Noah’s 1/2 Birthday & Family Photos

carcache-32Our sweet Boy has reached the 6 month mark you guys! That means 1/2 birthday! This means that after this he will almost be a teenage baby! This boy has kept us on our toes. He is the most sweetest baby and always has a smile on his face… literally melts our hearts. He’s at a point where so many changes are taking place and his little personality is starting to make an appearance. I anticipate a strong-willed little guy  but with the kindest heart in our future. He loves his momma and daddy and has started to reach out his little arms for us to pick him up. He loves his skip and hop play table and loves putting all toys and mostly everything in his mouth! lol Maybe teething? But at the moment no teeth in site! He rolls over like a pro but can’t take the heat lol aka, he gets frustrated and lazy when it comes to “trying” to go on all fours to explore the crawling position. We’ll let him lead the way on that one and see when this big little fella wants to start making us chase him around.  Oh and Food… well not his favorite just yet! Lets just say there’s been a whole lot of gagging in the works haha! But he does seem to like avocados like his mama. He’s at 95%tile for both weight and height so no concern there just yet. And although he’s an amazing baby and can pretty much adjust anywhere (beside his car seat, lol) he’s also not a great sleeper. Lets just say this is the area that has ‘kept us on our toes’ or what I should  really say,   ‘barely’ on our toes from how sleep deprived we are. All I know is, he’s lucky he is cute… we will take all the advice we can get on that one! Any tips to get him to sleep better?? help a mama and dad out. He also loves Mickey mouse and his eyes open wide when that little mouse is in sight! Bath time is his favorite followed by a game of papa chases mom and Noah around the house. I know someday these will be my favorite memories, maybe minus the sleep deprivation..

But in all seriousness, we have learned so much from him and although real life has been an adjustment. He really has challenged us.. he has made us aware of how little sleep an individual can run on, while at the same time, teaching us how much someone can also love. Because people, THIS IS REAL LOVE. It’s not always hearts and rainbows because I don’t care how perfect a picture can seem, real life can be hard with a baby. And although we know this is our first, and this is all new to us, were trying our hardest. Challenges have presented themselves, but we have learned to lean on patience and show each other grace. We’re not a perfect family but were trying to live it out to the best of our ability. Even though, there are days we may fail, this is OUR family and to us its OUR perfect little family. Noah these past 6 months has brought and taught us the real meaning of unconditional love, and I have never felt more blessed or grateful to God for trusting us to be his parents. In the midst of all the struggles we may face, while adjusting to this little guy, I hope to always focus on enjoying the process of HIM, because he’s only little once and these will be memories that last a lifetime for us as parents. It’s easy to be overwhelmed when you feel like so much is going on. But, all those feelings placed to the side don’t compare or surpass the feeling I have in my heart, body and soul for this precious boy. He’s taught us more about life and its meaning these past 6 months then we ever thought or thought we knew before. He’s our greatest adventure, the most rewarding and the biggest blessing.

And even though, I may talk about struggles and adjustment, I just want to keep these emotions and feelings as raw as possible for our memories and for my readers and fellow parents out there. Because although, our lives may seem perfect in all these tiny IG stories and pictures or Facebook  that everyone posts’ or even on my blog and my pages, LIFE IS REAL. Life isn’t perfect for anyone and sharing with you all that we’ve encountered struggles in adjusting and our sleep deprivation, it’s all real and we know were not alone. And in the midst of it all, no matter how big or small are struggles are, our life has been fulfilled with a greater purpose and were so incredibly blessed to be where we are as parents, as husband and wife and as a family of three in our journey right now.   We will always remember these days….

Our friend and photographer Beca @ Becacphotography  who pretty much  has documented all our big milestones with her camera, captured these amazing photographs for us as a family and our little Noah at 6 months! Life may not be perfect always, but these Photographs are PERFECT!  We may not have it together all the time, but together is my favorite place to be with these boys, and with all these good feelings! I hope that our love can be seen through these photos in our smiles and faces! Because there’s sooo much of it surrounding us and were so incredibly blessed. Looking back at these one day will be so amazing.

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Love you NOAH ❤

 

OVERWHELMED WITH THE LOVE OF FAMILY

I am overwhelmed with family love….a good kind of overwhelmed though, the kind that makes you smile. The past couple months, I have realized how much our family has grown and how much we have matured. Family isn’t always all smiles and cheer like seen in most photographs. Family is also about hardships, disagreements, loss and failures. But family is also about Love, forgiveness, grace and humility…these all can surpass any of those not so good qualities. It’s a good reflection of what God is to us, because he too, is our family..and love and forgiveness can overcome a lot. My family, like many others have had their ups and downs.. The downs being quite low. But these past couple of months I have seen how much we have grown. How amazing it is to forgive and let go…and how ahead it puts us in any relationship. We still have room for improvement, we still bicker and disagree at times, but we wouldn’t be human if we did not. I guess we are realizing that all we got at times is each-other. That it’s better to be at peace with each other than to be in any silly little disagreement. We are learning to let things go.

The past couple of months we have made it a priority to speak more and be more involved in each others days and lives. It wasn’t a talked thing but I think we’ve all realized how nice it is to be involved in each others lives. With my brothers this is a prime example. We have leaned on each other for help without expecting anything in return. My brother joe lend himself to us during our engagement party a couple of months back and it meant so much to us because he did it out of his own will and want. Thank you joe!

With my brother Chris it’s been special.. We have gone through a lot together… But we are learning to lean on each other when in need and when we want to share good things and that makes me so happy. We have talks with meaning and purpose, and we learned to listen to each other. Most importantly, I think we realized we have each other at the end of the day, no matter the circumstance. It’s been so nice to spend time with him on days off and share moments and build memories with him and his girlfriend Alexis, Xavier and I. The sweetness of it all is that we have come to see we are not just brothers and sisters, we are each others friends as well.

With my parents the relationships have also changed, and I think it has to do a lot with our age. Once we were kids, stubborn and thought we knew it all, yet they always had our best interest at hand and heart. We are growing and one thing I have learned now that I’m older is the unconditional love they give me, even when they disagree. We have had many uneasy moments in the past, but God has been good and we have overcome them all. Our relationship is stronger than ever, they are my best friends. They care for my heart more than any other physical human being and for that I am grateful.

My sister we all know is one that is dear to my heart, and I think she’s a reminder to our whole family of the joy we can find in the little things. She’s also a quick reminder of how different we all are and how differently we all have grown up. She brings us smiles and laughs only a child can and sends us “I love you’s and I miss you’s ‘” when we need them the most. While she may be strong-minded, she reminds me of how important it is to stand our ground, yet love with all our hearts.

The love recently has been one that even though we don’t talk about it on a daily basis and maybe my parents nor my brothers and sisters see. As I sat back to think and just take all the struggles we have gone through and all the memories in the past we hold dear to, they all just seemed to amaze me. We are growing as a family, and I really think it’s for the best. One thing I am so thankful for is that we all are here and live close to each other and that even though we don’t live under the same roof, were only a phone call away or a 10 min drive away. I’ve learned that while we are not a perfect family, we ARE a family and that’s good for me.

We have more family members being added like my fiancé Xavier and my brothers girlfriend and its so lovely to see how much we are a part of each others lives thus far. I know we have more to learn from each other and more to experience together, but so far its makes my heart warm. My family as whole is growing, and though some are far away, or I haven’t talked to in a while, I love them all because Ive learned something from each and every one of them. Today you were all in my thoughts, and today I am grateful for all those I call my family.

Jen<3

LIFE LATELY

 Life lately has been busy.. But things are starting to settle down a little more. Of course there’s the busy days and the less busy days, but so far so good! Life lately has been full. Full of busy schedules, work, errands, wedding planning, moving out, moving in… It’s been full of emotions, cries, laughter, family and friends, but most importantly love. The love for each and everything we must do has kept us going. Love for what we do, our surroundings, our family and most importantly eachother. And to be honest, I am grateful for all the fullness, because if it wasn’t full we wouldn’t be complete. Life lately is a constant reminder to appreciate all we had, have and will have. 

About two weeks ago, we made our biggest sacrifice thus far as a couple. We are staying with my parents in order to get a little break and save up for our wedding 6months from now and for our future home. It was a decision that I prayed because I knew it would be an adjustment not only for me again but for my fiancé. So far so good. We have learned to appreciate all we have been able to do thus far and what we had. But it’s also been a blessing to be sharing with my parents as well. They’ve been through a lot and are hard working individuals whom we learn something from each day. Family time has been my biggest happiness. Being able to spend more time with my parents, brothers and little sister has been truly special. My sister and I share a special bond being so far apart in age, and it’s been a whirl of fun watching how she grows each day not just in height but her personality. She keeps us on our toes, but she also brings the light back to us in the humility only a child holds. To say the least, it’s been special. Some sacrifice with  loosing our personal and private place, but mostly joy behind a move that is only making us learn more from eachother as family. 

Work has been busy, overtime is in full effect to save up for this wedding coming up!  We are tired most days. But trying to make the best of our days off. While we mostly try to get some extra sleep in, we squeeze some errand time, family time and some much needed date nights just for Xavier and I. It’s important for us to find balance. And while at times I feel like work is consuming us more little by little whether it be physically or mentally, it’s a constant reminder of finding our balance and to be grateful that God has provided us with a job and most importantly our health. We know he will guide our way and we will be okay.

The LORD demands accurate scales and balances; he sets the standards for fairness. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭16‬:‭11‬ NLT)

Nursing week just passed and I just want to mention how terribly grateful I am to work with the group of nurses I work with. To be flat out honest. They kick butt!!! I am honestly part of an amazing group of nurses. We all have our strengths and weakeness, but from that comes the biggest lessons because we get to learn from eachother. I have to be honest by saying that there are three individuals that I am so lucky to call my work partners, my friends and most importantly my family. They are my girls. We are a group of girls that were meant to meet. I have learned so much from them, not just nursing but about life, love, patience, kindness and about having a giving heart. They have my back and I have theirs. They have become my sisters. I cherish our friendship and hold it dear to my heart. Vanessa, Dianna and Desiree, thank you for keeping me sane through the struggles of nursing, the hardships, and for being there through our accomplishments, laughters and craziness! Love you girls. 

Now, for Xavier and I, our relationship lately has been stronger and stronger. We have learned a lot about eachother not just this past year but even more so now that we are back with my parents. We both agreed that it would be a change for us as far as our home, but we agreed that as long as we are together, we would be just fine. It’s been important for us to find a balance in our relationship as well. The time we spend alone as a couple to keep the fire going is very important to us!  Sometimes the tiredness, work and life becomes a bump in the road, but we have talked about making time for us. We feel it’s very important to keep a well balanced relationship in our alone time and time shared to be about the quality of it. As long as we have faith, love, respect and all those other great things, we will keep getting stronger. 

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13‬:‭7‬ ESV)

Life lately, well it’s been good. We are more than blessed I’d like to say. We have our good days and we have our little not so good days. But life lately has been good. Finding balance, love and strength is an ongoing process that keeps us alive and going. And with all that we have seen lately, experienced and still are waiting to experience, I must say we are doing well. We have been very grateful lately for our families, our friendships that support us like family each day, our growing love for eachother and our health. We are more than thankful to be healthy and strong. Life will continue tomorrow and pick up where we left off today. For now life lately has been… More than good. 

For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light. (‭Psalm‬ ‭36‬:‭9‬ ESV)

This is a little glimpse of life lately…

       This little awesome coffee house was our location for our date night recently.  My amazing parents at my dads birthday dinner.         Little sisters weekend celebration to universal studios.       Nurse life and my amazing friends who even sneak in a little FaceTime with me if I’m not working that day!     These two are best friends and last Saturday I got to enjoy a weekend of watching my dad coach my little sisters soccer team and game. 

How’s life lately for all of you? I hope it’s amazing! 

                                ❤ Jen

10 DAY COUNTDOWN AND SOME WISHES

25As of today, the 10 day countdown begins till my 25th Birthday! August 29 to be exact. I am quite excited for this day! While I do realize that I am getting older and turning a quarter of a century old.. I still find it exciting and feel amazingly blessed! Blessed to make it to 25; alive, healthy, happy, with a job, with a place to call home, in love with a man beyond my dreams, and a family that loves me unconditionally.

A couple of months ago I shared my feelings with you all when I realized that my birthday was coming up in my post half way to 50. In that post, I remember telling you all how in shock I was when I realized I would soon be half way to fifty. I also stated that I would try to enjoy my last couple months at 24, and in deed I have tried. Like I mentioned before, there are always going to be ups and downs. In these past couple months I definitely have to say that there were a lot more ups than downs, and for that I am grateful. Within these past two months I have tried to adventure out and do things with my parents, like kayaking which I also shared with you all in a post. I have made new goals, like our healthy/fit challenge, purchased my first new car and much more. While at times I complain how tired I am after a long day of work, I am also grateful that at 24 going on to 25 I have a career and a job. I believe that 24 was a good year for me and one that I am truly proud of and will always remember. Twenty-four was very memorable for me and one that I will always cherish. I personally feel like I accomplished a lot and I didn’t realize it until I sat down to share these feelings with you all. At 24 I graduated with my Bachelors in Nursing, entered the field of nursing with a new job, moved out and in with the love of my life who I met in nursing school (killed two birds with one stone ;P) and purchased my first new car! Not too shabby huh?  It wasn’t easy, but it was all worth it.

So on these last 10 days until that BIG 25, I will wait patiently and keep enjoying these last few days as 24 years young! And before I blow out my candles on that day and make some wishes.. I have some wishes before the day comes.

On that day I wish..

to be with my family and xavier’s…

to be with my honey xavier..

to be surrounded with peace..

to be somewhere I haven’t been to before..

to laugh as much as my belly allows..

to enjoy my day no matter what may happen..

and to eat some yummy cupcakes! why not right??

But most importantly, to keep in mind not just on that day.. but everyday, how truly blessed I am. To keep humble and do everything wholehearted. To always remember that God is good and to keep praying for his guidance, no matter what comes my way! I wish that this year more things get accomplished and that I stay true to who I am and who I hope to be. To be a better person. To stay committed to whatever goals I put out for myself. To spend more time with my family. To be a better me for Xavier, my family and myself. I wish for better and greater things for Xavier and I’s relationship. And lastly, I wish that if I fail in any, I learn from them and keep humble at heart. Because who I am and what I have are all by his grace and love. I welcome you with open arms and an open heart 25!! T-minus 10 days! See you soon 25!

Love,

Jen ❤

 

 

FRIEND ON WHEELS

We have a new friend in our house and we are very proud and excited. While my new friend may be replacing a friend that in the past went many places by my side, it was time for a new friend. A new friend to explore the many more places my honey and I have to come in the future and for now on our daily ride! Don’t you all worry, I am not talking behind my old friends back.. she is very well aware of what’s going on and our reasoning! haha. Well my friends, this new friend I speak of is my new car! My new lovely car, which I am very proud of purchasing for myself. With the help of my dad and boyfriend for some guidance and of course the stylish opinion of momma dukes, the car was bought and is sitting right outside my door now. I am truly so excited and feel so wonderfully blessed that I am able to purchase this car for myself, something I wouldn’t have been able to do a year ago.

It was definitely time for a new ride y’all. My old little BLEU (my old Chevy cobalt’s name) was wearing down and the more time I spent driving it, the less safe I felt each time. BLEU was bought used and in a fairly good condition, but after 6 years of driving around, BLEU was definitely getting tired and wearing out quite fast. So with a little push from my momma and honey, car shopping began and saturday night I was driving home in my new 2015 optima. If you know me, you would know that my very first car was not a new car and for that matter it wasn’t supposed to even be a running car. That was until my dad fixed the engine. Back then I was just happy I had a license and a running car that took me from point A to point B. After driving that for a little during high school, my parents graciously gave me a Volkswagen Buggy for graduation and it was cute and great! Almost too great, since Volkswagen parts are fairly expensive when they need some fixing and when your warranty expires. So I opted out of the buggy and traded it in for BLEU. She was used and she ran and a lot less inexpensive to maintain. So I stuck with her and settled and she was good to me for some years. That was till about 2 years ago, when she started getting tired and worn out. After being stranded here and there and needing some road side assistance lol it was time. Time for a change and a well deserved new toy! And like I said before, if you truly know me, you also know that I am pretty simple and not into fancy fancy!

So on this search, I wanted something reliable, good on gas, good-looking, heck of a warranty and with a realistic payment at the end of the month that would allow me to eat daily! lol So long behold, Pearl (My new Optima 2015)  came into my life to join X and I on our every day adventures!  I truly couldn’t have done it with out the help and guidance from the oh so wise one’s in our family (Our dads.) THANK YOU!  I haven’t been this excited to make such a big girl car payment ever. I am proud that the hard work pays off and that I will be safe while driving now!  I am truly blessed. Life is good and God is even greater!  A special thanks to everyone who helped along the way and the support!

THANK YOU BLEU FOR THE YEARS..<3

NOW MEET MY NEW FRIEND ON WHEELS… PEARL. :0)pearlpic

LETS MAKE IT A SAFE, GOOD, LONG LASTING FRIENDSHIP PEARL. Cheers ❤

HALF WAY TO 50

737054_10151168872637031_230702665_oHalf way to fifty.. That’s what’s coming up right around the corner my fellow friends! I haven’t blogged in a bit, but looking through the calendar and it quickly reminded me that in just about 2 months, I will be turning 25. HALF way to 50! It’s crazy to think that this number is so significant, it will probably be an unforgettable birthday just like many other’s have been but in another sort of way. My first thought of this was just a “quick thought.” The kind that we all have once we realize something is coming up. The kind that you know you have to acknowledge what you quickly remembered, yet that quick thought will fade away just as quick and we will be on to the next thought in a second. This was the case at first, until it really hit me.. that getting to 25 IS in deed half way to 50! But hey.. no other way to embrace the fact that I am blessed and I will soon hit the big 25 and I will be 25 years YOUNG. 24 was a great year and one to remember, as always it consisted of some bad and a lot of good! So for now, it is time to enjoy these last two months at 24 and get ready for the big twenty-five. I am so incredibly privileged and have such a blessed life, even when I seem to think things are going downhill.  But I truly have wonderful people around me that whether it’s by actions or words, remind me the many other reasons I have to smile. I have learned a lot at 24, and God has truly guided me throughout the years. I am humbled at the thought of it really.. So.. Dear 25, I will see you in August with arms and heart wide open. I am ready for you and all that you will have to offer, because I know that it will be truly great!  Till August. Meanwhile, those old photographs came out and so did the memories. Here’s a couple of my favorites of me at a younger age. enjoy! My outfits where a fashion statement! lol My cousin and IHow did You all feel when you realized the big 25 was coming up? When that day comes, I will make sure to share my feelings of that day with you all.

Let the CountDown Begin! T-minus 67 days! ❤

SIMPLICITY IN DECOR

Life lately has been work work work guys! exhausting and stressful. But no better way to wind down and relax, then to keep the decorations going in our apartment!  I mentioned in a previous post how empty our walls still seem to be since we first moved in. Well, slowly but surely, there has been some progress. One more wall down.. this time, in our Bedroom. A couple of weeks ago I made a trip to Ikea to pick up some wall ledge shelfs. I had come across a wall ledge shelf picture in a magazine and on Pinterest and thought they would make a great addition in our bedroom. My favorite part of them, is how simple they are. I’m a big believer of simplicity.. I think simplicity comes a long way in decor (and life ;P). So, it was time to make it my own! I picked up some picture frames, printed some pictures of ourselves and some shots we had taken ourselves with our Canon and Nikon cameras! (part of making it our own!) I also picked up some decor pieces a couple of weeks after that at one of my new favorite stores down here in South Florida, Hobby Lobby. So on one of our days off, it was time to relax and decorate. It is SIMPLE, a contrast to our dark furniture, the pictures are our memories, and its our own. I love it and hope you all do too. It’s a work in progress, and it’s not complete. But, I thought I would share where our simple wall is thus far and any suggestions are welcome. I want to bring some greenery in with some flowers or a nice plant, what do you all think??

First, we gathered our handy tape, in order for the shelves to be straight (In the Unexpected DIY post, I explained how we used these) then the shelves and up they went!

Framing

After going through a bunch of our shots, I finally narrowed down which pictures I wanted to display. Then, after some shuffling around, I was finally happy with the arrangements of the picture frames. And the Decor that I picked up went on top of our dresser and that was that!

Picture Frames

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Decor

Decor

The Final Product, thus far
The Final Product, thus far