Tuesday, June 18, 2013

TWO sweet years...

I married an amazing guy on this day TWO years ago. Maybe I have been telling him its been 3, maybe in the best way possible it feels like its been three years. So much has happened, so many adventures, lessons, loves and loss has shared this past two years. 

I thank The Lord everyday for this man of mine. I am sometimes a little more than less desirable, I lose my patience, I flip out over bugs, I freak out over some really petty stuff and I talk way more than he wants to hear or listen to! I am failure at budgets and keeping our financial future in mind. I like to hoard junk food for a rainy day (which makes dieting difficult for him not me). I like my ice cream frozen, not melted. I rarely wash/clean my car. I have this idea of where things go, everything has a place and should be there when I am looking for it (hello Tupperware, dog leash, my keys)  and for all my OCD tendencies I can somehow create a mess like no other. I hog over half of the closet, and oddly, sometimes I leave a dish in the sink. I have developed the MOST annoying way of saying Matt, and he doesn't cringe (anymore)...

Somehow, by the grace of God and a lot of patience (on his part), he still loves me. I know when he says forever he means it. I realize that he did, does and will wants to be married to me forever, and I am finding it so peaceful to know that feeling. Unconditional love- we got it! And I am forever grateful! 

Keep in touch...

New babies, pirates, giving and Father's Day

Had an exciting weekend visiting family and friends and topped it off with a wonderful afternoon with my dad to celebrate Father's day!

I headed to Dallas to meet the newest addition to our family, baby Harlow. She is precious and sweet and new and we are OH so happy to have a little baby in the family! Getting a new cousin at 30(something) is FUN!

I headed over to my dear friend's house for a little pirate action and good will. 

First off, I have to tell you, this lovely lady trusted me with her boys as their FIRST baby sitter in the USA, which is pretty awesome considering 1) I don't have children of my own 2) she had never even seen me around children and 3) I brought candy... and thank God she did, b/c I fell in love with two of the cutest little boys in the world! SO... that #3, that was my first mistake, luckily the boys didn't know it was candy, so it slipped away into a bag never to be seen again, when I realized they had not been introduced to the sugary sweets yet. THEN  a few months later I mailed a holiday box full of candy and toys and it hasn't stopped and she still says we are friends! Here is where I made the second mistake. Balloons!!!!!  They are fun, festive and all the kids love em,! Well, not all parents love them because apparently ceiling fans and pecan trees love them too, which makes parents not so hip to the craze, so lets just say, I probably won't be giving any more balloons to short humans. On the other hand, I did point out that balloons in a tree is like a birthday tree, and if we can decorate a tree inside for Christmas, why not have helium filled ornaments in the tree outside for your birthday!

Erin is a great mamma and already teaching her beautiful boys the lesson of giving and sharing. Instead of birthday gifts, she ask everyone to make a donation to a charity. This year she chose my kids in Africa and the babies at the Gladney Center. Two wonderful programs and I can't begin to tell you how generous her friends are! I walked out with almost 20 pairs of shoes and there were diapers piled high for the sweet babies at Gladney Center. There is something about having friends who share the love for helping others and joining forces to help the needy, makes my heart feel full and warm. My dear friend, if you are reading this, I think you are an amazing mamma, I love your enthusiasm, and outlook on life! Thank you for keeping me included on your beautiful journey!

Sunday afternoon was spent with my Dad, we had a Mexi food feast while we enjoyed great conversation and fun times with my parents and niece. 

No trip to the folks house is complete without a ride to the river and to check out what Dad has been doing in the river "parks". Dad drove us around while I took some pics in the back seat.

While I was there,  I got to check out the video my Dad is making of his Alaskan cruise, I think I hear Hollywood calling for his production talent now! Before I left, they loaded me up with lots of blessings to give Issaiac in Zambia and I headed home. I am surrounded by giving people, every time I turn around the amazing people in my life are helping others and that is such a sweet feeling to see!

I am so blessed, I have a family that loves me, and I love them. I have friends who share their hearts and kids with me, and I hope to one day do the same. When I carve out the 8 hours a day I spend at my job, and look at the rest of my life, I couldn't ask for more love, happiness and joy.

Keep in touch...

Thursday, June 13, 2013

lessons, homework, tests...

So... MR and I took a meditation class, well, it was like a five week coarse, once a week for several hours we would go to the Houston Zen Center for serious "teaching".  There was homework, projects and practice requested of us, and well, if it wasn't official before, it is now, I am NOT a good student! BUT, I do admit it, in an open session when everyone else is talking about how they aced it all! No shame, I just didn't do my homework!

Much like college, I did not do the reading assignments outside of class, I did not practice my meditation as often as I should, I never ate an apple mindfully, I could never mindfully open a door, I failed, miserably! BUT, not unlike college, I still managed to have an instructor who is a patient, kind woman who let me "pass" the coarse. She told me with the most peaceful smile in the kindest way that it was, "okay, and when you are ready to sit, you will". Well bless her peaceful Zen heart, I hope she is right, because after this week, I need some serious "mind stilling sit time"!

There was a lesson that I really loved and thought that I had totally grasped it, but like all lessons, you don't know how you will really do until you take the test. AND not UNlike most tests I have taken, I FAILED!!! MISERABLY!! --- total random thought coming now...You know how they say in marriage that you become a little like your partner, well if I could take a few things from the MR, like, being a good student, keeping my mouth shut, and having more patience that would be GREAT! Instead I think I have taken on the liking ice cream, love of travel and learning to have lazy days (not bad at all, as long as the ice cream is still frozen).--- So my proud lesson learned/lesson failed goes like this:

When to speak, ask yourself these three questions:
1. Is it true?
2. Is it helpful?
3. Is it the right time?

Pretty good lesson, right. You are trying it right now aren't you! I was so proud of this lesson I shared it with my niece and nephew, to which my SIL said it was the best thing I had ever told them (point for Aimee the GREAT, heck, 10 points if I am marking it down!! ) I felt like such a smarty pants, A+ student, really slangen' knowledge on them like I was a pro! So that's great, fun high, on top of the world...but then came the test...

I found myself failing miserably when presented with a real life situation, where, I should have reviewed the three questions...and here is how that would have broken down...

Aimee, is what you want to say true? YES, Dear Lord every word and I should shout it from the mountains!!!! (I am winning this)
Is what you have to say helpful? UHHHHHHH, who are we trying to help (shouldn't that be in the question...) (not a complete fail yet)
Is what you have to say right for this moment? OOF, when we say "right time" should we define that??? (EPIC FAIL)

NOOOOOOO, where did my Zen mastery go (I mean, I got the certificate, so I can say mastery, right?)? Where did that knowledge I fed those sweet young minds go? Why did my mouth keep moving when my heart was saying so loud and clear SHUT YOUR FACE? I don't have an answer, I have no idea, I would like to think my mouth has it's own little mind, and that it wasn't my fault, or that some crazy alien took over my mind and sabotaged me, but I think if I am really trying to learn the lesson and be better next time, I have to admit, I got lost in a moment, I let emotions take over and I need to practice harder, pay more attention, be more aware.

Failing this lesson made me think of so many things that continually boggle my mind! Mostly with God and what he is doing in my life, how I treat the people dearest to me and why can't I control my crazy!!! I don't have an answer for the last one, but lets blame it on hormones, which we all know are uncontrollable  and create all kinds of crazy situations like over indulging in chocolate and crying!

Failing made me think that God was trying to show me a weakness and give me an opportunity to take control, stand up and seize the moment, be the person you are trying desperately to be, the person the HE sees you as and knows you can be... thank the LORD he is forgiving, and hopefully he will react to my failures as my college professor and Zen Master and give me a "certificate" in the end! At the basic root of it, I got selfish, I got petty, I let things outside of my control effect me when they shouldn't!  I struggled, my heart knew what I did was not good, nice, or kind and my head was stubborn and took over. I was right, it wasn't helpful to anyone other than me, and NEVER would have been the right time...  May a cooler head prevail next time! Admitting you have a problem is the first step to fixing a problem, right????

So I made peace, I apologized for my outburst, I thanked for the response and reaction of the other, and now I am letting it all go. I had to reach out and say thank you, I mean, if my ugly flag can fly high, if I can show my crazy, then at the end of the day, the part of me that I actually like and want to be should have a chance to shine too! C'mon Aimee, step up, be so sweet, you can DO IT... full on sideline chants were coming out loud and proud!

Maybe in the end I am getting closer to passing the test... another one coming in an hour... chanting my "May I and all beings be happy and free from suffering" on rotation with "Breath", and pray to God that he can hold my hand and not let my mouth run a muck! I will keep you posted...

keep in touch

UPDATE: I didn't fail, wouldn't say I passed with an a+, but not a fail- here's to hoping I get a break from awkward lessons for a while- two test in one week can wear a girl OUT!!! 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

One year ago...

Scar, the word has a negative connotation, but if you think about it, a scar is like a badge if honor, it says "something happened right here, it healed and there is a forever reminder". I have a scar on my heart, but it's not a pain, it's a mark from a total explosion of love, laughter, happiness, fear, anticipation, joy, pride and hope! A year ago my heart went BOOM! I met the six most handsome, loving children that have forever scared my heart! 

A year feels like a lifetime, I feel like I have always loved them and known them. I feel like I have worried a lifetime of worries of safety, health, acceptance, progress and confidence. I feel like I have been doing this for a lifetime, and it's only been 365 days. 

A year is a long time, but what this next month ahead of me feels like, is a million years! I am trying so hard to take the lessons learned in our recent meditation class and be present in the moment. There are so many awesome things going on around me and I am so afraid I am skipping right over it all to get back to my sweet boys! I am breathing, although sometimes not slow and mindful, I am taking a breath and trying to keep smelling the roses God is laying out in front of my face TODAY! It is HARD! There are spreadsheets for packing, lists for gifts, so many things to do and I literally want to get on my flight RIGHT NOW and be there. I CAN WAIT, I will wait, because the reward of what greets me in Zambia is worth the wait! 

I can't wait to share my trip with you, but selfishly, I can't wait to see how this year plays out. I should get 5 of my boys back in my camp group (one is in a government school and can't leave for a week). The most exciting thing is, I get to go to all 6 boys homes, bless them with a months worth of food, warm blanket, pillow, soccer ball, toys and lots of love! 

Please pray for our safe travels and findig my boys in good health and happiness. 

Keep in touch...