The best days of my life.


The Monday after Easter I took the kids to my parents house to play and help devour the leftovers from the feast my mom had prepared one day prior. I love spending time with my mom and the kids always love going to Nenie and Pappy's house. After we finished some snacking Lily asked if I would "give her a ride" on this dolly that somehow managed to get onto my parents paddle tennis court. These days the dolly hauls grandchildren instead of furniture. Anyway, she asked me to give her a ride so while she sat on the dolly I'd push her while running wildly back and forth across the court. It was a good bit of fun for the both of us and her joyous laughter is a sound I wish I could just bottle up. While I was pushing her she gleefully exclaimed, "This is the best day of my life!" It made me laugh. Really? The BEST day? Why? "I went to the paaaark, you made me a ham sandwich for luuuuunch and now we're playing on this car thing. It's the best day of my life!"

I've been thinking about what she said for the last few weeks and I wonder if my little four year old has more of this life thing figured out than I do. I don't go to bed every night thinking that I just had the best day of my life. Don't get me wrong, I have good days. A lot of them as a matter of fact. But would I consider any of them the BEST DAY of my life. My knee jerk reaction is, not really. When I think of the best days of my life immediately my mind goes to the day I got engaged, my wedding day, the birth day of each of my children, the day Marcus and I renewed our wedding vows, the first time I realized I was pregnant, a handful of birthdays. Are momentous days the only BEST days? Certainly not. Am I finishing each day with "this is the best day ever" kind of attitude? Certainly not.

Being a stay-at-home mom can be a little bit like Groundhog Day. My days are very much in a routine. Not a strict schedule, but definitely a routine. Sometimes we shake it up and deviate from the usual, but most days we don't. If I'm being honest my main objective each day is to make sure my kids are loved, nurtured, fed, exercised, bathed and rested. On top of that I also try to complete one cycle of laundry from start to finish, make sure the dishes have been loaded and unloaded, keep the kitchen tidy-ish.  If I'm feeling really optimistic I'll tackle one of the hundreds of projects on my to-do list. Some days I've just got it together, many days it seems I don't.

It's not down on any map, true place never are.
-Herman Melville

Billy Graham once said that the greatest surprise he had discovered about his life was the brevity of it, especially once he reached his later years. At this particular season of my life, time seems to be moving slowly. Some days seem longer than others and that can be really hard at times. Not because I don't love my life, because assuredly I do. But when you're a mom to three young children and a wife to a husband who works very long hours, days can get a bit weary. I get tired, my patience runs thin. Thank goodness I serve a God that loves me unconditionally and shows me His grace each day. If it were left up to me to fill up my soul with love, compassion and forgiveness each day, I would always fail.

Through the tiredness and exhaustion, I can see this gift. My season of routine, of simplicity, of unending days and messes and laundry is a gift that bears no price tag. All too soon it will be a distant memory that I'll look back upon with fondness. I see the brevity of life. My sweet four year old's words bring me back to center, God's unwavering love bring my soul humility and grace. These truly are the best days of this homemakers life.

A (p)inspiring Easter


We were lucky enough to celebrate Easter two days in a row this year. On Saturday, we drove down to Malibu to spend Easter with my husband's side of the family and it was such a gorgeous day that it made the traffic completely worth it :) I brought the hard boiled eggs to decorate along with the plastic eggs filled with candy to hunt. My sister-in-law was in charge of the food and decorations and she out did herself! When you walked into the house it immediately felt like Easter! My SIL ended up spending a lot of time on Pinterest and put together the yummiest, sweetest celebration! The kids loved EVERYTHING and in fact so did I. I left her house feeling very Pinspired ;p

Easter Egg Garland made from paint cards!

Bunny Fruit Salad

Deviled Peeps--How CUTE are these?

Bunny, Easter Egg and Flower cutout sandwiches. (chicken salad, tuna, PB&J)

Easter Spread

Homemade Frozen  Pop--Greek yogurt mixed with honey. SO DELICIOUS! 
The kids approved of everything, especially the Greek Yogurt pops. Aren't these just the CUTEST cousins you've ever seen?! In a few short months my new niece will join this lively bunch and I cannot wait! The rest of the afternoon was spent decorating eggs, hunting eggs, eating copious amounts of jelly beans and swimming in the "hot pool"(ie jacuzzi). It really was the best day :)

On Easter Sunday we woke up and had the kids open their baskets. Each little peep got a new swimsuit, bubbles, chalk and chocolate. Our littlest peep also got a pair of sunglasses that she's been wearing non. stop. and the cuteness is kind of killing me. Shortly after that was finished, I got the kids in their Easter best and we drove (2 blocks away!) to my parents house. My mom (as always) hosted a wonderfully delicious celebration. My mom was Pinterest before Pinterest was Pinterest, if that makes any sense. After we I stuffed myself with ham, deviled eggs, hot cross buns, mashed potatoes, sweet potato and carrot mash it was time to hide the eggs. My brother and I hid them all over my parents front yard. I actually had brought so many eggs that I just had to start throwing them around on the grass, because I had run out of places to hide them. Ah well, it ended up working out well for the kids I think ;)

This is the best cousin pic I could get!
Our beautiful god daughter Sophie
Our baby's first egg hunt!


Could you stop growing so fast sweet boy?

Little girls in their Easter bonnets.
I've never met a holiday I didn't like, but Easter truly is one of my favorites. Not just for all the amazingly fun reasons I've already listed, but for simply one; the hope and promise of eternal life. Not just for me and my peeps, but everyone. Everyone who believes in Christ. Death has been defeated, good will triumph over evil, our debt has been paid by His blood. Now that is truly something inspiring.

Happiest of Easters to you and yours. Until next time.

Spring has Sprung!


One of my favorite parts of Spring is Spring cleaning. Isn't it just the BEST feeling when you purge all the unnecessary clutter from your life? They say a cluttered life leads to a cluttered mind and a cluttered mind is absolutely the last thing I need in my life. Over the last few days I've been going through Jack and Lily's room and have already gotten rid of two large trash bags worth of clothing and toys (shhhh don't tell my kids). I also went through my bedroom and gathered another large trash bag of various items (shhhh don't tell my husband ;). I'm on a quest to live a more stream lined and organized life. It's definitely not a trait that comes easy to me. I have a hoarders heart and have a really hard time parting with things that I hold any sentimental value with, especially things of my kids. However, I gently remind myself that it's all just "stuff". Keep the irreplaceable and to heck with the rest!

I also did a bit of Spring Cleaning on my blog :) I'm loving my new look and am excited about all the new projects I have coming up. When you clear out all the junk from your life you're able to open yourself up to the good stuff in life. And for me, writing is the good stuff. It's where I'm able to me. The wife, the mom, the girl, the optimist, the dreamer. It's a place where I can lay out my thoughts and hopefully learn a little bit more about myself in the process.

After Easter I'm tackling the baby's room and the garage (dun dun dun!) and I CAN'T wait! Spring has sprung in the Martinez household!

Do you love Spring cleaning? I'll admit I didn't really ever do it until I had kids and now its my favorite thing! I try to do big purges at least twice a year.

How do you keep the clutter from taking over your house? I'm a wannabe housekeeper and am always interested in tips and tricks. Oh how I wish I could have inherited my mom's Type A genes! But practice makes progress right? :)

Begin, Again.


I've come to the sad realization that I have not blogged since September. The last four months went by at veracious speed its seems. We kept ourselves pretty busy with activities from September until late November and then once December hit I was kept busy with sick kids. When one kid seemed to be getting better, another seemed to have caught a new virus. It was a vicious cycle that kept us home (and stir crazy) for almost the entire month. I tried to make the Christmas season as fun as I could, but to be perfectly honest it just plain stunk. I will say that Christmas day was absolutely delightful and really when you put things in perspective that's the only day that you really want to get right anyway, right?

Before I can move forward I feel like I need to play catchup with the three kidlets. Four months in the lives of a 5, 3 and 1 year old is huge! The little things add up to the big things. Here's where they've been and where they are...


{{Jack}} This guy started Jr. Kindergarten at the beginning of September and has been loving it! I am so SO glad we decided to hold Jack. It was the right decision for him and I've seen him grow and mature in so many ways that make my heart burst with joy. He's still the sweet, sensitive boy that he's always been and yet still manages to push boundaries and challenge authority with the best of 'em. For Halloween this year he decided on being the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz and he was SO DARN CUTE. I love that he's still little and will go along with my zany dress up ideas. Once December hit he had the worst bout with asthma that we've had to date. I say "we", because you better believe that this mama was there for every single croup attack, breathing treatment, steam shower, allergy appointment, pharmacy run and so on that was thrown my way. He finally went on a liquid steroid for five days just so he could catch a breath without coughing. I've said it before and I'll say it a thousand more times, I hate asthma. There is nothing worse than having you child not be able to breath. Nothing. All that being said, we've finally got his breathing under control for now and he's been living and breathing life to the fullest. He's been begging his dad and I to put him in a sport so we're going to put him in some kind of martial art a couple times and week and see how he does. I'm excited for this new first and so is he!

{{ Lily}} Oh my little Lilybug. Lily had a bit of a rough start with school. She cried every time I dropped her off for the first three weeks and it completely broke my heart! Even though I dropped her off in tears when I picked her up she was always filled with smiles and laughter. She has a wonderful teacher this year who has made her feel safe and secure and that is such blessing to me. Lily loves learning and drawing. Most of the time I'll find her sitting in the living room quietly practicing how to write her name. She's so smart and very intuitive. NOTHING flies over Lily's head, ha! Marcus and I say all the time that it would not shock us if this kid becomes a doctor or a lawyer. She asks a lot of questions and wants the facts. She's deeply sensitive and compassionate, yet really keeps her emotions in check. I've seen her really blossom over these last four months. She's not as shy as she used to be and is becoming more social with peers.  Jack is still her best friend and she adores her baby sister. This girl is my shadow and I rarely can go anywhere without Lily glued to my side. Some days that can be very frustrating, but I keep in mind that it won't last forever. And I have every assurance that when she's not right at my heels I will miss it terribly. She's going to be four in just a couple months and the thought of that creates a lump in my throat. My baby is turning into such a lovely, fun loving little girl.

{{Eva}} Our Evie weevie is 16 months old. Sixteen. Months. Old. Isn't that crazy? This third sweet little babe of mine is growing so much faster than my first two it seems. We celebrated her first birthday on September 20th with the theme "Sunshine and Sweet Lemonade" mainly because she is such a ray of sunshine to our family. Her laugh is amazing. And her smiles brighten my world. She's not walking yet, but takes around 3 steps at a time. In her spare time you can find her pushing her baby stroller all-- over-- the house. She's obsessed with babies (real and pretend) and completely adores her big brother and sister. She thinks Jack is hilarious and idolizes Lily. In the last few months I've really seen the girls relationship bloom into something really special. I never had a sister, but boy do I feel extremely blessed to raise these sisters. This girl is also a talker! She's talking so much earlier than my big kids and will talk (or shout) to anyone. I rarely am out in public without Evie yelling, "hi!!" to every single person she comes into contact with. Her favorite shows are "Baby Signing Time" and 'Rugrats". She's a terrific eater and will ask anyone for a bite of whatever they are eating. I just weened her from nursing a few days ago and it's been a bit emotional for mama, but it was just time. She's curious, she's silly and really she's just an all around joy. I love, love, love watching her grow.


And here we are. We made it through the holidays and all the busyness that comes hand in hand with that time of year. New Year's Eve was pleasant, but overall uneventful. I mean hello? We have three kids under 6. I'm still shocked I stayed awake until midnight! NYE is always a little sad for me, because in my mind Christmas is officially over. And with the way the last few weeks had been I was sad to not have savored it a bit more. With that being said however, I absolutely love New Year's Day! My mom always goes all out and has a wonderful spread of deliciously fattening food. In my reality it's really the last day I can feel guilt free about eating whatever I want--I mean it's a holiday for goodness sake! But really the reason I love New Years Day so much is that you get to begin again. I once read somewhere that January brings the first blank page of a 365 page book and I absolutely LOVE that idea. The new year brings the opportunity to dream, wish and hope for a year filled with better things. Maybe you hit the resolutions you make for yourself, maybe you don't. But the hope always for myself is that I become a better wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend than I was before. A better woman of faith. Always better tomorrow than I am today. At least that's my hope.

Until next time.

Goodbye Summertime.


Happy Labor Day! Is anyone else in complete amazement that it's already September? This has without a doubt been the busiest summer our family has had yet. We moved into our new home at the end of July and up until basically this moment I've been unpacking, organizing and getting things settled. I've actually taken the time to turn this new house into a home and it has been such a joy and fun project for me to focus on this summer. There's still many more home projects on my horizon, but it's such a good feeling seeing things come together! :)

Our sitting area. M and I have our coffee here every morning.
Awesome tree painted by my terrific Father-in-Law.

Plate art!
I had been wanting to do this for awhile and am so happy with how it turned out.

Jack completed 3 sessions of swim lessons (that would be 6 weeks total!) this summer and is officially swimming all by himself! I mean one would hope after 6 weeks of swim lessons, right? ha! He has turned out to be a really great swimmer and absolutely loves being in the pool. His dad and I are actually thinking that swimming might be a great sport for our little guy to try in the near future! He also completed his first ever art camp and he LOVED it!! I've said it before, but this guy has a little artists heart. The camp was a week long and he created some amazing pieces of artwork. Of COURSE I am completely biased, but I think the kid has real talent.

loving the OC fair.

so proud of my swimmer!

frame worthy.

this kid loves the beach...and his sister.

Lily was completely content NOT being involved in any activities this summer. :) I mean she's three so I really don't feel like she's quite at the age where she needs to be doing something constantly...and honestly she might just turn out to be the kind of soul who doesn't like a lot of busy-ness (ahem, unlike her older sibling :) I've really seen so much more of Lily's personality develop over the course of this summer and it's really been fun to watch. She's my little introvert, but is quite hilarious actually. She has pulled every dress and pair of shoes out of my closet at least a dozen times this summer to try on and parade around the house in. When she isn't playing dress up, she can be found singing or dancing quietly by herself.
manicures for mama's birthday.

just trying on mom's clothes.


my little lady.

Eva is on the move! About 2 weeks ago she finally figured out how to crawl and is now into everything. With her finally on the go it sort of officially feels like I now have three kids, haha. Even though this new stage can be a bit more challenging, I'm ready for it. Each new stage is such a gift and really is always short lived. Before I know it she'll be walking, climbing, running! It's so bittersweet seeing my sweet little babe slowly turning into a toddler, but I'm truly enjoying the journey of it all.

daddy's girl.

sleepy babe.

first lunch in our new home.

she's on the move!

August brought an end to Jack's summer activities (which I was completely ready for) and brought on some fun trips. I went away with a few girlfriends to Las Vegas for one night and it turned out to be exhausting and completely exhilarating. This was my first overnight trip with girlfriends since my BACHELORETTE PARTY! The fact that I can rarely get away by myself is neither shocking nor disappointing to me. I have three tiny children at home who need me and if I'm being perfectly honest, I really don't like being away from them. Yes, I need time to myself. And yes, I need time away from my children. However, finding the balance of it all is something I struggle with. Going away though for just over 24 hours felt really good. And I think I realized that getting away for a night here and there is okay--it doesn't make me a bad mom, it doesn't make them feel abandoned. The kids got to spend some one and one time with their dad which they all loved, and I got to remember what it feels like to take an hour to get ready for dinner as well as enjoy a hot meal. :) In addition to my mom's getaway we also had our annual summer family vacation.  In years past we've always gone to Laguna, but this year we decided to book three nights at our most favorite place, Avila Beach. Overall, the kids had a blast and we made some awesome family memories. There's nothing better than when the five of us are together. It was the perfect way to end our summer and gear up for school starting tomorrow.

Vegas (sans) baby Vegas!

Avila Pier.

mama and coconut.

family photo.
Avila Farm.

first time touching sand.
School....starts....tomorrow. I have mixed emotions about the whole thing. I know they are both ready to go--ready to learn, ready to meet new friends, ready for this next phase. Jack will be going five days a week and Lily will only be going two. They are going to grow and learn so much, it really is so exciting! However, with school starting comes the reality that they're getting older and life is only going to get busier now that we'll be in a set routine. And that's okay, it's as it should be. I'm just focusing on all the positives of this new change, because there really are a lot of good things to focus on. But if around 830am tomorrow morning you happen to be saying a prayer, could you throw one my way? My heart needs all the prayers and good vibes I can get during the first day drop off. :)

So after today I guess it's goodbye summertime. For the first time in a really long time I'm sad to see it go. We had a full season filled with lots of swimming, beach days, new adventures and some pretty great memories were made. I'm thinking that September will be a wonderful transition into fall. School's starting, Eva will be turning one and Lord knows I'm ready to welcome some cooler weather. Oh my yes, it's going to be wonderful.

Swimming and Sunshine equals Summertime!


June gloom is gone and the warm July weather is here! Those who know me know that I am not a fan of hot weather (as in any temp over 75 degrees ;p), but for some reason July is the one and only month that I'm okay with the heat. I even kind of like it. It's a perfect excuse for swimming everyday, running through the sprinklers before dinner, eating Popsicle's on the front porch, lazy beach days in Laguna and consuming iced coffee at anytime throughout the day. It's also a month filled with one of my favorite holidays as well as my birthday and my hubby's birthday--can July get much better?! ;) However usually once August rolls around I am completely over air conditioning, hot car seats, wet bathing suits, staying inside and am full on ready for fall, ha!

July 4th, 2014
Summer treats!
My grandma's cookies are good for the soul :)
 Summer 2014 has already started off with a busy bang! Jack graduated from pre-school and just a few short days later he jumped {literally} right into swim lessons. He absolutely LOVES swim class! Even better than loving it, he's doing amazing. He passed Level 1 and we just started Level 2 this week and I have been wearing my "proud mom" hat daily. He is working so hard and I think we might just have a bonafide swimmer by summer's end. :) It's definitely been quite a commitment (5 days a week for the last 3 weeks!), but I'm already certain that it is well worth it.

My little fish.
In addition to swimming up a storm this summer, Jack also attended his first Vacation Bible School (VBS) ever. What a wonderful experience! I'm not even sure I can put into words how much he loved it. It was basically four nights of crafts, singing and fellowship. He still sings loudly and proudly all the songs he learned, ha! He also has been asking me all sorts of questions about Jesus, God and heaven. Some questions I'm still not quite sure how to answer appropriately for a five year old brain, but I love that he's asking. Just last night when it was just he and I in the car he was asking me his usual questions about Jesus. Then out of nowhere he simply asked, "Mama, how do I get Jesus to live in my heart all the time?" I was a bit taken aback, but I told him that all he had to do was ask. So he said a prayer in the back of my minivan and asked Jesus to live in his heart. All the time. It's a moment that will forever be captured in this mama's heart. He'll be attending his second VBS next week at the school he'll be attending in the fall and I am so eager to see how God will work in my sweet boy's life.

Even though Jack has been the focus of these many summer activities, his little sister's have been perfectly content just coming along for the ride. This is really the first summer that I've felt the need to keep my little guy busy. He's a boisterous five years old and it is essential (for my own sanity and his, ahem) that he stays active. We'll be finishing off the rest of July with more swim lessons and even his first art camp! He has such an artist's heart and I cannot wait to see what he creates. Come August things will a little bit more mellow for us, but only just a bit.

Another item to add to our busy list is... we're moving! It was sort of a last minute development, but an opportunity came our way that was too good to pass up. So now the house is sold, our entire lives are being packed up and in two shorts weeks escrows will be closed and we will be on our way. :) We're still very close to where we are now, but with a little more added room for our growing family. We are SO excited.

Goodbye house.
Thank you for some pretty incredible memories.
Well, there's the low down. M will be out of town for the next couple days so the kids and I are going to try and stay cool and even maybe venture off to the OC County Fair for a little bit of fun. And a little bit of iced cold chocolate milk of course :) I'll also be up to my ears in moving boxes. Packing up a household with three children in tow is about as fun as you can imagine, but I'm constantly reminding myself that the whole moving process will be over with soon enough. Until then if anyone needs me I'll be hiding in a box and drinking iced coffee. :)
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