Sunday, July 29, 2012


If you remember my last post, I wrote about how my church does beach baptisms only ONCE a year.
The opportunity came up this month, and it's like God was talking directly to me.
In the recent months, I've been doing a TON of relationship work with God (more than I've ever done in my entire life).
I've been reading my bible like it's going out of style, and I wake up EVERY Sunday morning just itching to go to church to learn more about Him and be surrounded by others that love Him. 

I decided that it was time to say, "I do" to the Lord.

Today was life changing.
Today was epic.
Today, I will never forget.

Today is my new birthday.

I publicly gave my life to the Lord in front of a few hundred people (not including the random beach goers that were just spending a late Sunday afternoon on the beach) on the beach in frigid Pacific Ocean waters.

It was exhilarating.

The few seconds that I was under that salty ocean, I could see the sunlight shining above me, and I felt God's presence with me...almost like he was smiling at me.

I can't wait to get more involved with my church and get more involved in being the woman that God wants me to be.

I hope I can inspire someone to become passionate about loving Jesus.
I hope I can inspire someone to give their life to Him.

I'm gonna be a better wife, a better mom, a better everything...
Because I love Him more than Nick, more than Dannika, more than anything.
And that is why Nick, Dannika, and everything else is going to get the best of me :-)


Friday, July 13, 2012

My "Birthday"

No, it's not my BIRTHDAY...the day I came into this world is March 25.
I'm talking about my "rebirthday"...the day I accepted Christ. 

a specific day...I have no clue when it is. 

My church does baptisms once a year at Doheny Beach.
I've been baptized as a infant...but not as an adult. 
I got a little emotional at church thinking about it, and it hit me.
I need to be baptized again...on my own terms.

I was raised in a Christian home, but attended a church (my parent's church) that I had a hard time relating and connecting with.
I am a true believer that not EVERY church is for EVERYONE. 
You have to find a church that you are comfortable in.
For about a year or two in high school, I met two amazing youth group leaders at my church that made an impact on my relationship with Christ....but not until later in life.
I've always believed in God, and have always considered myself a "Christian" and "Saved".
When I joined the Marine Corps, I was in and out of church, and in and out of my relationship with God.
The Marine Corps is a difficult place to be a Christian in (that may be a whole another post).
I never stopped believing in him, and I never blamed Him for the way things turned out in my life.
I had a period of very dark times in my life between the ages of 17 through 24....extremely dark.
I always blamed myself for not listening to God and just doing what pleased me and not Him.

It's crazy how God works in your life through the holy spirit. 
Marrying Nick and having a child was a turning point in my life. 
I wanted to make sure that our entire family ended up in heaven.
I started praying more and rekindling my relationship with God in ways I never knew I could.
I found my youth group leaders from high school on facebook, and it was crazy how I started to remember things that they had taught me in Sunday school.
Things that I listened to back then, but didn't really take to heart.
(Again...holy spirit working within me).
I still went through some rough patches throughout this time.
When Nick and I went through our very first deployment together, I drifted away from God a little bit because I was trying to do EVERYTHING on my own...."single" motherhood, demanding job, household chores, bills....everything.
I suffered from depression and anxiety, and I was going to all the wrong things and all the wrong people for help....when all along, God was screaming my name to talk to him.
Slowly but surely, I found myself sitting at church on Sunday rekindling my relationship with God again.
Man...if God was my boyfriend...I'm seriously the psycho girlfriend who keeps treating him like crap, leaving him, and coming back to Him asking to take me back....except...a boyfriend would tell me to go away after the first time.
God keeps accepting me back with open arms and loving me the same no matter what.

Fast forward to now.
My family is facing an extremely uncertain future.
We have no idea where we'll be living at the end of year, we have no idea when I will be out of the Marine Corps...our future is just uncertain.
In the past, I woulda just gone into full anxiety attack mode.
This is the first time, I've kinda just put it into God's hands and let HIM deal with it.
Pretty sweet deal, if you ask me....let someone else deal with your problems....just live life.
And for the first time, I told Nick out loud that I loved Jesus more than Him, and at the end of the day, if I had to choose between the two, it would undoubtedly be Jesus.

I told my Pastor this today, and His exact words to me were,
"The best thing you can do as a wife for your husband is love Jesus more than your husband, and hopefully, he feels the same way."

Nick is working on his relationship with God.
This is something we've been doing together since we got married.
He didn't grow up in church, and he doesn't have much of a foundation to go on, but I'm going to pray for Nick, and hope that one day, he feels the same way I do.
I'm excited that he is so eager to grow in this new relationship.
I call this stage "the dating" stage. 
Yes...he is dating Jesus, and I know through prayer and growth, Nick will say "I do" to Him.


I've decided to get baptized on the last Sunday of this month at Doheny Beach.
I know I'm ready, and I know it's time.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Is She 3 ALREADY?!

***Be ready for a picture OVERLOAD***

Dear Dannika Jane,
My little Queen. I don't know if I should be happy or sad today that you are officially 3. I'm happy and extremely proud of what a vibrant, intelligent, and GORGEOUS little lady you are becoming, but it makes me sad that you are literally growing up so fast right before my eyes. You can hold full blown conversations with people, tell jokes, talk back, argue, and express honestly (out loud) about how you think the homeless man outside the grocery store is dirty. Yes, your honesty is brutal and extremely embarrassing to Mommy. We are working on putting a little filter on that mouth of yours.
You are one of the most physically and emotionally tough little girls I know. It's not uncommon for Daddy and I to ask you, "Where did you hit your head?" Seriously, you hit your head on EVERYTHING. You are doing back flips off the couch, somersaults on the hardwood floors, and you try and crossfit with us. Emotionally, I don't know many 3 year olds who can say that a year and a 1/2 of their life has been spent sending Daddy away because of his job and welcoming home. You've done 2 deployments, COUNTLESS nights with just one parent (Mommy), and yet when you see either your Mommy or Daddy at the end of the day, you are all smiles and laughter. Any guilt that we feel about not being around you enough melts away with your little "bear hugs". 
You wave and smile at EVERYONE. You ALWAYS say hello. It's a little scary sometimes because you are not afraid of strangers, and you have NO problem walking right up to them to ask them for a high five.
Your hair is finally growing!!!!! HOORAY! Mommy can actually get away with putting little clips in it. It's still in its' awkward phase, so putting it into a ponytail or pigtail of some sort still looks a little funny. Don't worry baby, I am CONFIDENT that you will have long, thick, luscious hair like your Mama. 
You are loved by everyone you come in contact with, and have the ability to change someone's day and mood with just your smile and laugh. The sky's the limit little Queen....the world is yours!

As the cliche goes...
"Where DOES the time go?!?"

Here was our little acorn 3 years ago today...

Here she is on her 1st Birthday...

Two...(Remember her Sweet Shoppe Birthday Party?)

Her 3rd Birthday photos...

It's crazy to see how much kids change in such a short amount of time.
The last time Nick was home was Memorial Day Weekend, and he was ASTONISHED with how much she had changed in just 7 short weeks.
(OH BTW, Nick came home late Saturday night to visit, and we got to spend Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and this morning with him)
I'm SO thankful that God made timing perfect for Nick to be able to take leave and come home for her Birthday week. (Her official Birthday is TODAY!)

I won't bore you with all the exciting details.
I'll just post the pics.

The Birthday extravaganza started on Sunday night at the Gilbert's home.
We had fajitas and Sprinkles Cupcakes!

Just loungin' poolside at the Gilbert's home

A little skinny dipping (for Dannika) in the pool before the festivities.

Oh I love thee. We had red velvet, chocolate, vanilla, lemon blueberry, and salted caramel.

The Birthday Girl ALWAYS gets red velvet

Dannika and Mrs. Gloria

Our next adventure was the Disneyland California Adventure Park
Reading the map and deciding what ride to go on next.

 I LOVED that she was just tall enough to ride most of the really fun rides!

Carsland is the newest attraction at Disneyland, and there has been a TON of hype about it. 
People were camping out at Disneyland before opening day to see Carsland.
Let me just say, it did not disappoint.
It was so real, and I really felt like I was in Radiator Springs! 
So cool!!

 The Mater ride was by far, Nick and my favorite ride! Dannika was ONE inch taller than the height requirement. It was a lot faster than it looked and super exciting!

Nick and I found a children's dance club and spent the last 2 hours of our Disneyland trip in the A/C. We couldn't get Dannika to leave! They played all these hit songs, had a DJ, crazy lights, a Disco ball, and random Disney characters would come out and dance with them! 

This is Dannika doing the "chicken dance"

We  had such a fun-filled weekend!
Normally, Nick and I like to do a "date night" without Dannika when he comes into town, but since it's her Birthday week, we wanted the entire weekend to be about her.

The day after Disney (Nick's last full day home), we took her to see Brave (a must see! I have a new appreciation for "gingers"
After Brave, we walked right over the petting zoo and spent a few hours just enjoying time as a family. 

While 3 full days just seemed way too short, I thank God every single day for the little blessings that we get. :-)


Friday, July 6, 2012

Middle of the Week "Vacay"

4th of July was super weird.
Since it fell on a Wednesday, I got Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday off.
I had to go to work on Monday, and I have to go to work tomorrow.
Today was so weird.
Dannika and I spent the whole day "vegging" out.
It was 1530 when I realized we had spent ALL of the 4th of July and all of today in our PJ's doing nothing.
I decided to take Dannika to Zoomars (a petting zoo) .
It was a blast.

We are fancy with our shades on

Playing in the "corn" box....such a great idea!