and life continues...

i haven't done a lot of picture taking lately -- well if i'm honest with my self, "lately" actually means within the last 6 months. i forgot how much i love being behind a lens! i'm still not a huge fan of the editing part, but it's getting better. i'm no professional, but my joy bucket gets filled up when i'm clicking away :-] 

 a few weeks ago we went shopping with the 4 girls to hermosillo to buy new dresses for Adam & Jenna's wedding (which was last weekend - pics to come...) because we don't get many weddings around here, and what little girl doesn't LOVE a new dress every once in awhile? :-] my girls get almost all 2nd hand store clothes or hand-me-downs from our clothes bodega, so i decided it was high time they get to PICK OUT something that they wanted :-] it was a great day!
 after a 2 hour shopping trip we had 4 beautiful dresses bought and 6 very hungry ladies. :-] we had lunch and finished up with good ol' dairy queen before heading back to magdalena.

i can't believe it -- Laura turned 6! where, oh where does the time go!?! she was just a little 4 year old girl when she came into my world... and now -- full of sass and attitude some days  i really think she's biological child with the way she behaves and talks.

 her birthday cake got a nice chunk stolen out of it. :-[ i was a VERY upset mama -- not mad, but ready to cry because birthday cakes are lot of work to make, and some little (or big...) kid got curious and decided to see just how tasty my cake for Laura was. :-[ thankfully i had made another smaller cake for her mordita so she didn't care at all that someone else was able to enjoy her cake via stealing a large handful of it. :-] haha
 later on in the evening we went by Keyla's house to visit her and i thought i literally saw myself walking down the sidewalk as a 6 year old. Hair done, ear rings for bling, sun glasses on, new bracelets, pink purse, purple glitter flip flops, pushing her baby in a stroller... it was like we were in 1990 all over again. and then i thought 'OH DEAR LORD HELP ME! if she's like me now, what on earth am i going to do when she's 15!?!'  *one day at a time.... one day at a time.... right?*
Happy birthday sweet girl of mine! You give me smiles and kisses and hugs that are irreplaceable! I love you!

June in Pictures

so June was a rather CrAzY month around here. i made a quick weekend trip home to be a bridesmaid in Josh & Ellen's wedding, went to Hermosillo to visit Keyla, managed watered a garden, and lots of other random stuff that you'll see pictures of here. :-] sorry for the lack of updates... our internet has been HORRID lately. :-[
 anna & baby brother Trey (who shares the same birthday as me :-])
 Trey & Jace - aren't they just adorable in their ties!? LOVE IT!
 completely unedited - sorry rae!

 this couple blesses me beyond belief!

 first fruits of the garden that i have grown to despise... :-(
 would you believe she is actually NOT sick here? played hookie all day and didn't get caught until MUCH later in the afternoon.
 last month we didn't think Keyla was going to make it... the doctors had said it was time to start saying our goodbyes. Her cat had kittens while she was gone and she wanted to see them. Hey... whatever the little princess wants, we do it! :-] so we piled up the 4 kittens and mama cat into the car for a 2 hour car ride to Hermosillo. :-]

 and then we smuggled those kitties into the hospital like we'd done it a 100 times before. it was AWESOME to get to watch that little girl light up as she saw her baby kittens!
 while i went to hermosillo i left the kids with a few friends who were visiting here. i'll let their name remain anonymous for their sakes, although i shouldn't... ;-] i came home to a 2 year old with toe nails and fingernails painted.... seriously guys? i mean come on! Chui does not have a Dad... i leave him home with 2 men for like 4 hours i think and come home to him with painted nails? they couldn't have tried to dig a hole to china or something manly... they painted nails!?! and i am not even kidding you the poor kid is still asking to paint his nails! it's saturday today and i got asked at least twice this week! :-[
 come on watermelon!

 it was gorgeous out!

World Cup games are kind of a big deal around here... as in, big enough to get out of classes and watch the game in the lunch room!

 our newest addition: meet Pintita or Pinta :-] she is adorable!
 Laura got surprised at school and was just flabbergasted haha
Belinda and i did an early morning hike up the cross mountain with some visitors. it was great! 


Life has taken many turns lately.  If you are a close friend or family member of mine, you know what a lot of those turns have been for me.  If you’re not, this post will be pretty vague for you and you might not understand everything in it. Bare with me; this is more of a post for me to look back on and remember. J

So back to the turns.   About 7 weeks life got pretty messy – errr… uncertain – around these parts very quickly.  I found myself in a place in life where I could barely breath.  I was scared.  I was hurting.  I was desperate for a miracle.  I would catch myself praying these prayers of acceptance to a future of hurt and change and then the next minute be praying for a miracle - asking God to do what seemed like the impossible, but with the faith and courage knowing that He very well could & would do it, just for His glory’s sake.  I was all over the page.  I couldn’t find a balance between having faith in knowing He was able to change our situation and being realistic in where the future seemed to be heading.  It was wearing and miserable.  God saves every tear we cry – and in those 7 weeks I cried a lot of them.  And though I am still crying, they are not the same type of tears as they were then.  My new tears are from a thankful, humbled heart.  They are from a mother’s heart that will never be the same.  Instead of tears from pain and desperation, my heart is overjoyed with tears of a hopeful future and the undeserving Love of a God that I can barely describe with words.

He is Good. 

I got the miracle I was boldly asking for... even as I typed that last sentence out I am just utterly amazed.  I have no idea why - but more importantly, I don't need to know.  I am learning to just simply take in every moment that's been gifted to me where I am in life right now and be thankful

Would God still have been good had He opted to have my future go the route I was so fearing?  Without a doubt.  He's not Good because He 'gave me what I asked for' -- He is Good because He knew this was the best outcome for this specific situation.  And He's Good because He is perfect and doesn't make mistakes. 

Are you thankful for even the small things in your life?  Take the smile of your child for instance?  Or perhaps after they've dressed themselves for school and then get toothpaste spilled down their shirt?  Can you be thankful in that moment? (that's one that happened to us yesterday here :-])  Are you thankful for the hot water you used when you took your daily (sometimes-twice-a-day) shower?  How 'bout those nice shoes on your feet?  It's so easy to go through life and not even realize how unthankful we are.  I am trying to realize just how much God has given me, and see all the things I have to be thankful for.  Big or small, they are a reason to Praise Him. 

So whether He has given you a miracle recently or whether He is taking you through some nitty gritty right now, find reasons to be thankful.  It will make a world of difference in your daily walk with Him. 

Because of Jesus... 

Nitty Gritty

Life can get pretty nitty gritty really fast - pretty much in the blink of an eye.
And when I say "nitty gritty," I don't simply mean bumps in the road, a hard time, or difficult moment... I'm talking about big stuff. World flipped upside down stuff. I-will-never-be-the-same-person-again kind of stuff.
Nitty gritty, right now for me, includes hearing words and accepting possibilities in situations that I simply don't want to face because it's so scary and hurts.
Nitty gritty hit me hard enough to take my breath away - literally to my knees.
Nitty gritty paralyzed me in fear.
Nitty gritty tears won't stop flowing from my eyes.
Nitty gritty has never made me more thankful for today.
Nitty gritty makes me not want to close my eyes at night because going to sleep means that the end to another day has come that I will never get back again.
Nitty gritty is making me want to hold on for control instead of letting go and surrendering.

I'm struggling with this nitty gritty situation because I can't figure out where healthy boundaries are between reality and faith - well, if there is such a thing that is. That's basically a Catch22 right there. I mean, if I would stop and just think about Hebrews 11 (which I am doing now...) by faith, by faith, by faith is what comes to mind. Where does my faith step in and say "God, You are BIG. Big enough to go against all the possibilities and odds and make this nitty gritty go away and never come back. You are Good enough to do a miracle here - and I will wait in expectation for You to do it." And in retrospect, where does my mind prepare my heart for where the future is most likely going and yet, still say to Him "God, You are still BIG in my hurt. You are still Good in my brokenness. You are still loving in my pain. Thank you for blessing me like you have and giving me what You have. Heal my broken heart. I still trust You.
How do you walk in faith expecting a miracle, and yet, while looking at the facts and current circumstances, at the same time be OK with God saying "No miracle this time Jarrin"? God doesn't care about odds. He doesn't care about what authorities say. He doesn't even care what I think about the situation. He's God. He's got it under control.

So when push comes to shove in my life, am I OK with God not giving me my miracle that I am waiting upon with expectation? Would that make Him any less of a God than if He would give me my miracle? Would He still be a good, loving Father all the while denying His daughter's request and breaking her heart into a million pieces? Would I still trust Him with my all like I am doing right now, after having my heart break into a million pieces, knowing that He was fully capable of preventing it from breaking to begin with and saw it better for my good to let me have a broken heart anyway? Would I still trust His judgement and believe in His all powerful nature? Would all the truths that I have come to know of Him still be in fact truths....?

I have a lot of questions right now. And very, very few answers.

Thankfully, I am leaning heavily into my Heavenly Father who does know all the answers even though He chooses not to reveal them all to me. He loves me enough to not give me everything that I want or answer everything that I ask. I know that much. :-]

He has already whispered to my soul that He is here in this nitty gritty, and He is also there {as in, in the future}in that nitty gritty and to simply trust Him.

I am trying. Oh, am I ever trying. By His grace alone I am putting on foot in front of the other.

You Do All Things Well by Tenth Avenue North

Father in Heaven, hear this simple prayer
Get us through the night and fill up our despair
Pain has come and taught us to fear
We’re gonna need some grace now to fill the air
‘Cause in the twilight, we need eyes to see
How You’re working beauty even out of ugly things

You do all things
You do all things
You do all things well
You do all things
You do all things
You do all things well

Father, among us, keep us in Your arms
There’s evil all around us and we’re trying to hold on
Just to know that You’re still good
And that Your love is alive
Oh, let us cling to Jesus and sing tonight

You do all things
You do all things
You do all things well
You do all things
You do all things
You do all things well

You break me to bind me
You hurt me, Lord, to heal me
You cut me to touch me
You died to revive me
You break me to bind me
You hurt me, Lord, to heal me
You cut me to touch me
You died to revive me

You do all things
You do all things
You do all things well
Father, You do
You do all things
You do all things
You do all things well
You do all things
You do all things
You do all things well

the beach!

a few weeks ago we were blessed to take a family trip to the beach for a few days! it was wonderful to be with the kids and not have to focus on school and jobs and homework :-] we made LOTS of memories and had LOTS of fun. 
 on Monday we took a boat ride out to the island that is near by and the kids loved it. Chui was a little unsure, but the other 4 thought it was great. thankfully the waves were pretty chill and we just glided along the water.

 he finally warmed up after about 15 minutes.
 we saw a seal out by the island. it was so cool! we got up pretty close to it too.
 oh the treasures we all find from the waves bringing in stuff.
 we stopped out on the island to get sea shells because there are some beautiful ones out there.

 the night we went out to eat at Jorge's - which is probably my favorite resturant everrrrrrrrr :-]

 oh beautiful day :-]

 his crack was showing pretty much the whole time while we were at the beach. it was priceless! lol

 love this one!

 she was a hoot to watch out on those rolling waves haha

 she looks like a pro doesn't she? don't worry she was docked up on the sand - and having the time of her life!
 one night we went to the strip to grab stuffed coconuts which we excellent!
 they had a clear juice inside that was the coconut water - which none of us really liked....

 and then every salsa under the sun that you could possibly put on it!

 how laura tried drinking her coconut juice
 CHAMOY = nastiness!
 Cris really liked hers - she made quite the concoction.

 i had fish put in mine and it was incredible!
 laura from the balcony off of my bedroom upstairs.

 i told you - we had a lot of crack showing over those few days while we were there. :-]

it was an incredible blessed week and i can't thank God enough for blessing us like He did. :-]