Sunday, May 20, 2012

At 7, A Journey to Forever..

What a wonderful opportunity to brag on my incredible husband of now 7 years! Lupe and I were friends over 10 years when we finally started "dating"- well I guess you can call it that! I went to Bible School in Texas back in 1995- THAT is when Lupe and I met. We were very good friends, and after I graduated in 1997, we kind of lost touch. We did speak or see each other when I would visit occasionally- but that was it- considering he was in Texas and I in Florida, we drifted apart. 
One afternoon, we began chatting while online- he is an extremely slow typist- so he asked for my # to call me later. Well, he did call me and we talked every day from then until the day, 3 months later, that he flew to Florida to visit (the pic below). Before Lupe left to head back to Texas 3 days later, he proposed and I said an enthusiastic, YES!
Our first "Official" date. AND, he proposed before he left.

We began making wedding plans for a year later in Florida.
Our Engagement pictures in front of the home we began our marriage and family.

Our wedding day was spectacular. I will be honest, things did go wrong- and things were not done as I would of preferred them to be in some instances- which is difficult for a control freak as myself. BUT, I remember very well on THAT day. I wasn't really frazzled by it. I was to excited to be getting married to the love of my life. As much as I would of preferred everything to look exactly as I planned, I was too focused on Lupe and I "beginning" to worry about details. If it was done- great, it it wasn't- oh well, but one thing I was sure of is how much I loved that man.

I remember thinking how CRAZY we were for planning an outdoor wedding in Florida in May- it seemed like a great idea until that day! What was going on underneath all of those layers of that wedding dress is not even describable- let's just say I was sweating pretty intensely.  I have pictures of my bridesmaids holding up my dress fanning me!
One of my favorite pictures! He caught me completely off guard! I love him!
Best Day EVER, May 21, 2005.
Lupe surprised me with a trip to the Kemah Boardwalk and we stayed in their Inn- it was such an incredible getaway after Summer Camp was over! Not to mention, I love a good surprise!
We had just found out we were pregnant with Tenly. I think I'm hiding being "sick as a dog" pretty well. When this dress was first fitted to me, it looked great, by the time of the event I had lost 20 pounds- it was comfy!
Lupe surprised me for our First Anniversary dinner at my Favorite steakhouse- Taste of Texas-, with Ben & Ashton. I was 8 months pregnant and puked for over 20 minutes in the restroom- but it was worth it for that delicious steak and desert!

2 weeks away from Tenly's arrival!

2 Christmas Banquet Pictures. I was 8 months pregnant with Gianna in my "Barney" dress. 

I remember one Anniversary in particular, it was either 3 or 4. Lupe and I do like to surprise each other, but I rarely have the opportunity. On this Anniversary, I decided I was going to do the surprising. I arranged for a friend to come to the house at like 4:30am, I woke Lupe up and told him he had 20 minutes to get dressed and get in the car. Yes, he was very taken off guard and looked more not happy than happy with my surprise. While dating, we would do just that- he would call me and tell me to get dressed and we would head to IHOP- "our place"- we'd stay for hours just being together. When we finally arrived in Houston, he was very pleased (and tired) as we pulled up to "our place". We followed our yummy breakfast with a favorite past time- yard saling and grocery shopping (really!). About 20 minutes after we arrived home, a couple of friends showed unexpectedly (to me), that's when Lupe informed me that I now had 45 minutes to get dressed up for a surprise he had for me. It took all of them to convince me he was not kidding, Lupe had tickets to a dinner theater to surprise me with. It was a wonderful and very long day! We are no longer allowed to surprise each other without notifying the other that a surprise is coming. LOL!
Off to Celebrate Valentines Day....without our children!!

Date Night on Clearwater Beach, great vacation!

Lupe surprised me AGAIN, with not only a date DAY, he even lined up the childcare for the afternoon.

We had the opportunity to go back and visit where we were married, Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, FL. 

Los Olas Beach in Fort Lauderdale.

Oh, how I love this man! I love more today than yesterday, and more and more with every tomorrow. So glad I am so blessed to spend FOREVER with him!

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Cry of My Heart..

I am a huge fan of Ann Voskamp. I just took the opportunity to read her post The Happy Mom Manifesto. Although, it is titled for "Mom's"- this is something that should be at the heart of every person. 

As I have been writing this blog at about a year, I went back and reread many of my posts. I read all the way back to a wonderful and most difficult move from Texas and the process my heart had to go through in turn. As I read down memory lane, I was proud of the lessons I have learned, the kicks in the butt that made me better. It brought me joy to see I finally forgave in many instances, and I was eventually happy I did, lol. There was so much satisfaction at the walls I had torn down, the barriers I had put up, and I- at 30+ years old- was finally learning to take correction and be chiseled. I am stronger, I am better, I am (more) stable, I am trusting, and I am (always) still evolving.

Back to Ann's Post. As I am this journey to continue "Finding Myself" and my purpose, this post, The Happy Mom Manifesto, seemed to package what my hearts cry is.

I encourage you to follow the links to the post and Ann's site of incredible, candid encouragement and knowledge- I am going to post it here. I hope your heart is touched as mine was.

The Happy Mom Manifesto
         1. The only thing that has to be written in stone is when to pray.
Because it’s not schedules, busyness, or deadlines that keep one from prayer. The only thing stopping one from praying is self. {Excuse-making can be a cheap cover for idolatry.}
If one’s not praying regularly, it’s only because something else is regularly loved more than God. 
2. Even if everything goes wrong, love is always right. There is ridiculous hope in this.
3. Whenever you want to throw your hands up, throw them around someone instead. Holding someone always helps holds things together. 
4. God didn’t put people in your path mostly for your convenience; He put you there for theirs. This is a wonder and a grace. 
5. Why be afraid of anything —  when our God is using everything? 
6. Pick flowers. Pick grace. Choose joy. 
7. This is always a choice: You can erupt — or pluck.  You can be an Erupter — or a Plucker. You can choose. 
8. Be radical about grace and relentless about truth and resolute about the real hills worth dying on. 
9. Say yes to one game every day and laugh loud. No empty-nest mama looks around and wishes she did one more load of laundry. 
10. Happiness isn’t when the house is perfect. Happiness is when His Word and your walk are in harmony. 
11. And every happy homemaker knows that the secret to real homemaking is not about making perfection. Home-making is about making a home.
A perfect home may not at all be a neat as a pin home. The point is not a house as neat as a pin or Pinterest pinnable.The point is a house pinned together with sacrifice and Christ and love that can withstand any winds. 
12. Unplug often to get refreshed. You’ll see your true self when you look for your reflection in the eyes of souls not the glare of screens. 
13. Make yourself a roof.
Love bears all things and it reads stego in the Greek — literally a thatch roof. Love means you bend your life into a roof and take the rain and the wind and absorb all that might come a beating. 
14. The only life worth living is a scandalous one: scandalous love, offensive mercy, foolish faith. Let joy live loud in your soul. 
15. Only Speak Words that make Souls Stronger.