Thursday, December 29, 2011

a look back at 2011

You can see a look back at 2010 here.

january2011februarymarchaprilmayjunejulyaugustseptoctobernovdecem

brand new // baby boy // move to Texas // my birthday at BJ's // cat naps // Fort Worth Zoo // first food: peas // Ben's birthday // our first garden // pumpkin patch // first fire in the fireplace // family Christmas photo

Can't wait to see what 2012 has in store for us!!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

guest post: ashley from luce

Today I'd like to introduce you to a lovely lady, Ashley. You may know her from luce. If you don't, please give her a visit and say "hi!"

I asked Ashley to guest post here because I really love her and her blog. She is such wonderful writer. And has such a huge heart!! So without further adieu, I give you Ashley:

Hey lovelies! My name is Ashley Marie Wilson, I’m a wife, an artist and the girl behind Luce.



My creative passions are photography, writing, mixed media art & printmaking, handmade designs, and style.





I walk through my days with my heart fixed on loving God and my soul is happiest when I'm able to share, give, and encourage in anyway that I can. If I can make at least one thing easier for someone, then my spirit dances around like nobody's watching.


I am firm believer in following your dreams, and stepping out on faith to grab hold of the life you know you were meant to live.


Your gift will make room for you in this world.



Every single person has a gift... a talent, a role, a purpose.
Prepared for us by God.



Meaning...



Nobody can take it away.



Nobody can steal it.



Nobody else can fill it.



But you.
Our beautiful, all-knowing God already qualified YOU to do it. He trusted you, even already knowing everything about you.



When I fully let that truth seep into my spirit, I realized why there is no need for:



comparison.



competition.



pressure.



feelings of inadequacy.



feelings of inferiority.



copying.



jealousy.



letting a lack of education or money stop you.
being intimidated by someone else’s success .
losing hope in your vision.
lack of confidence.





If we walk in any of those feelings it is out of fear.



Even if it looks like everyone is doing so much around you...do not feel discouraged. There is a space just for you.





Whatever it is that you feel a fire and passion for doing.



Whatever it is that you naturally operate best doing.



Whatever it is that God keeps encouraging you to do.



Whatever it is that tugs on spirit that you can't ignore.
THAT is your gift.





Don't waste another day not developing it, nurturing it, and changing the world with it.



It can be art, business, charity, designing, teaching, fashion, encouraging, managing... whatever it is inside of you, it is yours, and you have the blessing and the responsibility to run with it boldly. I'm running as I write... ;)



It was nice meeting you, don’t be stranger, come over to the blog introduce yourself, browse through shop, or peek into my photography portfolio… would truly love connecting with you!







--------------------------------------------


Thank you Ashley! That was so encouraging and definitely something I needed to hear!!

Please don't forget to hop over and say "hi" to Ashley!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

baby's first: Christmas

This was Isaac's first Christmas and it was wonderful!!

Can I just say, I loved Christmas before, but having kids, even if they aren't old enough to understand Santa and presents, just makes it 159,028,340 times better!!

This year we celebrated Christmas morning on Dec 21st. Because the next day we were on a plane to Las Vegas to spend the holiday with our family (and surprise my parents!!)

It was perfect.

We woke up at 7:30, the usual time. I nursed Isaac and Ben made coffee. Then we headed into the living room and saw this:


Isaac had no idea what was going on. And when we tried to get him to unwrap presents, he was either hesitant because we had told him "no" for the past week, or he was too interested in his ride-on fire engine to care about anything else.






After presents were unwrapped we went outside for a little ride.



How was your Christmas?? I hope it was just lovely!

*sorry for the poor picture quality. I had to upload the photos through blogger instead of using flickr so my mom didn't see them :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

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"He will stand and shepherd His flock
in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord His God.

And they will live securely, for then His greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth.

And He will be their peace."

Micah 5:4,5

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

advent: hopefully waiting and anticipating

This was my guest post for Erin over at Captivated By Grace. Since Christmas is this weekend, I thought it fitting to share it with you all today:

The season of Advent is in full swing. Are you celebrating? We are this year. And it's the first in a very long time. To be honest, I really never understood the point of Advent growing up. We always lit the pretty pink and purple candles at church on Sundays. And we got to eat the chocolate from the Advent calendars, but I never knew why.






So I'm asking (and answering) that question now: Why do we participate in Advent?

Advent: derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning "coming" or "arrival".

But what does that even have to do with Christmas? This season, these 4 weeks of Advent, are a season of waiting and anticipation for the the coming of Christ.

The Israelites waited for His first coming for thousands of years. The very first prophesy of His coming was given to Adam and Eve in the garden. The prophecies continued over the centuries. And they waited.

And then 400 years of silence from the Lord. But that silence was broken by the sound of a crying baby; "born a child, and yet a King". What they had hoped for became reality. God had not forgotten them. He remained faithful, even when they had not, He kept His promise.






And now, just as the Israelites did, we wait. We anticipate the second coming of Christ. We are full of hope because we know He keeps His promises. He is faithful. He will return. And when we start to wonder if He's really coming, we can look back at how long the Israelites waited. And we can be confident in what God told Isaiah:

"As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts." ~Isaiah 55:9


So, this Advent season, take the time to pray and meditate on the true meaning of the season. We are in a season of hopeful waiting and anticipation. Is that your heart? Are you yearning for His return? Are you believing that He will do what He said He would? Are you confident that He keeps His promises?

In closing, I would love for you to watch this short video. They played it at our church a couple of weeks ago and it is powerful:



Advent: God With Us from The Village Church on Vimeo.


Merry Christmas and Happy Advent!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

we were babies!

Today I was uploading wedding photos to flickr and I just couldn't help but think, "we were babies!" I mean just look:

Ben and I got married when we were 20 and 18, respectively.
That was over 7 years ago.

jessi 028jessi 017jessi 011jessi 020jessi 023vegaswedding

Monday, December 19, 2011

Isaac: 10 months

Isaac turned 10 months last month on Nov 25th... double digits (and rapidly approaching 1 year)!

If you're a mom, you know that time just flies.

We took his 10 month photos a few days late this time. I thought it would be fun to take them of him pushing his little lawn mower-walker. He really loves this toy, which is funny because when I first brought it home he had absolutely no interest in it at all.

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Fisher Price lawn mower toy- thrifted. Isaac's shirt and pants- thrifted. socks- garage saled.

I love that second photo of him, just chuggin' along. Go, Go, Go. (That's his motto)

*Since I took these photos, he has started walking on his own.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

strong opinions on parenting and judgement

Have you read this post? If you haven't yet, I definitely recommend it. It's awesome. And it will shed some light on the title of my post.

menandisaac

I'm going to admit something to you. It's a sin that I struggle with and have for a long time. Are you ready?:

Judgment.

Man, am I judgemental. In fact, I just told my husband that I'm writing a post on judgement and he said, "Of course you are. You're the most judge-y judge-erson I know." Of course it was just playful banter.

But ouch. The truth hurts.

Thankfully though, the Lord has been slowly pressing and molding and changing my heart in this area.
Thankfully I'm not stuck, wading in the pool of my own sin, struggling to get out... anymore.
Thankfully we are given a new heart when we become sons and daughters of God.

In Matthew 5:7, Jesus says to His disciples,
"Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy."
Here's how I saw that verse: In those times that I'm merciful to others I can be certain that mercy will be shown to me by the Lord. Kinda like, if I'm merciful I get mercy, but if I'm not merciful than it's no big deal, I just won't get anything.

But it's Jesus' brother James who shows us the other side of the coin: James 2:11,
"...judgement without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful."
Whoa. This verse really put Jesus' statement into perspective for me. It's not just that I won't receive mercy, but that I'll receive judgement without mercy.

So here was the takeaway for me: God was merciful (and is daily) to me. I am to show that same mercy to others. No judgement. Just mercy. And that is hard.

mekissingisaactummy

So back to the article I initially asked if you've read. It's about all the strong opinions out there on the topic of parenting. And if you've spent any time online looking up topics like co-sleeping, CIO, breastfeeding, baby food, discipline, vaccine schedules, etc, than you know that tempers run high, people get angry, defensive and judgemental.

And this is an area that God has radically changed my heart in regards to others. I've made a decision not to judge mothers for their chosen parenting practices.

Of course we all think our way is the right way, that's why we do it that way! But, the last thing I want is unsolicited advice about how to raise my own child. So I'm not going to give it to others unless it's asked for.

isaac's feet

By the way, the last part of that verse in James says, "Mercy triumphs over judgement!"

Next time I feel the urge to judge someone, for what ever reason, I'm going to remind myself to let mercy triumph. Thanks to the Lord, I am given more than I deserve, every single day. The least I can do is afford the same mercy to others.

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december daily

Right now I'm working on a project called december daily. Basically I compile things from each day in December and combine them in an album/mini book. I usually just choose one thing from each day to highlight. Here are some of the photos I've been using in my book:

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[quilt top finished]


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[barren trees and leaves all over the back patio!]


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[Isaac's 10 month photos, taken a few days late]


2011-12-12_17-50-31_231
[new recipe I tried: shrimp parmesan with fried mozarella cheese]


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[a fire in our fireplace]


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[package from grandma and grandpa]


DSCN2277
[the tree out front that finally changed colors]


What have you been up to this month?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

give big

The Pregnancy Resource Center is a non-profit organization that is incredibly near and dear to my heart. I've been donating my time and resources to crisis pregnancy centers since I was in high school.

This year, you and I have the awesome opportunity to support and help out this Christian ministry and everything we give will be matched! That means if you give $25, they get $50! If you give $100, they get $200!! And so on.
*You must give a minimum of $25 for your donation to be matched.

Imagine being able to give the gift of life this Christmas!

in the womb
source

Every single dollar that the Pregnancy Resource Center gets goes to saving the lives of unborn babies and sharing the message of Christ, who gives eternal life.

Please check out their Facebook page for details on their mission statement and services they provide.

To join in on Give Big, visit their website here and donate between 7 am PST today (Dec 14) and 7 pm PST tomorrow (Dec 15).

If you want to give this holiday season to a ministry who shares the gospel with all of it's clients, who shares hope and healing with women who need it, who works tirelessly to save the lives of babies who may otherwise lose it, then look no further.

Baby Feet
source

note: Pregnancy Resource Center is located in and serves the community of Vista/Oceanside, CA. If you prefer to donate to a center that serves your community, check here to find one.