The Book Obsession


It is a constant war within myself to say whether I feel it's good or bad that I love to read. Not going to expound on that here. Just making the statement. To keep it real.

And I originally started this post in hopes of finally getting myself to post the list of books on our home shelf here. I like to call it our mini-library. I mean, we're growing closer to having 400 books. We need to stop purchasing books.

Anyway, my point is as I was starting to type it out, because for the computer to simply allow me to copy and paste it from the excel file I have (yes, of every book we own, minus children's titles, with author and series and genre...beginning to see the obsession yet?), when I realized just how tedious of a task I have ahead of me. And so, it may really be a while before the process ever is complete.


I knew I was obessessed. But that obsessed. Well...let's just say my eyes were open a bit to how much I'm attached to my books...


Spinning in My Head

So I somewhat feel like I've fallen off the blogosphere. I know it hasn't been that long since I last posted; I've had longer between posts before. And strangely enough, I miss it, but I don't.

I love using it as a way to help keep family and friends update on what's going on in our world. And yet, I don't quite feel like there is much worth telling. Or I don't feel like sharing because I'm not so sure anyone would really care (I mean, only the true mom of a child becomes obsessively happy when a new milestone is reached. Read: I'm loving getting Zoë to say the "ph" sound of "f" because she's been trying to say the word fan.) or I somewhat just want to treasure the milestones in my heart or only share them with Ben.

As I'm typing this, I'm realizing what a strange place I'm in these days. Life throws curve balls and God sets desires in the Ben's and my heart. He guides us to the church we're to call home here and ideas begin to roll.

And admist all that is going on around me and the spinning, in oh so good a way, my mind seems to be doing, there are two thoughts that God keeps bringing to the forefront:

1) The verse I am memorizing now is really opening my eyes to how little I actually trust God. I say I trust Him and that I desire to, but if I was completely honest with Him and myself, then really I would be constantly telling Him something along these lines: "Hey, God. I'm trusting you with this part of my life, but this part over here...well, I'm just gonna keep on keeping on with my little self. I'm pretty sure I got it. I mean, I know you want all of me. I'm just thinking if I try on my own I might get a little further or in the direction I want."

And the end result: fear. Almost always irratational. And half the time every time, my plans don't even turn out how I wanted them to. And when you think about it, none of us knows what's going to happen in the next few minutes anyway. Even scripture tells us that much in Proverbs 19:21 (NIV): "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."

So anyway, let me remind you of the verse I've been chewing on for the past week and a half:

1 John 4:18 (NASB)
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love."

I'm not quite sure how to put into words the many ways God is using this verse to speak to my heart, but I thought I would share it. (Side note: I love how scripture never gets old. It may has been known to make me extremely angry or sad at times and want to throw the Bible across the room, but the truth has that affect at times. And even despite the strong emotions reading it brings, it still never gets old.)

2) So last week was Missions Week at our church. I have to say I love that our church, which is a bible church (aka nondenominational), puts such an emphasis on spreading God's word. Here in Houston. In other parts of the US. Overseas in Europe. In Canada. In remote places that aren't typically heard of, at least for me.

They brought in a speaker to give the sermon Sunday morning, Dr. George Murray, Chancellor of CIU. He also spoke at the banquet they had that evening.

Let me just say, that man is gifted as a speaker! And I do believe God definitely gave him his words to speak for both the sermon and banquet. But what's been on my mind is the very beginning of his speech for that evening. He put up two phrases on the screen which both are about the same topic, but because of some changes in word placement, are two very different frames of mind regarding God's command to Christians to spread the Good News of Christ's death and resurrection (the Great Commission):

"I am willing to go, but planning to stay."

"I am planning to go, but willing to stay."

Do you see the difference? Is it just me, or does this not get your head spinning?

And what's more, God has really had me wrestling with the thought of those who will be eternally separated from Him and will have never heard. And funny enough, Dr. Murray actually told a story about someone he had led to Christ who had that very same struggle.

I just don't think it's coincidence.

What that means for my life and Ben's, I'm not sure, because ultimately I must follow my husbands lead. But what I do know is I can pray fervently that God will show Ben where He wants us to be, where He can use us best, how we can always be active in helping spread the good news. And that Ben will be sensitive to the guiding of the Holy Spirit. What I find crazy in all this is Ben has always had but has found even more pressing lately a heart for the unreached.

God is stirring the waters over here. In a good, uncomfortable kind of way.

I don't ever want to be the first statement. Ever.

(Though I'm done hashing out my thoughts, I want to leave this remark: I don't know who does and doesn't read my blog. I know at this time it doesn't seem to reach many people, but I also don't know what everyone who reads believes. If you don't know who Jesus is or you want to know more about him, please feel free to comment (make sure you are NOT a NO REPLY BLOGGER. Here is a good tutorial by Pink Heels Pink Truck. You have to scroll down to #3, but it is succinct :) ) or e-mail me at 


I'd be more than happy to converse with you via internet about it!)


Verse #4

I'm a couple of days late here. Seems to be the theme of my life with all these guests coming and going from my humble abode.

I wanted to share with you the fourth verse in my journey of 24 for 2013. As of right now, I don't have much to say about it other than I know I need the reminder. God just laid it on my heart this morning so it's an oldie but completely fresh at the moment.

1 John 4:18 NASB
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involved punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love."

SSMT 2013
Verse 1 & Link to Join In!
Verse 2
Verse 3

This Weekend, I... [v. 3]


Life has been a whirlwind around these parts with guests coming and going over the past 3 weekends. Let me say as much as I love the company, I'm loving having my home back to myself. My hermit-tendancies-self has missed being able to sit in quiet.

I'm pretty sure that my husband's job going haywire last week due to one of his employees quitting hasn't helped the lot. Though let me be clear, I am not complaining about the lengthening of his hours. I don't like it, but it is nothing compared to what we left back in Baton Rouge. I am grateful he has a job that still generally gets him home at a decent time and will not always require weekend hours. I am grateful for him because what we left in Baton Rouge was two jobs with over 60 hours every week. What he has here may occasionally boost him over 60 hours in a week, but it isn't the norm and as such he isn't as sleepy as he used to be. (Let's be honest here, the man could fall asleep anywhere at anytime of the day. Drive me crazy? You betcha! But we've learned to laugh about it. Because he really could fall asleep on concrete if he didn't have something occupying him.)

Anyway, on to...

This weekend, we visited with my mom/Gigi. Let's just say Zoë loves her Gigi. She was cheesing it and laughing. Hugging her. No kisses were given but she wasn't giving me kisses this weekend either.

This weekend, I went shopping with my mom at T.J. Maxx and IKEA. Mom wanted to visit IKEA since she had never been. She wasn't too impressed with it, though there was some stuff she enjoyed. We both had fun at T.J. Maxx and I was thrilled to find a dress for my little sister's wedding. I had ordered a dress from Target, but when I tried it on...well, let's just say it didn't hang on my frame well and looked not so great.

This weekend, I had very few photo ops of my mom with Zoë, but I did capture them playing together. Not the best shot, but still one for keeping the memory.

This weekend, we (re)visited one of the churches we've really liked. It was so nice to actually go to church after having not been for three weeks. (I was sick, then Ben's parents were in town, and then my little sister and her fiancé.) My mom left Sunday morning before church so we were able to go. The great part about it is I've really felt like that church could be our home church here. I hadn't said much to Ben because I wanted both of us to be following the Spirit's leading and I also wanted to be sensitive to following Ben's lead. When we were driving home I was asking him what his thoughts were on our "church search" process. We had a great conversation that ultimately ended in we both felt like God wants us to join that church. YAY! I'm still rejoicing in knowing there is a place God wants us to plug into for equipping and finding areas to serve both in the church and in our community.

This weekend, we decided to apply for a ministry opportunity called ApartmentLife (I'm going to call it AL). We both feel that even if God calls us to long-term, overseas missions at some point, spreading the gospel doesn't need to wait. We heard about AL through the CARES team here at our complex. Though being a CARES team isn't necessary for witnessing and building relaltionships, it is a great opportunity to meet many of the people in our apartment complex that we might not meet otherwise.

That about wraps up our weekend.

Hope everyone has had an enjoyable Monday so far!


One is Around the Corner

And I simply cannot believe it is.

Yesterday I was anxious as I didn't know what to expect of labor and delivery of my first baby. Now, here I am mid-blink and she's 11 months old. I'm pretty sure I'll still not have finished blinking before she is one. Shoot, I've heard they leave for college in the blink of an eye, so maybe I won't have even finished half of the first half of a blink.

Time is sand slipping through my fingers.

Did I make it all I could?

She's just growing so fast. So fast that I'm excited and a little hesitant to type out what her 11th month looked like.

11 Month Stats
  • Somewhere along the road, you were either not weighed properly or lost a little bit of weight between your 9 month appointment and now. We had to take you to the doctor for a persistent rash and because Daddy and I decided to try a different ped (oh and we LOVE him, btw. You liked him. His office has called to check on you. I loved the way he interacted with me, is knowledgable, takes into account what I've noticed and doesn't make me feel stupid. Yeah, we just loved him all the way around!) and found out there you weighed 19 pounds 8 oz. That was two weeks ago. Last week you were up almost a pound. (We had to go for a follow-up visit.)
  • Just this past weekend you went from scooting with a little bit of crawling to full time crawling. You crawl everywhere
  • You love to pull up though you rarely care to make it to your feet. You like to pull up to your knees and start bee bopping. It's SO cute! And what's funny: I'm pretty sure you know it because you frequently accompany your dancing with a cheesy grin.
  • Every now and then you will "cheese" for the camera with the cutest cheesy face I've seen.
  • You're in all 12 month size clothes. Pants are going to be a terror to keep up on you as you're only in the 35th percentile for weight. And of course, you're still in the 75th for height. That's what you were given by your tall daddy and on-the-taller-side mommy.
  • You began clapping your hands on your own this week. It makes the cutest, tiniest little sound. You are so proud of yourself for being able to do so.
  • Whenever Daddy or I say "baby" you attempt to repeat it but it comes out "ba ba".
  • Though technically this should go in next months post I felt I should put it here since you started doing it this past Thursday, and that was only the day after your 11 month birthday: you signed "more" to me. You were asking for more of your toast with peanut butter. SO cute! Oh and you clapped your hands after you got more and fed yourself.
  • Which leads me to: you self feed completely; of course, with the exception of any "runny"/soft foods (ie yogurt, apple sauce, cottage cheese, etc). The last half of a meal is usually spoon or fork fed by whoever is helping/watching you because you lose interest and start throwing your food.
  • You love to throw objects but balls in particular. You will entertain yourself by throwing a ball, crawling to it, and repeating the process until you decide you're bored. You also like when someone will sit with you and roll it back and forth.
  • You are full time into throwing mini temper tantrums. If I pick you up for nap time but you're not quite ready, you will toss? fling? flail your body around in hopes I'll drop you. Thankfully, I haven't dropped you in that instance yet, but the day will likely come. (Also, notice I said "in that instance". You have been dropped when we play because you either have thrown yourself back or tried to move while I'm holding you upside down. You dare devil you!) You make pouty faces like no other and the hardest part: you're A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E. when you make them. I'm always stifling a laugh while you do. Heaven help us if you figure out you're cute while pouting! Oh and I'm not looking forward to when you truly throw a toddler sized temper tantrum. I already know Jesus is slowly preparing this momma for all the grace, peace, and patience she will need in those moments!
  • You finished cutting your sixth tooth. You're still working on 2 and right now your nose won't quit running because of them. You also kept me up all Monday night because the only way you would/could sleep was in the rocker in my arms. I just thanked God I have the ability to do such and soaked up the moments because I know all too soon I won't be able to hold you like that anymore. Here's what I find cute though: you have your very front four top and bottom teeth. The other two teeth are right next to those, but one on the top and one on the bottom right side. You're cutting the other top and bottom teeth to match (so on your left side). Your sideways grin melts my heart!
I attempted to take some pictures of you on your 11 month birthday, but it wasn't so easy. You just love to be everywhere. And you really like to pull anything on your head off. Which means, I can barely keep a bow on there long enough to get a good pic of you with one in. I'm wondering if that will ever change and if that is any indicator of you eventually refusing any really girly clothes. Though you sure do act like a diva at times.

Anyway, here are a couple of pics I thought worthy of posting:
You are such a cutie. The ribbon was the only way to get pics of you.

"Oh my goodness! I'm how old?!"

"Say WHAT?!?!?!"

This is what I fought to keep the bow on you. You LOVED untieing it :)

My lil cutie!

Loves you sweet Zoë girl!

You make an irresistably cute mad temper tantrum face...oh dear!

And this...yes, this is the best shot I was able to get for your "see how I'm growing" photo. :/

Sweet Zoë,

To say a year has passed just seems so unbelievable. I love you more every day and am truly enjoying watching your personality continue to unfold and grow. You bring so much joy to mine and your Daddy's life. I hope that as you grow we are able to show that in a way that lets you know you are truly loved. You are so precious to me! I cannot imagine life without you and am so grateful God has chosen to bless my life with the gift of yours.

Love you forever,



The Weekend...A Little Late


Life over here just seems to be letting me float right along with it. And when I float, I frequently don't sit in front of a computer typing. Though I dream posts up in my head.


...parts of posts :)

But this one, yes, this one has been in my head for several days, so it's got to be wrote.

(Yes, I'm purposefully wrote the last sentence like that. Don't know what got in me, but it did and I'm liking it. So yeah :) )

Anyway, we have had a influx of visitors over the past few weeks. First it was Paw Paw and Honey. Then my mom is coming in to town this tomorrow for the weekend.

But this past weekend, my little sis and her fiancé came to town.

And we had fun :)

They arrived early evening Friday. We sat around and talked. Which with us, always involves good times.

Then Saturday we headed out to George Bush Park. Oh I am in LOVE with that park! It has a wonderful playground for kids. And it is surrounded by acres of land. Seriously. They have a 10 mile hiking/walking trail that extends out into all parts of the city. And the playground is surrounded by open fields which makes for great...

...kite flying weather. (Look at how serious Ben is about that kite flying. My nerd :) )

It didn't turn out to be as sunny as we thought it would be (or warm), but we enjoyed ourselves none the less.

Zoë and Auntie Laura watching the boys work on getting the kite in the air. Make my heart happy.

Zoë was way too distracted to look at the camer...

...the soccer ball was more interesting.

Unfortunately Zoë didn't look as excited as she seemed about going down the slide with Aunt Laura.

She LOVED riding on Uncle Jacob's shoulders while he kicked the soccer ball.

The best I could get of the three of them. She loves her Uncle Jacob & Aunt Laura!

After the park, we decided it'd be fun to try out one of the free art museums in Houston's down town area. However, the Contemporary Art museum was chosen, and Ben didn't realize we didn't know what that would mean. So we were completely unprepared. You guys, my stomach still churns and heart still fills with empathy for the emptiness of it all. It was so so void of purpose. And some of it was straight up gross. I'm pretty sure we left in less than 30 minutes. Some people may not understand, I know my husband didn't leave with the same nausea and heart ache that I did. But I just can't look at stuff like that. 

Saturday evening we went to Fazoli's. It was funny to see Jacob's reaction to it as he had never been before and because Laura had built it up so much, he thought it was going to be a bit different than what it was. Let me give you the back story here: our family used to go to Fazoli's for lunch almost every Sunday. And I say almost because if it wasn't Fazoli's it was Mexican. (We like our carbs people. Don't hate, ok?) Anyway, Fazoli's, for those of you who don't know, is a fast food italian joint with the. best. breadsticks. E.V.E.R! Hands down! And their dishes are decent for fast food. So of course, Laura talked about how great it is. And it is. But how she talked about it made Jacob think we were going to a nice, sit down restaurant. (Similar to Olive Garden or Bravo!.)

Oh how yummy are those breadsticks! And even Zoë, the carb refusing baby, loved them.

Sunday we went to the Houston Children's Museum, which was a lot of fun. I think I had the hardest time enjoying it since I put Zoë in a carrier to put her at eye level with everything I did. I can't wait to go back and try out the Tot zone. Looked like something Zoë will love. However, it was ridiculously crowded so we opted to not go in there. I hope that wherever we live has a great children's museum because I could see myself going with my kids on a regular basis as long as we have one. A healthy, mind-growing, fun activity!

The rest of the day we just enjoyed one another's company. Played scrabble. Just had a good time hanging out. Oh and we consumed a batch of cookie dough. Both in dough and cookie form :)

I'm pretty sure Laura and I stayed up every night until at least midnight talking. It was like the good old days of sharing a room and a bed.

Zoë decided it would be a great time to become a full time crawler while they were here. It was really weird to realize that in the blink of an eye she had pretty much quit scooting and was crawling to everything. 

All in all, we had a wonderful weekend.

The week just came way too fast and Monday night greeted me with a night full of no sleep as Zoë's teeth (at least, that's my guess) bothered her all night despite ibuprofen or tylenol.

And thus, here I am on Wednesday filling you in on our weekend.

Hope your week didn't start off with the bang mine did!


Why, Hello Weekend!


That's how I feel.

This week has been emotionally draining to say the least.


My sister and her fiancé are headed this way to stay for the weekend.


And we're going to have fun. Laugh. Enjoy one another's company. Have a "slumber party" for a couple of days (girls in the bedroom and boys in the living room. Oh, and Ben volunteered to sleep in his sleeping bag on the floor. The boyscout in him lives on!).

Well...that's about all I have in me.

If I had used my good camera I would show you a video of Zoë's new learned "trick": she can clap her hands! And it makes the cutest, tiniest little noise. L.O.V.E! And it literally is new. She did it for the first time this morning. Melt. my. heart. This music loving mama is so proud.

Happy Friday, folks!


Wordless Wednesday [v. 7]

I don't know what I'd do without my little ham :)


Helping Spread the Word

Ok, so I'm currently lacking words for the water I'm about to tread. So I will send you to my bloggy friend Laura. She's written two posts on sex trafficking that I think shed pretty good light on the horror that is a world-wide menace...there isn't a good word for it. It is horrible. Wicked. Corrupt. A complete and utter abuse of human life. You can read her posts here and here.

I was made aware of it when some people I knew started talking about how they knew someone in my home town who had been a victim of it. She was rescued and because she was only in it for such a short time didn't go back.

But the reality is, many women who are victims of that horror go back. It is all they know. And the fear of what might happen if they run wins out to the desire to be free of it.

You should read this newspaper article.

And though I really don't know what else to say, I would urge you to learn more about this. Figure out how you can help, even if it's becoming a voice to begin spreading the word.

I googled "sex trafficking houston". This is what comes up. The newspaper articles are recent you guys. This is not just happening on someone else's home front. And even if it was, we should still raise our voices together. Because human life is made in the image of God. And as such, it is sacred. That which is sacred should not be treated this way.

The End It Movement is trying to collaborate to raise awareness, unite voices, and help organizations that are in action to stop this.

Please, don't turn a blind eye to this. Help is needed. You could be that voice.


This Weekend, I [v. 2]

Linking up with the lovely Sar for another wonderful

This weekend, I made sure our home was ready to welcome our first visitors: my in-laws (aka Paw Paw and Honey or Curt and Debbie) :) What was really nice was pest control even came (of course, I did request it considering I've seen way too many roaches over the past week, dead or alive) and sprayed EVERY room. I'm really hoping the roaches pack there bags and hit the road.

This weekend, I enjoyed watching Zoë interact with people, aside from myself or Ben, on a consistent basis. It was cute to see how she interacted with Curt and Debbie differently.

This weekend, I was blessed by their generosity on multiple levels. Though I didn't take a picture, they wanted to give us a house warming gift. Originally, they wanted to give us a nice BBQ pit. (Ben tells me it's called an ol' smokey.) You know, the kind you can smoke meat in and make it oh so yummy? BUT, the problem there is we're not supposed to grill on our patio. And there was absolutely no way on earth I would let Ben lug a previously used pit through the entire apartment so he could cook. Nope. And really, we're not in need of anything else. Except a toy box. So we went to IKEA. Found what we liked. And have a "toy box" that can morph into any use we pretty much want it for as Zoë and any subsequent children we might have grow older.  Here's a factory image:

I love it because it's not your typical "plastic frame, kid print, hinged lid" toy box. The frame of it is a bench. And then the front of it is connected to a rolling drawer that isn't attached to the bench. So if I ever need to, I can roll the drawer out rather easily. And it has ample of storage space. A huge blessing to my organizing loving heart!

This weekend, we spent the day at the Zoo. It was a lot of fun getting to see all the animals enjoy the gorgeous weather and allowed for some good quality time and exercise. (Curt wears a pedometer and it told him we walked 3.2 miles at the Zoo. Fun while you exercise.) Here's a couple of pictures I snapped while we were there:

Love Sea Turtles! This guy was loving sitting in the stream of water from part of the tank.

Zoë with her Paw Paw and Honey at the front of the Zoo

This guy was cracking us up

He kept trying to drink water pouring out of a pipe in the wall

Sea Lions are so cool :)

Ever seen a Shoe Bill Stork?

Enjoying themselves some rays

Sunbathing Otter. SO cute! 

Even the Ring Tailed Lemurs were sun bathing. See how the one of the left has its arms open? Maybe you had to be there but these two kept trading places for who was posed like that. So funny.

This belonged to the Ring Tailed Lemurs Exhibit. Curt said, and I quote, "This is evidence that the Ring Tailed Lemurs are related to man." Oh brother! HA!

This little monkey tuckered out in her stroller :) So sweet. Always makes me wanna snuggle up with her!

May I say cute?

Baby loving on his mama :)

I'm gonna take him home one day. The Swift Fox. So tiny and cute!

Got horns?

This weekend, I was gifted a date night out with the hubs. We went to a movie, which I think has been a long time in the making. Unfortunately, The Hobbit and Les Miserables were both only playing way too early for us to see. BUT, we did catch Silver Lining Playbook. So. Good. I would have to watch it again to make sure I wasn't just enjoying it because its been a few months since I've stepped into a theater, but from the one viewing, I'm pretty sure it's worth owning. 

This weekend, I tryed to snap a couple pics of Zoë with her Paw Paw and Honey each. I captured a pretty funny one of Curt with Zoë:

We laughed when we looked at it on the camera. I'm still laughing at it just looking at it.

Here is a better pic:

And Zoë with Debbie (I wasn't able to capture one with both looking at the camera. Zoë just didn't oblige.):

And that about wraps up our weekend. This week I'm hoping to get out and find my bridesmaid dress for my lil sis' wedding, continuing to work on my study and actually get to go this week (I missed this past week so I could take the little one to have a rash checked out) :(, and possibly even just driving to learn this tiny ginormous city a little bit more. Well, at least my side of it.

And I'm looking forward to next weekend because my lil and her fiancé are supposed to be coming in town! Yippee!!

How was your weekend?


SSMT Verse #3

Hebrews 12:1-2 NASB
"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumberance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

SSMT 2013