Giving Thanks for our Newest Little Blessing

As we enter a month of Thanksgiving I can’t help but reflect on this past year and how blessed I  am. I have so much to be thankful for and will forever be grateful. What an amazing, loving God we have! Although this year has taken us hundreds of miles away from all of our family and friends, it’s been an amazing experience walking in faith.

After a couple of years of talking and praying, Nick and I finally decided that after 4.5+ years it’s time/past time to add another little one to our family.  Due to all the struggles we had with Dawson’s sickness/disorder this wasn’t a decision that was easy to make. We were scared, worried and lost for what was the best thing to do?  We tossed around adopting a toddler and were seriously considering this option.  We soon began to feel  if it was God’s will for us to adopt now then he would show us the way, if not he would bless us with a healthy little one of our own. Nick and I have some amazing best friends who we watched take a leap of faith like this, so why were we struggling with this decision?  There came a point in our discussions about having another child that we realized if we don’t take a leap a faith and believe God has a plan for us then we would never know. God had brought us this far and  It was time to put it in his hands.

It brings us great joy to know in the beginning of April we will be welcoming a precious baby GIRL!! Our hearts are full and we are blessed!! This pregnancy hasn’t been the easiest by far, but to have a healthy baby will all be worth it. To be completely honest, in the beginning I was in denial, scared and dismissed all the pregnancy symptoms. It’s like I didn’t realize what was going on and, I was falling apart inside on all the what if’s with having another baby. The fear of repeating all of what we experienced with Dawson’s first year and a half of his life haunted me day and night. I’m praying so hard for a healthy baby and holding onto faith!

This will be Nick’s and my last pregnancy.  If God ever puts it on our hearts in the future to adopt, we will gladly run towards the opportunity. Our hearts melt for precious toddlers and older children who are in need of a family and to feel loved.

Now to the big brother…. He’s a little crushed on the thought of having a sister. Dawson  has wanted a brother  (4 year old brother to be exact) for a really long time, so it was a shock to him when the ultrasound tech said it was a girl.  Dawson knew from the beginning that God could give us a baby boy or girl, but he was fully convinced it was a boy. He’s coming around to the thought of having a sister and is super excited to know she will (hopefully) not be fighting to play with his cars, tractors and trucks! 🙂 Dawson has the biggest heart of any little boy I know, we are positive he will be an amazing big brother.

On another note…To my fabulous Friends and family who have requested preggo pics….It’s NOT happening…ever!! It would be amazing to look like all of you beautiful sweet girls when you were pregnant. Seriously you all were stunning when pregnant! For some reason I didn’t inherit those awesome genes. Boo!! lol!  I have the swelling up…just go ahead confuse me with a cow genes! The swelling started 3 weeks ago so I can only imagine what I will look like in April. A movie that makes me giggle about the whole pregnancy and appearance concept is ” What to expect when you’re expecting”. Count me as the chic who preaches what pregnancy does to your body and how it stinks! In all reality I know everyone’s body is so different and not to think twice about it.  I realize looking like a cow will be worth it. I am truly counting my blessing. (and of course the weeks left to delivery lol!!)

Blessings,

Chel

Our Summer in a Nutshell

“Summer Loving, had me a blast, summer loving happened so fast…..”.

Ok. Well, our summer didn’t necessarily follow the lyrics for the rest of the song from one of my favorite musicals (GREASE), but we had a great first summer in San Antonio.  And it flew by pretty fast.  Although, if you went outside, I am pretty sure you could boil an egg instantly. It seemed to stay 100+ with little rainfall. In all honesty though, the weather wasn’t much different than back home in Arkansas.  The worst weeks in San Antonio were from the middle of July to the end of August. With the weather so hot and humid, we did go crazy on a few occasions with having to stay inside! I mean who wouldn’t right?  I might have pulled out a few hairs, eaten over my fair share in snacks and got super liberal with my time outs, but we can just blame all of  it on the scorching hot weather!!

We were super blessed this summer with several visitors.

We were blessed with our friends from back home in Searcy coming  down for a visit at the end of May.  A couple weeks later we packed our bags and headed back home to Arkansas  to visit with family and friends. Our visits home always seem to fly by. 😦  In June we were blessed again to have Nick’s parents and his sister’s family come down for a few days. I was also able to steal my nieces for a total of 3 weeks throughout the summer. Of course having family and friends in town meant hitting up Sea World. We secretly have that park down and have so gotten our money’s worth. My favorite line from Nick, is when people ask if we have been to Sea World yet. His response, yeah like 30 times. Well he’s honestly pretty close to the truth!  We live less than 10 minutes away from Sea World and we have season passes. Why wouldn’t we be a frequent visitor, right?! I am sure we will go several more times before the year is over and our passes expire.

This summer we also got the opportunity to go float the Frio River with some sweet friends we have met here in San Antonio. If you know me well you’re probably giggling at the fact I actually went. Well guess what, I did! I am pretty positive I embarrassed myself a few times with my fears of small rivers, but in my defense at times the Frio river seemed like a little creek. I was just thinking a snake was going to slither right up in my tube at anytime.  The good news is we had a wonderful time visiting with these sweet families and their cute kids! Dawson loved it! I would go again. 🙂

We also made a trip to Destin, FL in August. We went with our friends the Harvey’s from Searcy and another sweet couple the Vinson’s from El Dorado. We had a good time and the weather turned out to be great after 60% of rain was forecasted for most of the week. It had been a couple of years since we all went to the beach together. So it was great time for all the kiddos to play and everyone catch up.

This post can’t wrap up without a little confession right? PARENTING IS THE HARDEST JOB EVER!!! Ok super glad I got that out! On a serious note, I have had my eyes deep into researching, reading and praying the best ways to parent my little sweet monster. As a parent most of the time when parenting, disciplining etc… You attempt to outsmart or stay a few steps ahead of your child while teaching them about life, our attitudes, right from wrong etc.. Nick and I have stayed loss for words way to much lately. Our child seems to outsmart us, over and over. He’s on top of it, brilliant, witty, hilarious and a huge mess that we love so much!! So trying to be a great parent and raise a wonderful little boy to be the best he can be and live for the Lord, is challenging. It sure is kicking our booty at times! No worries, I will figure it all out one day maybe! This kiddo hasn’t realized yet, his momma is way too determined and the biggest research queen. One of the self-help momma books will have the answer soon??!! lol! j/k!

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On another note!! Tomorrow is my momma’s BIRTHDAY!!! She has been in heaven for 7 years now and I miss her like crazy. She was the most caring, loving, sweet, funny, woman you will ever meet. She could be a fire-ball at times, but that’s why we loved her so much!! I know she wouldn’t miss a thing in our lives now and would have frequent flyer miles to San Antonio. She is truly a woman who put family first! As a single mom, she gave it her all and did a wonderful job!!
So tomorrow, Dawson and I will make a trip to Burger King and get a Frozen Coke!! That’s how we will celebrate her special day!! (If you knew my momma, then she probably had you pick her up a frozen coke before or she got one for you!)

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(This pic was a week before she passed away from Pancreatic Cancer. Praise God for blessing me and letting my sweet momma see me graduate college.)

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(High School Graduation)

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Until next time my friends….. Take care 🙂

Blessings,

Chel

A special second mom, “Birtha”

July 7th, a day that an amazing, caring, loving, beautiful woman was born. A special woman I am honored to call my (step) second mother. 12 years ago God had different plans for my “Birtha” (aka..Booger, Brenda, Mom), as she was called home. It’s a day that personally forever changed my life as I know it did so many others. At 18 years old and a senior in high school, losing a parent was something I never imagined. My second mom was only 52, full of life and was gone in a heart beat. For some people the word “Step” Mother doesn’t mean that much and is often an ugly term used in a negative light. That’s why I prefer to say my “second mother”. Brenda took on her role as a second mother to my sister and me when I was 6 years old. Having a beautiful daughter already in high school and a son who had already graduated, Brenda took on being a “second mom” to two young girls like a super mom, with grace and unconditional love! I am beyond blessed to have had her in my life for 12 wonderful years. She played a huge role in the making of the woman, wife and mother I am today. Her legacy should be something all “step” mothers follow. She poured her heart out to us and wrapped her arms around us with lots of love.  The exact same love and compassion she showed her biological children. The word “step” didn’t separate bonds in our family. Praise God for blessing my father with such an amazing woman who I will never forget. There isn’t a doubt in my mind my father does the same. My father is still a widow. We talk about the past as it was yesterday. The only thing different during our talks now than in high school is there are only two of us at the table, because one is a beautiful angel in heaven.  I will cherish all the wonderful memories, our last conversation hours before you made your grand entrance in heaven, and our last hug and kiss goodbye.  I love you Birtha (Brenda)!

I will go to bed tonight counting my many blessings once again and praising God for all the memories we shared.

I am beyond thankful I have the 3 best motherly angels looking down on me. All their earthly lives were short, but the incredible legacies my mom, my grandmother and my (second mother) Brenda left behind will never stop touching my heart or others.

Blessings,

Chel

Hope… Love… Cure…

As I sit and type this month’s blog post with my little one snuggled next to me, I can’t resist the smile on my face. A permanent smile that comes from the love and joy of being the mother of a sweet 4 year old boy.  I am so very thankful for God’s grace and for Him blessing me with the best gift of all, a child.

I normally don’t talk about all the trials, the ups and downs we have had over the past few years with Dawson’s EoE (Eosinophilic esophagitis), but I feel led to mention it in this weeks blog. This week is National Eosinophil Awareness Week. Besides no cure, the biggest problem is there is not enough awareness of this disorder. Due to the lack of awareness, it took us 2.5 years, lots of trips to specialist after specialist (some out of state), and test after test before Dawson was diagnosed on June 4th, 2011.  Even today, in a town of over one million people in San Antonio, there isn’t a clinic that specializes in patients with Eosinophillic disorders.

We have had a few steps back lately with Dawson, due to the high count of the eosinophils still in his body. He started back vomiting and was constantly regurgitating his food. Thankfully his wonderful doctors back home at Arkansas Children’s Hospital were able to call him in some medicine and get his stomach moving again. The amount of eosinphils had caused inflammation in his gut which in turn, makes his gut tired of doing it’s job. I feel so blessed to know that if you look at Dawson you can’t tell that anything is wrong. He has been off  formula for 8 months and has been eating enough on his own to gain weight. We are so blessed compared to the thousands of other kids who have this disorder. Having allergies myself, I am able to understand a lot of Dawson’s needs. There is a big difference though in the basic food allergies I have and the allergic disorder Dawson has. I can take an epi-pen if I come in contact with the foods I am allergic to and continue on. That’s not an option for kids with EoE. It’s a more complex and  unpredictable disorder. There is not a cure at this time for Eosinophilic esophagitis.  For the past 2 years Dawson has had a (EGD) scope with biopsies every 4 – 6 months to check on his Eosinophil levels. Some tests results come back fantastic and then 6 months later test results show they are high again. It’s the many unknowns that makes this disorder so scary to parents. How many foods are we going to have to take away, how many more years of scopes are we going to have to put Dawson through? It’s just a little disturbing not knowing what all Dawson is allergic to and the fact it can change at any time.

Here’s a note I found on a blog I read, I thought this blogger explained EoE best….

“Allergies aren’t that big of a deal. Right? What if you couldn’t eat some foods or even any food at all? This is the struggle many  children are facing. A nefarious and unpredictable disease called Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE) where all food can be the enemy. It’s incredibly ironic that the one thing that is supposed to sustain us can actually be the one thing that hurts us. If he drinks milk, the white blood cells attack. If he picks up a cookie off the floor and eats it, the white blood cells attack. If he nibbles a little chocolate egg, the white blood cells attack. When the white blood cells attack, they strike his digestive system, destroying his little esophagus, inflicting severe tissue damage and creating pain few can imagine let alone bear on a daily basis. That is the nature of this disease which was only discovered 10+ years ago. Food is life. We need it. We celebrate it. In our family, it’s dramatically different. Food is approached with caution. Moms and Dads evaluate every single type of food that is put to their child’s lips . It is constant diligence and it is exhausting. What most families take for granted in sharing a meal, EoE families have to read a label for ingredients, prepare it without cross-contaminating it, and hope it won’t make their child sick. Trying to stop a child from the innocent act of wanting to eat something, is difficult. Food is about socializing. When we meet, we eat. When we gather, we eat. When we have fun, we eat. Some children with severe EoE are allergic to all foods. They survive off an amino acid-based formula which provides nutrition. It provides no taste (bad taste), no pleasure, and no sense of fulfillment. The biggest challenge right now is that few people have any understanding of the complexity of this disease and how it impacts small children physically, mentally, and emotionally. One day, this childhood nightmare will be eradicated from our world. But today, we need to educate people about EoE and build awareness so that funds can be generated for research to help the little ones who rely on us. Help us get the world of EoE into mainstream America.”

I have to say Dawson is truly our HERO. He has had more procedures than Nick and I put together. He handles getting put to sleep for the scopes like a pro and he hardly complains about not being able to eat anything that includes Milk or Soy protein. He also doesn’t let it bother him that other friends get to eat the things he doesn’t.  His attitude for fighting Eosinophilic Esophagitis is a true blessing!!  We will be traveling the 10.5 hours back home next weekend for Dawson’s 6th EGD. The Eosinophilic Disorders Clinic at Arkansas Children’s Hospital is absolutely wonderful and has truly been the biggest blessing to our family! There are only a handful of Eosinophilic Disorders Clinics in the United States, so what a blessing it is for Arkansas to have one. From failure to thrive to a healthy 4.5 year old toddler…we sing the praises of this wonderful hospital, it’s doctors, nurses, researchers and staff.

 

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Blessings,

Chel

 

 

 

Fun Times & A Heavy Heart

John 3:16-17

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

It’s kind of hard to feel sadness on a day like today, when we have so much to celebrate with Christ dying on the cross for us.  To say the three of us weren’t a little down today and home sick, though, wouldn’t be the truth. Today is the first time in 29 years I haven’t spent a holiday with my family. It also wasn’t the same going to church here this morning and not seeing all the kiddos we love back home. We really do like the church we are going to here, but boy do we miss seeing all those sweet kiddos in preschool class on Sunday Mornings. What a joy it was to teach those precious kids. It’s like a piece of us is missing by not loving on all those sweet babies back in Searcy anymore.  🙂

Enough of my somber mood, let’s talk happy, happy, happy!

We have had a lot of company over the past two weeks. My sister, brother-in-law and 4 nieces came up for Spring Break. Our house with 9,  instantly turned into loudness and laughter. Boy did we love it!!!  Should I mention Dawson was on cloud 9 as well! He has a bond with these girls that’s inseparable. He has always been like their little brother and they spoil him rotten. We truly enjoyed our visit and had fun taking them around town and spending a few days at Sea World as well!

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Dawson insisted we make a sign so the girls wouldn’t miss “his” street.

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Tired of Standing? So guess who offered to hold him while waiting in line for a ride. Lolo of course “AKA..Dawson’s little momma”

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Splash Zone at Shamu Rocks? YES!!!! (We are nuts..)

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Monkeying around in the playroom before bed…

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One of many reasons my child is my hero…. He loved riding all the rides (I, on the other hand, will literally pass out, so I knew better than to attempt it 🙂 )

Such a fun week and I am so glad my family made the long trip down to spend spring break!

March was a double blessing of visitors for us! After we said our goodbyes filled with lots of tears from all the girls…Nick’s parent’s made their way down to San Antonio as well. Dawson was beyond thrilled to see them! We also made a trip back to Dawson’s new favorite place, Sea World.

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Our Neighborhood Easter Festival & a little improv dancing while waiting on the Egg Hunt.

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All good things have to come to end and it was time for Ne-Ne and Pop-Pop to head back home. Boy, did we have an upset little boy.

I hope everyone had a fabulous Easter!!!  Sending lots of love and hugs to all our Family and  sweet Friends back home!

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Blessings,

Chel

Mark 12:30 

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

A Humbling Experience

This week we turned over one of the last things that was a reminder of our journey to San Antonio. When we found out early last fall we where heading to Minot, North Dakota we knew the weather was brutal and that it would be hard for me to get around in the heavy snow without having an AWD vehicle. A couple weeks before our actual move date, we traded in my beloved GMC Acadia so we would be prepared for what’s ahead. We decided on a much smaller SUV, a Nissan Rogue, because we thought it would be easier for me to get around in and there wasn’t a need for anything more. Since, let’s face it, when the weather is -5 outside you don’t really make big plans to travel or get out of the house. With this in mind, I wanted the cheapest thing on the market!!

Well, little did we know that we would soon discover God had much bigger plans for us!

This past week a local dealership was having big rebates ($5,500) on their 2013 Nissan Pathfinders (which is the same size of the GMC Acadia). We now love how Nissan’s drive so we knew we wanted to stick with them. We also are super cheap and knew if we bought a car it would have to be the best deal ever or just forget it. We knew back home they didn’t have any rebates or sales on these SUV’s, so we went to the dealership that was offering the rebates, price matched with a few other dealerships, and listened to all their sales spills over and over. Don’t get me wrong, the salesmen were fantastic, but car shopping is not our thing. If you know Nick and me….you know we DO NOT like to make decisions, and we think about everything forever! (It took Nick 6 months once to decide if he wanted to buy a flat screen tv.) We are super cheapskates when it comes to vehicles so this was something a little different for us. “Oh my word” is all I can say about our car shopping experience!!! I want to hide under a table now just thinking about it all! I was seriously trying to listen to the very nice salesman, but let’s just say my fabulous 4 year old was not having it. So this turned into to let’s humilate mommy each time we stop at a dealership!

It’s becoming very clear that the older Dawson gets the more he is developing  his daddy’s personality (but he still has a lot of his mommas personality too.) 🙂  I knew I was going to be in for it when I insisted for Dawson to sit still in an salesmen’s office for 2+ hours.This together sums up my child’s personality…(Talking 24/7, dancing constantly, joking, super comical, always laughing, aggravating, begging to go outdoors, germ freak, loves to learn new things, passionate, caring, big heart, tunes everyone out for tv, thrill seeker, fearless, prankster). With all this in mind you can imagine why I am still trying to block out the memories of what all happened last week. I just hope I really don’t run into the salesmen we met anytime soon. They probably think….what a wacky family! haha! Here’s just a few of the wonderful things that happened……

At our first stop Dawson let the salesmen clearly know that my legs were very scratchy, spikey and had too much skin…hair on them!!? (Seriously…I just shaved the night before…. I promise!!.. My face was red at this point). I think to myself I am in the clear now since Dawson is setting on my lap watching netflix on the iPad. Well it doesn’t stop there… Several minutes goes by and Dawson interupts me talking, to announce my breath smells really bad!! (What? the gum didn’t cover the onion from lunch??..My face is now remaining super red.) To top it off, as we are wrapping things up, my child decides to pass gas multiple times loudly, then turn, look and blame it on me. (WHAT!!!?? What am I raising here??? I am horrified at this point and Nick is trying to keep in the laughter from what’s come out of our child’s mouth the past 2 hours.)

So as we leave the dealership to go home and think about it…I had a little chat with Dawson about how he embarrassed mommy and we don’t want to say things like that. (This as Nick is biting his lips, holding in laughter) Bottom line…he’s 4 years old, and a kid is a kid. I know that, and I also know that you never know what’s coming out of my child’s mouth next..so family, friends heads up when you have him in your presence!!!! 🙂

A few days later we hit up one last Nissan dealership. I gave Dawson a pep talk on being good before we left, so I thought I had this in the bag this time. (I may or may not have bribed him with his special brownies later… 🙂 )  Not so fast though…. Over time Dawson got super bored (understandable because I was as well) watching movies on the ipad, so he decided to break dance for a while. Let’s just say by a while I mean for about a good 30 minutes.  That’s totally normal with our family so no need to sweat it.  A dance party takes place almost nightly with Dawson and Nick. In fact, if you ever FaceTime us I can guarantee Dawson will insist on showing you his latest dance moves he’s mastered or will do his all time favorite moves as he sings to “This girl is on fire”! The only awkward situation at this specific dealership was when my child (no not animal) decided to breakout of one of his dance moves and slide on over to the salesmen’s desk and totally lick the paper he was referring to? (Seriously am I raising a dog??) OMG!!! I instantly apologized! Dawson has never done anything like that before and we were at a loss for words. The salesmen didn’t really know what to say.  I’m sure he probably thinks we all have a fetish with licking things? Who knows..but I promise we don’t! So of course a small chat on the ride home consisted of how disgusting it is to lick random things…etc!!

Over a week later and a lot of time spent with a bright red face dealing with salesmen and a 4 year old, we finally traded in our North Dakota bound AWD Rogue for a Pathfinder. We got a great deal and we love having the extra room so we can fit more people in our vehicle. It will be great also to fit all our luggage in the back when we travel home soon. 🙂

Until next time……….. God Bless!

Seeing the truth through a toddlers eyes

Wow, how time is flying by! It does not seem that we have been in San Antonio already for 6 weeks. I have to give so much PRAISE to God for how smooth this big change in our life has been. We miss our family and friends more than words can express, but we are honestly handling things so much better than we ever imagined. Every day we spend here we feel more and more convinced that God has a bigger plan for us in San Antonio and that’s why he is blessing in so many ways!

It’s been a while since my last post, because, let’s face it, my life is crazy busy! I don’t know if I have mentioned directly before in a post, but all through our crazy journey to San Antonio I have been working from home (or at some times during this journey from Starbucks, McDonalds, truck stops, in a U-Haul truck hacking wifi from a random business or  hotels) as the production coordinator / media buyer for an advertising company back home. I know I am completely crazy because it’s not like my life is insane enough right?! I actually enjoy my job!  I have come to realize lately though the challenges of working from home. Because I am a workaholic, I have a hard time stopping until I have finished something I have started. So instead of working part-time, I end up working all the time.  I just can’t seem to stop working when I know there is more to do. Working from home is something I have always wanted to do, so I can spend more time with Dawson. I am beyond blessed that I have the opportunity. I am just now trying to train myself to stop working so much and also feel like it’s ok to get on my computer and not do work. I went through a phase recently where I would hide my lap top because if I looked at it, I felt like I couldn’t do anything, but work. That is why I haven’t blogged in a few weeks. I guess the biggest slap in the face of all this was what Dawson recently told me which has been a deal breaker. Dawson said, “Mom your grounded from your computer because all you do is work, please play with me.” WOW! I always thought my multi-tasking by playing cars, games, cooking, helping Dawson with school and working at the same time was ok. I always told myself I will play more in a minute. That minute turned into hours. What a wake up call it was by seeing the truth in the eyes of my 4 year old. I don’t want to teach him what I am doing is ok.  Spending time with family is the most important thing and there is no reason why I should feel the need to work 24/7. Everyday is getting easier to put the lap top away and walk away from work for a bit. I have always just been such a worry wart about work. I always want to give 110% and make sure I have everything done. I am working on accepting that giving 100% is ok and that everyone else walks away from work at 5pm so it’s ok for me to as well. I probably sound like an awful mom for totally admitting this. I promise my child gets so much love and attention. I just never realized that he picked up on how much I worked. I have always been the type of person that felt the need to accomplish so much and help out with all I can.God has taught me so much lately. The main thing I am focused on is how I can better serve God, bless others, be the best mom, wife, friend and raise the best child of God I can.

I know a lot of my family was a little worried about me moving here, not knowing anyone and then working from home. Which means I basically have no adult interaction, except when I greet Dawson’s teacher every Monday- Thursday at 9am and 2pm when I take and pick him up from school or when I see Nick before and after work. It’s been a little tough, but I have the most active best friend ever, Dawson! What a blessing it has been to spend everyday with him and be more of a hands on mom! I love it! He is best dose of medicine for home sickness! FaceTiming with family and friends has also been the best thing ever!! I honestly was so scared about how this all would work out when we moved and if I would have a hard time again staying at home. I think the age makes all the difference and the atmosphere. Plus of course God’s hand in it all. The weather is so great here in San Antonio so we are able to do so much outside, which makes us all happy, happy, happy!

One big thing that I believe God has taught me with dealing with all this, is that I have not failed myself or anyone. I have always put so much pressure on myself to achieve so many goals and to also have this amazing career in broadcast news.Which led myself to become a workaholic. For some silly reason the last time I stayed at home I struggled with being a failure and not providing for my family. A failure for, achieving my goal of graduating college, landing this amazing job as a news producer, working my way up, all to walk away from it to be a stay at home mom. I know I sound pretty crazy, but in all honesty that is how I felt. I am embarrassed I even thought that way. What is even more silly is I never thought of my best friends as failures who stayed at home, I always have worshiped the ground they walk on for being able to do that and love it. So why have I drove myself crazy for so long? I think it just came from the nature of my childhood. Being raised by a single mother and seeing my mother work so hard for everything to provide, it taught me so much. She was amazing, but I believe I have had the wrong understanding of it all. I have a wonderful husband who provides and I am not a failure no matter if I work or not. 🙂 I am so amazed now how God is touching my life, lifting me up and showing me there is so many other ways I can be successful for his kingdom.

San Antonio is truly a beautiful place and we are making the most of getting out several times a week  in spending time as a family. We have a great neighborhood with a park and lots of running trails. We have a loop we take that is 3.1 miles. We bought a new jogging stroller because our favorite bike/jogging trailer really couldn’t take the massive hills here. Dawson loves to run and is getting very good at it. Dawson is such a good motivator to me because when I see the hills ahead I tend to beg Nick to let me walk for a sec! Ha!  Dawson is gaining endurance and I am pretty sure he could run a mile straight right now. He runs most of the route and I normally push the empty stroller for when he needs to hop in for his so called “water/snack break”.

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Dawson starts soccer at the end of March and he is beyond excited to play on a team in a “real” game.

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Nick and I  have also done a few projects around the house lately in our down time after Dawson’s in bed. We love things like this and it keeps us sane by working on projects like these together. We saw a few of these things on pintrest and then turned the idea into our own.  We hope to break out the saws soon because I have a few frames I need to make, plus I am in need of a coffee table “Pinterest style”. There is a fabulous block of antique stores here in San Antonio we discovered. It was like a glimpse of heaven walking in this slightly sketchy place seeing old and vintage furniture stacked taller than our heads and as far as we could see. We purchased a beat up dresser (see before and after picture below) there and made it into a media cabinet for our down stairs living room. Then we have been working on coming up with “Our Family Rules” and what we want to instill in Dawson the most. So we made this chalkboard for the entry way when you come up stairs to the playroom and bedrooms.

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Dawson absolutely loves his school and we are so happy we found it. I should mention though we were not expecting his school curriculum to be so more advanced than back home. (His “school” is actually a church ran Mothers day out program that has an awesome curriculum.) Dawson truly takes learning to heart and is so dedicated. (Let’s pray he continues to be this way for the next 18 years….lol!)  He cried after his first day of school because he said, he missed a letter? Even though I knew it had to be something else, we practiced all his letters over and over that night. The next day we asked his teacher about it and she said he missed his vowels! WOW. We didn’t realize at 4 years old that he should already know his vowels? Let’s just say by the end of the week his teacher said he didn’t miss a one. Dawson was so dedicated to get them right and insisted on practicing every night. Now he is working on his sight words, spelling/sounding them out, writing them and building small sentences. The days of Nick and I trying to spell out words to keep from Dawson will soon be over I fear.

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Dawson was so happy he got a heart from a friend at school on Valentine’s Day.

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Dawson got a bug catching/spy gear set for Christmas. The set includes a bug net, bug vacuem etc… You can bet he’s going to be digging or trying to catch something he can inspect under his magnifying glass, whenever he gets a chance to go outside.

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I have so much more to share with you as this journey has opened our hearts so much. I promise to blog again real soon. I want to say thanks so much for  the texts, phone calls, facebook comments etc. about my blog. They make us feel so great.  I am so blessed to have you all in my life. I truly am honored, humbled and love that you enjoy to read about our journey!!! Sending lots of love your way!!

Blessings,

Chel