Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy 15 Months Mateo

I have battled to upload 2 videos, so this blog will be short since that has taken me ALL NIGHT.

Mateo LOVES music and LOVES to dance. He has done this from a young age and I just love it.

Long story short.....

Yes, Mateo may look just like his Daddy, but I think he gets his dance moves from his momma!

(turn your head-or your computer)

And if that didn't convince you, here is a shorter video where you won't have to turn your head.

Friday, March 26, 2010

I conquered the monster....

Let me explain....

We don't have a garage, just a carport. But, we DO have a closet/pantry in our house that is in our entrance room. This room didn't exist when we first moved in, but Antonio and I wanted some type of pantry other than our cabinets, so he and a friend put this in.

It is our "catch all" room. When in doubt, we throw it in there....whatever "IT" is. I know, I probably have a clean house and are probably very disturbed at the thought that I would even post these pictures, but in my attempt to be REAL and blog the good, bad, and ugly, I am keepin' it real.

Last night I was trying to get something out of here and couldn't even walk in our "walk in" pantry, so that was the last straw. Here are some embarrassing BEFORE pics...

And after an hour, it now looks like THIS...(can you tell we use lots of papertowels and I found some on sale?) Also, I HATE how our utility box jumps out at you, but I don't know how to cover it up. I thought about hanging something up in there, but just not sure what. I also don't think it would be smart to try to put any nails in that wall since I am sure there are lots of wires running around that box. Any suggestions?
It probably isn't the most clean and organized still, but I know where things are now, so that makes me happy. I guess 1/2 of this room is our pantry and the other half is tools, paint, and other misc stuff. I found the black and white baskets not long ago and they were 1/2 off so I bought LOTS of them. They have come in handy plenty of times.
I think we have enough paint to paint 2 or 3 houses, but it has all been used and the remaining paint is used for touchups or new projects. Antonio said we can't put it out in the storage building because it has to be kept at room temperature, so here it is.
It's nice to see the floor and be able to walk in here!
And for now, I decided to put our DVDs in here too. I am looking for a new entertainment center that is closed so the kids (Mateo really) can't get to all of the stuff and pull it all down, but I haven't found anything that I like just yet.
So there it is, my monster has been run out of here and is probably waiting on me in another room now.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Super Powers

So, you know the ice breaker question, "If you could have any super power what would it be and why?" Well, I have figured out my answer for that and will share at the end of this blog.

Last night, Antonio and I went to see Hillsong at our church. To say I was excited about this night would not describe how pumped I was. I LOVED Hillsong. Our church sings lots of their music, my ipod is full of Hillsong music, Tatum even jams out to a few of their songs and knows all the words, etc.
So, we planned to be at church by 6:30 since that's when doors opened so that we could get a good seat. Well, when we got to church, there was a HUGE line to get in. I immediately turned to Antonio and asked if he thought they would turn people away because it was too full. Here is a picture of the line, but this picture does not do it much justice.

We got in and took the kids to their classes and then headed to find a seat. There were SO MANY people there, but we were ushered to our seat without any problems.

As the room quickly filled up, they started bringing in chairs to provide more seats. It was packed and I was getting more and more excited! Our church does a 2 minute countdown before church or any other events start. When the clock started doing the countdown, the excitement grew. At this point, about 300 youth started filling in the front of the stage where it was standing room only.

Here are a few pictures that I took. One of my favorite things about our church is how diverse it is. Whether you are young, old, red, brown, yellow, black, or white, there is a place for you here. It is surreal to look around and see so many people that are so different worshipping together.


Here is just a tiny video that I took from last night. It isn't long at all because I wanted to enjoy the music vs. capturing it on video.

SO, the super power I would have if I could have any super power would be the ability to take a situation/experience, capture it, and be able to share it with others. There have been several times in life that I have experienced something so incredible and wished that others could experience the same thing.

So, if YOU could have any super power, what would it be and why??
Also, Priscilla Shirer will be sharing a message at our church this weekend. She has been to our church before and she was great! If you are in the area, you shouldn't miss this weekend at The Life Church! We have a Saturday night service and several Sunday morning services that you can attend.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Get Real Monday: Good News, Bad News

First of all, thanks for all of the comments and emails about last weeks Get Real Monday blog. It felt great to get some things off my chest. In the process, a few of you shared some struggles you are dealing with now and while I hate to hear others are struggling, I don't feel so alone.

Yesterday in church, our pastor referenced several scriptures and one really stuck with me.

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed." James 5:16 It was a nice reminder that God doesn't want us to go through life alone. While the Get Real Mondays may not always be deep, serious, sinful, etc., I still feel like God wants us as Christians to lean on one another for support and to also BE REAL! I keep asking myself, what do we accomplish by putting up our 'perfect' front for others to see?

Anyway, I had originally planned to do this "Get Real Monday" post about something else, but I just can't seem to make myself sit down long enough to do that blog, so this Get Real Monday will be short and light hearted.

Good news: Remember last week when I was real and showed you this corner of our house and vowed to clean it up by this week?

Well, it now looks like this....
Bad news: Since we are being real, I must admit a few things....
1.) I didn't even clean it up until this morning so I could take pics to post on here, BUT I am glad that I showed it last week so that I made myself do it.
2.) Where did all of those plastic containers go?
Well, remember this area?
It now looks like this....
Ahem....well, it ACTUALLY looks like this...

I know it kind of looks like I just shuffled everything around, and I sort of did, but not really. ALL the stuff to the left (all 7 overflowing totes and the toys) are things I am puttng in a consignment sale at the beginning of April, so I can't do much with it til then unless I just want to stuff it in a closet? (If you need anything child related...girl's summer clothes birth to 2T, let me know because I may have it. I also have up to 9 months in summer clothes for boys). And the treadmill to the right is about to be sold, so it is just sitting there for a few days (hopefully). If you want it, let me know because I am about to put it on craigslist.
Good news: my kitchen is clean!
I can guarantee one thing about my house, if my kitchen is not clean, there won't be ANY clean room in my house. I must have a clean kitchen, since that is where our food comes from. The floor may not always be spotless because that white tile is hard to keep clean since we wear shoes in the house and tennis shoes leave little prints on my tile. BUT, when I clean, it is the first room I clean every time.
Bad news: I still need to clean the bar top and put the totes in the attic. (Ignore the few things on the counter.)
Now, I am off to do some more cleaning.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Things That Make Ya Go Hmmm....

It's no secret that our garbage men and women(in Memphis) have the best jobs in the world. Let's see, they get paid about $40,000 a year, can go home when their route is done (usually about 4 hours), and have restrictions when weather is a concern (they refuse to work in weather under 15 degrees...glad we aren't in the north or our trash would NEVER get picked up), and they are also the only people that could leave THIS in the middle of the street for 5-10 minutes and not feel bad at all....
Really?? I mean, i would have just gone around except they are parked directly in front of my drive way. I must admit, they were nice and waved me to come on thru, but unless I am on a motorcycle, I don't think I can fit.

I must admit it really didn't make me mad at all. I thought it was pretty entertaining watching others try to fit by the truck, then turn around and speed off. No, I have more patience than that and just jammed to the radio until they were finished. Our personal garbage men have always been very nice and waved to us and smiled(Tatum LOVES it) when they see us. Anyone who can do this job and smile is A-OK with me. I just hope our personal garbage men were not part of the refusing to work in the cold or else it would make me sad.

Who knows, maybe this will be my next job?? Could be worse!

Monday, March 08, 2010


Tanna has proposed a new challenge of sorts for women, blogging women, to GET REAL (she explains it well on her page, so click on the GET REAL to read).

I see it time and time again that ladies, or just people in general, want to come off as so perfect to the rest of the world. If they are perfect, great, but I am not. So today, I will start getting real, even in my blogs where it is so easy to only show the sunshine in life.

Okay, we will start from the beginning...Antonio and I have had a goal for a few years that 2010 would be the year we would move. Antonio didn't want to even LOOK at a house until 2010, but I had to do a little window shopping. At the end of Nov, I found this house....

It had pretty much everything we were looking for, so we decided to call an agent and go see it. At the beginning of Dec. we put in an offer on the house. At that point we started living on a tight budget and watching every penny so that we could put it into furniture and decorations for this house when we closed. Negotiations took MUCH longer than usual and we didn't have a contract on the house until Jan 14th.

Also during this time, Dec 28th, I got a promotion at work and a 9% raise. To say I was excited would be a down play on things. Antonio and I talked about how things were finally falling into place for us and life was great! Our marriage was stronger than ever, new house on the horizon, new raise, kids great, etc.

Then on Jan 29th, life changed. I lost my job that day. It was obviously very unexpected. Because of my sudden job loss, this meant that we would not be able to buy our house. I did, and still do, feel so bad about this all. It was ME who lost my job, changed our financial situation, and therefore the reason we will not be moving right now.

SO, because I wasn't expecting this, I obviously had not been looking for another job. After a little discussion, we decided it would be best for me to go apply for unemployment. Oh how many times I have passed judgement at the thought of people applying for unemployment. At the time, I have never known someone to go get it (but just the thought of it).

If I had to describe how it went applying for unemployment, I would say it was the most humbling and humiliating thing I have ever experienced. Not even childbirth with all my goods out for everyone to see was as humbling....sorry, but true. It was humbling because I obviously didn't ever think this would 'happen to me'. Humiliating because of all of the thoughts I had in the past about this very thing. Here is a picture from my phone that I took while standing in line. I took it because I knew it would be something that I would always have to look back at. I never want to get on my 'high horse' again, but if I do, I will see this.

After 2.5 LONG hours in line, I was told to come back the next day and EARLY. The office opened at 8 but they line started at 6:30am. So, the next morning I was in line at 6:15 and finally got out at 10:30. I was able to talk to a few people around me both days and hear their stories and quickly realized these were not people that were 'milking the system' like I had pictured. I never thought I would watch the sunrise with a complete stranger, but I did.

Anyway, I am currently still unemployed, but looking for something new and exciting. Antonio and I know that this was all in God's plan for us and HIS timing is perfect! Our faith is strong and we are unshakeable!

What's the saying, "You make plans and God laughs." I think that's it, or something like it. 2010 may NOT be the year we move, but we have so many things to be thankful for. I am sure you are thinking 'yeah, yeah', so for you nay-sayers, let me SHOW you how great God is....

*First of all, we did not close on the new house, so we were able to get out of our contract AND get our earnest money back ($2500). At the time our agent was stumped by why we were asked to put up so much Earnest money, but now we know.

*I said earlier that we started living on a TIGHT budget at the beginning of Dec. Dec is usually not a great month for us. I love to buy the 'perfect gift' for family and usually tend to go overboard, but this year I stuck to the budget.

*The house note on the new house would have been more than double our current payment, so we are thankful that negotiations took SO long and the closing date was SO far away(even though I was so frustrated with the process while it was happening)!

*We have seen so much cash money coming into our house in the last 5 weeks(earnest money, tax return, money for kids clothes that I sold, etc). There have been no handouts from family or friends (other than my dad letting me drive his car for a while, THANKS DAD!). Not that they wouldn't help if we needed it, but we have just been blessed so far.

*I can't and won't speak for Antonio, but for some weird reason, as crazy as our situation is right now, I have been at peace with everything since it all happened. Although I do feel guilty about us not moving, I have not stressed out about it. Antonio has been very supportive through it and that alone is priceless. Our faith is in God and we know that we will be fine.

*Since we were planning to move, we did several things to fix up our house that we had put off...our biggest one was finishing out the laundry room, sheetrocking, new tile flooring, painting, etc. Now we will be able to enjoy these fixes.

Those are just a FEW of the things I am thankful for. This situation has caused us to take a step back and really look at what our future holds and what our goals are. I am truly content with our current situation and can't wait to see what God has in our future. needs vs. wants

While we are being real, I was taking a picture of some of the kid's toys lined up the other day and when i was looking at the picture i realize how horrible the window frame looked. Living in an older house means that EVERYTHING needs to be painted, but we had never painted some of the window frames. Here is the before....

And I went ahead and painted it right away. Here's the after...
AND one more REAL picture. My house has never been, and probably never will be spotless. Sorry, it's the truth. We had a POD that was packed with many boxes for the big move, and then we had to unpack it. We did well and I went thru many of the containers unpacked, but THESE are still sitting there just staring at me. sigh....and the rug is one that we bought for the 'new house'. I plan to tackle this area this week and in order to be held accountable, I will post a picture of this same area next week.
So, it's YOUR turn.....I DARE you to BE REAL!!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Quick Update

Time seems to be flying by these days, I guess that means I am getting old? Several times a day things will come up and I will tell myself, "Hey self, I am going to blog about that!", but as you can see, it hasn't been happening.

Well, here is a little update with a few pictures.

We were able to go to the Memphis Tigers game Saturday night....all FOUR of us. I must admit that the night was a recipe for disaster. both kids going, game didn't start til AFTER Mateo's bedtime and 30 minutes before Tatum's, 2 hours of sitting in seats (we only had 3 since Mateo didn't need a ticket), we didn't manage to even eat dinner before we left the house...sigh

I am so glad to say that everything went GREAT!! Tatum and Mateo were well behaved and I must admit I was shocked. Antonio and I even planned to leave at halftime (if we could even make it that long), but we ended up staying for the entire game!

Here are a few picture....

Tatum did not want to take a picture with Mateo...
Can you see how sleepy Mateo is? He was great though. The excitement around us kept him entertained the whole time.
Tatum was fascinated by this airplane that was inside.
When Tatum would get antsy, we would just ask her to find Pouncer, like Where's Waldo. It provided much entertainment along with the band.

Since there are 2 Pouncers this year, they make the rounds a little better so the fans can see them and get pictures taken. We waited so patiently and in the 2nd 1/2 of the game, Pouncer was on our side of the court. He was coming up in the stands and I just knew he would continue up to us, but he didn't. So, since Tatum wanted to me him SO MUCH, I left Mateo with Antonio and me and Tatum took off to chase him down. The 2 pouncers were playing and dancing when we headed down. As soon as we got close, they both started walking away(they did not see us coming I guess and were headed to another section), and that is when it happened....
Tatum sat down on the bottom step and let out the loudest sad cry followed by "I WANT TO HUG THE TIGER!!!" The usher at the bottom of the steps went to tap Pouncer on the shoulder, but I guess he had heard her cries and he turned around and headed back our way. Then THIS happened....
PURE HAPPINESS!!! Tatum was not scared one bit! She LOVED Pouncer and said how soft he was.

I am very thankful that Tatum got to 'meet' Pouncer and get her picture taken with him. She is still talking about him!
Now some other quick note worthy things to put down...
~Tatum is growing up and becoming such a big girl these days. She shocked me the other day when we were getting ready for school. I asked her to hold her foot up so I could put on her shoe and she asked me "the left one or the right one?" I smiled and said the left one and she did just that...held up her left foot. We have quized her several times since then and she always gets her left and right correct.
~Tatum is quiet the mother hen in our house. She likes to keep an eye on Mateo and keep him out of trouble(or discipline him if it is needed). She also likes to feed him (her food) and he LOVES her too. We let them play in her room alone all the time now and they do great! The room will be a mess in minutes, but such is life I guess? He will eat things for her that he won't eat for me.
~Tatum is getting SO TALL. She is currently wearing 4T and 4 pants, but they are quickly becoming too short. I am glad summer is around the corner so we don't have to purchase many pants for a while.
~Mateo is SUCH A PICKY EATER!!! I am not kidding, this kid constantly throws me for loops! He will eat bananas, BUT only if they are cold. I think I have figured out that he doesn't like any food that is breaded (frozen chicken nuggets, fried okra, fish sticks, etc). oh, but he WILL eat some of this for Tatum. In the mornings, he will NOT sit at his table for breakfast. The only way I can get food in his belly is to sit him in my lap and hand feed him. I don't mind because it slows me down and I enjoy the time with him.
~Mateo also HATES diaper changes and clothing changes. Tatum wiggled at this age, but she was nothing compared to him. He will not lay still for one second. We have tried toys, books, songs, lights, even tried having Tatum stand right by him to entertain him, but nope...what should take 5 minutes take about 10-15. And if he sticks his hand in his poop one more time i am going to I feel like I have things under control, but he still manages to wiggle free and get his hand down there. I think he just likes to get his hands washed VERY WELL in the kitchen sink after he does this.
~Mateo loves to drink out of the water fountain. When I pick up Tatum from school she always wants to make a stop by the water fountain and I started letting Mateo get a drink out of the big one too. If I don't automatically bend over to let him get a drink, he will attempt to jump out of my hands to get down there.
~Mateo is in a size 4 diapers, size 3 shoes, and 12-18 months in clothes for the most part, but he can still wear some 6-12 months. He has 7 teeth now.
~Mateo is still not walking. We have made some progress in this area, but no independent walking just yet.
I guess that's it. We are still alive and doing well.