Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas

This is early, but I hope you and your families have a very Merry Christmas. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013


I meant to post about 3 weeks ago about the flipside of motherhood, but life got in the way........again.

Here are some of the things that I enjoy about being a mom:

Getting to watch Mr. E with Miss E.  He is a great dad and helps so much.  I love how he prays for "his girls" before he goes to work everyday.  He's got a bunch of ways to get her to smile, it is so cute to watch.

Watching and listening to Miss E sleep.  She squeaks and grunts so much while she sleeps.  She moves around continually and is constantly changing facial expressions, it can be very humorous.  She wakes up very slowly, but is happy when she does. 

Knowing that no matter if she is happy or screaming, changing her diaper will almost always make her smile.  This girl doesn't like "mud on her butt" (quoting Phil Robertson on Duck Dynasty).

Seeing the determination on her face when she "stands up" while we hold her up.  She puts her whole soul into it. 

Observing how her personality is developing.  I think she's got a lot of mine......bummer.

Enjoying how she is starting to get excited when I go to pick her up.  I think she is finally recognizing me!

Waiting for her to wake up from a nap.  Although I love the time to get things done and the "downtime", I do miss her when she is sleeping.  

God has given us a great blessing and it is hard to imagine our lives without her.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Things I'm Learning

I know, I'm not keeping up on blogging.  When I sit down now, I usually only have one arm and that makes typing quite difficult.  Most of the other "downtime" is spent running around like a crazy woman trying to get caught up on the housekeeping duties! 

Before reading the following, remember this disclaimer and please don't misconstrue what I'm saying!  **I love my daughter immensely, I am so thankful that God gave her to us and I wouldn't change my life now for anything!

Being parent is not easy.  I'm hearing the "duhs" loudly.  Someone asked me this question a few weeks ago, "Don't you just love being a mom?"  It took me off guard and to be honest, I couldn't say yes. (Disclaimer)  In the earlier weeks after she was born, I really struggled.  Most of it came down to pure selfishness.  I had spent the last 15ish years of my life doing what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it.  Not anymore.  As much as I'm trying not to let her completely take over our lives, it still has happened.  Miss E's needs takes precedence over getting my teeth brushed, dinner cooked and most important, sleep!  Mr. E and I have pretty much done everything together since we got married.  Even if it was going ten minutes down the road to fill up a gas can for the lawn mower.  There is no jumping in the truck and doing that anymore. Mind you, we still do it, but it is more of a production to get out of the house.  I'm learning to get over my selfishness, but it still creeps up!

Adding to the everyday physical struggles of being a parent, I struggle(d) with the emotional and spiritual weight.  I am now responsible for someone else.  Yeah, I help my husband, but he could still take care of himself if he needed to.....she can't. I question myself a lot about "am I good mom?"
"am I doing things right?", etc.  Then the spiritual side, raising her up to love the Lord and teaching her about His Word.  It is all just a heavy responsibility when I think about it.

So to answer the question,  Yes, I love being a mom, but sometimes the struggles seem overwhelming and tend to steal the joy of having her.  I guess the lesson here is to not focus on the hard parts and trust that God gives me the wisdom I need to be a mom.  I'm going to have to do lots of praying!  Maybe that is the reason why I get up at least three times a night. :)

We are doing well, finally into a better routine.  It took a while for Miss E to realize that there was nothing going on at night to stay up for.  Now if only she would learn to sleep more during the day.

I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Our gift

God has given Mr. E and me an amazing gift. Our daughter, Joanna Aaron was born on Friday, October 4th at 2:30 am.  She weighed 5 lbs. 10 oz. and was 19" long.

When Mr. E and I talked about what to name our baby, we wanted his or her name to have a good meaning or to use a name of someone who has been instrumental in our lives. Miss E has both. 

Mr. E picked out Joanna when he was reading the Biblical account of the resurrection in Luke 24.  Joanna was one of the women who was at Jesus' tomb and then told the disciples that Jesus had risen.  Joanna means "God is gracious" or "gift from God", a perfect meaning.

You may think that Aaron is a strange name for a girl, as this spelling is used predominately for boys.  It is actually my mom's middle name, so it met our criteria of someone who is instrumental in our lives.  The name also has a good meaning, "exalted" or "mountain of strength".  I thought "mountain of strength" summed up my mom pretty well and she is a great example for Joanna to look up to.

Here are some pictures of our little one:

Meeting Dad
A couple days old

9 days old
11 days old, Granny E's lap was comfy!

One of my favs, she was quite alert while dad read the Bible to us.
We are enjoying her very much and we are extremely blessed! 

Monday, September 23, 2013

What has been going on

I've had lots of posts in my brain, but I just haven't taken the time to sit and write them out. 

A quick recap of the past month or so.  We finally finished the remodeling of our house.  We still have some re-organizing to do and painting the outside of the house, but other than that, we're done.  It has been so nice these past two weeks or so being able to relax a little.

Recently, most of my time has been spent canning and freezing the garden produce.  Early in the summer, we didn't think the garden was going to produce much, but my goodness, we were wrong.  I love seeing all the produce in the jars and in the freezer. We will be able to enjoy okra, green beans, black-eyed peas, jalapenos/serranos, squash, carrots, cantaloupe, bell peppers and onions this winter.   Vegetables from the garden taste so much better than store bought stuff!

We are still preparing for baby E.  The due date is quickly approaching and I must say that time has flown.  It is exciting and overwhelming all at the same time.

Switching gears. 

I've been thinking a lot lately about bitterness and how toxic that can be in someone's life.  There have been and are situations in my life that could cause bitterness to creep in.  When I think about them, I either get mad, frustrated or try to push them off and pretend that it doesn't effect me, but they do. I also want to fix them.  I know many of these situations are because of misunderstandings, miscommunication and not being open and honest.   In my flesh, I want to stay mad, or shut the problems out and stay irritated, which is when bitterness will take over.  Bitterness only really effects the person that is holding on to it.  It doesn't effect the other people.  I've really had to watch out for this lately.  I have to keep reminding myself that God has everything under control and that He calls me to forgive and not let bitterness take over.  I will admit, it has been difficult to do.  Anyway, that's what I've been struggling with.  Thankfully, God's there to help me through it all.

Gotta go, have a good week!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Monthly post

Here is what seems to be now my monthly post.  I'm not avoiding blogging, my computer and I just haven't really found time to be with one another lately.

The garden is producing lots of stuff at the moment and I've been canning pickles, carrots, black-eyed peas and squash.  Pickled okra is scheduled for canning tomorrow.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a baby shower given by some wonderful women.  For the most part, I think we are ready for little E to come, just not right now.....he/she needs to grow quite a bit more!  I don't think I've actually posted a picture of me pregnant yet, so here's one....I find it awkward posing for these kinds of pictures. 

Yep, we're officially ready, we've got the Packer outfit!
The house is almost done! That is the exciting news that's happened in the past couple of weeks.  We have lots of re-organizing to do, but that just means we are close to being done.  We were considering some changes to our kitchen, cabinets/counter tops etc., but I think we've now decided that we need to just stop where we are right now and we can do that at another time.  This has been a project and a half, but we are happy we did it and we love the results.
The new addition now actually has furniture and the windows are trimmed out!
Mr. E is an expert door installer now.
New front door, hopefully will keep the scorpions out!
Living room flooring, wood-grain tile.
New kitchen flooring.
Anyway, that's about all I have time for today.  I've been watching my niece today and I think she's waking up from her nap.  I'd better go check. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


I'm so behind!! I've got lots to do today, but when life is so busy, what better way to get things done than to blog?! :) 

The end of June/early July began with an eleven day road trip up to Montana.  We went through eight different states and put about 3500 miles on our vehicle.  It was a great trip.  We had our problems, which included a flat tire, check engine lights and a hot night of camping, but the fun and great times outweighed them.  Even with the problems we saw God taking tremendous care of us.  Like the flat tire.....we were on some treacherous and lonely roads many times, but the flat tire happened ten minutes outside of a town on a flat stretch of highway with a roadside turnout right there.  (I apologize for all the prepositional phrases in that sentence.)  After four days of camping, we were giving the opportunity to stay in someone's semi-luxurious cabin (the only thing it didn't have was electricity) for the next three days!  It was a blessing to us.  Not that the camping was bad at all, it was nice to have a permanent place to sleep instead of unpacking and packing up everyday.  Here are a few pictures from the trip.

Fishing in Yellowstone NP
Old Faithful about to spew
One of the many animals we saw.
Fishing on a backroads creek.
I fished too, but I also liked to find a place to sit down!
July 4th sunset
One of the places we camped, hard to beat that view from the tent!
The backdrop Mr. E had for fixing the tire......The Grand Tetons.
The view from our semi-luxurious cabin.

While we were gone, we had a contractor working on our house.  He taped, mudded, and textured our new addition and some other things that we changed in the house.  He also laid new tile in our livingroom and hallway.  Oh yeah, on top of doing the addition we also decided to replace all the flooring in our house.  I, the one who likes everything in her house to be neat and tidy and everything in its place, am having to learn lots of patience (and blindness!) with all that is going on.  Currently, my dresser is in my livingroom and most of the livingroom furniture is in the kitchen.  Mr. E is working so hard to get it all done!  The addition was painted last night and the lights were installed.  Here are a couple of updated pictures.

We are currently enjoying some cooler weather (70s), with some rain.  Thank you Lord! We are in desperate need of rain. 

I have more that I could write about, but I need to get moving on with other things. 

Monday, June 17, 2013


Our lives seem like a whirlwind nowadays.  We spend most of our spare time in the addition, trying to finish it up.  We finally feeling like we are getting somewhere.  The sheet rock is almost done!  It's been one of the most time consuming parts of the build.  Thankfully we had lots of help, we couldn't have done ourselves, as I'm not too much help.  Here are a few more pictures. 

The sheet rock hoist was a back saver!
I'm going to love my 9x6' closet!
All the outside walls are finally up and ready for siding, we now have to climb through the window to get in!

I'm hoping we will be done with this project by the end of July.  Lord willing, that will give me a few months to get this house organized before Little E comes.

Speaking of Little E......the two questions that I've been asked the most frequently are, "How are you doing/feeling?" and "Do you know yet if it is a boy or a girl?"  As to the first question, I'm doing fine.  I've had an "easy" pregnancy so far.  The gender question.....we aren't finding out, we've decided to be surprised when the baby comes.  I know, it's out of the ordinary these days, but we like to be different.

Switching gears.  I'm working through a study this summer on thoughts that we have.  When I first said I would help with this class, I didn't really expect that it would pertain that much to me.  Ha!  God has such a sense of humor.  I'm really good at having a running conversation in my head with myself throughout the day.  When I sat back and thought through what I think about, it isn't always uplifting.  I tend to be a pessimist and I'm good at it!  I'm also really hard on myself, expecting perfection at all times.  The author of the book challenged us at the end of week one with
Philippians 4:8:

If it is true, I will meditate on it.
If it is honorable, I will think about it today.
If it is right, I will dwell on it today.
If it is pure, I will fix my  thoughts on it.
If it is lovely, I will give it shelf space in my thought closet.
If it is of good repute, I will meditate on it today.
If it is excellent, I will let it be the sound track in my thought closet.
If it is worthy of praise, I will deliberate on it today.

I've still had my pessimistic moments, but trying to focus on this verse has really helped me not to get bogged down, especially with all that is going on in our lives.  My focus should be on God and what He is actually doing in my life, not making up "what if" scenarios in my head that most of the time aren't true, right, lovely, excellent, etc.

Happy Monday everyone, hope you have a great week!

Friday, May 24, 2013


I mentioned a few months ago that God decided to change some of the plans we had.   Those changes caused somewhat of a domino effect in our lives, changing the direction of our plans for the future.  I guess it is time to confess what the main change is.  We are not only are we putting an addition on our house, we are also adding an addition to our family.   Mr. E and I are excited to meet the new little "E" sometime in the fall. 

Early in January,  I felt like God was telling me to pray for a child, so I did.  He brought the verse, I Samuel 1:27, "For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to Him." to my mind.  I don't know why, it isn't a verse that I had memorized, but I had seen it several times.  He also put it on Mr. E's heart as well, although neither one of us mentioned it to the other one for a week or so.  The Lord didn't take long to answer our prayers and those prayers continue as the baby grows.  I sometimes wonder why God has chosen to give us a child (it's scary to think of me as a mom, there are far more qualified people!), but we are extremely blessed that He did!  It is one of the best changes of plans that I've ever had! :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mother's Day

I have the best mom.  I know I wrote a post a few months ago about my family and mentioned how great my mom is, but it is definitely worth talking about again.  I call her all the time, asking all kinds of questions because I think she knows something about everything.  I still have yet to figure out how she does everything that she does.  She is a great wife, mom, teacher, author, quilter, gardener, household manager (that's a broad category!) and a bunch of other things, the list could go on and on.  She loves all of us kids very much and although we aren't perfect and can be aggravating :), she still loves us anyway.  Her attitude through the adversity in her life is amazing, leaning on the Lord through things that I don't know that I would be able to handle as well as she does. I would consider my mom the best mentor in my life, spiritually and in the everything else.  She is a great example to me and I hope that I will be just like her.  However, she does set the bar high as a mom.

This post doesn't do her justice, but hopefully it gives her a little credit for all she has done for me. I'm so thankful that God gave her to me as my mom.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Addition in Pictures

Mr. E and friends have been working so hard on this addition! I'm impressed with all that they have accomplished.  Here are pictures of the progress over the past month or so. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

4 years ago

I just looked through my past May blog posts and I never have blogged about this day.  I mentioned it once but didn't really expound.  This was the day in 2009 that I married Jared.  It is hard to believe that it has been four years.  These kinds of days are still very much etched in my brain.  I can still remember vivid details about this day.  I've heard that a lot of people don't remember their wedding day and refer to it all as blur, but that isn't the case for me.  However, the one thing that has changed in past four years is that I don't dread these days.  I first remembered that this day was approaching this past Saturday.  I was on a mini road trip by myself and one of Carrie Underwood's songs, "Just a Dream" began to play on my iTunes, the chorus always takes me back to those early days after Jared went to heaven....

Baby why'd you leave me
Why'd you have to go?
I was counting on forever, now I'll never know
I can't even breathe
It's like I'm looking from a distance
Standing in the background
Everybody's saying, he's not coming home now
This can't be happening to me
This is just a dream

Sometimes it does seem like it was all a dream, but I know it wasn't.  There are too many memories and "scars" (that isn't the right word, but it is all I can come up with tonight) for it to have been a dream. I have very conflicting thoughts when it comes to days like today.  I am so blessed and happy in my life now and I wouldn't change anything about it.  However, it is hard not to think about my other life on days like today.  Someone told me about a lady who recently lost her high school aged teenage son.  She said something along the lines of....

His days were numbered before he was born. 
God never planned for him to graduate from high school.
She was never going to see him get married.
He was never going to have children.
and God knew all of these things before he was born.

I can say things that are similar.  My life as Jared's wife was only going to be 10 weeks.  That was all God ordained for us.  We would never have children together.  We would never grow old together.  I think you get the point.  However, I still am thankful that I have this day to remember.  I wouldn't have wanted to have the alternative of never knowing Jared.  Also, God has been so good to me and I've learned so much about Him that I wouldn't ever trade it all.

I am also incredibly thankful that God allowed me get married again and Lord willing, we will have long life together, creating our own memories that we will be able to look back on............together.

Friday, April 26, 2013

What to say?

I don't know if everyone who blogs has this dilemma, but lately I've really struggled with what to write about when I sit down to blog.  This blog initially began to help me think through things going on in my life after Jared went to heaven.  Then, as my emotions began to level out a bit, I began to write more about things that I was doing, what was happening in my life, while still writing about the different things that God was showing and teaching me in my life.  Now, I'm struggling with what to say.  Much of the reason stems from the fact that I have a wonderful husband with whom I can talk.  I don't necessary need an outlet, such as this blog, to help me sort through my thoughts, I have him.  I could still write about what God is showing and teaching me, but lately that has been the same thing......trusting Him. I know, I've written about that before, but I'm hard-headed.  Lord willing, one of these days I will take it to heart!  I could also write about all the happenings of the E family, but I know that isn't very exciting and I'm really not sure if I want to do that anyway because this is a public blog that anyone in the world can read.  So, in other words, I'm just not sure what direction I should go with this blog and maybe I don't need to change anything. Perhaps I just need to continue as I have, I just don't know.  Maybe my problems come from writer's block, although I don't really consider myself a writer.  Anyway, that's where I'm at right now, looking for some clarity. 

Friday, April 19, 2013


This past week, I accompanied Mr. E on a two day business trip.  When we leave on a trip I'm in charge of packing.  This time I didn't do the best job of it.  I didn't pack a jacket for Mr. E or pack him the right pants and I forgot toothpaste.  Goodness gracious!  I felt like such a failure as a wife.  I kept apologizing to him until he looked at me and told me to stop because it was no big deal.  I have such a wonderful, forgiving husband.

However, this scenario got me thinking and I asked myself this question.... Do I feel as badly when I sin against God as I did when I "failed" my husband.  I had to be honest, I don't think I do.  Yes, there is the initial prick of conscience and then confession of sin but do I really feel that badly?  I don't know that I think about how God feels when I sin.  I knew that forgetting Mr. E's jacket made him cold yesterday morning and he had to suffer because of my neglectfulness.  When I sin, do I think about the consequences, how God feels, how it grieves Him?  I'm good at confessing my sin and then think, "well, that's done, " and go on without thinking how much it grieves our Father in Heaven when we don't obey him.  Thankfully, when we do sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness, (1 John 1:9).  What am I going to take away from what I learned this week?  I know that God will forgive me of my sins but I also need to think twice about my sin, learn from what I have done and strive to be more like Christ. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Getting somewhere

A lot more work goes into laying a cement foundation than I ever thought. First Mr. E had to pack down all the dirt, using a handy dandy machine.  He had tried to dig the footers before packing it down and it was just caving in.  After all the footers were dug, which were all done by hand by Mr. E, he put it all the re-bar for reinforcement.  He then drove spikes into the existing foundation to tie the new and the old together so the two buildings don't separate.  After all that preparation, the cement finally arrived yesterday.  We had some concrete guys come and do the actual finishing work.  We now have a cement slab and we can be begin to put the walls up.  Finally, it looks like we are getting somewhere.  I really shouldn't say "we", Mr. E has done the majority of the work with some help from people other than me.  I'm amazed at how well he did everything, considering this is all new to him.  The concrete guys even offered him a job, they'd never seen a more perfect job. That's my man!

Monday, March 25, 2013

1st Anniversary

Yesterday, was our first anniversary!  I personally think that is a great milestone.  Not that I didn't think we could make it, I knew we could, it's just that I didn't come close to a first anniversary with my first marriage and it makes me appreciate this one so much more.

We left town for the weekend and enjoyed a relaxing time in the hill country of Texas.  It was perfect.
Our "cabin"
These deer were about 10-15 yards away.
Peeking over the ledge

My handsome man.

Guadalupe River

I was there too!
I am so blessed to have married this man.  God brought him into my life and I couldn't be happier.  I'm looking forward to many more anniversaries with him!