aren’t beginnings fresh and exciting?

i guess unless you’re the sort of person who hates change or a shake up in routine, maybe not.

but, i love them. i love when you have a new beginning before you that you can get excited about. matt and i have embarked on a new beginning with some friends and we are both thrilled. our team is phenomenal, we have dedicated this project to the Lord, and everyone has sort of “come alive” with energy to carry this thing through.

we just “revealed” our new beginning in our blog From Texas to Beyond. our blog will feature travel, texas, art, architecture, trip planning, things to do in certain cities and other topics. check us out over there!

the chirp

the chirp

well, we’ve had a chirp in our house.

you know the kind i mean? the ones that tell you that your smoke detector battery is about to go?

well, we’ve had one and for the life of us cannot find the source. the first couple nights it would only chirp every 30 minutes, as the days have progressed, it has become worse: down to every 4-6 minutes.   it’s so bad that we’ve taken every battery out of everything we can find. we’re pulling our hair out.

the real kicker, this stupid chirp only happens between 3 and 9a. why in all of goodness would it not chirp all the time? and why in all of goodness must we be tortured so?

the chirp has caused lost sleep, lots of google searches, a disagreement, and overall grumpy mood in our home.



since the initial draft of this post, we have located the chirp! hallelujah!

turns out, even in our attempt to search the house multiple times for the source of said chirp, it was in a smoke detector we BOTH passed by! we ended up taking the battery out, then matt put it in a closet upstairs for good measure.

this whole time (4 nights), i kept thinking there had to be some sort of cosmic significance. what is God trying to tell us, what lesson am i supposed to be learning? i still haven’t figured it out other than to check your smoke detectors and perhaps don’t let yourself become consumed with the mundane things of life–focusing on the bigger picture brings a better perspective.



or perhaps, we just need to replace the batteries in our smoke detectors more often.


being a new parent

being a new parent

we had a baby. actually, i’m the one who gave birth. however, i hesitate to share the whole story at this moment, because what i really want to talk about is being a parent.

parenting requires a massive amount of unselfishness and complete unconditional love. basically, everything you have. everything. if i thought i was an unselfish or completely loving person before, i was entirely wrong.

shouldn’t i have been subjected to a test to make sure i could really handle being a parent? i guess that’s really not how the world works. the hospital actually lets you leave with a new, tiny helpless being and you’re responsible. the fate of this little person is completely in your hands. and you figure it out. you grow, you adapt, you determine what works today knowing that it might not work tomorrow. yes, being a parent requires unselfishness, the ability to look beyond the moments where your child has been screaming for 2 hours, complete love and acceptance, and a willingness to learn and be taught by the person you’ve just added to your family.

parenting is hard…and i’ve been told it only gets more challenging as the child ages! thankfully, God’s grace is big enough. He can handle every little thing, every thought we have, every challenge we face. what a comfort that brings!


since being a new parent and being 12 weeks into this whole thing, here are some highlights:

biggest challenge: the realization that you are absolutely out of control-i cannot make my daughter eat, sleep, poop, not be fussy. i can help to facilitate growth and environments where these things can happen, however i cannot actually make her do them. the controlling side of my personality hates this, however i’m not sure what on earth ever convinced me that i could actually control another person.

biggest joy: seeing this little person grow and change. she is different every day! she is 12 weeks as i type this and i just lamented to matt that i’m sad she isn’t small anymore. she is growing, loving to interact with us, and such a sweet little girl.

biggest change: not being able to do what i want to do when i want to do it-i enjoy my coffee all at one sitting while reading a book or my blogs instead of heated up three times during the course of the morning and catching 5 minutes of reading my blogs here and there.

biggest similarity: i’m still me. i’m still myself, just with the added facet in the role of mother. i’ve been told that having a child changes people completely…so far, that hasn’t been true. i’m still myself, my logic, silliness, love of reading, and desire to grow are all still in tact. yes, i have a new perspective as a mom, but to those who know me, didn’t i already possess some nurturing/mothering traits already?

biggest success (thus far): nighttime routine that everyone loves. baby takes a bath, eats, and goes down to sleep immediately. i recognize this is none of my doing, as in, i’m not the one making her sleep. but, it is awesome to have those things all finished by about 8:30-8:45p on nights we are at home during that time.

biggest failure: cloth diapering (for now). i really wanted to cloth diaper, like, really wanted to. but, with our current status as new parents, baby girl being a bit small yet, and not everyone being as excited about it, we’re holding off.


baby girl at 9 weeks.
baby girl at 9 weeks.




i completely fell off the whole blog-writing, book-reviewing bandwagon. if you’ve read the past couple posts, you’ll know why!

i’m not going to belabor reviews for the rest of the books that i read in 2014. i’m just going to list them with my “rating”. sorry. i want some closure on the book reviewing topic, but i already feel panicked trying to think about writing reviews on the 24 other books i read.

i started 2014 with the goal to read 30 books, then i got to 30 books in july and thought i’d bump it up again to 52. after all, i was more than half way finished and thought i’d be in good shape to finish on time. again, have i mentioned how busy/how much transition we were going through from august to december?! while i did read another 6 books between july and december, i didn’t get to 52.

1. the hobbit by j. r. r. tolkien, finished 1.12.14, 4 out of 5

2. how to get your wife to shut up by grant stenzel, finished 1.13.14, 3 out of 5

3. generous justice by tim keller, finished 1.22.14, 4 out of 5

4. the heavenly man by brother yun, finished 1.26.14, 2 out of 5

5. mockingjay by suzanne collins, finished 1.27.14, 3 out of 5

6. white umbrella by mary francis bowley, finished 2.5.14, 3 out of 5

7. the pleasure of my company by steve martin, finished 2.5.14, 3 out of 5

8. dangerous calling by paul david tripp, finished 2.5.14, 4 out of 5

9. and the mountains echoed by khaled hosseini, finished 2.10.14, 5 out of 5

10. marriage matters: extraordinary change through ordinary moments by winston t. smith, finished 2.12.14, 3 out of 5

11. kitchen confidential: adventures in the culinary underbelly by anthony bourdain, finished 2.18.14, 3 out of 5

12. when helping hurts by steve corbett & brian fikkert, finished 2.18.14, 4 out of 5

13. tender ar the bone by ruth reichl, finished 2.21.14, 4 out of 5

14. the book thief by markus zusak, finished 2.27.14, 4 out of 5

15. a framework for understanding poverty by ruby payne, finished 2.28.14, 4 out of 5

16. radical by david platt, finished 3.27.14, 2 out of 5

17. 100 things i hate about pregnancy by kate konopicky, finished 4.1.14, 3 out of 5

18. unchristian: what a new generation thinks about christianity and why it matters by david kinnaman, finished 4.8.14, 3 out of 5

19. unashamed: rahab by francine rivers, finished 4.8.14, 2 out of 5

20. unshaken: ruth by francine rivers, finished 4.10.14, 3 out of 5

21. the christian parenting handbook by scott turansky & joanne miller, finished 4.24.14, 3 out of 5

22. the grace awakening by charles swindoll, finished 6.6.14, 4 out of 5

23. the invested life by joel rosenberg & t.e. koshy, finished 6.10.14, 3 out of 5

24. comfort me with apples by ruth reichl, finished 6.10.14, 3 out of 5

25. ina may’s guide to childbirth by ina may gaskin, finished 6.11.14, 3 out of 5

26. natural childbirth the bradley way by susan mccutecheon, finished 6.21.14, 3 out of 5

27. husband coached childbirth by dr. steven bradley, finished 7.8.14, 4 out of 5

28. the perks of being a wallflower by stephen chbosky, finished 7.12.14, 3 out of 5

29. the one by kiera cass, finished 7.24.14, 3 out of 5

30. the sh!t no one tells you by dawn dais, finished 9.3.14, 2 out of 5

31. dreams and visions by tom doyle, finished 9.22.14, 3 out of 5

32. tortured for christ by richard wurmbrand, finished 9.30.14, 2 out of 5

33. pretty little liars by sara shepard, finished 10.1.14, 3 out of 5

34. moonwalking with einstein by joshua foer, finished 10.4.14, 4 out of 5

35. dad is fat by jim gaffigan, finished 10.5.14, 4 out of 5

36. she’s got issues by nicole unice, finished 10.14.14, 3 out of 5


there are also books that i started and for whatever reason didn’t finish. i’m not a person who can stick it out through a book–i value my reading time too much that i don’t want to waste time reading something that doesn’t capture me. so, here are the books i started…if i were to “rate” them, they would receive either 0 or 1 out of 5.

mansfield park and mummies by vera nazarian

animal, vegetable, miracle: a year of food life by barbara kingsolver

this is where i leave you by jonathan tropper

the emperor of all maladies by sidhartha mukherjee


so, there it is. i wish i felt more accomplished. and as i type this, i just commented to matt that i wish i had been more faithful in reading even during the busy time during the last few months of the year. i am setting a goal of 30 books again for 2015. we’ll see what is in store–i’m in the middle of three right now, and on hold for two others at the library!

blog revival

blog revival

as i mentioned earlier, i’m dusting off the blog {again}.

writing is at times so very therapeutic for me, but in the midst of life, i haven’t been diligent beyond my personal journal; heck, with a new baby, even my journal is probably feeling some neglect.

2014 in a single blog post

2014 in a single blog post

i’m back…again…

after a few month hiatus, i’ve been inspired and been praying about reviving our blog.

SO much has happened since the post below from july. good grief, i feel like we were so young and naive back in july. but, i hope to starting writing with some frequency to chronicle our days, share life, and generally to have an outlet for my thoughts…but more on that in another post.

matt took it upon himself to journal all the events (and details!) of 2014. i started…well, tried. let’s say it isn’t wise to start a project like that at 8:30 on a friday night. here is a quick rundown of 2014, at least what i came up with in the 30 minutes i had. hopefully i can at least journal a bit more to flesh out those details, but here is the high level view of everything that happened in our lives.

january: bitter cold thanks to the “polar vortex”, one day the high temp was -17, duck dynasty weekend at work, lots of snow, matt started online at DTS

february: more bitter cold, Paul David Tripp parenting conference at church, and out of this, a new favorite speaker/author

march: pregnant! and a trip to the ER due to some bleeding. we both celebrate birthdays.

april: awful mood swings and first trimester nausea

may: lindsay’s wedding, we decide to move back to texas, matt begins job searching

june: i start to pack us up, research a place to live, health insurance options, getting a moving truck

july: healthy 20 week ultrasound for baby, quit our jobs

august: drove 1000 miles and officially became texan again. i found a short-term nanny job to provide some income, found a doctor, matt begins his fall semester

september: matt started a job in dallas, good job–but not sustainable with a daily round trip 3 hour commute. third trimester begins.

october: matt started a different job in irving–better pay, closer and better fit with his skills and abilities, went to baby care and labor prep classes, blessed by friends with a shower for the baby

november: eva is born!

december: matt finishes his semester with awesome grades despite a busy time at work and having a newborn, we move from the attic to downstairs, and celebrate 3 years of marriage.


reflecting back on the year overall, it was a year of huge trials and huge blessings. we were called to trust in the Lord in ways we hadn’t known. the two words that characterize this year for me are trust and transition. i know this is just a list of bullet points, but as i think about all the little details, thought, and prayer that went in to each thing listed, i am amazed at all the Lord has brought us through.