Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Birthday love

This past Saturday was my birthday and what a fun day it was. We drove over to Marble Falls to have a late breakfast at the famous Blue Bonnet Cafe. This was our first time to eat there and it was AMAZEBALLS!! I can definitely see why there is always a line out the door that usually wraps around the side of the restaurant. Trust me...it's well worth the wait to eat there.

After our little bday brunch, we drove into downtown Marble Falls and looked around at a few of the shops, then headed to one of the parks where the kids played for a while.... and then we headed out to check out the area lakes. We found some great campsites at Inks Lake State Park where we'd like to take our RV this summer and spend some time hanging out as a family.

When we returned home later that day, the kids surprised me with some more birthday fun...a yummy bday cake and sweet cards. They were so excited when it came time to help me blow out the candles on the cake and dig in. And like their mama....their favorite part of the cake was the icing! :-)

Despite feeling like an OLD lady now that I'm well into my 40s....I feel so blessed to be able to spend another year on this earth and to be able to spend my birthday with the people I love most.... my beautiful children and dear husband.

They bring me more joy and happiness than I ever thought possible!


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mother's Day

On this Mother's Day, I was reflecting on the special relationship I have always shared with my own dear mother and the deep love and respect I have for her. She has always been such a shining example to me and has so many of the qualities I hope to possess as a wife, mother and daughter of God. She's strong, independent, beautiful, intelligent, educated, artistic, sophisticated, creative, funny, loyal and she loves the Savior dearly. But out of all the gifts and talents she has been blessed with, she always tells me that her most precious treasure on this earth is being a mother.

She has always made me feel that I could accomplish anything I set my mind to--she challenged me from an early age to be better and to want more out of life. She has always made me feel so loved. In my younger years when I was trying to find my way in this world and figure out who I was, she on more than one occasion fought the adversary on my behalf to help me find my way back to the Savior.

She has consoled and comforted me in some of my darkest and most painful moments and she has fed me temporally and spiritually in ways that only a tender mother can. How thankful I am to my Father in Heaven for bringing us together in this life as mother and daughter.

I am eternally grateful for all the sacrifices she has made for me and my siblings over the years and for the love and investment of time she now shows to all of her grandchildren. They love their "KiKi" so much.

On this Mother's Day, as I peered over at my three beautiful children sitting next to me in church, my heart was overflowing with joy and gratitude. And as my two precious sons proudly walked to the stage and sang with the Primary for the special Mother's Day musical program and smiled so sweetly at me while singing, I couldn't hold back my tears. The flood gates opened. I literally felt like my heart was going to explode with love. Such a tender moment.

As I have said on more than one occasion here on my blog, there were several years prior to becoming a mother that I literally dreaded and mourned this day. It was a day that I dreaded most out of the year because of my infertility and the agonizing heartbreak I felt because I couldn't bear children. I had to put my trust in my Father in Heaven during this difficult time of my life and exercise greater faith in His plan for me and my husband.

But as I sit here today and look back over the past 8 years and the three beautiful children the Lord has now blessed us with through the gift of adoption....words could never fully express the gratitude, affection and love I feel for these amazing little spirits I've been blessed to raise and love.

This day is also a special time for us to celebrate their dear birthmothers...the women who gave them life and paid the ultimate sacrifice for them to be in our home. I carry them in my heart every single day...I pray for them always...I love them...and I am eternally indebted to each of these beautiful women for entrusting me to be the mother to our children.

I awoke to these beautiful orchids Sunday morning with a loving note from my sweet hubby. Oh how I love him!! They are my favorite color. Taylor and Gavin gave me a set of new earrings.. Noah was so excited to give me his gift....he loves to buy me plastic, "bling-bling" rings from the toy store. He went with Daddy on Saturday to shop and picked me out a beautiful new Brighton ring. It was the sweetest thing....he was beaming from ear to ear when I wore it to church on Sunday. :-) Such special memories made this year for Mother's Day. Oh how thankful I am for the sacred gift of motherhood. It is the hardest job on earth and yet, the very BEST and most rewarding.....no matter how it comes to you!!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Anniversary Day Date

This weekend I was blessed to celebrate not only Mother's Day with my beautiful children, but also my 13-year wedding anniversary with my handsome hubby. Since both were on Sunday, May 10th, we decided to get a babysitter for Saturday and go into town for a little day date to celebrate our anniversary a day earlier.

We had a great time hanging out together and reminiscing about the past 13 years of our marriage. It's hard to believe how fast it has flown by. We so enjoyed walking through the downtown area of Fredericksburg and looking at all the different shops and galleries.

Since moving here almost 2-months ago, everything has been so hectic, this was really our first time to be able to do this. Boy, let me tell ya, there are some fabulous shops here. There was so much "eye candy" in all the shops, I could have spent hours in a few of them. i loved getting decorating ideas from home decor stores, and they have some wonderful ones here. These pics are just a small snippet of all the great stuff one can find in downtown Fredericksburg.

For our lunch date, we had been told by some friends of ours to try out Vaudeville and boy hidey, what a great dining experience it was. It's definitely our new favorite restaurant here in town. The food was amazing and the atmosphere is really cool and swank. We absolutely loved it! I highly recommend it if you are ever in town visiting. We look forward to going back again soon on another dinner date.

After knocking around all the shops and our lunch, it was time to head back to the casa and relieve our babysitter. :-) I figured after 4 hours she was probably worn slap out with our 3 kiddos. And so we hopped in the hubby's truck and headed home. I was sad that our date had to end so soon, but my heart was so happy that we had this time together. I cherish our dates and getting some alone time without the kids just to catch up and reconnect. I am one lucky lady to be married to my sweet hubby...he is my rock, my best friend and the love of my life! I am so grateful for the amazing husband, father and spiritual leader he is to me and the kids and for always thinking of us and showing his love for us in the most thoughtful ways. I have so much love and respect for him....he has worked so very hard and made many sacrifices to get where he is and I admire him so much for that. I look forward to spending many, many more years together and hopefully getting to go on lots more adventures together.

xo, jenn

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Trade Days in the Hill Country

One of the neat touristy attractions in our little town is the Trade Days that is held the 3rd weekend of each month.

This past month we were able to go for the first time (well actually, it was my first time--the hubby had already been the month before we moved into our house). I had a babysitter come over that Saturday morning to watch Gavin and Taylor while the hubby, Noah and I headed over to check it out…and boy, we had such a fun time! The weather was absolutely perfect…it stayed in the low 70s for pretty much most of the day, so it was really nice that we didn't get all hot and sweaty while we walked around.

I really love the set up of this particular Trade Days…it's the perfect size. There are around 350 vendors and 7 barns filled with little shops. The hubby and I both enjoy going antiquing, so we were in HEAVEN walking through and looking at everything. Noah seemed to really enjoy himself, too. He found some neat gadgets to play with and enjoyed petting and feeding the goats. They had a live band playing and an assortment of places to eat at, too. We walked around for a couple of hours and then grabbed some BBQ for lunch …it was so yummy. After lunch, we purchased some things that we just "couldn't live without" and then called it a day and headed home. :-)

I look forward to going back this next month and looking for a few other things for our new house.

Here are just a few random pics I snapped with my iPhone while we were there….

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Sunday afternoon drive

On Sunday afternoons, we like to drive over to our little Hill Country ranch and check on our donkeys, Luke and Esther. We usually bring along carrots or apples to feed them. Noah always looks forward to this and loves getting to feed and pet them. Taylor and Gavin are still not real sure about them...so they usually watch from a distance while Noah feeds them. :-)

I'm so thankful for the sweet connection our little guy has with animals...he is really good with them and so gentle.  Being around our donkeys always seems to calm his body, mind and spirit .  It's pretty special to watch him so lovingly care for them.  Such a good exercise and activity for a child who struggles with severe ADHD.

This is usually the point where he starts belly laughing when they crack/break the carrots in his hands and begin crunching on them...

Taylor wasn't really interested in feeding them ....she preferred to stay in the van, watch her movie and.... eat carrots.  :-)

Gavin passed out on the drive over. He gets really fussy if you disrupt his afternoon nap... so we let the little fella just keep snoozing. :-)

Longshot, one of our longhorns ...and yes, he's one intimidating dude.

Longshot, one of our longhorns ...and yes, he's one intimidating dude.

Thisis Amarillo....he's my favorite.  So beautiful.

This is Amarillo....he's my favorite.  So beautiful.

We so enjoyed this gorgeous day here in the Texas Hill Country. Beautiful, sunny days like this definitely remind me of why they call this part of the Lone Star State, "God's Country". It is truly beautiful.