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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tattoo Generation

They were talking about tattoos this morning on the radio show I listen to and it was so interesting to hear two completely different perspectives.  The two older hosts on the show just didn't understand tattoos and admitted they had some pre-judgment any time they saw people with tattoos.  The female DJ was absolutely adamant that she would never allow her daughter to get a tattoo.  (Good luck with that!)  The two younger hosts on the show had a totally different perspective on body art.

It is rare to find someone my age (yes, almost 30) that doesn't have a tattoo.  I have two and really want another so I admit they are definitely addicting.  It makes me laugh when people say I will regret this when I am 70.  I don't think I will though because I will look the exact same as every other 70 year old out there.  And lucky for y'all I don't plan on wearing bikinis when I'm 70, or now for that matter.

I don't really have a point to this post other than to say that I really hope people don't judge others based on how many tattoos they have.  I have known some incredibly intelligent people who have a passionate love for Jesus who are covered in sleeves. 

It really is true that we should never judge a book by its cover.






~Jewels*

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Choices in Marriage

As a wife I have so many choices I can make on a day to day basis relating to my husband.  And this sudden realization is what prompted this post.

The other night Garrett came to bed late after watching the Rangers game.  I had JUST fallen asleep when he busted into the room making all kinds of noise.  I truly don't think he was intentionally being an ass or trying to wake me up but that's definitely what it felt like.  I tried to roll over and go back to sleep when all of a sudden I hear this loud crunching and popping.  He was drinking from his water bottle...in bed...two inches from my head.  And not just drinking but draining the plastic bottle and letting it crunch and squeak and make all kinds of noises.  He then proceeds to squish it up into a ball.  Why?  I don't know.  I so badly wanted to reach over, yank that water bottle from his hand and chunk it across the room.  But instead I chose to ignore him and go to sleep.

This is kind of a ridiculous example of one of the choices I can make on a daily basis  but isn't that what marriage is about?!  After being married so long it's not necessarily the big life issues that you always fight about.  It's those little annoying habits that the other person does that makes you feel like you're going completely insane.

There are other issues in a marriage though that I know people have a hard time dealing with and one of those is money.  Garrett rarely goes out and spends money without talking to me about it first.  But there have been times where he will drop by the liquor store and pickup a $50 bottle of scotch when we are tight on money.  It infuriates me.  I can choose to go out and spend $50 on myself to "get him back" or I can choose to have a calm discussion with him that we are tight on money and move on about my day.  Trying to get him back in that way would only end up stressing me out more anyways.

We have choices we can make every day in our marriage.  Some big, some small.  I am a planner, and therefore a worrier, by nature.  I like to fix things and make everything right and everyone happy.  It has taken me a long time to learn that I can't fix Garrett.  I married him for who he is.  If I want him to change I have two choices: I can nag him until he changes (which will likely make him resent me and never want to make him change) or I can pray that God changes Him in His own way in His own time.  I have practiced the latter for the last several years and it has proven to be a much wiser choice.

Marriage is not easy.  But we have choices we can make on a daily basis, some big and some small.  These choices can determine the outcome of our marriage, our family's happiness and if we're all being honest - our own sanity! :)  And to end on a funny note...







~Jewels*

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Early 30th Celebration Weekend

What.A.Weekend!

Friday my mom told me she wanted to pick up the kids and spend the afternoon with them.  This is not at all unusual since Grammy loves spending time with all of her grandkids.  Besides, how could you not want to spend extra time with these guys? ;)


She asked me not to pick them up until after 3:00 and I get off work at 1:30 so I decided to waste some time.  I went to Target to by a gift for someone and did a little "window shopping".  I thought it would be a good idea to go to Wal Mart and do some grocery shopping.  My quick shopping trip turned into a nightmare.  It took 15 minutes at the deli counter, I couldn't find anything in the store and worst of all - I got to my mom's house only to find out that the lady didn't bag all of my groceries.  Ugh!  So back to Wal Mart I went. 

When I finally got to my mom's house I walked in and heard my cousin's voice.  I didn't think much of it because she lives here in the area so I just thought she dropped by for a visit.  Then I look over at the other chair and there is my cousin from Austin.  I started getting confused.  Then I see my sister's boot on the floor (she wears a boot from her recent foot surgery) and I started getting more confused.  They were all smiling so I knew no one had died. 

They told me they were here to surprise me (a month early) for my 30th birthday and had a whole weekend planned.  Well my mind went into freak out mode.  The only things I remember saying are, "But I have to go to my Couples' Group tonight.  I have to make a dip.  I have to get home and make a dip.  And I have to go to a birthday party tomorrow.  And Garrison has a game tomorrow."  My mom knows me all too well and just laughed at me saying she knew I would be stressed out.  This picture captures my confusion perfectly.


And my mom had these beautiful flowers for me!


Apparently my husband had known about this for a month and did a really good job at keeping it a secret.  He kept trying to keep from doing things I wanted to do that weekend and I couldn't figure out why. 

The weekend went a little something like this...
We went to Campisi's (yummy) in Dallas Friday night.  Then we were off to see Wicked.  It was amazing and I highly recommend you try to go while it's still in Dallas (through May 5th).  You can click here to look up tickets.  I can't believe I didn't think to get any pictures at either place.


We all spent the night at my mom's and she made us an awesome breakfast Saturday morning.  We went to Firewheel for a little shopping and  a late lunch and then everyone made it to Garrison's game that afternoon.  Here is a silly shot of my sister Kristin, aka Kiki, and Garrison.  He LOVES Aunt Kiki!



Saturday night was so much fun!  They made reservations at Painting with a Twist in Garland.  I have always wanted to go there and the experience did not disappoint.  It's a cool place where you have an instructor and they teach you all how to do the same painting from start to finish.  I think everyone is pretty amazed at what they can do.  You can also bring wine and snacks which is of course a huge bonus!  Here are some pictures from the night!  Love these girls so much!!!


Cousins

Mama and her girls

MK blow drying her canvas - she looks serious!

Group Shot - So glad my Grandmama made it!

Love my cousin, Elisabeth

Beautiful Sister, Kristin

Grandmama ~ I love her so much more than words can describe!
 
My beautiful, go with the flow and always perky Mama!

I tried to take pictures of my painting in stages to give you an idea of what we did.







And here are some group shots!



Sunday we all went to church and had a late brunch.  Ethan didn't like it very much when all were laughing at his "poop face".  How cute is he though?!


My sister had to go back to Houston (sad face) but my cousins, Garrett, the kids and I all went to Top Golf.  It was a BEAUTIFUL afternoon for it!  Again, no pictures.  Ugh.

Sunday night we went to dinner for my cousin's 18th birthday.  By that point Ethan was exhausted and I felt bad that he was spending the night with my parents since my sitter was on vacation Monday.  They had a good time though and even managed to get him a bath before bed.  I love, love, love this picture of him and my mom!  Bath Hair for sure!


A few weeks ago I had posted on Facebook that Garrison thought I made up the "I wish I was a little bit taller" song.  Well, he heard it on a commercial the other day and suddenly it wasn't the weird song his mom made up but a cool song he wanted to learn.  He made me teach it to him Sunday night and insisted that I record him.  Uh oh - I think I have turned him into a little ham! 

Here is a funny outtake.

And here is the "real deal".  Oh my!



I had an absolutely amazing weekend with my family and I am so incredibly blessed to have people in my life that love me and want to spoil me rotten! 

~Blessed (almost) 30 Year Old!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Making Sense of the Nonsense

Yesterday was a tragic day for Boston.  The most updated numbers show three dead (including an 8 year old child) and 144 injured, several of those in critical condition.  It was also a tragic day here locally in Dallas where a man shot and killed his pregnant girlfriend and unborn child.  In the midst of all the recent tragedies in America I find myself, yet again, pondering how short and precious life is.



Someone posted this on Facebook yesterday, "When does this nonsense of violence end?".  My response was, "When we go to heaven".  It is impossible for us to try to understand the nonsensical violence that takes place here on earth because we live in a broken world.  The world will always be broken and it will always have evil.  And I know the answer is not for us to shelter ourselves and our families.  The answer is not to hide in fear.  The answer is to keep trusting in God and praising Him in all circumstances.  The answer is to build up sons and daughters to put ALL of their hope in the One who gave them life so they can show Jesus to this broken world.

I can't seem to get this passage out of my head this morning so I wanted to share it with you:

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside the still waters.  He restores my soul; he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.  Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
~Psalm 23:1




I know that when tragedy strikes we all realize how precious life is.  I know that we all hug our family members extra tight and thank God for our blessings.  Don't let that feeling fade.  Refuse to fall back into the normal routine of life where we take each breath for granted.  Recognize that Jesus gave you those emotions for a reason.  We are meant to do great things in this life.  Don't waste another second!





Jewels*

Friday, April 12, 2013

God Has a Sense of Humor!

Garrett and I have always joked that we were scared to have another child after Garrison because he truly was the perfect baby/toddler/little boy.  We were just sure that if we had another one he would be the complete opposite.  Fast forward about six years and we were blessed enough to be able to adopt one of the most beautiful boys I have ever laid eyes on ~ Ethan Gregory Thomas!

As a baby Ethan was SO easy - he started sleeping through the night about two months after we brought him home, he rarely cried, he did not have acid reflux (unlike Garrison) nor was he colicky.  Over the last several months this little angel baby has decided to show us his stubborn and VERY independent streak.  And it makes me realize - God really does have a sense of humor.  I can just see God looking down at me now, saying, "You thought raising kids was easy, huh?  You thought you had it ALL figured out on your own, didn't you?".  Okay, God... I might need a little help this time around! :) 

This precious boy throws random tantrums by falling onto the carpet face down, screaming.  He laughs when I tell him no (and then repeats what he just did). And he randomly yells "NO" to me all.the.time!  I honestly think I am in such shock half the time that I don't even know how to react. 

As sweet and cuddly as this boy can be (leaning in with a smile to give me "kisses" when I ask for them), I've decided that it's time for this Mama to get back into the swing of mothering a toddler.  Consistency, consistency, consistency. 
I sure hope I'm up for the challenge!  Wish me luck!!!

Loving on Tex - in the dog cage (his favorite room in the house)!

Don't let that innocent smile fool you for a second! ;)

Wrapping himself in toilet paper
 
LOVE HIM!

Love those blue eyes!

Like I said, wish me luck! :)
 
 
~Jewels*

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

100

My friend Julia posted a link to a great article today along with a cool video.  You can read it here.  Just like the author of the article I had a sudden realization of how short life is after watching this video.  And I really started pondering his question, "What would you do if you only had one hundred years to live?".

Isn't it funny how older people seem so laid back?  I was at my hairdresser's yesterday and her co-worker, an older lady, was in the room with us.  We were talking about parenting and all kinds of other life issues.  We were giving each other advice and talking about all of the what ifs.  After about 30 minutes I realized that the older lady wasn't saying too much.  But the input she did have was incredibly wise and simple.  I think when we are going through the hardest parts of life - a struggling marriage, finding the balance of working and holding together a family, trying to parent in a way that we don't totally screw up our kids, etc. - we get so caught up in trying to do everything right that we sometimes forget to enjoy the "right now" and we miss the point of life. 

I could spend time worrying about how my marriage will be in ten years.  I could spend time worrying about my boys rebelling as teenagers and what I can do now to prevent that.  I could worry that my grandma, mom, dad or sister might get sick and I selfishly won't have them here with me on this earth as long as I want them.  OR I can simply enjoy every moment I have with my family.  I can continue to try and be the person I know God wants me to be.  I can continue to love my family and cherish every single memory we make together.  I think the latter sounds much more enjoyable.

So, back to the author's question of what I would do if I only had one hundred years to live... I will try my best to live every day of this life for the One who gave me life.  I will remind myself that life is short and I need to embrace it.  I will cherish my husband and the sanctity of our marriage.  I will continue to give thanks every day for my amazing and healthy boys and do the best I can to raise them into Godly men who will make an impact on this world for the better.  And when it's time for me to leave this life behind (whether I'm 30 or 90) I will do it with no regrets.


~Jewels* 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Winna' Winna' Chicken Dinna'

My boss told us yesterday we have a professional photographer coming in the week after next to get our pictures for the website.  You can imagine my excitement since I am sporting about three inches of roots right now.  Money has been super tight so I've been trying to hold off as long as I can but the time has come.  And now comes the difficult decision of whether to chop off my hair or leave it long.  I have a weird husband who likes my hair short.  I like it both ways.  And then this morning on the way into work it dawned on me... if the biggest decision in my life right now is what to do with my hair I think I'm a pretty blessed girl!

Baseball has this girl excited today!  It's opening day for the Rangers at home (Hurry up 1:05 pm!) and it's finally opening night for my big boy's baseball team.  Here's to hoping they don't call the game (again) for the fields being too wet still.  Go Cubs!!!






 
I made a chicken dish from Pinterest last night and believe me when I say it was the bomb diggety.  Yes, I did just say that.  Ladies, for those of you who think cooking a good meal takes way too much effort this is a meal you will love.  It's super easy, doesn't take too long (prep time and cooking is about 45 minutes) and it's DELISH! 
 
I'm sure it has a fancy title but I just like to call it "Winna' Winna' Chicken Dinna'". 
 
I halved this recipe since it was just for two of us.  Below is the full recipe.
 
 
Ingredients
                      
oil, for greasing pan (I lined the pan with foil)                                                
              
8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves                                                   

                
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly coat a large, shallow baking dish with oil (or line with foil).

Butterfly each breast by slicing in half horizontally through the center, cutting almost but not completely through. Place one slice each of Cheddar and cream cheese in the center of each breast. Close again as if placing between the pages of a book. Set aside.


Pour milk into a shallow bowl. In a separate bowl, combine breadcrumbs and Romano cheese. Carefully dip each breast first in milk, then in breadcrumb mixture, patting lightly to firmly coat. Place breasts side by side in a single layer in pre-oiled baking dish, tucking edges under to seal.



Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in lemon juice and garlic, and drizzle evenly over chicken. Season breasts with garlic salt and paprika, if using.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until no longer pink in center and juices run clear. 


Here is the stock picture from Pinterest (much prettier than mine)!



~Jewels*
 


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Toothless...Finally!

It seems like all of Garrison's friends have lost at least one or two teeth.  He has had a loose tooth for what feels like a year now.  In reality it has probably only been about four months.  I really thought we were going to have to have his baby teeth surgically removed at some point after all this waiting.  But FINALLY the tooth seemed like it was loose enough to come out.

Two nights ago we decided we were going to try and pull it.  He has the teeniest tiniest teeth I have ever seen so pulling it by hand was not an option (unless I wanted to grab a handful of teeth).  I decided to whip out the phone and take some recordings of our attempts.  And when I say "our" I really mean "Garrett's".  Ha!

By the way, you might want to turn the sound down on your computer for these.  Don't be afraid of the woodpecker that sounds like it is coming through your computer screen and ready for attack.  That's just my laugh. :)

 
Take 1
 
 
 
Take 2
 
 
 
 
Take 3
 
 
 
We finally gave up on Tuesday night.  Last night we decided it was going to be THE NIGHT!  Especially after I saw that it was pretty much hanging by a thread. 
 
 
We were going to wait for Daddy to get home so he could pull it.  I was cooking dinner and Garrison came running into the kitchen telling me his tooth "fell out".  I hate that I didn't get it on video but I did get Garrison breaking it down for me right after it happened.  My favorite line is, "I'm a man and Daddy is not!".  Bahahaha!
 

 
He was SO excited!  He immediately called my mom and mother-in-law to share the great news!  Here is my little toothless boy.  I told my mom last night that I was actually kind of sad about it.  It's very bittersweet to see your little boy grow up before your eyes.
 


Later that night the tooth fairy went to Sugar Daddy's wallet to get a dollar bill.  Sugar Daddy didn't think a dollar was sufficient for the very first tooth so they decided a five dollar bill would be best.  Is it just me or is that a little steep?  Damn cost of inflation.
 
The tooth fairy actually followed through with a Pinterest idea she saw a while back and left Garrison this really cool note. 
 
 
She was SO nervous before going into this room.  She anxiously paced the living room and told Sugar Daddy she could ruin Garrison's childhood forever if he woke up while she was slipping his note/money under his pillow.  Tooth Fairy finally got brave enough to head in and she held her breath for a good two minutes praying he wouldn't wake up... Success!
 
Garrison was SO excited this morning when he woke up and found his note and money from the tooth fairy. 
 
 
 
I love you Toothless!  I can't believe you are almost done with 1st grade and have finally lost your first tooth.  Here is to many more firsts in your life!
 
~Mama