Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Reflection


The year that I became a mom.
It's not surprising, then, that in my most popular 9 posts on Instagram this year, my son is in most almost all of them!

It has definitely been a year of growth for me. 
I put off having a baby for a long time. 
When I became pregnant, I felt a twinge of guilt. I know amazing women who have been trying and trying for a baby for so long, and I, just finally deciding to go for it, still not feeling ready or yearning, conceived after 3 months of trying. 
I had a fairly easy pregnancy. I enjoyed being pregnant. the last couple of month were not the most comfortable; I struggled with pregnancy induced hypertension and was forced to go on bed rest a month before my due date, beside that the sleepless nights filled with heartburn and bathroom trips, my pregnancy was enjoyable (although maybe I've already forgotten the worst parts of it!)
I always thought I would give birth the natural way, without any pain medication, just like my mom did, and then I found out I was going to need a scheduled C-section. 
I was pretty scared going to into, but in the end, it was great!
One moment I was pregnant and then BAM--I'm a mom.

We have been so blessed to have had so much help and support over the last 6 months--I don't know what I would have done without our family and friends.
The first 3 months of my son's life I was a huge mixed up mess of emotions (I still have my moments, not going to lie!) While I fiercely loved my baby, I was not in love with being a mom. I had absolutely no idea how to be mom. I lived in constant fear and anxiety that my son was going to die or be kidnapped. I was consumed with the fear that I had made the wrong choice by bringing another life into a world where horrible evils exist. 
I knew I needed to give my worries to God and trust that, even though bad things may happen, he is in control, and something good can come from every bad thing. With much prayer, on my part and others, I slowly began to let go and let God be my Prince of Peace.

Joel and I made the decision for me to return to work part-time. The school I was at would not be able to make that accommodation for me, so I made the decision to leave and find a new school.
I am thankful that God allowed me to make that decision and everything fell into place and I was hired at a new school within 2 weeks. I often struggle with making decisions like that because I feel that I would be letting people down by leaving. I would worry that people would think I was giving up on my students. I do think that some people my have thought that about me, but I am continually reminded that it doesn't matter what other people think, what matters it what is in your heart. I am blessed to have had my time at my old school, with those co-workers and students. Every season has a purpose, and I continue to pray for everyone there, every day. Going to part-time helped ease my heart pains in returning to work, by the way, and so far, I am very much enjoying my new school.

I've always prided myself in being a sensitive person--but becoming a mom has opened up new levels of sensitivity that I never knew existed! Every time I see bad things happen to people--even bad things happening to bad people-- I can help but think: they were an innocent baby once. They were an innocent child once. Maybe they had a parent to who ached over their love for them or maybe they never experience the love of a parent. What happened to them? 
I've become more sensitive to what I watch on TV, to the words that come out of my mouth, to the way I behave when I am upset, and even to kids asking for ice packs when they have a minor accident in PE (haha--OK maybe I've just given into that one!) I have become more fervent in seeking a relationship with God. I enjoy studying the bible and praying. Oh and did I mention yet that I LOVE being "Mama" to my adorable son?!

I think I could have gone on living my life without a child and been perfectly happy--but God knew I needed a child to change my view of the world. My freshman year of college I journaled about reading the verse Luke 13:34:
" often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!"
I was amazed at the tenderness Jesus spoke as to how he longs to comfort us; like a hen to her chicks, like a mother to her child. Now that I am a mother, I am endeared to my Jesus even more as I long to comfort my child when he is sad, tired or sick. I can only vaguely imagine what it must feel like to love something so dearly and have your heart broken as they choose to go down a path that will hurt them. This is the God that I serve. My Abba Father. My Mighty Savior, my Prince of Peace.

So as I look into the new year, I look on with hope.
Bad things may happen, but I can hope, because Jesus came to save, not to condemn. 
In this year, 2018, I feel called to seek opportunities to bless others. Whether that means donating money, spending time with them, offering a kind word or a prayer, listening, or bestowing gifts.
Looking back on my goals from last year , I see the only one I accomplished was getting ready for the baby, which lets be honest, wouldn't have happened without the help of my mom & mother-in-law! So let's just say I'll shift those goals up another year! ;)

Congratulations if you made it through this whole long post, and #sorrynotsorry for all of the typos, as I have said before, I'm lazy and I don't edit before I post :P

Happy New Year and may you experience peace and blessings this year!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Spring Break 2017: Palm Springs Art Museum

Alas, here's my last post or our Palm Springs trip.
One night we went to this really pretty restaurant called The La Quinta Cliffhouse because they have a great happy hour and patio seating. Unfortunately, it was too windy to sit outside, and there was a huge wait to sit in the bar for happy hour, but they were so great, they accommodated everyone for happy hour and seated us in the restaurant so we wouldn't have to wait so long! The food was excellent!
After dinner, we headed to downtown Palm Springs to check out their Thursday night street market and the Palm Springs Art Museum. Unfortunately, the street market was canceled because it was too windy. There were palms down everywhere, and even some power outages. The Art Museum was great though!
I had really hoped to get out in the dessert to see the art installation listed below, but we just didn't have time.
I also really regret that I didn't take pictures of the information on these works of art--so sorry, there isn't credit to the artist on this blog, but check out the Palm Springs Art Museum website to find more information.
Had to take a picture with my spirit statue!
On our last day  in Palm Springs we went back into the downtown area for breakfast.
My in-laws had been to Cheeky's before for breakfast, and I had heard a ton about it so we chose to go there.
The wait time was super long, so we put our name on a list and wandered around Palm Springs a bit more. I fell in love with these decorative hutches below!! I didn't even bother checking on the price because I know they were out of my price range, but aren't those so cool?
B for Barbie & Baby :)
Finally got into breakfast! I had the huevos rancheros, and obviously I was so hungry I forgot to take a picture before I started eating. It was delicious!
The next day we loaded up the car, stopped by a random little Saturday Market (my hubby was amused by "Barbie's Closet" and then headed home!
Here's my list of things I'd like to do on my next visit to Palm Springs:
Well, it was fun! Until next time Palm Springs!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Spring Break 2017: Palm Springs, Salvation Mountain

 You guys, this may be my favorite blog post of all time. Get ready for loads of color!!
While we were in Palm Springs for spring break I was able to check a few things off my bucket list.
In this post, those things were trying In-N-Out Burger, and visiting Salvation Mountain.
On our way to Salvation Mountain, we stopped for lunch at the In-N-Out Burger.
I can now officially say I've been. I can't say it's really worth all the hype, but I do love me a good burger and fries ;) I still have to say, my favorite burger the Tillamook Cheeseburger from Burgerville--repin' the Pacific Northwest!
 As we drove through the desert, we passed a huge lake called the Salton Sea. I thought it was so odd that there wasn't a soul on it! I mean, I get that it was the middle of the day on a week day, but it was HUGE! And, it was spring break for Oregonians, you would think it would be a big tourist destination. So, naturally, I googled it. Apparently at one point it was a hot spot for vacationing and water sports, but over time something happened to it, causing all the fish to die and making it smell horrible. That's just my summary of it, look it up for more information. It's quite sad really.
 We drove along the Salton Sea for quite some time, and we kept driving and driving through the dessert. It's an eerie feeling when you are unfamiliar with where you are. Humanity seemed few and far between and there were a lot of little run down communities here and there. You even drive through an odd run down neighborhood to get to the Salvation Mountain, and there is an artist community out there.
 When we finally reached Salvation Mountain I was so happy! You guys, I have been wanting to come here forever! I was not disappointed. I'm not going to write much, I'm just going to let you feast your eyes on the beautiful, colorful folk art!

 After wandering around in the desert for about an hour, at about 6 months pregnant, I was hot, tired, thirsty, dirty and I had to pee. So we headed out in search of a restroom. There was ONE near by, and it was basically an out house. Let's just say it was an experience I don't want to repeat! There is a volunteer group who up keeps Salvation Mountain by forming work parties every so often to re-paint. For more information about the original artist and helping out visit the website here.
 I don't know if I shall ever return to Salvation Mountain, but I can now proudly say I have checked it off my bucket list. What an amazing art expression created by one man. If you ever have the chance to go, do!

Happy Travels!