Thursday, December 29, 2011


its been quiet around this blog of mine lately and im pretty ok with that. ive purposely put a break on quite a few things so that i could spend time and focus on the family and making memories with them.   no expectations, or doing things because i feel like i have to, or am supposed to.
thats sort of the way i want to go into 2012. with goals and plans, and things i want to do like getting back to my spin classes, reorganizing my closets, and expanding my business.
but mainly trusting in Gods plans, knowing they may not be the same as mine and being ok with that.

this year God has taken me on a journey of realizing that change is good. that plans aren't always necessary, that last minute things can be better and expectations are sometimes more of a burden we put on ourselves than anything else.

everything about this Christmas was totally out of the norm. we spent it in my sisters hospital room, a string of red Christmas lights strung across her room, Christmas carols on the ipod, kids playing with blown up hospital gloves like balloons.
it was perfect. because it centered us around family. around new life and the gifts we've been given in one another. it reminded us why we celebrate this season. focused us on Him and the ultimate gift that was given.

it went right along with how everything else has gone this year.
different. unplanned.

Mia even took her first steps on her own, with all of our family around on Christmas day in the hospital room. Wearing her fancy Christmas dress, black tights and.... pink adidas tennis shoes she'd just got from my parents. Which just seemed so appropriate since I've been putting her in these pretty dress shoes and cute little "uggs," but now all she wants to wear are the adidas. She points at them in the morning and kicks her foot up like "put them on, now."

we've been enjoying the slower pace this week....
our tree is still up
we are baking lots of cookies {and eating way too many}
we watch movies every night in bed and sleep in late the next day.
we stay in our pj's and spend the morning playing with our new toys.
no rush. no where we have to be.
for now.

there will be a time to get all of our Christmas decorations put away. to get reorganized and back on schedule. ill start my spin classes, and we will get back to cooking more at home with a whole lot less cookie eating. Asher will be back in school. Brandon will go back to work. I'll go on my annual cleaning,organizing and giving away spree.
Our norm will be found again.

But for now, it's our time to just focus. to be still. to let things go unplanned.
to spend time in the now before its gone too soon.

I'll be back in January with the final post on the memory boxes for Project Hope. I hope you are enjoying this "in between" time before the New Year.  Much Love to each of you!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I am sitting in my little sisters hospital room waiting for sweet baby Olivia Joy to make her appearance. Should be very soon. The sound of her little heartbeat on the monitor is filling the room. Sweetest sound ever......Life is such a gift in every way and in every phase.

We had our plans for celebrating this Christmas Eve, but I can't think of a better way than welcoming a new precious life into this world and remembering the One who came long ago. 
To set us free and give us life in full.
Our savior and king.
"But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord."
Luke 2:10-11

Merry Christmas and Much Love to each of you!
I pray you are enjoying your family and friends in these last bits of 2011. This year has brought so much good. So much change, renewing, refreshing, learning, much "new."  
I'm blessed, thankful and excited to see what 2012 brings!

Card design by Life Made Lovely.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

7 years....

Brandon and I celebrated 7 years of marriage on Thanksgiving. November 24th is our Anniversary date. The year we got married Thanksgiving landed on the day after our wedding. We got married in Hawaii and Thanksgiving week was what worked out for everyone to get away to go to Hawaii.

Now it seems like that day could easily get sort of swept up in the rush of the holidays. It is such a busy time of year for us, but no matter what we always try to celebrate. Even if it just means dropping the kids off at my sisters and going to dinner like we did this year. We take the time to celebrate it, because there is so much to celebrate with each new year. And we recognize that.


I look at the pictures from our wedding day and see such young versions of Brandon and I. In many ways we look the same. But in so many other ways we look different. Over the years, we've walked through some hard stuff. Things we needed to learn, things we needed to find out about ourselves....lessons. I wouldn't trade them for anything.  We've learned them together.

7 years has brought us a lot. But mostly it's brought a deeper revelation. We feel deeper. We love deeper. We see things in a deeper way. We seek God deeper. Because we've walked through some deep things. We loved, and cried and laughed, and grieved, and celebrated. Together. Deeply.

I talk about my kids here a lot. It's easy to. They are my lights and my love, my precious gifts. But in the middle of all this....this family of 5, this growing and learning and changing and chasing and teaching, and cleaning, and talking, laughing and the middle of it all,'s mostly Brandon and I.  Our marriage and relationship and I try to put that first. 

Before I met Brandon, I was sort of known for my mouth. I said whatever I felt. I think that he, along with time and growth has made me realize it's not worth it to always be heard. That my words or actions don't always have to be recognized.
To just do it.  For no one else, but Him. God.
Thats one of the biggest things Brandon has taught me. To do everything as unto the Lord. Not to man.

He is not showy at all. He doesn't look for credit or praise. Which I respect so much. He isn't overly loud with his words or affections. I used to want him to be. I used to want him to shout from the roof tops for everyone to hear how much he loved me.

But one day, I realized something. Why? That wouldn't be for me. It would be for everyone else. And how genuine would that be? He loves me quietly. That's Brandon. His love is a quiet love. For me. No one else. And I love that about him. That's why, when he reaches his hand for mine in the middle of a crowded room, or kisses me for no reason, no matter who's around, I know it's for me.

And the only people I care to see, do see. Our kids. They see their mom and dad kissing and hugging. They see us say goodbye to each other every morning, and they know we stay up late to talk and just be together. They see us loving one another. They are who matter most.

We have long conversations, I mostly talk first, then he processes it all and talks really slow. I always say, Brandon slows me down and I speed him up. We are so opposite. But it works. Sometimes his slow tendencies gets on my nerves. I want him to hurry up. And sometimes I'm sure my fast forward ways, gets on his nerves. We aren't perfect. But then why would we need God if we were.

Do we argue? Of course. But I think that's a part of a healthy marriage. We disagree. We get on each others nerves. We voice our hurts, and feelings. And then we resolve them.

I learned one of my biggest lessons early on in our marriage in one of our biggest fights. It was one I remember because there have never been any like it again. We were newlyweds, trying to figure one another out. Trying to learn how to live together and everything new that comes with being married. It was a learning experience for me. There was yelling. And let me tell you, Brandon never yells. But we were both trying so hard to be heard. I tried to leave and threatened to go back to my parents {that is now a joke with us} but he wouldn't let me. I wanted to run so bad. My way of facing the issues was to not face them. But he wouldn't let me. I shut myself in our bedroom, hoping he would just go away or leave me a lone. But he didn't. He stayed outside the door, waiting until I would talk to him.

We've never had a fight like that again. Because that night, he taught me something about communication. That it isn't just about being heard, but it's about listening. And that means being quiet. That was a hard lesson to learn, one I am still learning, but one that has been priceless for me. 

I could go on and on about all the ways he loves me and our children, but I won't. He knows. I make sure to tell him and thats what matters. He loves us all so well and it is because of him that I am able to be the person I am. The mom I strive to be. The wife I hope to be. The person, I want to be.


I look at pictures now and see the depth of these 7 years.
We're still the same....but different in so many ways.

Happy 7 years Babe. I love you so, so much.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Shopping.

Can you believe that Christmas is already next weekend? 
Have you got all your shopping done yet? 
 Need some last minute ideas? 

All items are ready to ship and orders placed today and through the weekend, will be shipped first thing Monday morning...packaged and ready to give as a gift {or to keep for yourself!}.

{also available in cream, red, black or peach}

And I'm giving you FREE SHIPPING for the weekend as well. 
Just enter "FreeShip" at check out.

Hope you all have an awesome weekend! We are celebrating Asher's Birthday tomorrow, and then our Caddell Christmas here at our house on Sunday...a full weekend for sure! Oh and Somewhere in there I need to fit in some last minute shopping myself.... I need an elf!

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

6 years ago

6 years ago....

You were born. Early one morning, after 18 hours of labor, you finally came. You had a room full of people to greet you. Your uncles and your aunts, nana, grandma, papa, mimi, gigi and pas. They were all there. Nothing has changed. They still are. You have a big family that loves you so much. You grew up with cameras in your face and cheers at every milestone. The center of attention. Just the way you like it. As your sisters have come into our life, you've been kind and compassionate toward them. Willing to make room for them. Never doubting mine or dads love for you, but allowing us to love them just the same.

You have compassion far beyond a typical 6 year old. You love. You feel. You are so aware. I love that about you. I know it is part of you and who you will become. A shepherds heart is what you have. You remind me so much of your dad. You love him so much and look up to him in every way. Wanting to do exactly what he does. Last week, he let you put up our Christmas lights with him. He took you out on the roof and even though I had to busy myself to keep distracted because it made me super nervous, I know it meant so much to you. I know it will be one of those memories you'll always have.

Thats what I wish for you. Memories of love, fun, time and conversations with your mom and dad. Because I know they will be what anchors you as you grow up.
You love for me to tell you stories about what it was like when you were a baby. When it was just you and me. I may not have been very good at keeping up with small details of your baby book like how much you weighed at 9 months old,  but I can tell you exactly when you took your first steps. Who was there, what you were wearing, and what day it was. You help me remember these details because you keep me telling them. And I love to.  You love our stories. You, Me, Dad, Bella and Mia.....Our stories. And I will never stop telling them to you.

You still have the little bear cub hands I remember as a baby and love to hold. You still have a huge smile and dimples. You still beg to climb into bed with me each night. And when you do, you have to be close. Close isn't close enough. You are our lovie boy.
You are thoughtful and compassionate. You are confident. I hope you never lose the ability to walk into a room wearing a Super Mario costume, sportin those overalls and mustache like it is no big thing. Not worried about what anyone thinks, but fully confident in who you are. I will try my best, to help you keep that.

Right now you are really into writing us notes. You write one to us almost every day. One to me and one dad and you always include Mia and Bella too. I have piles of construction paper cards with crayon written words. I keep each one. You don't know this yet. One day I'll show you. Right now, they are simple to you, but to me, they are stamps in time. They are you. Right now. One day I'll take them out and tell you the story of how much you loved to make us cards and then leave them in places for us to find.

You are emotional. You feel things in a deep way. Right now you are still learning how to control that. We are working on it. But I know one day this quality will be used greatly. That ability to feel so deeply...God is going to use that.

I'm your favorite girl. I know one day that will change. And even though my heart breaks a little knowing that, I also know I will be ok with it. Because one day you will meet a girl who steals your heart and loves you strong, like I do your dad. And one day, you will become a dad yourself. Then you will truly know, what our love for you means. Until then I will work every day, to teach you, show you, love you and guide you as best as I know how. 

6 years ago, I had no idea what life would bring. I had no idea what motherhood would teach me. What it would take from me. How I would be changed forever.

But 6 years ago, I held a little baby boy and instantly learned.

You my Asher, taught me how to be a mother.  You gave me a deeper revelation of God's love for me. That He would trust me with such a precious gift. I am so grateful.

Happy Birthday my sweet boy,
Love Mom

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Crafting for Hope.

Project Hope has brought on so many stories that should be shared. Stories that have touched my heart, and inspired me to go even further with this passion of mine. So many women telling their own story, or a story about someone close, or just their heart to offer hope to other women. It is has been so inspiring to me.

Our first event was definitely just that. inspiring.


We had a good group turn out for a cold and early Saturday morning. Not a huge crowd, but a group of women who I know were there because they wanted to be and were meant to be.

 I had all of the supplies and boxes, set out on tables. Then each woman could choose how she wanted to do it. Thats what I loved about it. Each box was special and unique and a reflection of the person who made it. 

I remember clearly the night I opened up my own memory box and pulled out the little pink lovie bear. It represented hope and a future. I would give it to my next baby girl. I had no idea it would lead to this. To giving that same hope to other women in this way



what I loved about our craft day, is that the items donated came from around the world, but the boxes were decorated and assembled by women here in San Antonio. All united for one purpose.

There were a few women that said they weren't "crafty" but once they got going, you couldn't stop em ;)

It was really a lot of fun. I honestly think that every woman is capable of being "crafty." that God has given us a gift of creativity with our hands. as moms and wives and women. We were designed with a desire to create.

I hope to do many more events like this. Bring women together, join our hearts, and put our hands to work for the blessing of others.threads of love is always in need of donation and it is my heart to continue working with them.

I asked the women to say a little prayer as they decorated each box. To think about the mom who would be receiving it, to pray for peace for her, and that these boxes truly would bring hope.

For some of the women, this was also part of their own healing. Many of them were there with their own story and decorating a box was another step to finding their own peace and healing.

I had the chance to talk with one of the women in particular, and I was telling her that this was part of my healing as well. I believe that in order to take hold of wholeness and healing, you should give in whatever area you need it in.
Ministering to other women, in this sort of way,  I feel like I am fulfilling a need God has given to me. To see other women experience hope and joy, and the knowledge of it.


It was honestly just beautiful to me. We could have stayed for hours more, but had to stick to our schedule. Next time we know we will need more time because when you get a bunch of women together with food and need a lot of time ;)


There are a few more boxes to decorate and more items that are still coming to add to the boxes. So when they are 100% complete I will take pictures of one and what went into each from all of the amazing shops, businesses and individuals,  so that you have a better idea. And then I will take them to threads of love!

I can not wait!!!

Thanks to each of you for your continued prayers and support. this is truly just one step in what I believe God has for this purpose and cause.

Monday, December 5, 2011

You're Invited!! and a Thank YOU

All San Antonio are invited to our first Project Hope Craft Event!
There will be food,door prizes from the Splendor Shop and lots of crafting ;)

We will be decorating and putting the items together for our memory boxes. I am so excited for this event and so thankful for each and every person who has donated to this project! 

We have received $670 in donations!!

Close to $220 of that from the Sugar and Dots Project Hope Raffle! A HUGE thank you to the many shops who donated to this raffle and to Kimmie for organizing it all.

We've also had items to fill the boxes donated from some amazing shops and people...
Here are the items we have for the boxes so far:

24 Hand stamped HOPE charms from Mama Mia
Cards for families who have a lost a baby, designed by Franchesca Cox of Small Bird Studios
20 Hand stamped HOPE tokens from Eagar Hands
25 Jeremiah 29:11 to go into little girl boxes from Blossom and Vine
25 Jeremiah 29:11 prints for little boy boxes from Cottonwood Lane
50 Matthew 10:30 hair lock tags
and 50 small hair lock bags 
50 crochet hats from Suzanne at TableforTwo 
A printed prayer for each box from Divulge with Flair 
50 Angel charms 
50 Cross charms from Kelly
50 Handmade "hearts of wood" made from wood from Brean

Along with donations from the other blogs and shops you see on my sidebar. These women all have such sweet generous hearts and I am so, so thankful to each of them! A special thanks to all of you have helped me spread the word with guest posts, and sharing the Project Hope button.
Also to each of you sweet readers, friends and family who made a donation or sent one of the lovies.

We are going this week to purchase the kraft boxes and craft supplies, as well as the remaining lovies we still need. We've had around 15 donated so far. 

If you would still like to donate any items for the boxes, there is still time. Deadline for receiving items is the 15th. We are holding the craft event on the 10th, but I can still add items up until the 15th and then I will take all of the boxes to Threads of Love when they are all complete. 

  Again, if you are in San Antonio, please make plans to come help us decorate the boxes this Saturday from 9am to 12pm. This will be a fun event to connect and join our hearts together for one cause.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


We are just a couple of days into December and soaking up every bit of it. It is by far my most favorite month of the year!

We decorated our tree a few nights ago, ordered a pizza, got our Christmas music station on pandora going and talked about each of the ornaments.

I made piles for both older kids this year. Their own ornaments to put on the tree. They are at that age, you know. So this year I planned ahead and was sure to give them an even amount each to hang on the tree.
 And see? It worked. They still love each other.
 Asher by the way, is my little Elf. He loves Christmas. Gets so into it. He is the Clark Griswald of all 6 year olds. 

These two are some of my most favorite.  I love having ornaments to put up for the girls each year.

Today we had our Christmas pictures done, then came home to put up our outdoor lights.....well Brandon did, while the kids watched/helped. I stayed inside and worked on this ornament wreath. I made it last year, but added more ornaments to it tonight.

I'm determined to not only interject lots of family time, but most of all, Jesus, into each of our memories this December. I wanted to do something with the kids to celebrate each day leading up to Jesus' birthday and planned on coming up with a scripture verse and activity for each of the 25 days. Then my sister in law gave us this book on Mia's birthday.

And I love her for it. It is perfect. It has a short little story, with an acitivity, prayer and bible verse for each day. The kids are loving it and I am too! It makes it so easy. Tonight we talked about angels and then drew a picture of one to give to someone we love.

If you are looking for a good book to help countdown with your kids to Christmas I definitely recommend this one. It is for ages 3 and up. Asher {almost 6 } and Bella {3 1/2} are both able to follow along and do the activities. Mia? Well, not so much. But she enjoys watching :)

Oh and you know what else December means to me?
These babies.
Yes indeedy. My favorite. And at Christmas they are around every corner. 
1.49 of pure deliciousness, my friends. 

I hope you are enjoying your weekend. 
Happy December!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

your story

my sweet mia girl was up most of the night with what seems to be a stomach bug. i laid awake most of the night. part of it with a towel draped over me and her on my chest. listening to her sweet breathing. just barely drifting off to sleep, only to wake up at her smallest move.

the other part of the night, when i was finally able to lay her down in her crib, i laid in my bed listening to the monitor. every noise, wondering if i was going to have to get up to change sheets or change pj's. hoping she was ok.

i would have done more. i would have sat near her bed and watched her sleep all night if i thought it would make her feel better. i would have done anything.

and yet this was a small, small fragment of what some people have to go through for their sick children. it doesn't escape me that i am fortunate, that she is a healthy little girl. super active. always happy.

a few months ago i took her to the ER. she wasn't doing well and we couldn't figure out why. they put a hospital gown on her and had to do a cathetar.  i had to leave the room. it was too hard to see.

later that night, i was able to scoop her up and walk out of the hospital with her in my arms. i remember clearly, looking up at the huge building of the childrens hospital with lit up windows covering each floor. My heart both ached for the sweet children inside, and overflowed with gratitude for the one in my arms.

many people email me about telling my story. how they are encouraged and inspired. im happy for that. but a few have said that in my telling my story, they searched for their own. their own struggle or testimony or trial to tell. not finding one, they felt discouraged.

here's the thing. i wouldn't wish my story on anyone. i tell it out of triumph and joy that came through trial and sorrow. i tell it because it tells of God's goodness and glory. that is why i tell it. i don't want people to see the pain and the sorrow i've walked through when they see me, but the joy and the blessing that i walk in now.

i had a little guilt over getting so emotional about mia's small bit of sickness lastnight. i get to watch her get better, i get to see her smile and climb everything in sight. but some moms don't. some moms have to watch their kids continue to suffer.

that is not my story. thankfully.
and thankfully my story is not theirs
and your story is not mine.

we each have our battles, we each have our triumphs and joys. struggles and tragedy. small or big. but we each have them.

the important thing is that we tell them. we share. we love through them and allow others to be inspired or encouraged through them.
not for us. not for our glory or recognition.
not to compare or to not feel validated or good enough.
not for any of that, but only to tell God's story. Of love. Of redemption. Of grace and mercy and a perfect plan.

Keeping our stories to ourselves because we think they aren't big enough, robs others from being spoken to through it.

you haven't walked through something tragic, lost a child, or battled a sickness. it doesn't make you less or even more than those who have. you have lived. you breath, you laugh, you mother, you father, you love, you work, your a sister, or a son. those are stories to be told because God has given them to you.

holding mia close lastnight, i thought about the sacrifice that God gave us in his son, Jesus. He was born to us, so that he could save us.
that is the ultimate story. God's love for us. His sacrifice so that we could live freely and fully.

It's your story and it's mine.
Tell it.