Sunday, August 11, 2013

someBODY Love

As you know, I was privileged enough to spend three years in Germany and I loved every minute of it enjoying the culture, food and scenery of that country! During all that I learned two very important things in my life: Bravery and Confidence. You could say they are almost the same thing...but, not quite.

Courageous behavior or character.

Being in another country without knowing the language or fully understanding the "ins and outs" can be really intimidating but when you have to go to that doctor appointment or drive to that one place, there really isn't anyway around it. I stumbled and mumbled and made wrong turns, got lost a few times and froze when asked a question in German (even though I practiced and practiced so I could correctly respond) and thankfully I'm still here, made it to that appointment safely and managed to drive around that gorgeous country (and a few others) for three years. You could say that I grew confident in my time there but first, I had to be brave.

  1. The feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust: "we had every confidence in the staff".
  2. The state of feeling certain about the truth of something.

All my life I have always been self conscious and insecure about my body. It controlled my life and the honest truth is that people around me fed off of my fear. I was an easy target to pick on such as family, of course(but who hasn't said things to family members, as terrible and unacceptable as it is), extended family and random strangers looking to hurt someone without feeling the consequences. 
When I would go swimming I would wear shorts and a t-shirt over my bathing suit unless in the privacy of my parent's yard, though I still found myself nervous.

Summer came along and I was invited to go to the local German pool with a friend. Water is like a magnet to me and I can never stay away from it for too long. When I got there I was geared up with my usual t-shirt and shorts but realized that no one else was: 
1. wearing anything over their bathing suit  
2. even cared about what I looked like 
3. there to enjoy the nice weather and fun in the pool. 
I eventually took off those cumbersome clothes that day (I wasn't allowed to swim with them on) and found myself holding my arms in front of me and trying stay in the water...still attempting hide while continually looking over my shoulder for that classic smirk or scoff. I never saw any. Don't get me wrong, I'm no saint and found myself rudely commenting to myself about other people at the pool.  
As that summer went by my confidence grew and my harsh words and   thoughts diminished almost to nothing (I still find myself struggling with it).
One day I went to a water park with a large group of friends(all Americans) and we were really enjoying ourselves until I realized that one guy was saying nasty, mean things about anyone and everyone that didn't meet his standards, body wise. I began to feel very self conscious...again. Then I grew angry. 

I eventually asked, "Why do you need to be mean? They are here to enjoy themselves as much as you are." 

He looked dumbfounded for a moment, but only a moment. He wasn't the only one in the group acting that way and I will never forget that day and the shame and embarrassment I felt just for being associated with them. Amazing how much my mindset had changed at that point.

We are now stateside and it is once again summer and the water is calling to me. I have been to some of the local pools and have observed something that makes my heart heavy. All the women and even some men have stayed covered up while at and in the pool. Many of these people are Mom's, Dad's and teenagers. I (now habitually) strip down to my bathing suit whenever I arrive and get in the water with my kiddo and have noticed that many women looked at me rather stunned. One woman actually took off her shorts and shirt after a little and I was so happy for her! I don't know if I was an encouragement but it didn't matter because I felt so inspired. Bravery comes in all different shapes and sizes and I hope to be that inspiration for all the beautiful ladies in this world. Be BRAVE and you will become confident and I truly believe that confidence brings out your true beauty.
People will still judge and scoff and laugh but now I truly pity them. When I'm at the pool, water park, beach or sunbathing with friends it's because I'm there to enjoy the pool, water park, beach or sunbathing not to compare with, judge or envy others. Those that spend all their time "pounding their gavels" must be so consumed by body image that the truly beautiful and important things in life are completely missed. 

You are beautiful. 

If you truly struggle with that truth then do something about it for only we can fix ourselves.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


We had the opportunity to visit family for the weekend and my little man finally met one of his cousins!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Lucky Love

The best family dog ever! He is so sweet and loving and gentle and Gabe is growing to adore Lucky Bones. I'm so grateful to have him as part of the family.

Kisses for Gabe!

Kermit is hanging out in the background. He keeps his distance from Gabriel but manages to let us know when Gabe isn't feeling well before it even happens. Dogs are amazing and wonderful blessings in our lives.

Friday, July 26, 2013

This child of Mine

When our son came into this world, we were amazed at how fierce and how consuming our love for him is. I believe that becoming a parent is a gift from our Lord so that we may have a small understanding of God's love for us.

All I can say is, Wow!

Psalm 36:7 
How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Day at the Pool

After our arrival to El Paso we stayed in a hotel for a little over a week before moving into housing. It was an interesting week and to pass the time, we took Gabe to the pool and I watched a lot of HGTV...I love that channel!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Easy Peasy!

This is one of my most favorite, easiest and not so healthy crock pot meals that you can do when you really don't feel like doing, well...anything.

I, of course found this on Pintrest.

Love that site...

Delicious Crock pot meat, thing.

Ingredients: One stick of butter, 1 packet of Ranch dressing mix(I grab whatever, they all seem to taste the same. Dip, dressing, dressing dip...), 1 packet of Au Jus gravy mix, a big hunk of meat and a crock pot.

Step one: Put the meat in the crock pot. Doesn't fit? Go get the chainsaw.

Much better!

Step two: take that piece of butter and just start squishing it ALL over the top of the meat (I love getting my hands dirty ;)

Step three: dust the buttered, chainsawed meat with the ranch.

Step Four: Dust the buttered, chainsawed, ranch dusted meat with Au Jus gravy.

Step Five: cover and set on high, and let it cook 8 hours...give or take.

The completed product is melt in your mouth meat that just falls apart with the touch of a fork. Yummm!
(no picture attached due to extreme salivating and hunger)

It's delicious served with rice, or baked potatoes, veggies, ice cream. You name it!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Quick summary of Life Since October

I'll let the pictures do most of the talking.

 October 15th, 2012. Daddy holding one day-old Gabe 

10/27/12. A visit from Nana and Papa 

10/28/12. Carving pumpkins with friends and we prepare for Halloween!

11/08/12. A visit from Oma and Uncle Jason

 December 2012, Gabe's First Christmas

December 2012. Mom and Gabe snuggles! 

Lots of snow this year. Mine and Lucky's favorite! 

December 2012. Enjoying the Ansbach Christmas market. 

January 1st 2013. He found his thumb! 

1/12/13. GQ. My handsome boy! 

Ready to go play in the snow!

Isaac's "mini me"



Hurray for the Jumperoo! Though he was a little too short for it and so we used to game box for some needed height. 

I made a cake celebrating time with an saying goodbye to very dear friends. 

Put together a baby shower for Bianca and baby Dominick.
This cake was so much fun to make!

Hanging out with dad in our hotel room the night before Isaac's second knee surgery.

Silly faces with mommy!

Our Superman!

"It's a bird, it's a plane! No, It's Superman!"

"Stop fiend!"

Dressing up for St. Patty's Day. Loving the sweater Aunt Debbie made!

Hanging out...

Finally at 5 months Gabe takes the pacifier. He stopped taking it after 4 weeks old.

Play date with his friend Illi!


I found my toes!

My little gangster all dresses up for Easter.

Chillin' with the bunny.

Cupcakes I made for Easter

I couldn't resist. I love these pictures!

April 6, 2013. Hanging in Berlin with Uncle Luke and Aunt Hannah! So much fun!

The family in front of the Brandenburg Gate.

Memorial to the murdered Jews in Europe

Bundled up was chilly in Berlin.

Berlin Wall

More snuggles!

6 months old! Gabe really likes his toes...mmmmm :)

His first day eating food! Nom nom nom.

He's not to sure about that....

April 21. Aunt Megan comes out for a visit and meets Gabe for the first time!

Then we head to Salzburg, Austria

 Aunt Megan in Salzburg

We pass castle on our way to Trieste, Italy.

Our view from the small house we stayed in, in Trieste, Italy.

Gabe and Mom hanging out on the Beach while Dad skips stones.

Aunt Megan

Aunt Megan

Aunt Megan

"Aunt Megan! Watch out for the Orca!!!!!"

A family photo....That sun was really bright.

Isaac really liked that wall.... Outside the apartment in Trieste.


We had a few drinks during our stay...

Gabe playing in the sheets

I love my family!

A day trip to Slovenia!(about 30 minutes from Trieste)

"Go horsey!"

And a day trip to Venice, Italy.(About 2 hours from Trieste)


Our train ride back from Venice :)

Gabe was the star of the show in our train car! So many people just wanted to hug and squeeze him :)

Pictures are out of order....but here is more Venice. This is Isaac(pushing Gabe) and Aunt Megan walking through St Marco Square.

Gondola, Gondola, Gondola, Gondola....

Cool Gabe, hanging outside the Hard Rock Cafe in Venice.

Megan's last day in Germany so we did a girls trip to Nuremberg!

And got some beer. Mmmmm :)

A little Shopping

Took seeester pictures!

Yay! Ice cream!

May 1st, Gabe trying on Dad's Army hat. 

May3rd. Our last German Fest :(

Gabe's first Festival in Germany

This server at the fest thought Gabe was just too cute and wanted to give him Fest Hugs! <3

After a beer...or two ;)


Good times :)

After much preparations, very long and stressful travel days we made it to El Paso Texas in May.

 Gabe, 7 months old. Relaxing in our hotel room in El Paso.

Driving around in his Jeep right after it was delivered to us in our home in El Paso.

To Be continued...