Good times, good friends

I am sitting here, in my cute little porch (I seriously can't get enough of it), tired (how?! How am I always tired... I feel like I am ALWAYS sleeping. Darn night shift.), but not really wanting to head to sleep to prepare for work tonight.

It's quiet and empty in my little house now.
I love having visitors.
I love when my house if full of people that I love.
I especially love when those visitors are a really good friend and her sweet babe.
I miss Coll and Miriam already.

Meeting for the first time.
Zuzu: I want to love on your faaaaaace!
Miriam: Oh, but I just want to give you a hug!
It was so wonderful having another friend around.
Coll and I have been friends for NINE years this year.  What?!  I don't even know how that happened.  I realize that isn't super long in the grand scheme of things, but in our 9 years of friendship, we've been through a lot.  College, moving away, marriage, babies, different countries.
She is one of the closest people in my life, and I am SO thankful for her.

Beachin' it with good friends and cute babes.
And, the only pic of Coll, me and Mart.
All three of us graduated from undergrad together, and have stayed friends.  
Mart pointed out how amazing it is that we are all still friends, even though we are SO different. :)
Personalities, likes, dislikes, etc.
But, what we do share is our faith.  The Holy Spirit has bonded us together.
I truly believe that.
We may get on each others' nerves or don't agree with each other all of the time, but we are sisters-in-Christ.  That is really the most important thing.
He brought us together for something greater.

Pluuuuus... watching the babes interact these last few days was priceless.
It solidified my desire to have a babe one day.
Like, no joke.
Sharing Sophie.
Saying goodbye.
So, ya know... wherever you are, future husband, I am continuing to pray for you! ;)

Also... for those of you (all but none of you!) who have been waiting patiently to see me IN my reallycuteamazing Anthro dress (mentioned in last week's Five Faves)... wait no longer!

I think I look weird in these pics.
But, I seriously love the dress. LOVE IT.
You know you are jealous of my burned sunkissed arms.
I got quite a few compliments at Mart's AWESOME party and again yesterday at Mass.
That's about it for now...
I guess I reallllllly should be sleeping now.
Sweet dreams!

7 Quickity Quick Quick Takes (21)

Another Friday... another dose of 7 Quick Takes!
(I am writing this early... b/c today-Friday-intends to be a busy one!
Therefore, all the linkity-links will be updated later!)

~ 1 ~
Colleen is HERE!  Yes! :)
Coll, Mart and I haven't been ALL together since... Martha's wedding?
Yea... I think so.  Crazytown.
BUT... for 4 days... we.are.together.again.
And, it feels sooo good.

~ 2 ~
Which means... Coll brought her babe, Miriam.
Zuzu and Miriam are now friends:

Who want to hug....
Or grab each other's face.  Whatevs.

~ 3 ~
I love having two BFFs together... that have known you for a long time.
We can laugh like old times, talk about all the things we did in our college days and how times have changed.  So fun.

~ 4 ~
So, last Saturday, Martha and I went to the Great Cloth Diaper Change in Fort Myers.
The goal was to set the Guiness Book of World Records for the most cloth diapers changed in one day.  It was happening all around the world.  Kind of odd?  Maybe.  Totally fun to see all the cute babes and there big butts?  Duh.
I have no idea if the record was even achieved!

~ 5 ~
Martha is having a little par-tay at her house today.
This will be fun!  I am looking forward to meeting some more people.  Seeing some that I already know.  I really need to broaden my community around these parts.
(I love you, Mart, but I do need to make more friends!)

~ 6 ~
This party will allow me to wear the wonderful orange Anthro dress that I mentioned in my Five Faves yesterday! :)  I will post a pic of me in it at some point.  I mean, what's the point of having  your own blog if you can't brag justalittlebit about how cute you look in a really great dress?!

~ 7 ~
I had TWO random emails this week from people who stumbled upon my blog.
I am so grateful and humbled.
I didn't start writing so that people would just love my blog and want to read it, but the fact that it has reached a few people, it means so much.
So, thanks to those ladies who reached out.
And, obviously, thanks everyone else who reads this.  
Seriously, I can't say 'thank you' enough.

With that... head on over to Jen!  I think she is hosting this week... if not, I'll change it later! :)
Paz, Amor y Abrazos!

Five Faves (2)

This week... these are a few of my favorite things! :)  I love this link-up!  It's so fun.  Thanks to Hallie for hosting!


I love this stuff.  LOVE IT.  I can't tell you enough.
I don't know if it has really helped my skin... but, it has made is smoother.
The smell is divine.
Gosh, love it.

Diet Peach Tea Snapple
I go through phases of drinking this.
Right now... it's on!  
My mom used to drink it when I was younger, so I have good memories.

Yummy avocados!
Ya know, I didn't always like these guys.  They have grown on me over the years.
Last year in Honduras I ate them all.of.the.time.  I added some to pretty much every dish the Ranch made: rice and beans, egg and beans, rice and egg, tostadas, casamiento (beans and rice cooked together, also my fave), etc.  There wasn't a whole lot of flavor to many of the meals, so avocado made it so much better. :)
Now, I just eat them straight.  Yum-o.


Eeee!!!  This dress. :)
It was seriously made for me.  I don't say that often, but it's pretty amazing.
Martha and I went shopping the other day, and got some things for ourselves.
It was fun to shop together, again! :)

Oh and this one, too:
I don't know if I've ever gotten anything from Anthropologie before, 
but I sure made up for it this week.
I haven't bought a nice piece of clothing for myself in a long time, so it's ok. :)


My mom!
Poor thing is still STUCK IN THE SNOW in Minnesota.
Ugh.  I can't wait (she can't either!) until she is here in 16 days!
16! Woo!!

With that... be sure to check out all the favorites over at Hallie's!
Have a wonderful rest of your week!

Marriage is hard (so says the single lady!)

<Disclaimer: I woke up having these thoughts after 3 hours of sleep, after a night shift... so, now I am going to try and make this into a blog post.  No guarantees of a superb outcome!>

Have you seen the tv show Smash?
(It's basically a show about putting on a hit Broadway show, which happens to be about Marilyn Monroe.  It's pretty good, although I liked the first season better... lots of singing, dancing and drama.)

  Oh... and lots of sex.

Surprisingly it's not all from the Marilyn Monroe theme.
Just your run-of-the-mill sex-infused-drama with practically every character.
(Why am I watching this, again?)

Anyway... one of the main characters is a married couple, where the wife had an affair years ago that crept back into current life (things like that do tend to be a poison within marriage if not taken care of) where she finally had to come clean.  Not without doing it all over again, with the same guy, mind you.  Obviously the husband was devastated.  

BUT... they seemed to be working it out.  Seeing a counselor, taking time apart, the wife really saw the wrong she did and was truly sorry.

Then... the husband had an affair, too.  She confronted him, in private, but he.went. BALLISTIC (for the dramatic flair of course it was at a fancy schmancy party in front of important people in the bizz).

He got caught.  He was still angry about her affair.  He was drinking.  He didn't want to to hear anything else his wife had to say.

And that was it.  The marriage is over.
(At least for now... who knows what the future holds in tv)

And you know what all this made me feel?
Towards the husband.
It's not ok for your wife to have an affair, but she should be ok if you have an affair?

Yes, I realize he was not over the hurt and betrayal... but, he didn't respect his marriage either.

And it made me sad.
Yet again, marriage is deemed something that can be easily thrown away.
It's frustrating.  Why can't there be MORE talk about the crap that people go through in their marriages and them actually staying married?

I know I am not married, and I have no idea how I would react if I was in that situation, God-forbid, but I do hold marriage to a high standard.  It's not just a piece of paper in which you can throw away when you don't want to deal with it anymore.

It's so much more than that.
It's a sacrament.  God is in it with you.
It's hard work.  It's a vocation.
And it's beautiful.

So all this had me thinking (even more...), why DON'T we talk about the crap more often?  I don't mean, "let's thrown everyone's dirty laundry out" and what not.  But, why don't we hear more about the dirty, messy, rough points of marriage... and how, through patience, perseverance, respect for marriage and God's grace, couple's got through it?  

I find it to be inspiring.

I know someone personally (and I didn't ask if I could write about it, so I won't be specific) that went through the wringer.  Her marriage was on the fringe, but they made it through.  They are doing wonderfully today!  She will, hands down, give all the credit to Jesus and His grace, strength and mercy.  She and her hubby should seriously give talks.  People would listen to them!

As someone who feels marriage is her calling, I want to know these things.
I want to know that when things get rough, there are other people willing to talk about it.
I don't want to feel alone in my battle.
I want to know that others fight for their marriage, like I will always fight for mine.

"At a time when 50 percent of marriages in many places end in divorce, every marriage that lasts is a great sign- ultimately a sign for God.  On this earth, where so much is relative, people ought to believe in God, who alone is absolute.  That is why everything that is not relative is so important: someone who speaks the truth absolutely or is absolutely loyal.  Absolute fidelity in marriage is not so much a human achievement as it is a testimony to the faithfulness of God, who is there even when we betray or forget him in so many ways.  To be married in the Church means to rely more on God's help than on one's own resources of love."  ~YouCat, #263, page 151 


doin' it.

I jumped.

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Quick Takes! Woot, woot! Quick Takes! (20)

... um, a lot of times, I make up a jingle to go along with my 7 Quick Takes each week.  Does anyone else do that?  If you don't, try it.  It's quite enjoyable! :)

Joining the peeps, per usual, this week.  Grace is hosting while Jen and the fam ARE HOME WITH THEIR LITTLE MAN!!!!  So happy for them.  Prayers your way! :)


~ 1 ~
Um, Boston.
And West, Texas.
What can I say?
I have a leeeeeetle bit of understanding what the people of Boston (Watertown) may be feeling. I was in high school when the sniper was all up in our area of Washington, D.C.  It's scary not being able to walk outside for fear of getting shot.  The unknown.  Ugh, it's horrible.
So, so, SO many prayers for all of the people affected by these tragedies this week.

~ 2 ~
The girls at Mart's birfday dinner.
I forgot to post it on that day. #oops #friendfail
We still cute.  It cool. ;)
~ 3 ~
I was able to watch the sunset yet again this week.  I was on call for work, so what else would I do?!
Sunset + beach + rosary = perfection!
I say this all of the time. But, I love the beach. I love it.  I always have great reflections and reminders of the Lord in my life. :)
I hope I never take this for granted while living here.
Seriously... it's just amazing.
~ 4 ~
Right after I finish this... I AM GOING TO LOOK AT STORAGE PLACES!! 
So, then, I can stop talk about it on here.  I am sure you all will be thrilled.
Now that I have made it official on my blog, well... it has to get done.

~ 5 ~
Um, I just put a whole bunch of boxes and broken plastic tubes that were damaged from the movers for the recycle dudes... and they took them ALL!!  Praise the Lord! :)
I really thought they might leave them... and then what the heck was I supposed to do with it?!

~ 6 ~
Morgan over at Follow and Believe wrote this great post (thanks for the shout outs, girl!) about desiring your future but realizing that there is nothing wrong with you if you are not there yet.  Specifically with the vocation of marriage.  It's ok, and 'you are just fine.'  She says, "You are not broken.  You are not lost.  You are not left behind." Beautiful, right?  

Sounds a little familiar, too??  Yea... so many girls feel the same thing, ya know?  We are ready, we know what our vocations are, but how do we stay in the moment with the Lord and NOT stress too much about the future?

I wish I had the answer.  Because, I sure as heck need it.
Morgan and I are thinking about starting a support group for girls like us... or a series on the blog... or both. :)  We are pondering and we'll let ya know!! :)

~ 7 ~
This has been one random 7QTs this week. :)
With that... I'll be done. 

Don't forget: prayers for Jen and her family.  Prayers for all the babes in NICUs everywhere.  Prayers for Boston.  Prayers for West, TX.  Prayers for all the babies and women killed and abused by Kermit Gosnell.  Prayers for all those affected by tragedy  May God be with them and hold them in the palm of His hand.

Thanks, Grace!! :)

These are a few of my favorite things...

Y'all know that I love me a good link-up.  Hallie over at Moxie Wife has been doing the Five Favorites for a bit now.. and it's so fun!  So, I thought I would join for the first time today!

(nothing is actually capitalized... weird, right?!)
Ok, yes... this thing is 80 bucks. I know. For a dish rack, Jen?  Seriously?  But, are you saying that because you have a dishwasher??  Well, I don't have one of those lovely machines.  So, I researched the best and spent a little more money on just a dish rack.  And, I am ok with that.  Even though it does leave water spots, the ingenious water draining system and look of the thing make up for it.  I always smile when I see it there on the counter.  Yes, the dish rack.  Makes me smile... annnnnnd maybe even allows me to enjoy doing the dishes. justalittlebit.


Being new to Florida... I have found out many-a-thing.  One of those things... these really awesome Tervis cups-ahem-tumblers (who knew they were called that? I didn't. Thanks to their website I am not well informed).
Tom, Mart and the Babe got me my very first one for Easter.
I love it.
It keeps hot things hot. Cold things cold. No sweating.
And they have a lifetime guarantee. Awesome, right?? 

I can't get enough of these things.  They are like a drug, and I think I might be addicted.  I pop a gazillion at night when I am working.



I mean... this is pretty self explanatory, right?!
I was able to talk to a good friend who is still in Honduras.
I can get an almost hug from my mom.
See how big my niece is getting.
Say hi to Morgan, halfway across the world.

Technology... I love you.

New to me blogs:

Brianna at Just Showing Up!
She talks about all sorts of things, but I am most inspired by her and her hubby's choice to adopt some littles, two who have Down's.

Young, single Catholic lady who writes super well. :) 
Also, all about the New Evangelization.

That's about it over here.
Go check out all the fun and maybe you'll find your new faves! :)

Good Convos with the 'Rents!

I have read quite a few blog posts lately about preparing for marriage, having holy/chaste sex, being open to life and all that.  I seriously love, love, LOVE it.  I am like a sponge.  I can't get enough.  I want to give myself completely to my future husband- spiritually, emotionally and physically.  There is no harm in learning, reading, asking questions, praying- all with the realistic view that things will be different when I am dating/engaged/married.  It's just the truth.  There is no amount of learning and praying (for anything!) that can prepare you for what your dating/engaged/married life will look like.  I am sure that everyone can agree on that.

After talking to my parents this evening (different conversations, at different times), I am so thankful for the amazing parents that they are.  I could go on and on and on but I think you would get bored AND that would sway from this here post.  I was talking about the "woes" of my job (in quotes, b/c are they really woes? Probably not) and my vocation (this word, however, was actually never uttered); the convos went a little something like this:

Dad: So, I have a question for you.
Me (a little tense, 'cause you never know where that is going): Oookayyy...
Dad: WHAT does Jen <last name> want to do?
Me: Well, Dad... THAT is the million dollar question.  But, you know what I really want to do- now, you will laugh and think I am crazy- I want to get married, have babes and raise a family! That is what I want to do, and that is why it makes everything else seem so unappealing.
Dad (laughs): Jen, that is not crazy....

Mom: Jen, I just want to throw this out there.
Me: ...
Mom: Have you thought that maybe being married and having babies is not what you are supposed to be doing?  I mean, do you really know?
Me: ... well, mom, I am pretty confident that I am supposed to be married.  I have prayed about it and really feel that God is calling me to be married.  I have been open to religious life and even staying single.  I know I talk about feeling restless and worried that I won't get married, but when I really sit down and pray and talk about it and think about what my future *might* look like, I have such a sense of peace.  I getting excited and my heart wants to burst.  I trust that it will happen. I really, really do.
Mom (letting out her breath, thanking God that I want to get married!): Ok, well, that is a good thing. I'm glad you have some peace.

I just love my parents.  I am sure they wonder sometimes how the heck they raised their daughter to be such a religious, Jesus freak (if you will).  They don't always understand why some things are more important to me than others, or why I choose to live my life a little differently than other 28 year olds out there, but they just accept me for me.  For my dad to say it's "not crazy" to want to be married and have kids and my mom to be a bit more bold and ask if getting married is what I was really supposed to do... it's amazing.  I feel so loved by them.  They know that these things respectively are important to me, and therefore are important for them to take note.  My mom really must have been holding her breath when she asked me about my calling.  She has only ever seen her daughter's future as being married, so for her to ask about something else.... it's huge.  And, it means so much to me that she stepped outside of herself and her ideas for me to really, truly ask the deeper questions about my vocation.

I am so blessed.

Both of these conversations were really uplifting for me.  God is so good like that, don't you think?  I feel like I have talked the ear off to anyone who will listen to me anymore about my uncertainties about my current job, why I feel the way I do, and where it stems from.  I know it's annoying.  I know it's not fun.  But, today, I didn't feel drained and down and upset like I have in the past when  talking about it (although, I can't really speak for my mom and dad!).  I was encouraged.  I really felt loved and supported by my parents (which, I mean... I always am, just in a little different way today!).  And, I am more excited for my future.

Yes, I still want this vocation thing to happen sooner rather than later.  I want to have a job that I love.  But, in the mean time, I am going to continue to pray, read, learn, prepare and meet new people to get closer to that time when God will make it all happen.

Continue to prepare my heart, oh Lord, for your will in my life.  I pray for my parents, family, friends and my husband, where ever he may be.

Creating an Office: I need HELP!

One day... soon... I don't know when.  I will actually have this place looking all snazzy and stuff. That is when I will show it off with some pics. :)  Until then, you will have to wait with much anticipation...

and get a sneak peak...

because I NEED HELP!

You see... I have no room for a desk.  Which, means I have no office type space.  Now, I don't really need a desk or anything (I have a laptop and I don't do any sort of work at a desk), but I do have tons of papers, bills and other such things to organize.  And, my brain really doesn't work in this way very well.  Plus, I am pretty indecisive.

I have room for a small type desk in my room, but I don't want it in my room.  I want to walk in my room and be able to relax.  Not think about all those bills and things which remind me that I am growing up I am an adult.  So my room: not an option.

But, I have a little space in my guest room:
There is another twin bed behind me.
To the left is the closet; to the right is the door.
Maybe a shelf?  A few wall hanging folder type things (that is the technical name I hear)?  I don't know.

Or my dining room:
Yup, those boxes are all empty. Still trying to figure out what to do with them.
Behind me is the living room; to the left is where the rooms are; to the right is the kitchen.
See how all the papers are on the table?  That's how I am organizing right now.  It's great right? No stress with that or anything.  Anyway, maybe something in the corner there?  I don't know.

Colleen is coming in a few weeks (!!!), and she has a brain made for this organizational funess.  But, I have already enlisted her help in organizing my jewelry.  Plus she is coming to be on vacay, not work and organize my life house. 

That's where YOU come in, loverly readers.  I NEED HELP!  Please let me know what you think.  Ideas?  Websites?  What has worked for you?  ANYYYYYTHINGGGGGG!

Please?  With cherries on top?
Thank you.

7 Quick Takes (19)

Let's see how quick I can actually make these today...

~ 1 ~
This little munchkin is SIX MONTHS today. :)

She is still the cutest thing ever.  Don't ya think?!
She wins for bestest goddaughter ever. :)

~ 2 ~
This date also means that I have been in Florida for 6 months.  Which is crazy.
Not all of the 6 months did I have the intention of moving down here.
But, I am sure glad I did!

~ 3 ~
It's Martha's birfday tomorrow (my BFF and Momma of the cute babe above).
So, please head on over to her loverly blog and leave some love! :)

~ 4 ~
I also pray for Mr. Gosnell himself.  This is hard.  But, I do pray that he may see the wrong he has done and repent.  It's so hard for me to fathom doing the things that he has done and how he is able to get up in the morning.  So, I pray.  What else can I do?

~ 5 ~
LESS than ONE month until my momma is herrrrrre!!!
I cannot WAIT to get some cuddle time in.

~ 6 ~
I need to find a storage place.  Like, yesterday.
The boxes that I see all of the time are making me claustrophobic.

~ 7 ~
Annndd.... I think that Mart and her parents, Tom and the babe are waiting to eat dinner.
And, I suppose this is being rude.

Grace from Camp Patton has graciously hosted all us crazies and our 7QTs, as Jen staying with her baby boy who is in the NICU still. So, please keep the babe and all of the Fulwiler fam in your prayers.

Beach Reflections

Beautiful, right?
Got up early and went to the 7am Mass this morning (How? I have no idea. But, I work tonight, so I had to be up early anyway.) and it was very nice.  Not as many people.  Quiet.  And I had some great prayer time.  I just love that.

I came home and decided to go for a bike ride... TO THE BEACH!  Yes, I can do that.  I am THAT close.  Did I mention that I really love living down here?  Well... I do. :)

I love the beach.  I really, really do.  There is nothing like the sand between your toes and the sound of the waves.  Nothing.  It's beautiful.  Majestic.  Godly.  

As I was standing there, gazing at the seemingly unending gulf, I watched the waves come close to my feet, but then quickly recede right back into the water.  Over and over.  Again and again.  This is something that happens all of the time.  Twenty-four hours a day.  No one ever thinks of it NOT happening, right?  

And then I thought... maybe this is how God feels sometimes.  He is standing there waiting for us; looking out for us; watching us come so close we could touch Him, but then recede quickly, just as the waves do.  And He is there all of the time.  Twenty-four hours a day.  Yet we are the ones who think He isn't around or doesn't care sometimes.  We desire to be so close to Him, but are the ones to turn away.

Why?  Why do we do this?  Fear?  Uncertainty?  Worry you will be taken out of your comfort zone?  Afraid to be loved in a way that is sometimes hard to explain?

There are so many reasons why we don't reach out fully.  But, God is always there.  He has never left you.  Never.  He waits patiently as you move towards him, ebbing and flowing.  He waits until the day the wave crashes on your feet and you pour your heart, mind and soul to Him.  He will rejoice and be glad because YOU desire Him.  Just as He desires you.

7 Quick Takes (18)

I really don't understand how a week can go by so quickly.  Sometimes the days can seem sooooo loooong and then all of a sudden it's Friday.  Again.  Does this happen to anyone else?  Sometimes, it really weirds me out.  ANYway, I don't have anything of significance to report today, so get ready for some random stuff about my life. Oh wait, isn't that what is this here blog is all about, anyway?  Right.  Well... enjoy it anyway. :)

~ 1 ~
It's official:
Colleen and the babe are coming to visit at the END OF THE MONTH!


MY MOM WILL BE HERE ON MAY 11!!  Just a little over a month away.

Who's excited?!  ME!

~ 2 ~
I woke up for work one day this week and walked into my porch and stepped in water.  Hmmm... that's weird.  I followed the trail and there was water EVERYWHERE in my laundry room.
Can you see that puddle on top of the dryer?
Oh my gosh.  It was all over the place.  The curtains were soaked.  The carpet.  The new little air conditioner that my landlord got installed was leaking all over the place.  She felt bad (and even came to clean up while I was at work. God bless her.) and just wanted to fix it for me.  The people came over the next morning and got it done.  No problems so far. knockonwood.

~ 3 ~
We interrupt this scheduled program to inform you that:


She is just getting so savvy with her computer. :) I love you, Grammy!

~ 4 ~
I have so many boxes all over the place.  I am just sick of it.
I need to find a storage place to put some stuff in (the one thing lacking with my cute little place is storage).  I want to start finding some other pieces of furniture so really bring this place together.
I promise, I will have pics to show you when I am box-less.

~ 5 ~
What's a 7QT post without a pic of the babe???
How cool is her highchair??  I want this for my future children!
Also... that is a carrot she is munching on. ;)
~ 6 ~
I had a comment the other day about my daughter being so cute!  I realize I post so many pics of her (b/c WHY NOT?!), but I think I do a pretty good job of giving credit where credit is due, especially with a baby. :)  That person really didn't take time to read anything I had written, just went in for the pics, I guess.  But, I just want to make this clear: the babe is not mine, she is my goddaughter and my best friend's baby.  That's all.  (Although, I may or may not have let people assume she is mine when I am hanging out with her in public...)

~ 7 ~
Annnnnnd, b/c I have boxes everywhere. Some are old pics.  Like this:
Hahaha.  This just makes me smile.
And, yes, it's a pic of a pic... that is brown from the box it's sitting on.
I love this pic for a few reasons: a) the Saab is brand spanking new. My dad gave me that car when I was 16 right after I got my license!  b) I am jumping rope, and it's a great shot! and c) my tongue is sticking out! Proves that I have always been a ham in front of the camera! 

With that... have such a wonderful day!  And a blessed and happy weekend!
Please don't forget to say some prayers for Jen as she is having her surgery today.
Also visit her to see some more 7QTs! :)
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