Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"The Grace-Given Give Grace"

~something Max Lucado said.

I'm going to be less eloquent.  Just letting you know up front.

I love this because:
  • it reminds me how much I need grace~from God, from family, from friends, from myself
  • it reminds me to give grace~other people need grace from me as much as I need it from them
  • it helps me to be more gracious toward those who don't give grace~being punished for my shortcomings by another is painful, but it still doesn't make it right for me to be ungracious back
That's all I got.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Awkward and Awesome

  • It's my birthday.  Can we just forget for a moment how often I find myself clutzy, socially ridiculous, and completely goofy?  K.Thx.
  • Saw the doctor yesterday morning about my foot.  The break in my big toe still has some healing to do.  The bone in my foot is almost completely healed.  Doc knocked one month off of my recovery time.  I should be able to run and wear heels again at three months!  That's six and a half more weeks. Woot!
  • Tuesday, I was lamenting to my sister about my "lame birthday" coming up.  She checked on plane tickets from Chicago for this weekend and quickly decided against it when she found out it was $800.  Yesterday, on a whim, I checked the fares and they had gone down by lots more than half.  So, I texted her and guess who is coming tomorrow?  And I get to FINALLY {meet my nephew}!
  • Last weekend was {Rob doB and Whitney's wedding}.  It was completely ah-mazing!  I cannot wait to tell you all about it!  I danced like crazy (yes, on my bum foot!), had a blast, and made some super fun new friends!  More on all that later.  Promise.
  • We celebrated our {twelfth anniversary} last Sunday.  We're going for thirteen!
~shamelessly stole that line from Marcia~
  • Justus has his Economics Market at school today.  He's been working hard on the project.  He created a prototype, designed an advertisement, and turned in an expense report.  The students were given the opportunity to earn money for the market through good citizenship and participation in class.  Today, he has 10 duct tape wallets to sell.  I'm so proud of him and hope he sells out of wallets!
  • After many awkward moments of the magnetic strip on my debit card being worn out (but we're not talking about that today!), I finally ordered a new card with our family picture on it.  It's so cute.  It makes me smile every time I pay for something.  On second thought, that may not be such an awesome thing!
  • This camera bag is en route to my home as a birthday gift from my hubby and in-laws.  Yay!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Ever have one of those days weeks where nothing really big or terrible happened, but a bunch of little things have got you down?

There is a tipping point where enough of those things pile up and the things you can generally handle are suddenly unmanageble.  Mole hills look like mountains.  Social missteps that usually are no biggie sting a lot worse when you've passed that point.

It's not fun.

Additionally, truth be told, maybe I'm not entirely excited about the "number" associated with my birthday on Friday.  It's not like it's a milestone, per se.  But it changes my status from early to mid and I'm having a harder time than necessary dealing with that.  Age is just a number, it's about how you feel, right?  Right?  Can I get an "amen"?

In the meantime, I talk myself through the feelings.  (That's not crazy-sounding, right?)  And I look for ways to get excited about my awesome life.   My life really is good.  I just seem to have forgotten for the moment.

Do you ever find yourself in a funk?  How do you get out of it?

Today, I'm recounting {the little things}.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Haute Time in the Old Town Tonight

We celebrated by attending the {Haute Wheels Houston Food Truck Festival} with our kiddos.  And in adventurous fashion, we started with dessert first at the {Mmm Cupcake Truck}.  It's a {family favorite}, in case you didn't know!

Lexi is a chocolate purist.  She gets it honestly.

After that, we went to {Angie's Cake}, looking for Angie.  She wasn't there yet, so we decided to come back later.  Meanwhile, I said in secret password fashion, "I'm the biggest loser," and got a Ginger Beer Cake Ball, which I shared with the whole family.  Nom nom!

We decided to split up for some lunch.  The boys went to wait at the {Katfish Kitchen} truck for some Catfish and Shrimp.  Lexi wanted a corn dog from {Good Dog}, so we headed over there.  We waited for quite a while and Jeremy and Justus joined us while we waited a bit more, but the food was really yummy!

After that, it was my turn.  I wanted to try {HtownstrEATS}.   Another long line....

but Justus and Lexi were super sweet while they waited.

I ordered the Montechristo Balls and a Fried Avacado Taco.  The Montechristo Balls were unique and pretty good.  The Fried Avacado Taco is seriously crave-worthy.  I'm honestly not sure that I've stopped thinking about it!

Justus spotted the Bubble Runners on the way in to the festival and really, really wanted to try them.

Here is a video of that chaos.

 Check them out and support local small businesses!

True love stories never have endings. ~Richard Bach

Good things come in dozens:
Party trinkets
Baked goods~cookies, cupcakes, etc.
Months in a Year
have I mentioned Roses?

Years married to my handyman!
We {celebrated} our twelfth anniversary on Sunday.  All day I couldn't help but feel that Life is Good!  Don't get me wrong, we've had more than our share of bumps in the road.  I think that (especially in this last year) we have really grown as a couple.  The bumps have encountered have shaped us into who we are today.  I can't tell you how many times we just look at each other and feel so happy, grateful, and full of love!

God is so good.

And Jeremy is wonderful.

He loves me unconditionally.  He would do just about anything to see me smile.  He does make me smile.  He's an amazing father.  He's a fantastic cook, who can tear it up on the grill!  He's passionate about his work and I'm proud of the work he does.  He listens.  And more than that, he seeks to understand me.  He lets me be who I am and loves me just the way I am.  He trusts me.  He takes me dancing just because I like it.  You all know how handy he is~doesn't matter if it's cars, computers, wood or anything household... can he fix it?  Yes, he can!  He dreams with me.  He goes on adventures with me.  He is strong.  He thinks I'm the funniest girl he knows.  He says I'm his only-est (which is a word he made up, and quite endearing, if you ask me!)  He cares what I think.  He is the most gracious, forgiving person I know.
And I am truly blessed by him every day!

As he put it on Sunday, twelve years is only the beginning.

For you see, each day I love you more
Today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.
~Rosemonde Gerard

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Giving my boot "the boot"

Dear Surgical Boot,

It's not me, it's you. I don't think it's going to work out between us.

Lately all you've been doing is making me cry. I mean, how many perfectly cute outfits did you ruin? You're awkward and bulky. You simply don't match my life right now. And while we're being honest, you're an attention-hog, too! There's a lot more going on in my life that what happens to be adorning my left food. The comments people make when you're around are embarrassing. I could go without hearing a "Dana, your shoes don't match!" for the rest of my life. I'd much rather hear a "You look pretty" anyday!

So, I'm writing you to let you know that I'm leaving you in the back of my closet until further notice, when I may simply kick you to the curb. I need some space. I need to be able to go out with other footwear that actually matches my clothes. I hope you understand.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Spotlight Saturday: Meredith

Spotlight Saturday:  Meredith
In case you missed it, what's {Spotlight Saturday} ?

Meet my beautiful friend, Meredith

Not everyone has a photo of the day you met a good friend.
But I do!
Meredith and I met at a girls' night dinner at a favorite sushi place in Town Center.  She was expecting her second and soooo adorable!  You could barely tell she was pregnant; another friend had to mention it to me.

So what inspires me about Meredith?  She lives her entire life with passion.
The way I see it, that's a great thing!

Day after day, she lavishes her sweet little boys with love.  It's fun to watch.  She's an avid blogger, so we get a glimpse into how she makes the big things, as well as the little things, so special.  Whether it's a major celebration, like her current planning of baby's first birthday, or a walk around the block, it's an occasion.  And on a lot of levels, that resonates with me.  And honestly, her example is a lot of the inspiration for the ways I've been attempting to capture our family's special moments and share them with y'all.  But seriously, people, Meredith does it on a whole different level.

Exhibit A:
Matching outfits  Aren't they sweet?
Exhibit B:
This was for an impromptu party to celebrate the Mav's recent success this season with her guys...

Exhibit C:
This is what happens to entertain the boys when she doesn't feel good...
Exhibit D:
Matching T's she screenprinted to celebrate their grandpa's birthday...

not to mention all the ones that she screenprinted for her friends' kiddos for Thanksgiving Day...

And I think she's just precious.

Meredith's love for her family and friends simply overflows.  You hear her words of love for her little family every day.  She's also very quick to make sure her friends are loved in all kinds of ways:  gifts, words, hugs, time, and acts of service.  It is amazing!  I could go on and on with examples.  There truly are that many!  I, personally, am a T-I-M-E girl and a words girl (in that order).  Meredith is a gifts girl.  I have a blast doing things with Meredith and there's been a lot of days that Meredith has had some kind word to say to me that just meant so much.  I love how free she is to tell the ones she loves how she feels about them!  It really is inspiring to "say what you need to say" and not hold back.

She's so talented and creative.  You should check out {her blog} to see the amazing things she does.

Lately, I've had a huge crush on this Micah 6:8 wall hanging she made for the playroom.

If you'd rather get a snapshot of her and her amazing taste in fashion/decor/etc., check out {her pinterest} page!  And while you're at it, join and follow {me}.

As of late, one of the things I've loved doing with Mer is putting our crazy energy and creativity into blessing others.  Seems like we've just scratched the surface of what we could accomplish together and it's been super fun!

Apparently, we like to eat out together... (there's the T-I-M-E!)

Sometimes we bring our guys, too.

Love ya, Meredith!  I don't think I've ever told you how much you inspire me as a mom and a friend, but you really, really do.

Monday, May 9, 2011

You can go with this or you can go with that...

“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” – Unknown

Life changes.

That's been on my mind.  I mean, in a lot of ways it would seem that very little in my life is the same as it was just a handful of years ago.  I marvel at that.

I'm okay with it, too.

Because, for me, it marks change.  It represents growth.  I see buds and sprouts popping up all over my life that I haven't seen before.  We joke sometimes at our house about how strong healthy plants grow up out of dirt and manure.  Sometimes the process feels like a big ol' pile of dirt and manure!  I guess we have the option of becoming nothing more than a pig pen or a healthy, flourishing lush garden.  It's our choice.

But it's not about one big choice.  I think it's about a million, no probably a jillion, little choices.

The choice to banish that negative thought (for the hundreth time today)...
The choice to stop eating when I'm satisfied...
The choice to not rush and instead to enjoy the moment...
The choice to stop and think before dumping out the words in my head...
The choice to care...
to stop and listen...
to really hear someone...
The choice to clean up just a little instead of waiting until I have time for the whole thing...
The choice to tell my story so that it might help, somehow...
The choice to tell my time, money, and resources where to go and what to do...
The choice to forgive...
The choice to bless another with our words...
or our actions...

I think it's easy for our little choices to amount to something big, whether good or bad, before we even realize it has happened.  Maybe it's easier to see in others.  Not in a judging sense, but simply as an observer.  I mean, I'm able to look around at those I'm doing life with and those who I have done life with and see the current outcomes of their cumulative choices.  I'm foolish when I don't view my life the same way.  You reap what you sow.  Rock hard abs are made by working out.  Healthy relationships grow by investing in people.  Dreams are realized little by little.  The converse is true, but we won't go there.

All these thoughts were summed up in a simple question that has been running through my mind all morning,
"How will you change your life today?"

Small adjustments change the course of huge ships.

I'm plotting my course.
I've already adjusted a few sails, just a bit.
I'll be adjusting more as this Monday comes at me.

What about you?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Celebrating Motherhood

Being a mommy is probably the toughest, most-rewarding job in the whole world.  I honestly don't know how I would do it without these girls!  It's such a blessing to share the ups and downs of life and motherhood with girls who I adore and who love me back.  I've been thinking about them all day and the sisterhood we share.  Love you, friends!

I'm so proud of my baby sister.  It's her first Mother's Day this year.  She's a great mama and it's so fun to be in that stage of life together.  I love you, Sister!

I called my mom today.  They were on their way home from their farm.  She cracks me up!  This is how she and my grandma spent part of their Mother's Day.  That's my little brother towing them in a wheelbarrow behind their tractor.  Hysterical.

Honor and blessings to my mom.
To my mother-in-law.
All my grandmas.
My sisters-in-law.
and to my friends-moms, bonus moms, expecting moms, adoptive moms, those who long to be moms, those who don't want babies but love on kids in wonderful ways (especially those who bless my kids!)
You are all precious and loved!

In other Mother's Day news...

I adapted the Mother's Day printable from {Holiday Snobs} to fit my horizontal 5x7 frame.

Blurry pic of the printed version in my "seasons" frame.

 Lex and I posed for a quick Mother's Day pic on the way in to church.

My "Easter" order from Zulily finally arrived.  I surprised Lexi with one of the outfits for her and her baby doll this morning.  She was beside herself beaming with pride, as she matched her baby!

Justus wrote me the.most.precious book of poetry.
He was dying to give it to me!

Here are two excerpts:

I love you, mom.
You are the bomb.
Lexi and I need our mom.
You are so calm.
You are a super mom.

Kind, respectful, merciful, cool
Sister of many
Who likes family time
Who feels loved
Who needs a clean house
Who gives smiles
Who fears spiders
Who wants to see Taylor Swift
Resident of H-town

(Okay, make that three.  These are just too precious.  Spelling unchanged.)
Extra pretty
Nuggets of truth
Won't hate

I indulged in some tacos and tres leches from 100% Taquito, a blissful nap (while Jeremy tidied the kitchen and mopped the floor!), some "me" time, rockin' out to some of my favorite music in the car, a Diet Dr. Pepper (I usually don't drink sodas anymore), a big ol' berry salad for dinner, and (best of all) some extra snuggles with my kiddos.

Dear Justus and Lexi,
Thanks for giving me the best job in the world!  I'm so thankful that God chose me to be your mama.  I so blessed by you both!
Love, Mommy

No "Quitsies", We're Playing for "Keepsies" (and other marbles terms)

I'd like to introduce you to a couple of accomplished
good deed-doing,
awesome attitude-having,
who {filled their marble jar} by getting caught being good an impressive 40 times!

Which means they earned their reward, an all-expense-paid trip to Chuck E. Cheese!

We bought 165 tokens...  That kept everyone busy for quite a while!

This one won't be getting her license for a while (as evidenced by the wrong way sign on the photo on the right), but I have to admit, I see that secret ambition to be a race car driver look in her eye-she got that from me.

They've taken Whack-a-Mole to a whole new digital level.  We whacked cars, bad guys, and blacksmithing items on a table reminiscent of an air hockey table!

I don't have any pics of Justus playing.  (Honestly, my foot was hurting, so I hung pretty close to our table.)  He was off winning an incredible number of tickets on a game called Pop It!

Between the two of them, they had over 870 tickets.  That's a Williams family record.  They cashed them in for some of the mouse's loot and everyone left happy.

On the trip home, we started discussing the possibilities of the next prize package.  On the table are a sleepover party with a few friends and a day where they "get to be the bosses"...