Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Was it the Lord or Satan?

There was a specific situation going on in my life that I really wasn't sure if God was using to draw me closer to Him or if Satan was using it to tear me away from Him. I had brought all my concerns before the feet of Jesus and let Him know how my heart felt about it. I had a few friends and family tell me that I should just ignore it, and then a few others tell me that God had put this issue in my life for a reason. After months of frustration and no good things coming from it I decided to just get it out of my life forever. I asked a few close people in my life, that I look up to and respect in all areas of their lives but most importantly their walks with Jesus, their opinion on the situation and they agreed that it sounded like Satan was just trying to use it to tear me away from Jesus.

Romans 12:18 says "If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men."

I really tried to apply this verse to the situation as best I could. I'm so glad that there is a limitation in this verse because otherwise I'd still have this unsettling feeling hanging over my head.

1 John 4:1 & 2 says "Beloved, do no believe every spirit but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God:"

WOW! What a great verse for this situation. I love that the Lord didn't lack any detail in His Word. When I feel like I have to figure out to do things on my own I quickly remind myself to search the scriptures and seek the Lord.
I really feel like my desire to go deeper, wider, higher with Jesus is happening. The pruning process has been some-what painful, but the reward is so great.
Anyway, that's all for tonight. I hope that eventually this situation leads to the glory of God in all opinions. As far as I'm concerned I am praising God for showing me the right answer and for giving me the right tools and discernment to overcome. I pray that Satan will leave well enough alone and let me be for a little while.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I started a new post yesterday afternoon, but after re-reading it this morning I realized it had become just a bunch of random thoughts turned into word vomit! So here I go again!
Today we are 2 weeks down on the deployment! It really has gone by so so fast. I think Saturday was the only day that didn't go by fast and that was partly because I didn't plan anything that day.
This last week was full of fun stuff! I can't really remember what we did Monday-Wednesday. I know I did go to church Wednesday night. It was Elijah's first time in his new big kid class! No more nursery for this dude! He's so happy he's in there because his sweet friend "Faif",Faith, as he calls her is in his class with him. At least until she moves up into the 1st grade class!
Thursday Kelly and I took the boys to our local farmers market. I needed to get flowers for Women's Bible Study, and it's always fun to go there cause people sell the coolest stuff! The boys really like it. I get a fresh squeezed lemonade, Kelly gets the boys kettle corn, and she buys freshly made tortilla chips! YUM!! We had a great time. We came home and shortly after lunch time we headed out to the dollar store to get small vases for the flowers and twine so I could decorate the bottoms of them. Once we were home I laid Elijah down to take a nap and I went to work on my vases. It was a total trial and error thing at first, but I finally did figure it out. I think they turned out pretty cute!
Friday was church. It was Renee's birthday! I think she was totally blessed. We had cake and some other good treats! Plus Michelle's message was awesome, as usual!
Saturday Elijah and I went to Chick Fil A with Kelly and the boys. They eat earlier than we do, but thats good cause it means we miss the rush! The boys played and played. Then Elijah and I headed off to Home Depot to get some Miracle Grow for our flowerbed. We played the rest of the day, mostly outside! Cops was on and of course we watched that!
Sunday was church. We went to early service for the first time! It was much different than 2nd service. New faces, same warm welcomed feeling! I so love our church. We are so blessed with such a great body of Christ! We had a playdate in the late afternoon with a friend of Kelly's. Shanna has 2 kids as well. A boy, Chandler, and a girl, Lyndzi. It was great getting to know her better and to spend time with friends!
Well thats all for now! I just finished cleaning up our flower bed so I need to go freshen up! I hope everyone is doing great!
The flowers from the farmers market and the vase I made for it

Renee's birthday flowers and her princess crown!

The birthday girl surrounded by a few of her favorite people!

Handsome Chandler

Precious Lyndzi

Crazy Quinn

Goofy Grayson

Silly Elijah!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Busy days!

If it weren't for my new sweet camera and my advantageous attitude to take as many pictures as possible while Justin is gone, I'd have no idea what we did this weekend! It flew by for sure!
Thankfully I did take pictures and it jogged my memory looking at them all that we had done!

Friday morning as usual I go to my Women's Bible Study at church. It's a highlight of my week for sure! We had a pot luck this week and a few women shared their testimonies. It was a great time of worship and fellowship.
Friday night I offered to watch Q and G while their mommy and daddy went on a date. B is out of town now doing some training in Maryland for a few months. I was happy to do it because I sure do love those boys and it kept me busy on a Friday night. We had dinner outside, played a little too, then watched Lion King 1 1/2, and ate popcorn!
Saturday was a pretty slow day. We woke up and putzed around till about 10. I put on a movie for Elijah so I could take a shower and went to go do so. I ALWAYS turn the water on for a minute or two before even undressing. Thankfully my routine didn't change that morning because after that minute or so I felt the water again and it was ice cold! I thought maybe I hadn't turned the knob far enough so I turned it farther and waited. Again, still cold. In between trips to feel the water I had just happened to look out the front door and noticed that water was coming out of a PVC pipe coming from the garage. I didn't think anything of it. Finally I thought maybe something was wrong with the water heater. I was right! The garage and part of the laundry room were flooded!! I tried to reach up and turn off the water, but I wasn't tall enough... Why would someone put the shut off valve almost to the ceiling? I called maintanence and they were there within 10 minutes! I was glad that nothing got destroyed, just wet! Later in the day we headed over to Kelly's and had dinner. The boys played outside for a while. We came home around 7:30. Elijah had a bath and as I was getting him dressed for bed he looked up to me and said "Mommy, are we gonna watch Cops tonight?" I'm pretty sure my mouth hit the floor. How could he know it's Saturday? How did he remember that Cops was on? I said "of course honey!" I know Justin would be proud (and from the tone in his voice when I told him, I'm sure he is). Watching Cops on Saturday night is what those two do together. After bath time before bed! EVERY SINGLE SATURDAY! He watched intently, and then we left for Kelly's again. This time he was gonna go to sleep there for a little while so that us girls could watch a girl movie! It was fun fun! Justin was able to call and hearing his voice always cheers me up!
Sunday was a normal Sunday. Church, Pedro's Taco's, and a nap! I'm pretty sure I saw Kelly that day too.. Really, I see them everyday!
Well, that was our first weekend without Justin! Pretty low key, but still eventful! It flew by, just like I want it too!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Happy 3rd Birthday Elijah!

Monday we celebrated Elijah's 3rd Birthday! It was a bittersweet day for me as Justin wasn't here to celebrate it with us. We did have a party for him a few weeks ago when my parents were in town. It was a lot of fun!
Yesterday we went to breakfast with Kelly and her boys then to a park to play for a little while. We came home and Elijah took a nap while I spent some time in God's Word. It's probably my favorite time of day! During his nap I was able to make some phone calls and one was to a dentist to make an appointment to get a problem tooth extracted. I have been having issues with this tooth since I was pregnant with Elijah. I'm pretty sure it's the cause of my migraines... Anyway, I got an appt for that afternoon. I was shocked to say the least. Kelly willingly watched Elijah for me while I went. I thought maybe we'd just have a consult-like appointment and then set up a real one to get it extracted, but nope, they were gonna do it right then and there. I was a little nervous, but it was happening to fast I couldn't really be that that nervous. Within 5 minutes of the Novocain being administered my tooth was out! It was so so easy. After a few hours the pain meds wore off, but thankfully they gave me some perscriptions to fill in case I needed them. And boy did I need them! I got to Kelly's to pick up Elijah just in time for their dinner so we stayed. It's wonderful because her husband is out of town too (not that having no husbands is wonderful, just that we are husbandless together!) so we get to spend a lot of time together. I took my medicine right before dinner and by the end of it I could barley walk! Pain kills + Megan = NOT GOOD! I did finally make it home safely and in time to put Elijah to bed!
So many people called my sweet boy yesterday to wish him a happy birthday. It totally blessed my socks off! I knew he was loved, but I didn't realize how much! We were hoping that Justin could call, but he wasn't able too. At first I was aggrivated, but then I remembered that sometimes they shut the phones off if something happened.
He was able to call tonight though and talk to Elijah. I wish I had my camera on hand because his face was priceless! I knew he was just as excited to talk to his daddy as his daddy was to talk to him!
Here are some pictures from our day. I have another post coming about our first weekend without Justin that includes some pictures as well, but I think I'm gonna wait till tomorrow to post it!

Elijah, I am so proud of the little boy you have turned into! You have gone from a sweet toddler to an independent boy. In this last year you have had many accomplishments, but your biggest is being fully potty-trained. You now go without having to be asked or told, most of the time! HAHA You rarely have accidents which makes me so proud because everyone said you'd slide back when daddy left. You also can ride your scooter like a pro and peddle your tricycle without help! You drink from cups and don't make a mess and can eat at a table without a booster seat! You have started to be more opinionated with what you wear and can put on your "flippers" as you call them, and flip-flops without help! Your favorite sport is soccer and you are by far the best 3yr old dribbler I've ever seen! You still love to snuggle and watch movies in bed with me!
I think 3 is going to be your best year yet! I am excited to see how the Lord changes you and molds you into a big boy!
I love you so very much and am truly honored to be your mom!

Love you to the moon and back!


Sorry again...

I am terrible at this whole "posting daily" thing. Our life has been pretty busy these last few days. I actually had a great post for last night as it was Elijah's 3rd Birthday, but I got one of my teeth pulled yesterday afternoon so by 8pm last night I was pretty out of it. So, I will hopefully be back here later this afternoon or tonight with a fun post all about my little boy! For now, I'm going to rest because between the pain in my mouth and the headache it's causing I NEED to rest!!

Till we meet again!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Family pictures!

My dear friend Kelly graciously took family pictures for us a few weeks ago. I had wanted her to take pictures of our family for a while now, but never really had a reason too. With Justin deploying and us moving out here closer to her I figured better now then later! So without further a-do, I'm sharing with you just some of my favorites because honestly I'd be here for hours uploading all of them!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A positive outlook.

Two years ago almost to the day Justin deployed for the first time. We were on shaky ground in our marriage before he left. A lot had happened in the VERY short 2 years we had been married. Within the first 13 months of marriage we were: married, in the Marines, with a new preemie baby. So as you can imagine it was tough. On top of all that I had a huge resentment problem towards Justin. He was living his dream job, have a social life, and coming home to a family who catered to him. I had no friends. We were the only one of his friends that were married. Again, it was tough. We weren't really walking with the Lord. I certainly didn't have the desire to submit to him or serve him more than making his meals and cleaning his laundry.
When I was in Florida during the deployment it felt like I was on a 7 month vacation from my real life. I still had a child to tend to, but I could come and go as I pleased without a care in the world. I had a great friend open her doors to us and let us stay in her house free of charge. (Still to this day I try to figure out ways to repay them for all their generosity...) When we reunited that early cold October morning, 7 LONG months after he had left, I was unsure how our life together would pan out. We weren't involved in any church so counseling was kinda out of the question, plus we (mainly me) were to prideful to ask for him. "We can do it on our own" was my motto!
Since the beginning of the year Justin and I have made a very honest effort to make God #1 in our lives. We have come sooo far in just the short 3.5 months. I am learning new things ALL the time and just love the Lord so much and am so grateful He never gave up on us (me).
This deployment was much scarier for me than Iraq was. Maybe because 2 years ago I was naive or I just didn't care... I really don't know. I do know that I don't want to live my life without Justin. He is one of my pillars of strength when I am crumbling (I say one of because Jesus is my main man.... but Justin is my physical strength..) We were able to spend nearly 16 months of uninterrupted time together. It was fantastic! We grew more in love with each other. Learned SO much more about on another..... Just the thought of loosing him makes tears well up in my eyes.
I am not focusing on the negative though. I firmly believe we will get through this, together, stronger than ever! The Bible says "Take captive every thought." And that is what I am doing. I will not let Satan have any reign over my thoughts, actions, or words. I want to happily glorify God in good times and happily glorify God in the hard times. After all, HE happily died on the cross for me....
I got to talk to Justin tonight. It wasn't a long talk, but being able to hear his voice and know that he is doing well and not just saying he is, comforts me. Elijah and I are really doing good. Adapting to being a single parent again took a day or so to get use to, but I've got the hang of it... and really who am I kidding, Elijah is the one who had to get use to being with me all day! HA!!! He does miss his daddy and asks about him often and when he's mad at me he says he's gonna go tell daddy.
Today we cleaned. And by we, I mean we! My sweet boy helped me dust and vacuum! I am so sad that he isn't a baby anymore, but I am really really loving this age! (Momma Cate, I told you I wanted to figure out how to keep him 2, I think I'm gonna switch it to 3!) He rode his bike today without my help... Man, what a milestone! Six months ago he couldn't do that... Now I have to run to keep up with him! I am trying my best to capture these moments with pictures.. Especially for his dad! So I'm gonna go, but here are a few I shot today.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I'm actually writing this a day late... Woops! Can't get behind already. We are only 3 days into the deployment!
I'm pretty sure I haven't said this yet, but for those who know us personally I want to let you know that Justin safely made it to Afghanistan. I have received a few emails from him and unfortunately missed an IM session with him early this morning, but I know he'll try again soon so I'm not beating myself up over it!
If you want to send him stuff you can do so as well as sending him messages through MOTOMAIL. I've already sent one message to him with a picture of us so he can have one for his wallet!
He sounds to be in good spirits and I'm so thankful for that because Elijah and I are doing great too! We miss him so very much, but are proud of him and what he is doing. I hope to be getting a phone call this week/end sometime, but the lines (waiting for the phones) are outrageous so I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't happen till early next week.

Anywho, as I said Elijah and I are doing great! We are keeping busy and finding things to do. The weather here has been great this week! Shorts and t-shirts for sure! We've been to the park a few times as well as played in the yard a bit.
Yesterday we of course wore green in honor of St. Patty's Day! I watched a friends little boy in the morning and then went to lunch with them once she came back! Elijah and his friends (as well as Kelly and I) took the boys to the playground to let off some steam before nap time! I love that Elijah has such good friends already. He really does get along with them most of the time! We are still learning to share as well as having a positive attitude when he doesn't get his way.
I skyped with my sisters and mom yesterday afternoon! I played Simon Says with Emmie! It was so much fun! Skype really does help make me feel so much less alone. Because I don't work it's nice to have that time with grown-ups, even if it is over the computer making funny faces and trying to wiggle my ears! (My sister Alicia is pretty funny... She has quite a talent in moving her eyes, nose, ears, and tongue into weird things... Lindsay and I aren't blessed with being able to do most of what she can!)
We had dinner over at Kelly and Brian's. BBQ chicken, mashed potatos, and rolls! It was great, even if it wasn't a traditional Irish meal! The boys played outside for a while afterwards and wore themselves out! Eli came home and went right to bed he was so tired!
All in all it was a good day! One down, not sure how many to go and I'm not counting them either!
Hope everyone else had a great St. Patty's Day!
Finally pausing a second long enough to take a picture!

Elijah and Grayson looking for roly-poly's!

Yes, he's wearing Elmo slippers... He wouldn't wear anything else!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I did something today I haven't done in a long time... I'm talking like months and months!

I cooked!

I'm not really proud of that, but it's the truth. Since we've moved here I've made small simple meals. ex. pizza, tacos, etc. But tonight I went all out. I made steak, broccoli, and mashed potatoes and let me tell you what it was FANTASTIC! I spent most of the day home with Elijah. I did laundry, cleaned, and just relaxed. Elijah has been fighting a cold since last week so it was good to just rest. He watched two of the new movies he got from his birthday party last week. I really can't believe that in less than a week he'll be 3! Where did the time go?
I spent nap time taking a shower and reading my Bible. Have I mentioned lately how much I love reading God's Word?! I'm learning new things daily and really taking to heart all He's teaching me!

I do have some annoyingly bad news though..... Elijah has selective hearing. You know the blank stare you use to give your parents when they were yelling at you or telling you to do something, ya I get that. SUPER FRUSTRATING! I am getting more stern with him and hopefully he'll catch the drift before his butt is raw! Throwing a fit in the middle of Target cause I won't go to the toy isles at that EXACT minute is not acceptable to me. Call me strict, call me mean, call me whatever you want, but I firmly believe rearing him now will benefit me later!

Well, this has turned into a vent and I didn't mean for it too. I hope I covered all my bases on our day today.

I love you Justin! Thanks for the cute email today! Miss you loads and loads!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Our day today.

Today was hard. Much harder than I expected, but God was definitely faithful and was with me all day.
I am so grateful for our loving family and friends who have come beside us and covered us in prayer and comforted us (especially me) during this time.
I tried to nap today, no such luck. My day started at 2:30am... YUCK! It was worth it though. I got to take a nice uninterrupted shower, spend some time with Jesus, and relax for a little while before I had to leave.
Once we said good-bye I came home and laid Elijah down. He slept for a few hours which was great because I needed to talk to my mom and sweet sister in law Carleigh.
I've been able to talk to Justin on and off all day. I went out to dinner with friends from a USMC forum I have been with since Justin was in boot camp. It's how I met my friend, Kelly, who lives out here too.
Justin made a video for Elijah of him reading one of Elijah's favorite books, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. Elijah was able to read along with him before bed tonight. It was so sweet! I will hopefully be able to share that with Elijah most every night before bed.
I am sure Elijah notices life is different, but so far he's been great with the whole thing. I'm expecting to have hard days, but I am praying God will give me the strength to extend to him. I will happily cry with him, snuggle him, and try to play with him like his daddy does!
Well, that's all for tonight. I need sleep.
Good night my sweet love, wherever you are! Know we are thinking about you ALL the time, we miss you, and love you more than we can express! Keep your eyes on Jesus. We'll see you soon!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Please pray

This next week is going to be an adjustment for our family as Justin is deploying again. Elijah and I are staying here in California. We have an amazing church family that I can't rave enough about and some good friends here as well.
I'm really going to try to not complain this deployment about how hard it is or how much I miss Justin, but I want to be straight up and tell you (my faithful reader's!) that I will miss Justin more than words can say and that this deployment is much different than any time apart we've ever experienced. God has really done a major work and change in our lives this year so letting him go (who am I kidding, I had no choice in this matter) is something that is going to be very difficult for me in an emotional way.
I am sure that we can only become stronger together in our marriage as well as our individual walks with Jesus. We are both madly, passionately, crazily, in love with our Savior.
I ask that you would be praying for us, and specifically for the people Justin is deploying with. Pray for traveling mercies, energy, patience, and understanding as they make their way into country. Also more specifically for a Christian buddy for Justin to be able to "hang" with or just fellowship with!
He has his iPod loaded with sermons and books so He will get plenty of great teachings.
I thank you in advance for your faithful prayers and consistent support. We know it is through our Savior that we will succeed through this deployment and that God will use it for the bettering of His kingdom!


Friday, March 12, 2010

Real quick.

I know, I know. I've been TERRIBLE about posting blogs, but honestly there are just times in my life right now where I have to steer clear of stuff like this or I won't say anything nice.
It's been a fantastic few weeks. Our countdown till Daddy comes home has almost begun.
I can't say that I'm not nervous because I am. I think there is always fear of the unknown, but I am not letting satan take captive my thoughts. I want the Lord to be glorified even in the hard times. I obviously am staying put here in Camp Pendleton. We (as a family) are in a really great place here. I have a few friends, an amazing church, and a beautiful beach. Our decision to stay here was a pretty easy one, though going to Utah to live for 6 months would have been nice too. We love our home. Not just the bones of the house, but the location too! I have a huge city right at my finger tips! It will be interesting to stay here and be admist the Marine Corps while Justin is gone, but I think it is the best thing for Elijah and I right now. We aren't sure if we'll re-enlist yet. If I had to decide today, we'd get out. The Marines have been great to us, most days, but I miss simple pleasures in life. Plus, trying to get pregnant when your husband isn't here all the time is umm.... impossible!
I'm going to take these 6ish months and revamp my body back into the way it should be. Draw closer to the Lord and really make an honest effort to be a hands on mom. I am hoping to be on the right path of getting pregnant by the time Justin gets home. We soooo want another baby, but we know that it's in the Lord's timing! I'm so thankful for that! I'm sort of glad we didn't get pregnant before Justin leaves for 2 reasons. 1. He doesn't get to miss another pregnancy and 2. I get to enjoy watching my friend, Kelly, grow through her pregnancy! They find out tomorrow what they are having!! I'm praying for a girl!
My parents are in town right now. It's been such a blessing to have them come visit us! My mom and I are best friends so as you can imagine we have a great time when we do get to see each other! It is also nice to have my dad here too. He's never been to our house (aside from when we were newleywed's still living in FL). I'm proud of our place and all that we have accomplished in the short 4 years we've been married.
Anyway, just wanted to write really quick before our weekend started. Once Justin is gone I will be posting a lot more as this will be his way of keeping up with all those mundane details I seem to forget when he calls!
Off to snuggle with my loves and enjoy all these last precious moments together!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mom's visit in pictures

Mom's visit started off with a fantastic Valentine's breakfast!

Had to get both views!

We spent that afternoon at the Randall's! Joel and Eli had a great time playing together.

Some goofy kids just hanging out!

Photo op!

Mom with John and Michelle Randall

We went to Sea World and watched Elmo's Live in 3D. Doesn't he look a little like Mr. Incredible here?

Elijah and Grandma

Elijah met Elmo!

Dun-a Dun-a Du, Shamu! Shamu!

Flamingo's are very smelly birds. Elijah enjoyed them!

My little man!

We enjoyed some ice cream

Some of us a little to much! LOL

Watched the Beluga whales swim.

Enjoyed a walk on the beach.

Well, not all of us enjoyed it...

"cooking" hot dogs on an open propane flame.... not so safe

Explaining you should use a pot of water instead...

Played a little soccer in the yard.

Monkey'd around at the zoo!

Went to see the elephants!

Sat on a random bird!

Entertained a rattle snake!

Visited the friendly giraffe's

Took the skyride

The boys wrestled when we got home.

We had a great visit!

Our wild man really misses his grandma!!