Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My Tribute to Anthony

My heart is heavy. 

This weekend, my cousin passed away in a car wreck. He would have turned 23 next month. 

Truthfully, we weren't close. But that's part of the reason I can't understand why it hurts so much.

He was so young. He was an amazing man.

Each time the tears start to spill, I focus on my thoughts, to understand my pain. 
I've realized a few things.

I mourn for the loss of life. So many things he'll never get to experience.

I mourn because he was family. I was saddened a few weeks ago when a young man in our community was killed. But this time, its a million times worse. He was family. Closeness or not, that makes it harder to comprehend.

But most of all, I mourn for his family. His parents. I can't even imagine the pain of loosing one of your children. One moment, everything is fine. The next moment, you receive that phone call that no parent should ever receive.

I mourn for his siblings; one brother and three sisters. Just thinking of them trying to pick up the pieces and move on... I loose it. Not only did they loose a brother, but they lost an uncle to their children. They lost a best friend.

I keep thinking of the right words to take away their pain. Only to realize, those words don't exist. Here is the best I can come up with.

I wish I could tell you that the pain will go away. But I think that would imply that you would forget the pain and therefore, forget the love also. But someday, the pain won't hurt as much. Hopefully, someday you will be able to think of Anthony and smile and only have a small tear escape your eye. Someday, the pain will lessen enough that you'll feel like you can breathe again.

Its okay to take time to mourn. But remember that death is only final for the dead. The living are the ones that are left behind. Step by step, you will find a way to move on. Anthony will always be in your hearts. One day, you will realize its okay to move on. 

Its okay to ask for help. When I reached my lowest point, I was on the brink of hurting myself, or worse. I thought that if I sought professional health, it meant I was too weak. I thought I should be strong enough to do it on my own and others would think less of me if I couldn't. I was wrong. I think in the end, I never would have taken that final step to end my pain, but reaching out for help was one of the best things I ever did. 

Please remember you are not alone. God loves you. Over the last few days, I have felt that so much. I think that is why I have cried so much. Your pain is His pain. I know that is this all a part of His bigger plan. He knew it would hurt, but He is there for you. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Valex's 5th Birthday

When I ordered the toys to put on the cake, I thought they would be a little smaller. And I didn't realize most of them were bobble head toys. They were so cute, I wanted to keep one for myself. 

I also decided to find him super hero clothes for his birthday. I always have a hard time stopping myself with only one or two. 

I thought I was done buying him gifts, but then I found this shirt that had a detectable cape! I couldn't resist. They also had a batman one, but I decided to wait and get that one for Daxsen for his birthday. 

Since the toys were too heavy for the cake, we decided to put them around the cake, with just Superman on top. 

He loved it!

I saved the Superman gift for last. Before he got that one, I think this one was his favorite shirt, because it "was just like a ninja turtle!"

I even wrapped the cape by itself. 

The next day, I felt bad that Daxsen had to wait almost 2 months until he got a shirt with a cape. So I did what I do best (spoil the nephews) and decided to get him one now. I was really excited when it came in a Minion's box!

Valex's Birthday Card

When Valex asked for a Super Hero cake, I knew this would be the perfect card to send him in the mail. 

It actually ended up coming a few days late. I took it to work with me and thought I mailed it that day. But then the weekend came. When I got to work on Monday, it was still sitting on my desk. But he was so excited to get mail, he didn't seem to mind that it was a few days late. 

#MicroblogMonday: Here's to a new week

Two weeks ago, I had just about the best week ever. (God is Great). So awesome, that I knew it would be hard to continue to chase the high that it gave me. But I still didn't expect the week that followed be such an extreme opposite of a horrible week.

I think I'll just stick to this being a #MicroblogMonday. I'm worried about a few friends, I'm behind on my homework and Josh's hurt his back and wasn't able to work most of the week. (We're still not quite sure how he hurt it; we think it was a combination of several different things over the last 6 months.) Oh, and I can't remember the last time I deep cleaned my house.

Most of those problems are still with me this week. But I vow to make this a better week. I'm counting my blessings to remind myself that they outweigh my problems.

1- I have a good job. That's why I went back to school; so I could advance further with my company someday. So when the homework starts to stress me out, I remind myself it will be worth it in the long run.

2- Through difficult circumstances, I've been able to reforge old friendships. I didn't realize how much I missed having these people in my life. I almost forgot just how much I love them. Its been like a breath of fresh air to have them back in my life.

3- Josh is slowly starting to feel better. We had to see a couple different doctors and try a few different pain meds. And he starts physical therapy this week. Hopefully he is on the mend and this is just a minor setback. At least he hopes so; he's tired of being home bound and wants to start running and fishing again.

4- My house may be dirty, but its still a roof over my head. Those walls are filled not only with more than enough material things, but also with love.

5- Each day I am continually amazed as I continue to fall in love with Jesus more and more. Only to realize He loves me unconditionally.

You can find more of this weeks #MicroblogMondays posts HERE.

Josh's Day 2015

For Josh's Day, I got Josh some candy, a book, an itunes card and some new running shorts. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Super Hero Cake

Valex wanted a super hero cake for his birthday. I looked at a ton of ideas on Pinterest and decided to do a few of his favorite super hero's. 

Thor: I wasn't sure what to do for him, but I saw this idea and thought it would work. 


The Hulk


I found these cute bobble heads on Amazon. I was going to put them on the cake, but they were a little bigger than I thought they would be. So we just put them around the cake. At the very last minute, I decided to add Superman to the top. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

#MicroblogMonday: Panda Cupcakes

Valex turned 5 yesterday. We're having the family party next week, but Vanessa asked me to help make cupcakes for him to take to daycare. 

He had asked for panda cupcakes. She also told me that he wanted a hero cake for his birthday. Before I added supplies, I decided to check one more time. When she asked him if he wanted a hero style cake, he became concerned because he really wanted "bear cupcakes." But when she told him he still got those also, he cheered right back up.

I feel so blessed to be the aunt of these cute boys. I was able to take a break at work and deliver the cupcakes. I was having a really bad day, but when I saw them, my heart swelled with love and I was able to smile for a moment.

We frosted the cupcakes in white frosting and then dipped them in sanding sugar. It gave them a really cute texture, but I felt bad for the mess it left on the tables. We used chocolate chips for the ears and the nose. On some cupcakes, we sued candy eyes and then outlined them in black gel frosting. But we also made some eyes with chocolate chips, a dab of white frosting and a black pearl sprinkle. 

I love these boys so much!!

You can find more of this weeks #MicroblogMondays posts HERE.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

God is great

I can not let this day end without praising God.

I've been praying for a friend. Over and over I just kept telling God, "Keep her safe. Bring her home."

Earlier this week, I had to remind myself that God works on his own timing and I might have to just be patient with Him. "Keep her safe. Keep her son safe. Help her find a way to come home."

God has changed my heart over the last several months. I'm kinder. I'm less selfish. I look for ways I can help my fellow man.

Sometimes, it was something as simple as helping a mother clean up the milk her son spilled in a restaurant because I saw her walk in on crutches.

But sometimes, God opens doors and makes big things happen.

My friend and her son were able to come home one night this week. They didn't have anything. But they were home.

For two nights, I've laid awake for hours. The first night, it was just to praise God. But last night, I wanted to do something for her. I want her to know how much she is loved. How precious she is.

As I was falling asleep, I started to come up with a game plan. I have some extra money set aside because I want to buy a new couch. God reminded me, I have a couch. I have a bed. I have a closet full of clothes. A new couch can wait.

So then I thought, okay. I can spend $300. I thought that would be a good start. I wanted to get her a gift card for clothes and another one for groceries.

But God is a God of miracles. In the middle of the night, I remembered I already have a gift card for a clothing store. I went to spend it a few months ago, but couldn't find it. I finally convinced myself I had accidentally thrown it away and I just paid for the new clothes. A week later I found that gift card. It was right where I knew I had put it. I had looked in that spot twice before I went to buy new clothes and couldn't find it. So I decided to save it for another time.

I cried when I realized God found a way to turn my $300 into $400 because of a simple gift card.

But God wasn't finished.

This morning, I opened my purse to find a $100 check I haven't cashed yet. If it can just sit in my purse for a week without me needing it, it can be used for something else. God took my now $400 and turned it into $500.

God is great. I knew someone would be the city this weekend, so I put the $100 into their account and asked them to go to Costco and buy me diapers.

Then I took my remaining $300 (plus I still had the gift card), and decided I wanted to buy a bed. I asked on the Facebook Yardsale group for a full size bed. God found me a queen size bed. And it was free. And God also provided a high chair, clothes, blankets (and just barely made) and other odds & ends.

All day, God has opened doors for me. I have friends going through closets to give me clothes for her and her son. Toys for her son. I wanted her to know she was loved. But I didn't know that complete strangers would step up and show that love.

I was able to take my money and buy bedding, a toaster oven and a few odds and ends. And when I left, I still had $100 left. At this point, I can't deny God and his miracles. It didn't feel like my money anymore, so it'll be used to buy food or whatever else is needed.

God is great.

The day is done, but God isn't. Offers continue to roll in. One friend offered a car seat, but I don't need it because someone had already provided one. But still, I've found enough to stuff to feel my truck again. Toddler bed, coffee table, bedside table. The list goes on and on. Her family is seeing these miracles too. 

God is great. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

#MicroblogMonday: A Good Teacher

When I was in 7th grade, my math teacher gave us a test the first week of school. At the end of the week, he kept me after class and told me I needed to change out of his class and enroll into Pre-Algebra. I was too smart for his class.

True to young teenager character, I put it off until it was too late and the school wouldn't allow me to change classes anymore. Again, my teacher kept me after class and told me I was too smart for his class and he didn't want to hold me back. So we came to an agreement. I would work through the book at my own pace. The goal was to finish it early and then he would get me a copy of the next level so I could start on it.

I think that was my favorite class ever. I loved sitting in the corner and just doing my own thing. After that, I always excelled at math.

Until this spring when I went back to school. That math class kicked my butt. I mumbled several cuss words towards my teacher and cried many tears over my homework and test. But I kept telling myself I was still smart, it wasn't just me.

I decided to take one college class over the summer semester, Math 1050. The difference has been night vs. day. This class is all online. I just have to complete all of my homework and complete 4 test by August 14th. When the class started, I was still drained, so I waited another week before I even started. When I did start, I sat down and mapped out a schedule. Take this test by this date, this test by this date, etc.

Maybe its because the first chapter is basically a review of the entire last class, but I have done so much better this time. But I also think its because this professor is so much better! The last professor was one of those "figure it out, I already told you how to do it once; I don't have time to actually TEACH you." This professor has been the complete opposite. There were concepts in the last class I could never figure out. I've watched a few of his online lectures and it all makes sense now.

I believe that hard work is worth a lot. But so is a good teacher.

You can find more of this weeks #MicroblogMondays posts HERE.