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11/15/2014

Learning on submission

I don't know about you, but I was fiercely taught my place in the family hierarchy. I am second. I am not the head. I do not rule myself. I am to submit. This is God's command to wives: submit to your husbands. 
And yet, I don't. Not always. 
If you haven't realized by now, I am a little obsessive compulsive, analytical person. I analyze everything. I am glad I do. I think when I do the Spirit in me is able to reveal much truth. This is the Christian's walk: the search for truth. When all is said and done, truth is what will set us free. I am grateful I can analyze my actions and find revelation in them to change my ways, surrender to the Lord, and seek His glory. It reminds me of Psalm 139:23

23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

I have found that I have been having trouble submitting to my husband because I have been resenting him. It is not hard for me to admit I do not submit to my husband. Just a few minutes with me will show you I am headstrong and independent. It is hard for me to accept I sometimes resent my husband. 
How can I admit that? Isn't admitting that chattering this image we try so hard to set of a great marriage? Very few wives will admit this, but all of my close friends that are married have expressed this same feeling to me. They resent their husbands for not being more helpful in the house, for not being more attentive or loving, for not allowing them to be stay-at-home wives, for not giving the green light for a new baby. These examples give birth to different levels of resentment, but they all pave a way for insubordination. 

Some wives' insubordination is rooted on their failed expectations of their husbands. We expected him to be stronger emotionally, physically, and spiritually. We expected him to be able to support the family financially on his own. We expected him to have perfect decision making skills, strong leadership, and a desire to spend his free time with the family. We expected him to be able to understand us. 
Men usually have the same complaint about their wives: They wish they were accepted and not feeling their wives want to change them. 

My insubordination has been rooted in me resenting him for our financial situation. As a couple we decided that I would work so that he could focus on graduating as soon as possible. Since he is studying an engineering career, working and studying would have taken forever to finish. We did that our first year of marriage and it was complete disaster. We worked non-stop and had very little time to ourselves or to rest. It took a toll on my health and my sanity. We decided I made enough money for our modest living so he could finish his career. Even with him just studying, we would go to bed late with his drawing assignments, calcutation assignments, or those all-nighters engineering careers are famous for. I never resented him for him not working because we lived comfortably and had more time to ourselves. I never felt I worked more than him. I always felt we both did our part equally. 

With two babies, though, things have changed. From our expenses to our living necesities, everything went to the roof, and I just couldn't keep the boat afloat on my own. He finishes his career next Moday. Completely finish. All he has to do is wait for him to defend his professional practice and graduate. 
He has been looking for a job. I don't know why my brain has interpret this as "not wanting to work."

"Of course he wants to work! He is up before you are bathed and clothed and packing YOUR meal. He is out all day giving out curriculums, sending emails, and visiting friends that might have a job lead. If he is not doing that, he is running errands, fixing the car, or caring for the baby that was sick this week and on time to pick you up from work" I had to tell my brain. I feel I had to tell my brain mainly because a lot of voices, unsolicited voices, have been weighing in on our financial situation. 

I promised "In riches and in need, in sickness and health" when I married him. I have always thought it is a blessing that we've struggled in the beginning of our marriage. Most people decide to get married when all their affairs are in place and they are in a stable place. This stability is not a promise of future stability. When that instability comes in the future, a lot of couples who have never experienced it and didn't know what "need" looked like do not make it through the rough patch. I, on the other hand, have been given the blessing and opportunity to honor my husband and look up to him and make him feel admired and honored, in tough times. 

I love to examine myself. It is the Christian practice rather than the more common practice of examining others. I have to redirect my thought to what God wants from me, to the appreiciation of all that my husband does, and to the beauty that will result from this tough time to keep my sinful, despicably human heart from unfairly resenting my husband and to falling into the horrible sin of insubordination this has brought forth as a result. 

Ladies, sometimes you might think you are in the right challenging your husbands' authority. You might even have a long list that "justifies" your challenging his authority or not submitting to him or resenting his ways. Maybe you need to examine your own hearts and not your husband's. God has so much truth for us there, under the light of His Word and the joy of communion with Him and a humble heart. 
We don't like to hear that if our husband is wrong we must keep submitting, and quietly nonetheless. 
In my case, I have believed in the Lord that He is our Jehova Yireh, the Lord provides. And my husband is doing what he can and even makes sure I get all the extra sleep I can at nights because 
I have to go to work. I have been sinning by not being submissive and by resenting him. Now that the Lord has lifted the veil of my sinful ways, I am making sure I make him feel appreciated, admired, and loved; and since I am aiming at making him feel that way, I am being submissive to him. I am learning submission has more to it than just obeying what he says and doing it with a quiet, gentle attitude, which is hard to do on its own, and I want to learn all that God has for me in this area. 

10/16/2014

A Lesson on Discontentment

From time to time, especially when that time has been hard time, our hearts tend to indulge in discontentment. This blog is filed with my constant sermon that "Gratefulness is the key to happiness." I have never once doubted this and continue to preach it. Yet it seems that this feeble, sinful human heart of mine cannot remain grateful forever. It falls into the traps of discontentment. I try to spark gratefulness back into my heart with a dose of "List all the things you are grateful for." And thus you have seen my Thank You lists. I wish I did them more often because they do keep the heart healthy, but they have been unable to get my heart from the foul mood of discontentment. 
I turn towards prayer for a change of heart. If I am sincere and I am truly seeking the Lord, He has never failed to change my heart. I have discovered that He has given me a second weapon, besides gratefulness, to fight discontentment. This weapon is perspective.
When I am trying to cheer someone in my family or my group of friends, I try to give them some perspective. Phrases like "It could be worse. Thank the Lord you have your health. Think of people who have lost more and are going on with their lives" roll easily out of our mouths. They are effective and we even employ them on ourselves from time to time. "Yes, you are not happy with your postpartum belly right now, but you could have that (insert name)'s belly. And she is not even a mom!" Eventhough this seems as shallow as it can get, discontentment has trapped me by my feeling towards my own body. And no, comparing myself to the girl I use as "feel good" escape doesn't help because a girl with a size I would rather have -or worst yet, had- is around the corner. And I could write a full post on self-worth, how unavailing and fruitless comparisons are, and proper body image, but it is not the point of this post.
Perspective helps. It makes you realize there are more things to be grateful for than you had originally thought of. Perspective has to go hand in hand with gratitude to fight discontent. I remember the pain I felt after surgery and how we took something as quotidian as sitting down for granted. Perspective makes you realize that if you lost that which you take for granted your life wouldn't quite be the same and your gratitude for it increases. So I guess perspective is not a second weapon for discontentment after all, but a fuel for gratefulness. Yet perspective sometimes misses the mark to fuel gratitude enough to leave the room of discontentment. 
Sometimes to fight discontentment you must find the root of it and analyze why is the discontentment beating your gratitude. My discontentment with my body is not strong enough to bring my joy of motherhood down or discourage me from more children. Not even sleepless nights have that strength. The gratitude I feel for the lives of my daughters far surpasses any discontentment with my body. This is not the case for all women. Some will go to great lengths for the perfect body, even avoiding or despising motherhood. The discontentment a less than perfect body would bring them would be soul wrecking. For me, the discontentment I have had a hard time fighting has to do with my living situation and my fanancial situation. Not even living with my in-laws I am able to be debt free. I tried perspective to heal my heart a little. "You at least have a roof over your head and a warm bed. Your in-laws are amiable, agreeable, and a great christian example for your marriage and your daughters. You get extra hands when help is needed." All true but all easily forgotten on hard times. My marriage is a young marriage; as much as I want to honor the Lord and my husband, I am not submissive. I am a young mother and as much as I don't want to make the mistakes my parents made or my student's parents make, I have a brand new list of mistakes of my own I make. I am very hard on myself for my mistakes, but they are not easier to handle with my in-laws present. It crushes me. My shortcomings have become my personal torturers sucking the joy of what I love the most. I can't escape my shortcomings, but I can escape my audience. Though perspective made me glad I have a place to live, I easily forgot its benefits when placed beside my feelings of being judged and scrutinize in the house I live. Let me, then, apply some analysing to the root of my discontentment. 
My discontentment is rooted on unfulfilled desires. I desire the freedom of making mistakes in the confines and privacy of my own house. I desire my own space, cooking my own meals, decoratings however I want, having as much order or disorder as I want. I desire leaving a dish dirty on the sink if I don't want to wash it right away without feeling bad about it. I desire a separate room for my daughters for them to learn to sleep through the night without waking each other. I desire letting my daughters play their silly children songs on the living room TV without worrying if they are disturbing anyone. 
Perspective will not change your desires. No amount of "at least you have this or at least you don't have that" will change what you desire. If your burning desire is to have a perfect body no amount of "At least your kids are healthy" or "At least you got to be a mom" would help. If your burning desire is to be rich, no amount of "at least you have a family" would appease you. How can you battle the discontentment from unfullfilled desires? 
The answer is quite simple, as most answers are; the execution of the answer, on the other hand, is most likely complicated. Change your desires! Stop seeking what you want. Stop and ask God what He wants from you. He is not passing me through the fire in vain. And if I apply a little perspective (and seriously, I don't need much) I am not going through a "fire." It has felt like a tried time because things have avalanched and money never accrues. If taken apart, my trials don't seem insurmountable; but all together at once have felt like passing through the fire. God is not trying me in vain. I have shared this verse here countless times and I share it once again:
James 1:2-4
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

I am always meditating on the "consider it pure joy" portion without much meditation on why. I always take a "Feel joyful when you are tried" approach because we must "Rejoice always" (1Thessalonians 5:14). I never stop to think why I should consider it pure joy and rejoice always. When facing trials, my head (which is really the Spirit within me) reminds me "Consider it pure joy." But when do I stop to think of the result of this trial: the mature, complete, not lacking, and perseverance of my faith?
If I can see that everything the Lord allows in my life is for the purpose of perfecting my faith for the glory of His name, considering it a pure joy wouldn't be a problem. I would desire whatever may come that would perfect my faith for Him. In this I have pondered plenty. I try to keep myself from saying things like "I would never survive losing my husband or a child" lest I tempt the Lord to make my faith persevere. As I mentioned before, if taken apart my trials don't seem like much, and altogether they don't compare to what others go through. So why does discontentment find an opening in my heart? I forget to place my desires in the things that matter, the eternal things. Sleeping through the night, forced to wash dishes right away, cramped tight in one room - how does these nuisances compare to the perfection, perseverance, and maturing of my faith? What if instead of desiring separate rooms I desire having a soft response for my husband always? What if instead of desiring my daughters to sleep through the night, I desire using that time to do some much needed prayers for others? What if instead of desiring my own rules, I desire humility, gratefulness, and lovingkindness with the large family I share a roof with? What if instead of desiring not to feel judged I desire holiness, setting an example, and being accountable? 
If I change my earthly desires and seek the desire God has for my heart by passing me through this fire, I find contentment, purpose, and an even more strengthen gratitude than perspective could have afforded me. 

Dear Father, 
Help me persevere in my faith, with joy through my trials, presenting every petition before you with gratitude, not forgetting the purpose of your calling and the privilege I have to be granted the opportunity to bring glory to Your name. Help me grow as a mother, wife, and daughter and sister in this home I so kindly have been invited to share. Let me cherish it truly and deeply. May I genuinely love them as my own as they have me. Never stop changing me to You image. Amen.

9/10/2014

Dear Kaylee 5 months/ Dear Emmalee 20 months

Dear Kaylee,
Last week you turned 5 months old. I have your 4 and 5 month old photoshoots but I had not come around to sharing them. You have grown so beautiful. It makes me sad I do not get to spend my whole day with you anymore. You already grew accustomed to your bottle and are having a hard time breastfeeding. I miss the closeness of breastfeeding you around the clock and getting to caress your head and hair. My little girl, I miss you every second I am away. When you were in the whomb, I worried of how great my love would be for you. I didn't know I could so much! I love you so deeply. When you fall asleep in my arms and I pass you to your crib, I always stare at you with wonder and give God thanks for your life and ask Him to protect you always. You have been struggling with a cough that made mommy's heart break when I would see you in any sort of pain. I am so happy you are doing better. I can't wait to get home and spend it with you and try to coax you into relinquishing the bottle for the breast so that we may be close. I have been trying to play more with you. You are not like your older sister who liked more daring games. You do love to play with your feet. You are so dextereous rolling over and trying to crawl. I am so proud of you. Just like your sister did at your age, you have become more silent these couple of weeks, though you were much more talkative then she was at 3 months. I think it has to do with the fact that you have been sick from your throat. I hope soon I can hear your "ooh's" and "gu's" again. Just yesterday you were feeling more chatty. Your dad has been spending more time with you as well and trying to get you to laugh. No one makes you laugh like your daddy. You have almost mastered sitting without support or help. Your eyes are still as mesmerizing as they were when you were born. I can lose myself in those curly eyelashes and deep eyes that we still do not know if they are blue, grey, or green. Your grandma Martha wants me to cut your hair. It is a little out of control. You have bunch of hair on the front and on the top, but are going bald on the back. Do  not feel bad, my darling, almost all kids go through this stage. You are still beautiful to no compare. I love to see you interact with your sister. You love to watch her play and if she is there, you won't even turn to look at us. You do not like it much, though, when she hugs you or touches you. She can be heavy or rough, but she means well. She is always excited to get to interact with you, always ready to hug you when you are at arms reach. Baby, I know you have heard that we were not planning on having you so soon, but this just comes to show how God always knows best. You were in His plans and I thank Him it was so because we could not be happier to have you. I melt when I pick you up to change your diaper and you give me a huge smile. You only do me that mercy because you scream and cry when daddy changes you. I hope that changes soon because daddy feels rejected. It's ok, I know you don't mean to make him feel that way. Your sister did it to me yesterday, lol. I was praying for you yesterday that God might protect you and make you grow strong and healthy. I wish you got to see your grandma Linda more but I am so grateful to you for granting her smiles when you two skype. I love you, my gift from heaven. I can't put into words the joy and warmth that fills my heart just to think of you. I pray nothing ever hurts you, though I know that will not be the case. So I pray I might teach you well and teach you of Him so when the pain comes you know what to do and that you are not alone. 
Thank you for being my baby girl and coming to my life. 
Love, mom

Dear Emmalee,
My sweet girl you are 20 months old. Your second birthday is just around the corner and mommy is already planning and working on it. Your birthday and your sister's birthday are truly the happiest day of the year for me. I was so blessed those days when I got to see your eyes for the first time. You have grown so much. You talk better than many two year olds and you are so energetic. You are a little prone to accidents. I think this is because you are too brave and you are definitely not a cry baby. Last week was tough on the both of us, but I think mommy had an even rougher time. You injured your front tooth, which thankfully was not hurt and will not be lost, and you lost a finger nail. You were so brave on both emergencies. You barely even cried, even after a local anesthesia shot. How brave! I am so happy because we got to spend so much time together these past months. During my prenatal with Kaylee it was just the two of us home all day long! And then while mommy looked for a new job, we spend more time together. Your recent interests are dancing and singing. When you do either, mom and dad just can't help laughing out loud. You are so hilarious and cute. Your vocabulary is quite extensive, even fooling people of your age. You pick on words and phrases quickly. You are joy to be around as you have always been. Your beautiful brown eyes and long lushious hair style leave me mesmerized at your beauty. I was burdened to see you get hurt so often this month, I didn't even want to celebrate my birthday. Then I realized I had you and your sister to be grateful for and that made my birthday best day ever. I even took these pictures of you that day when my joy came back when my grattitude returned. Girl, you are the best. Never stop dancing, never stop singing, never stop smiling. Don't let anyone tell you the things you do with innocence and purity of heart are evil just because they think they are. As long as you are able to stand in the light of God with a pure heart, keep singing and dancing. Have as much fun as you can, because fun is joy abounding, not engaging in sin. And there is lot of fun in your walk with God. I wouldn't change a thing about my life and my walking with God. It led me to having you and God could not have blessed me more than making me your and your sister's mommy. I love your quirks, I love your kisses and lalalos (hugs). Your father has nicknamed you lalalo since that and pepe (milk bottle) are your main words. "Lalalo, lalalo." You always want to be picked up and you give a hug when someone obliges. You love your pink converse shoes your grandparents got you. You pull on your foot and say "papato" to let us know you dropped your shoe. You refuse to say pelota (ball) and continue to spout your "tututa" which some people sometimes misinterpret. I don't care. I am not teaching you so that you can please people and their expectations. Please God and He knows you love to play with your tuta! I pray God keeps you healthy and growing. You are always on my mind and always on the stories I tell. 
Thank you for being my firstborn.
Love, mom
Kaylee 4 momths



Kaylee 5 months




Emmalee 19 months



Emmalee 20 months



8/12/2014

Back to the foundations

This week I've been meditating in this verse:
Luke 16:10
10 “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.

In my youth I interpreted this as: Be faithful in little things in church and you will be put over more responsibilities in church, and the pastors will consider you for missions, projects, and what not. Both of these came true and I spent my teenage years almost entirely in church serving. Time came to show me that there were many people in church faithful to their church responsibilities and placed over more; however, a lot of these men and women are no longer in church or serving Christ. I slowly started to retreat from my church responsibilities and brought them to a minimum of serving in the young professional's band and attending my Bible group and church meeting. The reason, I told myself, was that I had more responsibilities now that I had my own home and also my health was an issue. I am pretty sure I could do more if my heart was into it. I have found my heart unwilling and prayed to the Lord to change it. 
I have pondered over the reasons why those faithful brothers and sisters with whom I served during my youth were no longer walking the narrow road. And I have been meditating on what will become of me.

I want to be a faithful child to my loving Father. I do. That has never changed. But I am finding myself unfaithful in little things. I want to be trusted to be faithful with large things.

The big problem I am facing is that eventhough I have been unfaithful in the little things, I have been trusted with big responsibilities. I am a wife and a mom. Soon, I will be a teacher. These are great responsibilities I do not take lightly. 

So what are these small things I am being unfaithful in?
Well, I've found that these reasons I am about to name are the reasons I believe those faithful people in their church responsibilities also missed and caused them to drift. You see, the church is plagued with faithful attendees willing to serve in various ministries and going to every church activity. This was me for many, many years. I have meditated that the reason I do not want to do more in church is because I am not qualified to do so. I do not want to be something in church I am not first in private. I do not want to be something in church I am not everywhere else. And I can not take more responsibilites in church if I not faithful in my home, my family, and my work.

The little things:
1. Reading my Bible everyday. 
I was adamant in my teenage years about reading my Bible daily. I would even write "Nothing, shame on you" in my devotional the days I didn't read. I would even wake up the next day and sumarize the things that went wrong that day that would have gone different if my heart had spent time in the presence of the Word. It was my bread and water. This is probably the reason I am still in church and I haven't drifted to the broad road. But my young days in the Bible won't sustain me forever, certainly not as my responsabilities grow in adulthood. I am not spending enough time in the Bible. I justify this with my busy days, but my heart knows it is just excuses. My heart is growing harder each day I am away from His Word. It is the Holy Spirit in me starving from its food and life. I do not want to silence the Holy Spirit but I am not listening to His Word. I have nothing in which to stand against the enemy and his attacks to my life but the Word I learned in my youth that I am not studying and meditating in once more. And how am I going to teach the Word to my daughters and to my students? 

2. Praying. 
When people say "I'll pray for that" they probably do and they utter a small prayer for you just then and never again. I know I do. In my youth, I even kept a prayer dairy where I wrote the things I needed to pray for myself, for my family, for my friends. Everyone had its own paragraph and I would use my prayer diary twice a week. I delighted on spending a whole night in prayer and felt rested the next day. Nowadays, I have a hard time spending minutes in prayer and when I am feeling scared and lost, I ask my husband to pray for me and find it hard to pray myself. I come to the verse in John 3:20: Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. Maybe my time apart from the Word makes me too ashamed to come before the light I've been ignoring. I usually just come praying to give thanks and pray for others, especially my pregnant friends.

3. Seeking advice.
This one I am not doing so bad as I am a forever seeker to diminish my pride, especially my self-righteousness. I try never to make decisions without consulting my husband and my mom and anyone i consider knowledgeable to the specific situation. But I want to do more. I want to be open to advice on how to be a better wife, mom, friend, teacher, child of God. I want to seek discipleship more aggresively and grow in humility and holiness. I want more of myself for God. 

4. Discipling
Do not even know if that is a word but I want to start doing this. Now, I cannot disciple if I myself am not a disciple, so the points above are really important. And this is really important to be able to be faithful with the large responsibilities God has given, like being a mom and a teacher. I'm looking forward to be able to connect with my students in a way I wasn't allowed to in my previous job. Discipling my kids is my main ministry along with serving my husband from here on. 

5. No bad words.
Nothing taints my testimony faster and harsher than it should than when a bad eords comrs out of my mouth, and I am sorry to say it happens more often than not and not even to insult or in anger but in a casual way which I don't know if it makes it worse. This is not unharmful and I have to stop belittling its consequences.
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There are probably many other things I need to grow in faithfulness, but I am going to the little things to move to the greater or more. And this faithfulness before the Lord not men. The greater things come from Him and He is calling us to be good faithful servants. I do not want to continue fail Him, in any little thing. I am not going to shame myself again in my devotionals. I am going to shame myself as a mother, wife, and teacher if I don't. 

Dear Father,
Thank You because You renew your mercies everyday. If this was not so I would have already been smitten under your rightful wrath. But You are loving to this undeserving child of Yours. Let me not forget to tremble. Let me not forget how much has been forgiven and that which is yet to be forgiven. Thank You for giving this unfaithful servant big responsabilities and trusting me a wonderful family and household. Thank You Lord inmensely for the teaching opportunity I have been given. I am greatly grateful for my job. Thank you for re-igniting my passion for teaching and the opportunity to minister to my students once more. There is nothing better than to be Your hands and feet and this undeserving servant appreciates the chance You give her to go forth for You. Let me once more be an influence in Your church as long as it is Your words I share and live. Do not let me be there for the moment or the movement or the people, but for You and by You. Let me not walk to the broad road and move those who have to walk the narrow. It is narrow for a reason and walked by a few brave men and women that have been blessed to know and love You. Let me seek You in Your Word, through prayer, through mutual discipleship, and with an edifying tongue. May I be faithful through You Who strengthen me. In Your holy name I pray, amen.

7/24/2014

Supernatural reactions

I wake up to cries everyday. Either from my 19 month old or my 3 month old or both baby girls. I am not going to lie, I sometimes linger on my bed hopong they'll go back to sleep and I will get a little more shut-eye time. Sometimes it happens, but more often I have to stand up and tend to them. It's ok, the initial dislike of having to get out of bed rapidly leaves as it is replaced with a child that goes from a cry to an instant smile the moment they see your face.
Do you know what that is like? To have someone immediately feel better and in the mood to smile just by looking at you? And in your just-woken-up morning look?
I feel as though I have a ton of stuff to do and little time to do it and I'm unemployed!
A practical control-freak, I like to get things done in one sitting and as quickly and efficiently as possible. Add a baby that wants only mommy's arms and only mommy can feed her, and that gets a little harder to do. I am learning to love, though, how breastfeeding puts a stop on my day many times during the day. I have to sit down and simply wait. I cannot rush my baby or do anything other than breastfeed. It is not an easy feat for me to do. But it must be done and I must, for those minutes, slow down and stop whatever I am doing.
So many changes in my life right now have me in the brink of desperation. Again, I am not going to sugarcoat how hard a time I've been experiencing, 
Apart from having two baby girls who are fair sleepers but still wake us up during the night, I have been experiencing sharp pain on my legs that, I don't understand why, tends to worsen while I'm laying down. It amuses me, rather than disturb me, when both girls wake up and me and the hubs are at opposite sides of the bed both with one child on our arms rocking them to sleep. We give each other a glance as if saying "How did we get here" and sigh in relief when we are finally able to go back to bed. Sometimes the relief is shortlived and one of the girls, and thankfully usually not both, needs a second rocking back go sleep. We take turns. 
We never thought we would have two babies so close together, and now, all four of us live in the a single room.
I lost my job on June. I had been fearing the school would fire me because I got pregnant just when I started working there. i felt a little better when in December both the school's superintendent and the highschool principal sat with me and gave me a promise I was not losing my job, that they liked my work, and would be renewing my contract. I breathed a little easier afterwards, but I never fully took their word. I suspected so much their intent of firing me that I began a home business during my postnatal in March. I started baking cupcakes, cakes, and cake pops to make a living on the side. I've never considered myself skillfull enough for a business of my own but need is stronger than beliefs, specially when you have two babies. 
But we had to make a decision on our financial situation quick and we decided to move in with my in laws, thus the four of us now share a room where before we had our own full house. 
I don't know how we did it and even my mother-in-law praised my organization skills but in this one single room we managed to put both cribs, both side tables of emmalee's room, our bed, both our side tables, the girl's changing station/dresser that contains all their clothes, our dresser, a plastic dresser that goes inside the closet, all out clothes in a single small closet including our bedding, the tv and tv station, the girl's rocking horse, and my rocking chair, And we still have two-meter square area for the girls to play. In my in-laws laundry room we put our fridge and a pantry for my baking supplies. 
It is definitely a change and a tough adjustment, however I am grateful for the extra arms in the house to help with the girls when I am baking. 
The Lord has shown provision. We have a roof over our heads, electricity, running hot water, even a ceiling fan in the room to help with the heat, food and each other. That is more than a lot have. 
As humans, we want God's provision in the form of the lifestyle we desire, A discontent heart would say God did not provide because I lost the house and was forced to downsize. I have to say, downsizing was my favorite part in all of this. No joke. The more you have, the more you need, and I for one don't need things dragging me down.
At first we didn't have hot water, cable or internet in the room, and the toilet seat was broken. It is hard when you get use to these things and not have them. We do now and I am grateful for it, but I would have loved to learn to live without these as well, except for the hot water. Girl needs her hot water!
It's a difficul living situation for me because you are placing imperfect humans to live with other imperfect humans who clash, argue, and not always see eye to eye. With me being the only one not related in the house, eventhough they say I am like one of their own, I feel an intruder and invader.
God's provision has been shown in how many cakes I've been ordered, eventhough I have zero sales and publicity skills. Seriously, selling something is one the most frightful things you can make me do. To me it's torture! I really envy those who have it naturally. I wish could just worry on baking and not have to deal with the negotiation part of the business. It is harder on me than you think.
I thought the money I got when I got fired would be enough to carry me til August, but it was barely enough for July. I had to buy cheap diapers and Kaylee had a bad reaction to them and now has a huge red rash and her bottom that has been more expensive to treat than her box of normal diapers! And I had to buy her normal diapers too. The saying "cheap comes with a price" is no joke.
All of these things have been pushing me out of my comfort zone.
I was tempted to fall into depression so I started analyzing my situation.
Here is my current situation: I am a stay at home mom with a home business. Now I wish that were enough to provide for my family, but it is not. I am waiting on a call on a job at another school that thankfully is a christian school, so that makes me happier to go back to work; but, in the meantime, I have been given the chance to stay with my girls, no matter the circumstance, and I am going to throw it away by feeling down?!
When the school called me to tell me they wanted me for the job I ran to Emmalee, picked her up and hugged her and told her "I'll be able to buy your diapers" with tears falling from my eyes.
So, to summarize: sleep depraved, change in living situation, pain during the night, sharing a house, broke, dealing with a home business, waiting on a job call, caring for two babies. 
All of these things have made me have some human reactions: sadness, blame, crankyness, moody (especially with the hubs u_u), discontent. You could say my reaction is justifiable to all I've been going through.
I was talking to my very dear friend Tito the other day, He has justifiable reasons to be angry at a person. No one would blame him if he were. Yet not only is he not angry at this person, he refuses to speak ill of the person and even refuse to think ill in his mind either. When I commended him for his example, he said "Only God can give you supernatural reactions." 
Supernatural reactions. The term has been stuck in my head ever since. My reactions are the human natural response. Is that what I want for myself? Tito has the human "right" to be upset, yet he doesn't want any human rights. He wants holiness. He wants to be like Christ and that longing and closeness to God has brought forth supernatural reactions to human situations.
I want that!
It is not going to come naturally or I would already have them just by wishing it. And this is the reason for my trials and the Lord's encouragement of "Consider it pure joy when faced with many trials" (James 1). God is bringing forth holiness in my life. Holy means separated for. I want to be separated for God. Separated from the natural to bring forth the supernatural, which is simply the work of God in your life. It may never come from me and that is why all the glory is to Him. I want my life to glorify Him. My girls and my husband are my ministry from God and it is in that relationship and walk as a mother and wife that I will glorify God with my life. But what example am I for my girls if struggle brings depression and discontent into their mother's heart? 
And so, I fill my cup today with gratitude, joy, and smiles. I chose peace and trust over fear and worries. I choose to feel closer to God safe under His wings than feeling alone and deserted.
I choose supernatural reactions only God can give me. God help me and teach me.

5/29/2014

Mother of two!

Here comes another round of "it's true what they say."

It is true that is harder to have more than one child, especially when they are so close together in age as mine. The first time I had to take care of both girls alone I felt proud of myself for not crying. When you have two babies crying simultaneously both needing something right away and you have to chose which one to leave crying and make her wait, you feel your heart break a little, the first time, The second time you just understand your limitations and hope your daughters won't resent the waiting while wailing. Once you get over or used to the crying, you carry on and things actually run smoothly.

It is true it is very tiring. The first three weeks I was sleep deprived I was a walking, seriously cranky zombie. I am very grateful for my husband and for not leaving me after those weeks. Honestly, for a moment there I wondered if we would make it. I felt awful for snapping at him for anything. But, a day came when Kaylee allowed me to sleep three hours continuously and I became human again. With the first child they tell you "Sleep when the baby sleeps." Well, that was not possible with another baby full awake. But somehow I feel more energetic than I have in a long time. I feel so much energy that I am serving at church again, being faithful to attend group and church, caring for the house, caring for both girls, and I even feel less ache in my body than i have in the past years. My back and neck hurt from sleeping with Kaylee in my arms until she finally lets me pass her to her crib but it is not keeping me from my daily activities and I am doing it joyfully. It is like the Lord has fully charged my battery. Today that I had to go back to work Kaylee even let me sleep 5 hours straight!

It is true that it is easier the second time around. I am so glad breastfeeding has been easier. I think it is a matter of feeling more confident of what I do that makes the difference. I sometimes wonder if Kaylee is not suffering from my overconfidence. It also amuses me how much a newborn care my husband completely forgot. He doesn't even remember what we went through with Emmalee. I even try things with Kaylee I would have been to scared to do with Emmalee. I hope and pray that this time around I can breastfeed longer.

It is true it is more expensive. So far we have only felt the expenses go up on diapers. Kaylee is exclusively breastfeeding so there is no extra charge there. However, the pediatrician, vaccines, medicines, clothing, etc will eventually start to blow out our budget. That is why we started a home based business making cakes, cupcakes, cake pops for parties. I hope the business takes off so that I can continue with it when I am finally steady to quit my day job. Speaking if day jobs, I don't even know if I'll still have one next school year, so I hope the home business really, really takes off. It would be so happy to be able to work from home and stay with my daughters. Today is my first day away from Kaylee and it is killing me. It did not get easier to be separated from her, even if it is the second time.

It is true that you love them just as much as the first. I love Emmalee with such strength and intensity that I was worried I couldn't love that strongly anyone else, but a mother's heart can sure expand to fit more love in it. I think of how much I love Kaylee and my heart fills and my eyes tear up. I sink my nose into her chamomile scented hair, stare deep into those hypnotic grey eyes, and just lose myself with joy. She gave me her first smiles this week and made my knees weak. When she cries because of cholic I feel my heart break to know she is in pain. I will hold her all night gladly with no cares for my rest and tiredness. I wake up to her cries and thank God for her life and ask Him to keep waking me up to a breathing, healthy baby, I don't mind. 

My life revolves around my daughters. Everything I do is done in a rush: bathe, eat, rest, go to the bathroom, use the computer, think, breathe! Time for myself? Time with friends? Time to do what I like? It doesn't exist right now. I surely need to make time with the hubs! If you want to live for yourself parenthood is not for you, unless you can afford a nanny and are not concerned with raising your kids right. Yesterday I was laying in my bed with Kaylee in one arm and Emmalee in the other one and Rodol sleeping next to me and I thoguht to myself "I have my whole world and everything I need in this bed." I can't fathom how that is not enough for some people. How some mothers desire to be out making a career than the torture of staying home. What I would give! I am counting the seconds to be back home.

Mother of two... I like the sound of that. I want more, but I'll have to wait. In the mean time, I am somehow capable of carrying both of the girls and grabbing things or opening doors; it is like I became an octupus and have extra arms or something. Well, the hubs makes fun if how deft I am grabbing things from the floor with my feet so maybe I am more a monkey. The days are challenging but filled with reward. I feel so blessed to have been able to spend so much time at home and daydream of the day I'll be able to stay fulltime. 
Thank You, Lord, for the days you have given me. Thank You, for You make them more than I could have ever dreamed of.

4/10/2014

On Becoming a Parent Part 2

So apparently I cannot give birth without hearing the words "That is the first time that happens" from nurses and doctors.
For those of you who want to know what I am talking about with Emmalee, here is the link.
Kaylee was schedule to come out of her comfy belly-home this monday the 7th, which is why her grandma Linda booked a plane ticket from Panama City to Tegucigalpa on the 6th. I prayed plenty asking God that my mom would be here for Emmalee's delivery, that I was sure He was going to do the same for Kaylee and didn't even bother to ask. To poor grandma's dismay, Kaylee came out 4 days ahead.
Luckily, I had the sense to pack the morning of Wednesday the 2nd. We had just returned from Emmalee's first time at the movie theater. She has gone before but to sleep on mommy or daddy's lap. This time she went to watch the movie. She really enoyed the animated film and clapped at the end. She is growing so fast. I came home to finish cleaning and organizing the guest room for mom and rearranging our bedroom to fit the playpen that has a nifty newborn station for Kaylee's first months. I don't know if all that exertion got me into labor or if it was just time but, at 1 am of that Thursday, I began with contractions.
Now contractions usually take some time before they become frequent and painful, indicating it is time to go to the hospital. You feel them in the middle of your belly and you can tell it is a contraction because your whole belly hardens. The pain I was feeling was only on the lower right side of my belly and didn't feel like contractions, but by 1:30 am the contractions where closer together and very painful, which got me scared really fast. I called my doctor and was instructed to go to the hospital immediately.
I don't know how many times I said "Rodolfo hurry up" in the few minutes it took us to get dressed and "ready" for the hospital. (The "ready" is because we had mine and Kaylee's stuff ready, but not Emmalee's). Needless to say, I was pretty scared in the car praying for Kaylee's safety. Our car was in the shop and we felt so blessed our friend George had left us a car to use until ours was fixed. (I seriously hate my car).
I was worried the doctor would delay in arriving, but he got there five minutes after us. I just wanted to enter his clinic and see Kaylee on the ultrasound monitor. The doctor was checking me and I yelled "Just show her to me already!!!" "The ultrasound is malfunctioning," he said. He asked me to calm down so he could listen to her heart beat. When I heard the words "She is perfectly fine," my heart started beating again. My in-laws live nearby the hospital and were able to arrive quickly and care for Emmalee. 
I had google before calling the doctor the kind of pain I was feeling could mean placental abruption (which you can read about here).
Turned out, to mis dismay, that I was right and thus needed to go into surgery right away. 
I was afraid waking up the staff necessary for my emergency cesarean would take a while, time in which my contractions would scalate quickly putting me inside the OR in extreme pain again. The doctor told me he would start operating in half hour, which translated to Honduran time meant at least an hour and a half. Turned out I was wrong. I was surprised how quickly they were there and ready. 
When the time for the epidural came, I told the doctor of my complication the last time. He promised me that would not happen this time. I am glad he was true to his promise.
Before surgery the doctors and nurses got together in a circle and prayed. That made me feel really good. I was happy my doctor allowed Rodol to be in the OR with me, and he got to cut Kaylee's umbilical chord. He was so happy. Being inside, hearing me talk, and seeing Kaylee come out safely made him feel better than with Emmalee's delivery, where being in the waiting room not knowing what was going on made the minutes feel like hours. All I have to say is that he has a strong stomach. I was happy he was there and he stroke my hair until the surgery was over. 
They took me to the recovery room and he left to check on Kaylee. Those 45 minutes on the recovery room felt endless. I was anxious to see Kaylee or at least be allowed to be in my room with Emmalee. 
When I was finally sent to my room, I was immediately concerned with the look on Rodol's face. It turned out that Kaylee had trouble adjusting to the environment and was given oxygen to breathe (effects of the placental abruption). The pediatrician told us we were lucky she came early because she was showing signs of fetal distress. 
She came out a lot smaller and thinner than Emmalee. Emmalee was three weeks older when she was born. It may not seem like much, but, in development inside the womb, it makes a big difference. 
The nurses said they would be taking her to the room in a few minutes. Those did turn out to be hours.
My in-laws and my dad where all really tired from the long night, but no one would leave until we had Kaylee on the room. We got Kaylee three hours later, immediately requesting feeding. When I saw how strong a feeder she was, I knew she was going to be ok. I was so happy breastfeeding again! Everyone stared at her for a few minutes and went their way.
By now it was around 6 am. On my surgery with Emmalee I remember coming out of surgery with a foley catheter on that was removed until the next day. With Kaylee's surgery, my catheter was removed in the recovery room around 3 am. I found it strange, but they said it was ok to remove it, so I didn't inquire any further. 
I was happy with Kaylee and Rodol in the room recovering from surgery (Emmalee left with her grandparents). I really wished my mom was there. Time passed and the effects of the anesthesia were wearing off as I could feel the pain from the cut. The nurses administered some analgesics the doctor had prescribed. It seemed weird to me that the pain in the cut subsided, but not my general pain. The hours kept passing and my pain only became stronger and stronger. Around 1pm I was complaining heavily about the pain I was feeling. 
They sent a doctor to check on me. You could tell from a mile away he was just a medical student. 
He asked me where I was feeling pain and I told him it was in the abdominal area. He gave me the dumbest look ever and said "Well, you just had surgery. It is normal that you feel pain," to which I responded in my most aggravated tone "It is normal that I feel pain. It is not normal that the analgesics are having absolutely no effect and my pain is actually increasing!" He just bowed his head and agreed, but of course did nothing. 
Time kept passing and I kept telling them I was feeling too much pain. They changed me to a stronger analgesic. I started calling them telling me to give me something stronger, to which all just replied that I should wait for the new analgesic to come into effect. I started calling my doctor continuously on the phone demanding him to come see me. He sent the on-call doctor at the ER. He checked my pulse, my pressure, my wound, my bleeding and concluded that everything was ok. He called my doctor and told him I had a "low pain threshold" to which I, infuriated, replied with a "This is not my first c-section! Something is wrong, help me!"
They did nothing again so I did the only thing I could. I started screaming. It was really hard to scream with the intense pain in my abdomen, but it was all I could do. I looked so bad not even Rodol tried to stop me from screaming. My screams where heard all throughout.
Finally my doctor came to see me. I was in so much pain I was shaking the bed. 
He asked me if it was my wound that hurt. I said yes but that what really hurted was my abdominal area. He asked the nurses if I had peed all day and they said I had. He asked for a catheter just to be sure. As soon as he placed the catheter in, I stopped screaming and laid peacefully on the bed. They took out three liters of urine from a bladder that holds 600ml!
By the look on their faces I could tell they had really screwed up. They even treated me with a lot of care after my screaming show. Had I not screamed for help, they would have had a very complicated gallbladder surgery on a recently operated patient. I could have died of complications, my bladder was about to burst!
And just like with my post-dural-puncture headache, all doctors and nurses kept telling me "That had never happened before." 
I was just thankful that after that, I felt a lot better. I didn't even need the analgesics anymore and the pain from the cut was more than bearable.
We stayed in the hospital until Saturday and I was happy my mother-in-law came to spend the night with us, since my mom was arriving until Sunday.
The pediatrician told me Kaylee suffered from Jaundice but that I could take her home and just expose her to the sun in the mornings and afternoons. There was something bothering me about her jaundice, though my mom and my mother-in-law said she was fine and the jaundice was mild. I couldn't shake the feeling it was more than that and took Kaylee to the pediatrician on Monday. We went to draw some blood to check her bilirubin levels beforehand. The nurses and doctors at the Lab said she was fine and that they had seen babies a lot more yellow than Kaylee. The test results were not done yet and we had to be on time to see the pediatrician, so the lab said I could call to get the results. As soon as my pediatrician saw her he said she was ok, like everyone else, and that the jaundice was mild. He did the check up on her and was about to dispatch us when we got the results from the lab. 
Her jaundice was not mild and we had to stay in the hospital for two days.
He even admitted "mom knows best."
It was really hard to hear we had to stay in the hospital, not to mention the huge financial hit. 
Thankfully, God gave provision through my mom and Kaylee got better.
We are finally home and together.
We are happy to have my mom with us and as our guest.
Emmalee could not be a cuter big sister. All she wants to do when she sees Kaylee out of her cradle is give her kisses. She kisses her arms, belly, and forehead.

Thank You for Your provision, Your care, Your protection, faithfulness, and love, my dear Lord.
She is more Red than yellow

Mommy was so happy to have her so soon in the hospital room


Party of Four!
Happy grandma
Sister kisses
loves of my life


3/29/2014

That Kind of Night

I am having that kind of night; you know, the sleepless one where you lay in bed regretting something you said. The kind of night were you beat yourself up for those words that came out of your mouth even if you know that most likely the only conseuence to them is this self-beating. The kind of night where you find it hard to forgive your own flaws.
And thus I try to console myself with phrases like: "Jesus forgave you for this too, so you should too."
And I don't know if these words have validity or not, but I am finding no solace in them.
Neither am I finding any on the thought that what I said wasn't really bad. 
Then why is it disturbing me so?
Well, my soul wants me to find out in order to find rest in this kind of night.
It was a comment on another mother's choice.
I find myself complaining about how much it bothers me when strangers comment on my kid's appearance or behaviour, or the size of my belly, or anything parental related. 
I need to ask myself if it only rubs me the wrong way coming from strangers or coming from near ones as well?
My mind recalls of a time when Emmalee was two months old and my mom made a comment on a choice I made that hurt me so bad it caused us to have our only long distance fight. And it was an "innocent" comment. "Innocent" in the sense that it was said coming from a place of concern and love, but not from a place where it was well-thought before it was spoken, coming accross completely as it was not intended. I hate when that happens. 
I guess I can conclude that I would probably not complain of any opinions you have as me as a mother if you are not a stranger, but I would probably not have an easy time taking them either. 
Knowing firsthand what the road of motherhood looks like, I guess I understand why my heart is so upset that I was so unhampered and casual in casting an opinion of another mother's choice. 
It brings to mind the fact that the things we dislike from others is more often than not the things we dislike about ourselves. And if it is not, then it should.
it reminds me of Luke 6:41-42

41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

42 Or how canst thou say to thy brother, ‘Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye,’ when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite! Cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.



Ouch! No wonder I am having that kind of night. Hypocrite? That is not something I want to be called. 
I guess thiese kinds of nights are not that bad afterall, if you are willing to examine your heart and bring it under God's mindset and will.
I find myself lately singing Emmalee to sleep to the Sonicflood song "Holiness."
The part of the song that says "brokenness, brokenness is what I long for" truly strikes a chord because I really do. And the chorus "Take my heart and form it, take my mind transform it, take my will conform it to Yours" is truly a prayer in my heart, even when I am singing it.
Sometimes He allows these kinds of nights for the purpose of making that chorus true in our hearts.

After writing this down I have to say, eventhough I have an early morning and Emmalee and the house under my sole care until noon, I am grateful I had this kind of night. I am grateful the Lord moves me to examine my heart and will not let me rest until I have. I am glad I am not someone who can feel she did something incorrect and just shake it off and swipe it under the rug. 

Thank You, Lord, for forever shaping me into Your image, even if it is a long road ahead. I love You for not forsaking me and for forgiving me and teaching me Your ways. Never stop teaching me!

3/03/2014

Dear Kaylee, 33 weeks on the belly!




Sweet baby girl,
I've been thinking alot about you lately. We are expecting you in 36 days exactly.
Your grandma will be coming April 6th so please wait for her. 
We chose to have you on the 7th because it is mommy's favorite number and it has been meaningful in our lives. Your sister was born on the 17th. You were supposed to be coming that date also, but I am glad you are coming sooner. I can't wait to meet you.
It does not matter that I've done this before, I know that when I get to stare into your eyes, I will lose myself in them. Meeting you will be the one of the best things that happens to me,
Mommy loves you so much. I wake up at night searching your kicks on my belly and daydreaming about you. I am sure your sister will be happy for your arrival. She is going to be the best big sister ever. I pray that you two don't fight too much, that you can be best friends, that you will find in her a role model and a good counselor. Sisters are the best and it is a very cherished conexion. I am happy you two will be very close in age. Your sister Emmalee is so sweet and kind, so you have much you can learn from her already.
Baby girl, we were not expecting you so soon, but you were going to come when God wanted, and His will is done. 
His will is always done, baby girl, and it is always good. I pray you know this and cherish your Heavenly Father. We definitely cherish Him for bringing you into our lives and He was wise to bring you at this time.
Sweet girl, always be kind to others, honor your parents, love the Lord with all your heart. Never forget that you are wonderfully made. Everything about you is perfect and mommy wouldn't change a thing about you. Never let anyone make you feel bad about who you are; you tell them you were made by an amazing and genius Creator uniquely design inside your mommy. 
I want you to know that your daddy kisses you every morning. You have such a great dad. He cares very lovingly for your mommy while she carries you and for your sister. He is so prepared to care for you. He used to hold your newly-born sister with a tight grip scared he'd drop her. I hope we don't drop you from overconfidence. At least you are lucky your parents have learned from mistakes done by newly parents to your sister, although take into account she will have some benefits as the older sister for having had to be mommy and daddy's teacher. 
Your grandma Linda always requests to talk to you on skype. 
It's weird putting the ipad on the belly, but you, as your sister before you, kick when you listen to grandma Linda's voice. 
Your grandparents are helping prepare for your arrival. Grandma Linda bought you some baby gear including you car seat and I bet she will be showering you with more gifts. She can't help herself. I am so glad she will come to be mommy's support and strength so really wait for her please.
Grandpa Edgardo is working hard on your crib. He is the jack-of-all-trades your mom learned her autodidactic skills from. I will try to pass that on to you and your sister. 
Your grandpa Rodolfo was so grateful He got to feel you on my belly. I bet he almost got teary eyed. He only had boys so he is excited to have more girls to love. Your grandma Martha is preparing herself to care for you when mommy and daddy go to work. 
Like your sister, I wish you got to see your Aunt Lilly and Uncle Ditto more, but you will have Uncle Kris and Uncle Javi pampering you. Like mom and dad, they got to practice handling a baby with your sister. Uncle Kris even knows how to change diapers!
Baby girl, grow healthy and strong inside me. Feel mommy's love for you and how great  it is. 
We love you!

2/11/2014

Life as parents.

It is true, everything they said.
Money would be tight.
Nights would be long and bodies would ache in restless pain.
Nothing would ever stay in it's place and the ornaments wouldn't last.
You or what you like to do would have second place or no place at all.
Your dreams would be put on hold, probably permanently. 
You will wash more, clean more, swipe more, bathe more, dress more,
Experience more unpleasant smells, 
Have sore arms from carrying,
Have no space in the car trunk.
You will feel alot more tired and sleep at any chance anywhere, embarrassment is no longer an issue.
You will adjust your tv favorites channels for channels you would never watch voluntarily.
You will have toy songs stuck in your head popping at any moment.
Your pets will be in second plane as well.
You will have never gone so little to the movies or out for dinner, and don't plan to anytime soon.
Going to the gym is just a dream.

It is true. I won't deny it.
But it is also true that you have never been happier.
That watching that little face smile when you enter the room makes life worth living.
That, while having her on your bed makes you sleep stiffly, getting to hold her hand and hear her breathing brings more peace than any rest can.
That every time she says mama, even if she is crying at 3am, makes you feel important.
That everytime she sleeps peacefully and happy you feel like you did something right in your life.
That every new thing she learns is worth a celebration and more filling to your soul than any dreams put on hold.
That eventhough there is no money and times are so hard, hearing her laugh can make you believe, have hope, and gain strength.
That looking into her eyes reassures you of a God in heaven, Who is not only real, but loving and awesome, and greatly to be praised.
That arriving home and getting to throw yourself on the floor to play with her is the highlight of your day and you can't wait to repeat it the next day.
That every moment apart you are anxious for the moment back together again.
That nothing helps you grow more humble than learning from a child, and you realize that in fact she has a lot to teach you.
That the future you care about now is her future, rather than your own.
That you have never been more in love with your husband than when you watch him play and laugh with her.
That you really need to pick a good life partner because a good husband is worth more than anything.
That a plastic bag or a cardboard box is more fun than expensive Fisher Price toys that you don't need.
That your pets matter more to her now and she is the one who spends time with them.
That you love more whoever loves her.
And no matter how hard, or tired, or difficult, or expensive it is, you would do it again in a heartbeat!

I can't wait for life with two girls. I can't wait to meet my Kaylee and watch Emmalee as a big sister. 
We have never had as many problems as we do right now. 
We spent more than twelve hundred dollars on that car and it stills needs more repairs.
We are close to maxing out our credit card and have no other means to pay for necesities like food and gas, or rent, which I still haven't paid this month.
We are desperately looking for a job for Rodolfo because with my maternity leave I will have my paycheck cut even thinner and we can't make it with my full paycheck as it is.
I have a ton of work to do before my leave and I haven't even started preparing the material for the substitute teacher.
Emmalee is not sleeping through the night for the first time in her life, unless she is sleeping in our bed.
Other moms says it is because she can "feel" she will have some attention competition soon, and she especially wants mommy's attention.
Mommy is feeling huge and uncomfortable with her bulging belly.

And yet, I wouldn't change anything. The Devil brings thoughts to my mind of how better we'd be if I still had my old job. If I did, I would probably have a shorter list of amazing times with Emmalee. I would have less financial problems, granted, but at a price I am not willing to pay. Changing our diet to rice and beans would be preferable than that. 
And yet, I am also resting on the Lord like never before. He will provide, as Jehova Jireh always does, and will also be our Jehova Shalom, our Prince of Peace. He blesses us continuously through my mother and my in-laws, and through the body of Christ, and our beloved friends. He will bring Kaylee with the necessary provision, as children are a blessing of the Lord, and we couldn't be happier to become aunt and uncle to my dearly beloved sister Jenny. 
Emmalee and Kaylee will be also joined by many more wonderful babies from wonderful friends I am grateful to share this experience with.
And I am so grateful for my wonderful, loving husband and for the father he is. Lucky girls!


Oh how I love this little rascal!











1/14/2014

Dear Emmalee 12

Baby girl, you turned one!
You don't even realize how amazing you are and how much you brighten my day.
"Mama" has become your favorite word. It's the first thing you say when I come in the morning to change your diaper. You are so funny. You say "hola" incensantly too. It's just that you are so kind and friendly. 
I don't know how to put into word how much I love you. It's undescribable. 
I love watching you play with your "educational" toys. You are so smart.
The thing I've enjoyed the most to watch is seeing how soft and sweet and cuddly you've become.
The other day mommy had a very painful shot given and mommy was very nervous and she cried. You came over and hugged me and made this "awwww" noice. It was the sweetest thing ever!
You like to hug and cuddle more, but you will only lay your head on daddy's shoulder. 
Eventhough you've mastered walking, you still give me a hug when you reach me. 
I love your big smile with your big rabbit teeth.
I still stare at you with wonderment and amazement at how beautiful and perfect you are.
You love other kids and are not shy at all. When we were waiting on the doctor to check on your baby sister, you made friends with every kid you saw. I'm not used to such innocence and acceptance. No discrimination or prejudice. I truly wish, like Jesus said, I were more like little children, I were more like you.
Your grandma and Uncle Ditto and Aunt Lilly got to really enjoy you this past month. I'm so happy they got to share time with you. Uncle Ditto and Grandma Linda were afraid you were not going to recognize them or like them. You had no problem with grandma because you skype alot with her and immediately knew her. You had some warming up to do with Uncle Ditto, but they both were jealous of your big smile when Aunt Lilly talked to you. I guess you liked her face. She is very pretty. Grandma Linda was a huge help getting you to eat. She made you gain the weight you needed to be back on your normal growth pattern. She was a real champion. You learned to eat yogurt and drink your juice with vitamins, although mommy gave grandma a hard time for getting your outfits dirty really fast. The only thing is that grandma would get you all wind-up and then she would go to bed leaving mommy and daddy to deal with a hyper Emma past 11pm. The good thing is that grandma came for you early in the morning to play with you and allow mom and dad to sleep longer. It was a huge relief. The morning of the new year you had some problem sleeping and barely slept at all. Mom and dad were really tired and sleepy that when we heard grandma was up we didn't wait for her to come for you. We iust let you out to the hall. We had a huge laugh of it when grandma was bugging us for having "kicked" you out of the room. She said you came walking to her with a big smile not realizing your parents had gotten rid of you. I'm sorry baby girl, but we were extremely tired and you kept us up. 
We love you so much. Your grandparents here in Honduras were sad they didn't spend christmas with you, but you got to skype with them. You were really excited to see them when we came back. Everybody loves you so much. I hope you know how loved you are and I hope all of us can show you how loved you are because Christ loved us first and loves you more deeply than any of us can. 

Here is you one year photoshoot
Mischievous look

I hope you liked you're personal cake

Yes, that is for you and you can do with it what you want!

Interesting...

Momma, I am getting dirty and touching this, look!

Yeah, yeah, we all know why you were near, Lanky!

But she doesn't seem to mind Emmalee on top of her after Emmalee allowed her to lick her frosty fingers!

O-ouh! Don't let grandma see this kiss!