Monday, November 28, 2011

Things are looking up...

For those of you who have been praying for us, we thank you from the bottom of or hearts! Some of you do not yet know, but I wanted to share some VERY exciting news with you all...Pat got a job working as an HR Coordinator for Express Scripts!!!! We are so excited for this next step. This is a temporary position and his contract is up in February so please continue praying! He starts this Wednesday, November 30th and he is really looking forward to this new opportunity.

But that's not all! I also got a job offer from Citi in O'Fallon and I will be working as a Mortgage Loan Processor. We got the calls within two days of each other and we were just floored. God does give GOOD gifts! I start my job on December 5th (next Monday).

We found a great "daycare" for the kids that is very close to our house. Alaina will have lessons and a bible story every day. They get to do Taekwondo every Tuesday which I think Alaina will LOVE. I can't wait to start this new journey with our family!

Thank you for all your prayers, encouragement, and help, we definitely could not have done this on our own!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Days 15-24

Wow, I'm really behind so here it goes:
Day 15: Thankful for my memory foam pillow. It has been my absolute favorite pillow!

Day 16: Thankful for coupons. I don't do the extreme couponing (mainly because I don't know how) but I do appreciate watching the bill decrease just because I brought along a few coupons.

Day 17: Thankful for a helpful husband! He vacuums, does laundry, cleans, and takes care of the kids (sometimes without me even having to ask!).

Day 18: Thankful for being able to spend time with my kids. We love to read books at night before they go to bed and they love doing crafts with me. It can sometimes be frustrating and needs a little extra patience but it is worth it, they're only young for a little while.

Day 19: Thankful for being able to take a nice hot shower daily. I am grateful for indoor plumbing and for hot water.

Day 20: Thankful that I get to meet new people. I like meeting new people whether it's through other friends, work, whatever.

Day 21: Thankful for free movies and tv shows. We don't have cable or satellite, so when we want to watch something we get on the computer and I love that we can watch stuff for FREE.

Day 22: Thankful for the library. Instead of buying books and reading the same ones over and over, I'm grateful that we can read a new one each night without any repeats!

Day 23: Thankful that for the most part our family is healthy.

Day 24: Thankful for food, especially turkey, mashed potatoes, pie and stuffing! YUM!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Days 12, 13, and 14

Day 12: I am thankful for mercy and grace. Thankful that I don't get what I DO deserve and that I'm given what I DON'T deserve. God is good!

Day 13: I am thankful for my camera. I don't have too many pictures of me when I was younger and I am grateful that I get to take TONS of pictures of my kids while they're growing up so they have something to look back on when they're older.

Day 14: I am thankful for 70 degree weather in the middle of NOVEMBER!!! Today was beautiful as was yesterday!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day 11

I am thankful to have a little girl. I love Declan just as much, but a girl can be so fun! I got to paint Alaina's fingernails and toenails tonight and she keeps asking if she can get her ears pierced. There is just something about a little girl.

On a side note, today I called Pat on my way home from work and him and Alaina were at the park. Alaina ansered the phone and informed me that Daddy couldn't talk because he was playing Rapunzel with her, he was Flynn Ryder and she was Rapunzel!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 10

I am thankful for naps. Personally I think they are one of the best things ever "invented?". I came home from work today and my amazing husband took the kids out so I could get some sleep since I'm not feeling 100% and I have to say I LOVE my naps!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Days 8 and 9

Day 8:
I am thankful for scented candles. Specifically from yankee candle or bath and body. I love the peppermint scents this time of year as well as anything with cinnamon.

Day 9:
I am thankful for a dishwasher. After doing some baking, cooking dinner, and cleaning up the kitchen, my sink was overflowing with dishes and I am grateful that I can just throw them all into the dishwasher and not have to wash them all by hand!

Monday, November 7, 2011

24 days

My kids are doing a thing at church where they have a sheet they have to fill out for 24 days. Each day they have to write something they're thankful for and then on Thanksgiving they can turn it in. Tonight while I was helping them with theirs I thought "hmm, maybe I should do this, too!" Psalm 107:1 states "Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever". What a better way to celebrate this holiday than to think of everything I am thankful for. I will enter a new post for each day from here on out, but since I am 7 days behind, I'll list all 7 on here.

1. I am thankful for Jesus and the sacrifice he paid so that I can be saved.
2. I am thankful for my husband, over the past 10 years he has become my closest and best friend.
3. I am thankful for my children, even though they can drive me nuts, nothing makes me smile more than seeing their faces!
4. I am thankful for music. It speaks to me in so many ways (I just wish I was more musically talented)
5. I am thankful for amazing friends. You know, the ones that aren't afraid to tell you the truth, even if it's not what you want to hear.
6. I am thankful for the opportunity to constantly learn new things, knowledge and wisdom can never be taken from you.
7. I am thankful for the house that we live in...before we lived here we were on the 3rd story of an apartment building and with all the tornadoes we had this year, I was grateful we were in a house.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Change Your Perspective

Have you ever had a situation and you only thought of it from one angle until someone else showed you a different perspective? After talking with one of my cousin's the other day she gave me a completely different perspective of where Pat and I are currently. It's so hard to see the bigger picture when you're just a small piece in the picture itself and it typically takes a 3rd party to really show you a different perspective. I was watching the movie The Prince of Egypt the other day with the kids and there was a song where the guy talks about how one piece of thread within a woven rug doesn't understand it's design, but when you step back and see all the pieces woven together, it creates a beautiful design . The song starts at about 1:40.
Anyway, my cousin gave me this:
Isaiah 66:7-14
"Before she went into labor,
she had the baby.
Before the birth pangs hit,
she delivered a son.
Has anyone ever heard of such a thing?
Has anyone seen anything like this?
A country born in a day?
A nation born in a flash?
But Zion was barely in labor
when she had her babies!
Do I open the womb
and not deliver the baby?
Do I, the One who delivers babies,
shut the womb?

10-11"Rejoice, Jerusalem,
and all who love her, celebrate!
And all you who have shed tears over her,
join in the happy singing.
You newborns can satisfy yourselves
at her nurturing breasts.
Yes, delight yourselves and drink your fill
at her ample bosom."

12-13God's Message:

"I'll pour robust well-being into her like a river,
the glory of nations like a river in flood.
You'll nurse at her breasts,
nestle in her bosom,
and be bounced on her knees.
As a mother comforts her child,
so I'll comfort you.
You will be comforted in Jerusalem."

14-16You'll see all this and burst with joy
—you'll feel ten feet tall—
As it becomes apparent that God is on your side
and against his enemies.

This isn't talking about our exact situation obviously but it makes since in our circumstances. Basically what it's saying is that going through trials is like a woman in labor. It's painful and intense but you have to go through it in order to receive the blessing afterwards. Sometimes we're doing all we can and yet things still seem to be going rough. It's all part of the grand design.

Friday, October 14, 2011

This weekend

Well, I know you're all dying to know what our plans are for the weekend ;o) Tonight is laundry and cleaning (thankfully Pat already vacuumed!), tomorrow we are going to, hopefully, sleep in and then going to church tomorrow night. Sunday I'm working at church and then I have a senior portrait session! Should be a nice relaxing weekend.

On another note, a couple of weekends ago my mom and I participated in the Run for Mercy 5k and since we couldn't find the correct parking lot, we ended up walking an extra 2 miles! We had fun, I love spending time with my mom!

We have costumes for both kids and Declan's going to be Fireball Mario and Alaina is going to be Snow White. We are going to "Boo at the Zoo" next weekend, so hopefully Alaina isn't as grumpy.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ever had one of those...

Years? It's been an interesting year for us. In March of this year Pat graduated college with his bachelor's degree, he also lost his job. In July, he got another job (both of us had been applying and looking like crazy the entire time). In August I got a job that I absolutely love and works perfectly with Declan's school schedule. If Alaina starts going to preschool it will work out perfectly with that as well. We'd only need childcare on Fridays! Harmonious Portraits (my photography business) has been picking up pace and I was also working up at church doing childcare for different events. Then, just in September, I was supposed to graduate with my bachelor's degree. My advisor forgot to mention that I still have 1 natural science class that I must take in order to complete my degree. To say I was devastated is an understatement.

In other news, Declan has finally started sounding words out and trying to read. He's doing really well in school academically, socially, he's "too talkative". I am so proud of him! He makes friends so easily and has his friends at school, church, and home and pretty much gets along with anyone. Alaina has been making strides, too. She now can recognize numbers 1-5 and we're working on her letters. The kids LOVE to be read to so we make a library trip at least once a week and usually walk out with about 10 books!

I came across the realization tonight that sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you can start looking up. The pain of changing usually has to be less than that of the circumstances. I know that when this is all over and done with we will have something to share with others that are going through what we've been through.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pity Party for one

I am grateful that my hope is in the Lord because today has just been "one of those days". I had a busy day at work, came home to a super messy house (my own doing from yesterday), a letter in the mail from Lindenwood saying that I can't graduate until I finish a natural science class. WHAT?!?! So apparently, I won't be getting a degree anytime soon. If I would have known I needed this class I could have included it with my two classes that I just finished. I was incredibly frustrated, on top of it we are trying to get on top financially and it just seems like it's one thing after another trying to keep us down. When I called my advisor about the letter he said, "Oh, didn't I mention that during our last meeting, I have it noted right here that you need a natural science class." WHAT?!?! I know that next year HAS to be better. This year has been a bust.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Opportunity Cost

As everyone knows, everything in life has an opportunity cost. Every decision that is made has a consequence whether good or bad. People always tell me, "I don't know how you go to school and have a family, it seems like it would be tough." I always smiled and said, yeah it's tough, but I never told them what I chose to give up in order to achieve that goal.

I had a revelation tonight as well as a big slap in the face. For those of you who saw my facebook status, I have chosen to remove myself from Facebook for a while and I thought you should know why. Declan came home from school today with 4 circles this week on his calendar. I know most of you have no idea what that means, but each circle represents how many times he was disciplined that day. He had one on Monday, one on Tuesday, and two today. As per our usual conversation, I ask him what happened and as he is explaining this stuff to me I realize that all of it is completely preventable.

I started praying and trying to think of reasons why he would be getting in trouble so much and then I feel like God lifted a curtain and revealed it to me. The majority of the attention he gets from us is negative attention. If he's doing what he's supposed to be doing and everything's going well, he rarely hears from us but as soon as something bad happens, we immediately take action. The more I stepped back, the more I became disgusted with myself. All I have ever wanted since I was a little girl is to be married and be a mommy. Now that I have it, I seem to take it all for granted.

Before we had internet, Declan was newborn until he was about 3, I spent every minute with him and my family. As soon as we got internet I noticed myself justifying my time that I spend on the computer. I was either looking for jobs, editing photos, catching up on homework, etc. As a baby Declan was sooooo unbelievably good. He rarely made a peep. Looking back now, I realized that the bad behavior started occuring more frequently after we got internet. I started spending more time on the computer than I was spending with my children and that is not acceptable.

So, that is the reason I am withdrawing myself from Facebook for a while. I need to reprioritize my life and make sure that I am being the best possible parent that God has made me to be. I want my kids to grow up knowing that they are unconditionally loved, that they are important enough for me to put everything else aside and spend time with them, and that above all else we will always be here for them.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Going well

Well, the first week of kindergarten was successful. We did not get any notes sent home and Declan seems to really be enjoying himself and making new friends. He was going to be brave and buy lunch at school on Friday and then Thursday night changed his mind and said he couldn't remember his pin number and that I should just pack his lunch. He'll get there, it's a little scary at first.

Alaina has felt a little left out with all the talk of Declan going to kindergarten and then with his birthday coming up. I've been trying to make sure she's been getting enough attention. The other day I told her that I wanted to take some pictures of her and she said "with Declan?" and when I told her I just wanted some really pretty ones of her by herself, she got a HUGE smile on her face. I'm thankful that she's pretty easy to please as long as she feels like she's not being left out.

I only have 5 more weeks left of school! This includes: 6 quizzes, 3 tests, 1 research paper, 1 presentation, and LOTS of reading. I can't wait! It's coming up so quickly!!! Thank you to all who have helped us throughout our entire schooling career and with watching our kids, offering transportation, and just being there when we need to talk. We are so grateful to have such great friends (and family).

Sunday, August 14, 2011

well the day has come

Tonight it's starting a new routine of earlier bed times, backpacks being packed, clothes laid out, and lunches ready. Tomorrow is Declan's first day of Kindergarten and I couldn't be more excited for him. He's so curious and inquisitive (I hope he always remains that way) and eager to make new friends! I can't wait to see him when he gets home from school tomorrow. I love him, he's my baby, but it's exciting to start this next chapter!

Monday, August 8, 2011


God is so amazing and sometimes chooses to show himself in such cool ways. This afternoon, the kids and I were out running errands and we had to stop by the grocery store. While we were on our way there, Alaina asked me if this store had peanuts. I told her yes but that we weren't getting any today, we were going in for specific things. She was a little bit disappointed but didn't throw a fit or anything. Well, tonight, I was at school and my group member and I did our presentation. When ours was through another group went and they did their presentation on Southwest Airlines and what did they bring to share with the class? Little individual bags of PEANUTS! I couldn't help but smile and remember how much our "daddy" takes care of us no matter how small or insignificant things may seem. I can't wait to tell Alaina when she gets up tomorrow, she's going to be soooo excited!!!

I know that this is not what this verse is talking about but it is the verse that popped into my head when I got the bag of peanuts:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Matt. 7:7 (NLT)

Friday, August 5, 2011

7 more weeks!!!

As most of you are already aware, I only have 7 weeks left before I graduate with my Bachelor's Degree!!!! I couldn't be more excited! Anyway, I am taking my capstone, which is a 3 credit hour class and a history class (world history from 1500-present) which is also a 3 credit hour class. I thought this quarter would be a breeze considering I'm used to taking 9 credit hours every 12 weeks. Boy, was I WRONG! This has been sooooooo much work! I am happy to say that this will probably be my busiest week and the rest should be pretty smooth sailing. This Monday night I have a 50 minute presentation to give with one other group member along with a quiz. Wednesday I have a solo 15 minute presentation and an exam. Between these two presentations, I feel like I have spent hours upon hours researching, reading, organizing, and putting together a powerpoint for each. It seemed a little overwhelming but I am so glad to be finished and I will be super psyched when this week is O V E R.

On another note, Declan goes to his school on the 10th at 10am to meet his teacher Ms. Molitor. He is so excited about starting Kindergarten and I hope that it feeds his curiousity. Declan, Alaina, and I watched the Disney movie Ocean, it was more of a documentary and of course Alaina lost interest almost immediately. Declan, however, LOVED it! He thought it was so cool and informative. I'm so glad that he was born in an age where if he has a question, we can find the answer almost instantaniously thanks to the internet! I hope he never loses his sense of wonder and curiousity and that he always learns as much as he possibly can. He is so smart for only being (almost) 6.

Alaina is upset that she doesn't get to go to school this year but we are going to enjoy our "alone" time with her. I start working (3 hours/day) soon and while I'm at work Pat gets to hang out with Alaina, all by herself. She just amazes me everyday. She is so sweet and caring. Today I had a band-aid on my toe and she asked me why I had it on there and I told her because I have an "owie" and she said "aww, poor mommy, let me give you a hug". If you would have told me when she was a baby that she'd grow up to be such a sweetheart and a cuddler, I would NOT have believed you. I love my kids more than anything and I'm so proud of who they are becoming. I hope that Pat and I always root for them no matter what they want to do in life.

Lastly but certainly not least, my hubs. Pat has been working so hard for the last month. He has been painting the interior of a house for a friend during the day and then at night he's working his job at Daddy Ray's. He is so exhausted but still makes time to spend with us. Next on our agenda is to purchase a second car. We have been relying on people these last few months and although we are extremely grateful for those that have helped us, it's time for us to hopefully be able to help someone else.

That's all that's new in the Mahoney household!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Frustrated and Ranting

As many of you know, Pat has gotten a job. He works for a temp agency, part time, however, it is in the field that he's wanting to pursue. He works 6pm-midnight Monday through Friday. We had two problems with that, 1. I am finishing up my last quarter of school and I have class from 6pm-10pm on Mondays and Wednesdays: a. we have to find a sitter and b. we only have one car. So, our options have been to drop Pat off at work, drop the kids off at my parents, go to school, pick up the kids, pick pat up at midnight (with the kids) and come home OR someone pick me up from school and bring me home. Out of all the people that always told us "oh, just take whatever job you can get" (which we've done), not one of them have stepped up and offered help. People LOVE giving input into our situation but they don't thoroughly think things through. I'm not complaining or whining, I just find it INCREDIBLY frustrating that so many people want to offer advice but not help. We have been incredibly blessed with three different couples that are helping us out without us even asking. They haven't offered any "advice" or looked down on us, they simply stepped in and helped and for them we are beyond grateful. I hope that someday whenever we can fully get back on our feet and are able to help out others that we show the same graciousness. We are hoping that the education that Pat and I have obtained helps us to land jobs that allows us to be a blessing to others as much as these three couples have been a blessing to us. I hope that the next time someone needs help that I don't just offer "advice".

I try to always remember the golden rule. My mom always told me "don't dish out what you can't take" and that has forever stuck with me. I know I am not perfect and I am not claiming to be, I am sure that there has been numerous times that I have given "advice" where help was what was needed. However, think of how much better the world would be if they followed this verse and we all loved our neighbors as more than ourselves.

“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets." (Matt 7:12 NLT)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Being a female

In this day in age, I sometimes think it's so tough being a woman. Women tend to dress without any regard to modesty or self respect. When I was younger I wanted to be a mom so badly that when people asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, that's what I told them. I wanted to be married, have kids, and that was my goal. When I had Alaina Pat and I talked about how important it was to teach her modesty and self respect. I truly believe that much of the problem is that women aren't told enough how special, beautiful, and important they are. This morning I watched the VeggieTales Sweet Pea Beauty with Alaina. It teaches girls that beauty is not only what's on the outside, but what's in your heart that is important. How you treat others is much more important than what clothes you wear or how you "fix" yourself on the outside. I posted a song on my facebook page, but I will post it on here as well. This song is by Nichole Nordeman and is called Beautiful for Me. More importantly, the verse mentioned in that particular Veggie Tales is Proverbs 31:30 but I find the entire section to be important:

Proverbs 31:10-31(MSG)
Hymn to a Good Wife

10-31 A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She's like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.
She's up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she's put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.
She's quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn't worry about her family when it snows;
their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected
when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them,
brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
"Many women have done wonderful things,
but you've outclassed them all!"
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!

Our goal is to teach our kids self respect, respect for others and modesty. I hope that this is helpful to others as it was/is to me!

Here is the song

When you don't feel like you quite measure up, just remember this verse:
1 Samuel 16:7b
7b God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart."(MSG)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Twice in one day!

So here I am writing twice in one day. You all are probably sick of me but hey you're the one reading this ;o) Anyway I am writing to say that God always has a way of humbling us. Pat had an interview this morning and was offered the job. They asked him to come in tonight and I was doing childcare at church tonight so he told them that he couldn't come in until 9:30 because we only have one car. Normally this wouldn't be a problem except I do childcare until about 9. So as I am thinking about this position that Pat has been offered, I was thinking of all the negative things about it. The hours aren't ideal, the pay isn't that great, blah blah blah. When a friend came in, gave me a hug and said that she was just glad that we have a house. It 1. made me take a step back and think, what am I worried about? We have a roof over our head, food to eat, and clothes to wear. This friend and I had gone out a while back ago and I told her that I was looking forward to having a house because at the time we lived on the third story of an apartment building and I couldn't wait to have a garage and a yard for the kids to play it. It really humbled me because it wasn't that long ago that it was something that I desired. In Psalms 37:4 it says "be happy with the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart."

After reading that verse it became very clear to me. I've heard it a million times before and we try to live our life by it but sometimes the problems in life seem to overshadow the blessings. Put God first and he will take care of everything else. This job that Pat was just offered is for a Human Resource position which is a field that he's wanting to get into. Even if this isn't permanent, this could be a major stepping stone to where God is leading him in the future. The place is only about 15 minutes from our house, so that's a blessing. So many times people get mad at God for not giving them exactly what they want, but that's not the way to go about it. Maybe God is trying to teach us something, or lead us somewhere else but we have to take this step first. Pat was a little torn when he was offered this job because as I mentioned in the last posting, he has wanted to play soccer for so long and he finally got the opportunity, was signed up to do it and all the details were worked out and this job came along. He knew that we needed it, but was sad that once again his dream was put on hold. It reminded me of a time whenever Declan was about 3 months old. We had very little money, Pat was unemployed and was desperately wanting to be a painter. He had always told me that he would NEVER work in fast food. We have learned never to say never because when we do, God has a funny way of proving us wrong. So anyway, we were in need of money and there was a Dairy Queen across the street from where we were living at the time. Pat finally gave in, applied at Dairy Queen and got hired. He worked one day and got a call from a painting company that he had been trying to work for for months. When Pat finally gave in and humbled himself enough to do something he didn't want to do, God turned around and blessed him/us in a HUGE way. We were living with our Pastor and his family at the time and when he got this painting job we were able to get our own place! I know that God has something great planned for our family even if we don't see it at the moment.

Something I feel that God has laid on my heart lately is to just be content with what we have. We would often catch ourselves saying: when we get good jobs we're going to buy this, or go here, or take a vacation, or whatever it may have been. Whenever we'd catch ourselves talking like that we'd remember that God wants us to be content with what we have. We shouldn't be thinking about all the ways we can spend HIS money, we should be thinking about how to be good stewards with his money. One of our ultimate goals has always been that if we made "x" amount of dollars or more per year we wanted to be able to annonomously help people in need. If someone called up to the church or something and asked if they could pay their electric bill or whatever it is, we want to be able to help them and not tell them it was from us. We have been blessed with some amazing people in our lives that have helped us every step of the way and without them we wouldn't have made it financially. We want to be able to do the same for someone else because we know how hard it can be sometimes to make ends meet. I am just rambling on, but this is me being completely transparent, which doesn't happen too often.

I will end with this verse. This is what I try to live my life by, to always be content no matter what the circumstances. I know there are times when it seems so overwhelming and Satan is trying to trick us into believing that God isn't going to come through this time but we know that is not the truth.

This is what Paul has to say about being content:
Philippians 4:11-13
The Message (MSG)
Content Whatever the Circumstances

10-14I'm glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you're again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don't have a sense of needing anything personally. I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don't mean that your help didn't mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles.

Thank you to everyone that has been praying and continues to pray for us. I know that God is always watching out for us and for now, we are content just where we are!


Just when we think things are starting to pan out something changes and we're back to square one and confused. Pat has wanted to play either ice hockey or soccer for as long as I have known him (10 years). We either had the time but not the money or vice versa. He finally got the chance to be able to play soccer and then BANG...he gets an interview for a job where he would work the night shift and be unable to play. With as upset as he was he said he would take the job because of obvious reasons. I feel terrible because I feel like he has put his desires aside for as long as I have known him so that I could persue mine. I'll inform you all of the outcome of his interview!

On another note, I have started doing childcare at church for different events in order to bring in a little money, along with my photography. Today I was extended an opportunity to take pictures for an event that is going to be published in the St. Louis Magazine with some of the top executive chefs in the area. Unfortunately it's on the same night that I am supposed to be doing childcare. It seems like God is opening some doors for us but at the same time we are so confused on what we're supposed to do and which direction we're going. I am so excited about the opportunities we've been given and I know that something GREAT is coming, I can just feel it! I just ask that you all pray with us about direction and priorities.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I know there's a plan

Have you ever felt so confused about what you were supposed to do with your life, or where God is leading you? I am just overwhelmed when I think about where our lives started together and where we are now. Even though Pat and I have been together for 10 years and married for almost 7 years, I feel like we are in the same boat we were in when we got married. I'm not throwing a pity party for myself, I am just reflecting on our past and our current situation.

We got married in December of 2004, I was 21 and Pat was 22 years old. Everyone told us we were too young to get married but I never believed that. If you're willing to love and forgive, I don't think there is such a thing as too young. We both knew we wanted children so we started right away. A month after we were married, I found out I was pregnant with our first! I always heard that the first year of marriage was the worst and I have to disagree. It was a change, figuring out how to start a life with another person, but it was a fun change. I enjoyed it so much. Then in March of 2007 I found out I was pregnant with our second child and we were both really excited. By this time, I was no longer working out of the home and I was babysitting out of our home. When we found out we were having a girl, it was even more exciting and we were soooo blessed. People gave us so many clothes that I don't think we bought any clothes for Alaina until she was almost two years old. After she was born we had a very difficult time. Pat had just started going back to school, he was working a lot of overtime, and Alaina proved to be a difficult baby to care for. It was very stressful on our marriage as well as us individually. When we were going through some trying times, I thought to myself, this is probably the worse thing that would happen to us. Things were bad and in the midst of it all, it seemed like it would never end. It took us about a year but we finally pulled through and I honestly believe that if it wasn't for God and some faithful friends in our lives, we wouldn't have made it. I love having friends that don't just tell you what you want to hear but the things that you need to hear even if it makes you upset, you know they're right.

Since then, our life has been pretty uneventful (in a good way). We found a great church, met some great people, changed job situations quite a bit, Pat finished school, I am about to finish school, and Declan's getting ready to start kindergarten. Up until this year we have had a few rough spots, but overall, things have been great! When Pat lost his job back in March, we were excited to see what God had in store for us. We had enough finances to get us through a couple of months and we were fully trusting in God to show us the next step. It has now been 4 months that Pat has been unemployed and both of us have been looking for jobs. I have interviewed with three different places and Pat with one place and it seems we can't catch a break. We are trying to be as humble as possible, applying to any job, and not thinking that we're above doing anything. Things are really tough right now and I have learned and am learning how to trust God more and more, little by little. As the time goes on, it gets a little more intimidating and scary and we are starting to question everything. Are we doing all that we can do, are we looking everywhere we can, are we willing to do what needs to be done. I honestly believe and feel that we are doing everything we're supposed to be doing. It's becoming so frustrating to feel like you're doing everything you need to do and nothing seems to be happening.

Above all I know that God has a plan. I know that God does not have a plan of destruction for us but a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). I know these things in my head and in my heart. I keep thinking of the song by Josh Wilson called Before the Morning. This song has gotten me through many times that I felt discouraged or disheartened. I know that good things are coming, I just have to trust that God's timing is ALWAYS perfect.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 29, 2011

too blessed to be stressed

For a couple of weeks now Pat and I have started wondering what God has in store for us, which direction he's leading us, and what we have to look forward to in the future. Sometimes, i am so happy that God only shows us what's in front of us and not too much of the future so that we don't get overwhelmed or freaked out. On the other hand, I wish I could see what our future holds for us. It seems like everytime we get to a good point in our finances, something cracks and we're back in the same boat we were in before (many times before). I'm not angry with God or wish that things were different because I know that ultimately only he knows what the future holds and he always has our best interest in mind, even if it's not what WE think is best.

Just within the past week we have started getting really discouraged. We have both sent out tons of applications and resumes and had not heard a single thing. On top of that, we've had some other things happen that aren't pleasant but through it all we are still trusting God has a bigger plan for us.

Today, out of the blue, I received a phone call from a company I had applied to a couple of weeks ago and I have an interview on Monday at 8:45. I am super excited! Please keep us in your prayers as we wait to see God's plan unfold!

Friday, April 22, 2011


Thinking about what we've been going through, with Pat losing his job and Citi choosing to go with another candidate has really made us step back and think. We wonder if we're doing what we are supposed to be doing, if there is something missing that we should be doing, or just what direction we're supposed to head into. We were really upset when we found out yesterday that I didn't get the job at Citi because we both really thought that it was what God had in store for us. It caused some anxiety, frustration, and disappointment. We know that God has a plan for us and for our family but in the midst of the turmoil, it's not always easy to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This morning, as I was reflecting on our situation, I decided to read the book of Job. If anyone had a reason to complain it would've been him. He lost everything, all his sheep, his entire family, and his health. He still praised God despite his circumstances and we have to remember to do the same. There is a plan for us and for our family and it's going to be bigger than we ever imagined, I just know it. The hard part is waiting.

After reading Job and realizing that today is good Friday, I realize that Jesus made the ultimate sacrafice for us. He died for us, so that we don't have to. Someone explained it this way: You can choose to be born once and die twice (naturally and eternally) or you can choose to be born twice and die only once. I don't know about you but when looking at what Christ chose to do for us, our problems don't seem so big. I pray that this weekend anyone who does not know Christ or doesn't have a place to go to church to come to Element Church. I'm excited to celebrate Christ's resurrection this weekend and for the ultimate sacrifice for love!

Element Church is in the old Belz Mall building where Hwys 40 and 70 meet and they're offering 6 services this weekend:
Friday 6:30
Saturday 4 & 5:30
Sunday 9, 10:30, 11:59

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Where do we go from here

Lately, with everything that is going on in our life right now, it seems like it's a time of reflection. It's a time to think about what we have done, what we haven't done but were supposed to do, and where we go from here. As most of you know, I've started my own photography business {} and while I absolutely love doing photography, sometimes I feel like I don't measure up. I know there are people out there that are better than me and it gives me something to strive for, but I can't help but wonder if I can ever be at that level. On the other hand, maybe I'm more suited for a desk job. As I mentioned before, I had an interview at Citi (3 weeks ago this coming Tuesday) and I haven't heard back from them yet. I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to work with this company and be able to learn more.

I am just rambling because I haven't gathered my thoughts very well. I feel blessed beyond measure: my family is healthy, our kids are smart and inquisitive, we have an awesome church, great friends and the unconditional love of our Savior. I have about 5 photo shoots and a wedding (that I am assisting) coming up within the next month and I am beyond excited about them! I will hopefully hear back from Citi this week and pray that Pat hears something this week as well.

I pray that each person I meet feels that they are important, that I care about them, and that they are a treasure in the arms of Christ.

If any of you do not currently attend church, I invite you to come with me to ours: Element Church (in the old Belz Mall at 70 and 40). This weekend they have services on Friday (6:30), Saturday (4:00 and 5:30), and Sunday (9, 10:30, and 11:59)

Monday, April 11, 2011


Last night I went to bed utterly exhausted and fell asleep almost instantly. Yesterday was our last small group meeting until this fall and I've really enjoyed getting to know this group of people. For many of you, you already know that Pat is without a job (as well as myself) and we are looking like crazy. I have been starting to feel a little scared, worried, and unsure, but something really amazing happened last night. While it was still dark out, I was awakened by this overwhelming peaceful and calming feeling. It woke me out of a dead sleep (and for those of you that know me, I don't wake up easily). I felt like it was God comforting me, telling me everything was going to be fine because even though I can't see the big picture, He can and this is just one tiny piece of the puzzle. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13:5) and that he works all things together for the good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28). It was a feeling that I can't even fully describe, it just felt like a completely comforting and overwhelming experience. Even though we are unaware of our future, we can trust God and that he will take care of us and our family, he always has and will continue to do so. Things look grim right now, but this is just the "dark before the morning" (a song by Josh Wilson). I know God has bigger plans for us than we can even imagine and that we can trust in him completely. I am so grateful for a wonderful church family and friends that help us remember these things!

Friday, April 1, 2011

He's getting big tooooooo fast!

So, today Declan and I went up to Peine Ridge and registered him for Kindergarten. I can't believe he's old enough to go to school already! It makes me sad that he's gotten so "old" but he is SO excited. He couldn't stop smiling the whole time we were there and he gave the lady in the office multiple hugs. He got to meet his principal and talk to a few of the teachers that were hanging out. He even got to make a star to hang on the office window!

On another note, please continue to pray for us. Pat was denied unemployment and has not heard from any of the places he has applied to. I had an interview with Citi on Tuesday and was the first person they interviewed for that position. Apparently, per company policy, they have to interview at least three people for each position. I am praying that this opportunity happens! Pat is starting to get discouraged and finally applied with a temp agency today. He finished school with a 3.5 GPA and will be graduating on May 14th!!! We got his cap and gown the other day and he seemed excited. Please think about us whenever you're praying and if you get a chance, send Pat a word of encouragement!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Taking a break

I was thinking tonight after going to church that I really want to get closer to God. I truly believe that he has greater things for us, for our church, for our city, and for our country. I believe that God is good and that only he has the power to change our circumstances. I completely trust him, but I want to work on being completely obedient to him. So, over the next week, I will not be on facebook in order to allow myself more time to read the Word of God, and to pray and really focus on our future and what God has in store for us. I am excited, nervous, and a little scared at what is coming in our near future because I fully believe that it's bigger than even Pat or I can imagine. Please pray for us on this next journey in our life and that we follow the path that God has laid out for us!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

For those of you that are unaware

For those of you who haven't heard Pat lost his job today so he is on the hunt. He will have a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with an emphasis in Human Relations. So, if any of you know of a job opening up, we'd be more than happy to know about it. We are not just looking in MO, but we're willing to move anywhere that God wants us. Please keep our family in your prayers. Thank you all so much!!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Week 4

This week is the "recovery" week of P90x but so far, I feel like I've been working just as hard as the last three weeks. I am so excited to say that I have lost exactly 11 pounds in just three weeks! I am well on the way to my goal. I have been slacking in the healthy eating department. I have not been eating horribly but I've had some snacks here and there.

On another note, I went in to talk to my advisor the other day and instead of taking one class this cluster and one class next cluster to finish up my degree, I should just wait and take them together both over the summer. This way my grants will go towards my tuition instead of me having to pay for both classes out of pocket. So, I will be taking 3 months off and then graduating at the end of September! Pat on the other hand is finished in a VERY short 2 weeks! His last class for his BA degree is March 24th and then he'll be a college graduate...sort of. The commencement ceremony is not until May 14th, but either way, he's finished with classes!

We decided not to put Alaina in preschool this next school year. I'm going to keep her home with me for one more year and then she'll go to pre-kindergarten in the fall of next year.

Other than that, nothing's really new or different, just the same ol' same ol'

Monday, February 28, 2011

Yep, it's Monday alright

So, as everyone in St. Louis knows, there were tornado sirens going off last night along with a thunderstorm (which I don't like), but despite that, I got my butt out of bed at 7:30 and did my workout. It was tough especially since I ate a TON of food this weekend. Saturday I went to the Working Womens Survival Show with my mom and we had a few samples of things there and then we went to Stefanina's and split a salad, only for me to later go on a date with Pat and eat hot wings and pizza. It was delicious, but I can't help but feel like I failed myself. I am back on track today. I have done my workout 6 days a week for two full weeks. This is the third week of P90x and I am finally able to do regular push-ups (I'd been doing the girly kind). I can't do very many, but it's some progress. After I was finished working out I vacuumed, swept the kitchen floor, and made a healthy breakfast. I decided to go take a shower and the water was ice cold the whole time...brrrrrrrrrr! So far, I have lost 9 pounds in 2 weeks! I find the exercise and diet routine much easier once you completely make up your mind.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Week 2

So today I started week 2 of went pretty well! I got up EARLY (if you can believe that) and got my workout done and out of the way early. I have been doing okay with the diet so far but last night I was craving some major chocolate, so I ended up eating a blue bunny fudge bar and it was soooooo good (and only 90 calories). Today's workout was Core Synergistics....I thought I was going to pass out when I did it last week, but surprisingly, this week I was able to do a little more and didn't feel as near to death! I even did yoga last Thursday (even though it's the one I like the least) and surprised myself with how much I was able to do. Hopefully I start to see some more changes as I go. I want to be able to do all of the workouts on all of the videos. One of the exercises today was the prison cell push-ups...I still have such a hard time doing those and the Dreya Roll. I will get there though. I'm happy with the progress I'm making so far! The picture really has nothing to do with this blog except that we went to the park last week when it was super nice out and I LOVED this picture of the kids...I wanted to share.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Slowly but Surely

So, today is day 4 of working out and it's my LEAST favorite It is 90 minutes of INTENSE yoga moves and at the end it has "yoga belly" to work out the abs. I'm not looking forward to doing this but I'm looking forward to the results it will produce. So far, I've been sticking to the diet...well other than on my birthday. Alaina and I went out for lunch and I ate chicken fingers and fries...although I didn't get the ice cream that I really wanted to eat, so that's progress! I've been trying to eat at least one salad everyday with two snacks, a healthy breakfast and a small but healthy dinner. I am not doing this for me, but for Christ who lives in me and is represented through me!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'm at it again

So I started exercising and dieting this week (as in yesterday). I figured it's a good time because yesterday was the 14th and Pat and I graduate in exactly 3 months!!! I also figured since he gave me a wii fit for my birthday that he's tired of me being fat ;o) So, now that I have realized my motivation for losing this weight and toning my body, trying to eat better and all that good stuff, maybe I'll actually stick to it this time. It's so easy to get busy and lose sight of the goal, but my body is not my own, it's on loan from God and I realize that I haven't taken care of it. "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's" 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. This verse has been sticking out to me and I've memorized it. In the actual context it is talking about sexual immorality but it works for keeping your body fit, too. Pat and I were watching Scrubs not too long ago and something that was said on there and I've heard a thousand times is "nothing worth having comes easy". Getting out of bed to work out is not my idea of fun, but something has to be sacraficed if I want to have a more toned (and less fat) body. I am 2 years (from today) away from being 30 and I've heard that once you hit 30 it is even harder to lose weight. My goal is to lose 50-65 pounds in 2 years. I am making smaller achievable goals within those two years to try to make my goal more attainable. So far, so good, both diet and exercising has been going great.

Monday, February 14, 2011

our weekend

So, this weekend was fun...well Friday Pat was home sick so that wasn't very fun, but then Saturday we actually got out of bed early and got all of our errands finished by about 10am. We then just hung out as a family, and later met up with Pat's dad and step-mom and they kept Declan overnight. Since we just had Alaina, we decided to take her ice was a blast. In a total of about 45 minutes we made it around the rink MAYBE 4 times, but she had lots of fun. After that, we came home and went to bed and Sunday we went to church, then I served in the nursery and then we went to lunch for my birthday and went to Pat's aunt and uncles for his grandpa's 81st birthday. It was a busy day on Sunday but still fun. Then I got a wake up call at 4 am to Declan throwing up in the bathroom. So I got up and got his bed all cleaned up while my wonderful hubby got up and took care of Declan. Luckily it wasn't the flu, it was just drainage from his cold that he's had. Oh and Pat and the kids gave me my birthday present early...Wii fit plus! They're so sweet!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


For those of you that have not yet heard, I did not get the position that I interviewed for. I am still excited though because this just means that God has something else in store for us. Not only that, but I get another year with Declan in Kindergarten that I get to spend hanging out with Alaina and having some more one on one time with her. I would have been very happy to get the position, but I'm also happy that I am able to stay home a little longer with my kids.

On another note, I am going to continue to pursue my photography business. So don't forget, for every person you refer, you get $10 off your next session, refer 10 friends or more and you get a free session!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Perfect Day

Today was the perfect day for the kids to play out in the snow. It got up in the 40's, the wind wasn't strong, and I got to shovel the driveway and the walkway. They got to run around and get out all their energy, we purposely skipped nap time today so that they would crash tonight and it was VERY successful!!! Other than waking up to another inch of snow on the ground, it was a good day. Apparently we're supposed to get more snow tomorrow, Monday, and Wednesday. I love winter, but I'm ready for spring. So, with all the snow we have received lately, the plows have been coming through the subdivision frequently and pushed all the snow into the yards as best as possible, but apparently it wasn't good enough for the mail person. We haven't been receiving our mail because he/she can't get to our mailbox, so I guess we'll have to make daily trips to the post office (which I don't even know where it is in Wentzville).

On another note, I just realized that I have a midterm on my birthday next week and a regular exam on Valentines day...BOO! Oh well, such is life, not too much longer though!!!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Possibilities

I applied for a position and have gone through two sets of questionnaires and I have a phone interview on Saturday at 3:00. I am super excited about this position but I am extremely nervous about the interview. Any prayers would be greatly appreciated! Not only would this job be perfect for my type of personality, but it would be a great place to work as well as people to work for!

On another note, Pat is so close to finishing his BA!!!! I couldn't be more proud of him. He has done such an amazing job with school, family, work, and everything else life has thrown our way. He is my hero! He graduates in May with his BA and will possibly be going for his MBA immediately afterwards. He is still undecided on that.
I finish in June and I am SOOO happy! I feel like these last few years we have accomplished so much, but we couldn't have done it without God by our side! I have learned so much and feel like I have grown so much spiritually and mentally. I can't wait to see what God has in store for us this upcoming year. I am so excited!!!

Declan's head is looking worse (it's a HUGE blue bruise now) but the swelling has gone down so there is no longer a bump on his forhead. He's such a trooper. He told me that he was "very brave" for letting the nurse put an ice pack on his head :o) We are signing him up to play t-ball this spring/summer. A friend of ours is going to coach the team and Cohen (their son) will be on the team with Declan. He seems excited about it now, but we'll see. He still talks about wanting to do gymnastics, which he loved, but there aren't too many places out by us that offer that. Anyway, that's our life at the moment!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Today it happened

While out shopping, I got a phone call from Declan's school saying that he had an accident. At first I thought they meant in his pants, but they didn't. He was running into the bathroom and ran smack into another kid's head. He has a HUGE goose egg on his head, poor guy. They said he cried and they put some ice on it, they also had their nurse look at it. His teacher said that this looks good compared to what it looked like when it first happened. Here are some pictures of his first school related injury :(

Friday, January 7, 2011

It's that time of year again

It's the new year, once again, and even though I am a little behind I feel the need to list my 2011 goals. So here they are for your viewing pleasure...I know you're all just dying to know what they are:

* I want to give more to people that are in need whether it be financial, time, or material things

* I want to tithe 3% more than we did last year

* I want to lose 30-50 pounds this year

* Once I graduate I am going to put ALOT more effort into my photography business

* I want to go on a vacation with my family

* I want to go visit my brother and sister in law in CA

I know it seems pretty typical, but I am one of those people that always makes the resolutions and never seems to be able to stick to them. So far this year, we have been able to bless 3 different families in need with clothing for their children and I've lost about 3 pounds since the end of December. So far, so good. I will try to keep updating as much as I can remember to do so. I hope you all have a blessed new year, I anxiously await to see what God has in store for us this year!