Saturday, July 30, 2011

The NAMES They Are A-Changin'


our son...

O'Ryan Jacob!

That's right. The name "Orien" is no more. It's bittersweet to me. But after months of thought and discussion Brett and I decided we wanted to change the spelling of his name. (Just for the record this is how I originally wanted to spell it!! But I let Brett win that battle several years ago. Love ya B!)

Say goodbye to people pronouncing his name like:

and my fav...

Even after they've known him his whole life or have been told how to say it!
*we actually find this funny but also a bit bothersome :)

Now if we can just get people to say our last name correctly.

Now, say HELLO to my LITTLE FRIEND...

O'Ryan :)

**We haven't officially changed his name but are in the process of doing so

Thursday, July 28, 2011

OWLS - Craft

This has got to be the easiest craft ever. We did it this afternoon in about 30 minutes. Correction. Mommy did it. Orien lasted about 10 minutes. But what can you expect from a two year old boy?

1. Cut paper towel roll in half. Or just use a toilet paper roll if you have one. 

2. Paint the rolls. As you can see Orien doing it above SO beautifully.

See? Paint.

3. Set aside painted rolls to dry.

4. Cut paper into small triangles for the noses. 

Except don't give your toddler scissors. 

Pretty triangles.

5. When they are dry fold in both sides of the top of the roll with your thumb.

6. We used a silver marker to draw eyes, but ideally you would use glue-on googly eyes. We didn't have any.

7. Cut wings out of construction paper and glue onto both sides of the owl.

8. And ta-da! Mini owls for your kids to play with!

*I credit this post to this blog, who created this craft. I found this idea on Pinterest!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Reset Your Bar

After attending my church's summer women nights, this is what I've concluded about friendships...

God spent a lot of time discussing friendships on purpose. He knows it is not an easy thing - to maintain a healthy, positive relationship with those we love. Thankfully there's this pretty cool little book called The Bible. And it is the answer to a full-filled and JOYful life! :)

When you develop a close friendship with someone, you take a risk by opening the door to your vulnerabilities. Like Tanya (study leader) said, "Vulnerability begets vulnerability." It's how you create an authentic friendship. 

Now this is tough for me... You're true friends have the permission to ask you: Where's God in this? What are you going to do? How's that all working for you? God says our friends need to be the ones who boldly ask us tough questions even in the midst of our painful times. Too many of us (me) simply say what you want the person to hear. That's just a temporary band-aid and does no real good for your friend. 

Something else I struggle with in friendships is being a bit too open and vulnerable too quickly. I enjoy being an open book. But God says to "watch over your heart with all diligence; for from it flow the springs of life." Proverbs 4:23

It's okay to not be so open and close to certain people. You don't want to dive head-first into a relationship if you don't truly know the heart of that person. 

Another verse to live by is this:
"Do not let KINDNESS and TRUTH leave you;
bind them around your neck, 
write them on the tablet of your heart."
Proverbs 3:3

Let kindness and truth become who you are. You will reap rewards if you do! I find this topic a definite challenge but it is all SO true and profound.

And yet another thing I find difficult is to be a fighter not a flighter. 


I don't want controversy. I want people to like me :)

But that's not what God wants for us. He wants us to speak truth and kindness to those who need to hear it. We mustn't turn away from speaking what needs to be said. God challenges us to call our friends to a higher level. 

The Bible always resets the bar.

And finally... I wrap this post up with an amazing verse to live by. 

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." Ephesians 4:31-32

Can you imagine if we all did this?????


I leave you with this picture. 

Remember: life can be heavy but ALWAYS LAUGH!!!!

Like I did when I saw this! HA!!

* I credit a lot of this to Tanya Whitaker, my fav bible study leader!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Train of Thought

It feels soooo good that I'm slowly getting organized. In the past few months I have organized countless drawers, closets, cabinets and shelves in our house. Today I made a recipe and coupon binder. I also am making it a priority to do weekly meal plans. This week: Italian chicken, chili dogs, pork chops and pesto pizza! Before I know it summer will be gone. Orien starts school in a month! We have made tons of great memories already this summer. It will be bittersweet when he begins going to school 4 days a week! What a change that will be. Yesterday we went to the Houston Dog Show. I swear I could've stayed for hours and hours. Thanks Brett for putting up with my obsession with dogs and high-pitched squeals the entire time! Orien and I stopped to pet every dog. We were totally in heaven! This week my mom and I are going to the Studio Movie Grill in town. I bought a Groupon and need to use it! I'm hoping to see Horrible Bosses. One-on-one time with my mom is the best. It's rarer these days, so I soak it up when I can. I learned at bible study last week that each person has 3 - 5 "kindred spirits" or "soul mates" in their life time. My mom is DEFINITELY one of mine :) Ya know what made my day this morning? One of the childcare ladies at the Y whispered as we left "He's one of our favorites!" Good. So it's not just me then. My child totally rocks!!!

Fab 5!

My Fab 5 Moments
from last week:

1. RPC Women's Night with friends! Tanya is talking about friendships in adulthood. 

2. Body Combat class at the Y. I tried this class for the first time and loved it. It works out every part of the body. I was SO sore the next day.

3. Swimming with friends on Saturday and eating chili dogs :)

4. Just us three went out to eat after church Saturday. I was able to eat a Roadhouse roll!!!!! 

5. We hosted Home Team Sunday here. We had a great discussion on a controversial topic. The kids decorated cupcakes and then we all went to get snoballs. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

In The Kitchen

Lately I have been oddly motivated to try new recipes and get myself in the kitchen more. Cooking has never been my thing. I feel uncomfortable when cooking, especially when trying new dishes. I actually get anxious! Crazy. Actually, not that crazy, for me :)

But I have made a goal for myself...try a new recipe (main or side dish) once every 2 weeks. I've succeeded so far! Last week I made bacon-wrapped green beans, homemade chili and lasagna from scratch! And it all passed the taste test :)

It's soooo nice to be back home and have a weekend with nothing planned. And by nothing planned I really mean: swimming with friends, church, carnival, dog show and home team :) 

We are REALLY loving being at home.

Every day is still a struggle with my anxiety. I physically feel it off and on and it wears. me. out. Good news: Monday (hopefully) will be the end of health issues for me. And pain!!! I get my new mouth guard. I cannot express just how exhausted I am from this ongoing pain. I am so ready to move on from this. Anyway, I think when I don't have to battle pain on a daily basis, my anxiety will decrease a bit. I am hitting the gym 4x/week, which helps a lot. Also, I have for force myself (why? who knows) to relax more when Orien naps. I am so programmed to GO GO GO that I don't naturally think 'Hm, I should sit down and read or jump in the pool or (OMG) take a nap!' So I'm working on that one currently...
as you can see here...

Brett and I went on a date last week with Aaron & Andy. We make it a priority to go on a date twice a month and it works WONDERS for us. Even if we don't have much to talk about :) It's simply refreshing to just sit and eat. I am incredibly thankful for our family and friends who regularly babysit for us. You are SOOOO appreciated!

Orien's first time to decorate cupcakes.

He was so excited when he woke up to all of this he could barely get a sentence out, lol.

In case you're skeptical whether Orien is really Brett's son or not...

Here's proof. 

Orien HATES getting messy. It took him 30 minutes to finally pick up the cupcake and eat it. Even then he kept asking 'Mommy clean me please?'

Friday, July 22, 2011

Gift Basket

I put together a little gift basket for our friend who gave Orien free swim lessons this summer. Themed baskets are one of my favorite gifts to make and give.

What I Used:
  • green basket
  • glue gun
  • 2 scented candles
  • bow
  • shredded green paper
  • 2 skewers
  • roll of varied ribbons
  • heart stickers
  • 2 chap sticks
  • cardboard

Peeled off original label...

And hot glue gunned ribbon around it instead. I added a sticker at the seam.

I (Orien, actually) found some spare cardboard on a shelf at Target and I grabbed it knowing I could use it to stick the skewers in!

Added the green paper and used the empty candle box as a "lift" for setting up the gift basket.

The candle box gave the gift basket a more layered look.

Taped the skewers onto the gift cards.

Glued the bow onto the front and added a sticker.

I'm a HUGE lover of chap stick. I seem to give people this a lot when making baskets :) I taped them together and added the ribbon for decoration.

Set everything in...

And TA-DA!!

It's a simple, yet thoughtful gift. 

And so easy anyone can try it!

* Materials were all purchased at Target

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

This & That

We've been out of town a lot so I'm behind on posting! Here's a little of this & that about our lives lately:

* Orien and I enjoyed a FULL 10 days at the lakehouse last week

* I'm officially not gluten-free anymore; found out I'm allergic to soy!

* We had a great home team meeting Sunday and also hung out with the ladies this morning. I feel blessed to have a good group of women to grow in faith with.

* Attended River Pointe's Women's Night yesterday and learned SO much about friendships

* I'm currently reading A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard, the girl who was kidnapped and held captive for 18 years. It's very interesting but difficult to read.

* Friday I'm having moms from my playgroup over to swim again! Should be a blast like last time.

* My goal for the next few months is to try out a new recipe every 2 weeks. Now that I don't have to cook GF, I'm very motivated!

* I'm struggling with the balance of working out and play time. I want to be in shape but going to the Y really cuts into our summer playdates, etc. 

* This Fall I'm looking forward to so many things at our church. One of those is a women's bible study lead my Tanya - my fav!

* Eric is playing in the Texas All-Star Football game this weekend. I can't wait to see how he plays.

* Speaking of football... Orien's throwing and catching skills are improving even more lately. He throws a mean spiral. Can someone vouch for me? Orien is a stud when it comes to sports. Always has been.

* I've been thinking about getting baptized for over a year now. I think I'm ready, finally.

* While waiting to pick up prescriptions at CVS today, I had the opportunity to share our testimony about Brett's cancer to a pharmacists. It just made my day!

* We hopefully will get accepted by the Texas Risk Pool soon. That way we can stop paying $200/prescription and doctor visit.

* Brett & I are trying out Houston's new Studio Movie Grill in town. Can't wait for a double date with one of our favorite couples - The Boeses'. 

* My head and jaw pain should be gone soon!!!! I get my NEW mouth guard next Monday. Praise God!

* I definitely have things I could do right now while Orien sleeps, but guess what? I'm going to lay down and get rid of this headache! So HA! :)

Talk to y'all later!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Favorite Things

My favorite things from last month...

Pamela's Gluten-Free pancake & waffle mix
I use this all the time and people rarely notice any difference! When I'm down about not being able to eat wheat and carbs this little yellow package makes me veryyyy happy.

Blue Moose Medallion
My Mom's medallion she designed for their new house! It looks better and clearer in person. It has the Tetons, a moose and the "Sleeping Indian" in the medallion. This is in the entrance of the house.

Sale items from Pottery Barn 
I LOVE this candle holder.

Too Faced Eye Shadows
This is probably my FAV thing from this past month. Too Faced Natural Eye eyeshadow. I LOVE it. It's $35 and you get NINE shadows! The texture is awesome. It goes on so smooth and stays bright all day. I've had so many compliments on it. You can get it at Sephora.

Nivea Chapstick
I'm definitely a chapstick addict. But during the summer I use it even more. My favs are Nivea's line. The pink one adds some shimmer too :)

Turquoise Jewlrey
Y'all know I loooove turquoise!!! It's the aboslute BEST color in my opinion. And the gold and turquiose combo is awesome. These are both from Francesa's - an afordable, cute boutique in First Colony Mall.

I bow down to you Sprinkles for making a mouth-watering red velvet GF cupcake. Thank you thank you thank you!

Igloo Cooler Bag
OMG. LOVE this!!!!! I got this cooler bag from HEB for $11. Great price. It's located on the seasonal isle. We use this almost daily for when we are out and about. I usually have to carry my own (GF) food around because eating out doesn't really cater to my diet. Orien also is picky about restaurant food so this bag comes in VERY handy! I also use it for non-food items.

I really need to do an entire post on this because I am OBSESSED with this new site. Check it out. I found this cute idea above on Pinterest.

My lovely little Keurig. 
Best Christmas gift ever babe! This is especially helpful during the days when we're in a rush and on the go (every day). I love love love it. SO worth the $$.

Wooden paintings from Newport Beach, CA 
This is SO our style. Brett and I always agree on things to decorate our house. Just one of the things I love about him. We're thinking these will go in the playroom, which is a beachy theme.