals being super tired. And I just am praying daily for patience to be the best mom and wife that I can be right now. To be present, to be loving and above all else to savor these wonderful beings God has blessed me with.
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