Wednesday, December 15, 2010


If you're like me, when you think of Christmas, you think of scenes like this that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. You won't find anyone who loves Christmas more than I do. I love the time of year...the smells, the lights, the cold weather, the music, homemade egg nog, shopping for family and making Christmas memories for my three girls. My favorite movies are The Family Stone and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. It is my absolute favorite time of year.

When I think of Christmas, I think of driving around looking at Christmas lights with my parents when I was young. I think of opening presents at Nanee's house in my pajamas in the kids room and then sneaking into the adult room as they opened all of their gifts and had so much fun laughing at them. I specifically remember my mom holding up a pair of XXXL silk panties from Eckerd Drug Store that Nanee had gotten her. And then there were the gifts that Nanee handed out that she "purchased in Italy" that clearly had a Wal Mart sticker on the bottom. My dad got that awful box of Stetson cologne and aftershave every year and actually wore it. I would watch from the background as all of the adults laughed so hard there were tears. I remember the smell as you walked into Nanee and Paw Paw's house and the snow village that filled up three mantles the size of the wall. I remember the feeling of comfort as everyone lounged around watching football. I remember creeping into the kitchen to sneak dessert when Nanee wasn't watching. I remember Paw Paw popping our toes and Henry's game of Airade. I remember Kim smoking out the living room and Kirby and Dad breaking something in the house that Paw Paw told them to hide from Nanee. So many memories...good memories.

But it's just been this year that I've really been able to reflect on not only the memories but the real reason for Christmas. I know, I know. YOu're tuning out not because I'm just another Christian talking about the "reason for the season". But honestly, as a Christian, I've never, as much as this year, realized that Christmas is so much more than all of these wonderful memories and the new memories we are making with our girls. It's a celebration. A celebration of the birth of our Savior. A Savior that came to earth as a baby (blows my mind), lived life as a normal human being like myself (although not quite like myself considering he was sinless), died a death he did not deserve, to give me eternal life.

This is my savior. He is why Christmas exists. Christmas is a celebration of His birth and a time to reflect on what He has meant to me, to you. It's a time to reflect on the blessings he has poured out on my life. It's also a time to think of those He embraced the most...the poor and needy. And to strive to think of those who are less fortunate more than just this one time a year. To strive to think of them daily and how we can love them as He did.

In the words of Stephen Colbert "If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we’ve got to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that he commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition — and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.”

Here's to making more wonderful Christmas memories and to remembering why this time of year exists!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

So Domestic and All...

Lately I've been feeling very domestic. I'm not sure if it's the influence of Ree Drummond and my complete obsession with her blog or just the fact that I have three kids and I don't really know how else to be at this point in my life!

I am about to purchase a minivan. I've been cooking (and baking!) like crazy and my house is pretty much spotless. I won't comment on the laundry (but it is neatly piling up in my laundry room).

For some reason, all of this gives me such great satisfaction and comfort. I have always been the first to say I could NEVER stay home and only be a "homemaker" (I hate that name by the way). But, with this third child, my desire to stay home more has become so much stronger and to be honest, has me rather surprised at myself. I have loved cleaning the house and cooking big meals and being the one that gets to pick my kids up from school. I've even had crazy thoughts of...shhhhhh...don't say anything...but...(homeschooling!!!). I mean, have I lost my mind??!! I am completely aware of how crazy that sounds and have no intention of doing this (I'd have the kids skipping school too much) but it's just an example of what a crazy 180 degree turn my desires have taken.

Yesterday morning I baked a cobbler after getting the kids to school and Betsy down for a nap. It was good for my soul. For dinner, I sauteed up a bunch of vegetables and The Pioneer Woman had the most amazing recipe for pan seared mushrooms. The best mushrooms I've ever had. Period.

Here is a recipe I'm going to try tonight: Creamy Cheese Grits with Chilis

Looks so yummy I'm almost drooling on my laptop. With grilled fish and grilled okra. I'll keep you posted...

I'm off to the grocery store...

(See? So domestic and all!)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I'm Married to a Preacher...WHAT??!!

I'm not really married to a preacher. Well, not really.

My husband is on staff at Austin City Life. He is the Director of Missional Communities and oversees the training of the City Group leaders and the forming of new City Groups. He definitely does MUCH more than that but that is his main "job description". On occasion, he preaches. Usually when Jonathan is out of town. I was just informed this morning that he will be preaching once a month. Not that stoked about the stigma that goes along with being married to a pastor. But, I'm also clinging to the fact that he's not really a pastor. (Tell someone I went to high school with that I'm married to someone on staff at a Church and you might witness a real life heart attack.)

But, he has a gift. He has only preached a handful of times and as much as I'd like to tell him he sucks at it so that he never moves into that role full time, he's really great. He is a great communicator. He's passionate. He's simple. He's funny. His stories and way of communicating are attention grabbing. He's just plain good.

In Nate's typical encouraging ways, he started out the message today by encouraging and thanking ACL for being a community and Church unlike any other he's ever been a part of. He told encouraging stories of people in our Church loving each other, practically. Watching each other's kids, starting and volunteering for non-profits that help redeem the city of Austin, doing amazing things with the homeless communities, hanging out in nursing homes,adopting children out of the foster care system, helping each other move, etc. It was cool to hear him say thank you and to tell of how we've seen people's lives change dramatically over the last few years. Mine and his included. These things have only been possible through a relationship with Jesus and a community that challenges each other to apply the gospel to every area of our lives.

I too, am thankful for this community. It is my family.

Thank you Austin City Life and thank you Nate for taking the time to encourage us and remind us that although we have so much more growing to do, we have grown so much. Thank you for pointing us to the gospel and how badly we need God's word so that we have a solid foundation from which to grow.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Something People May Not Know About Me...

I have a dream. A secret dream that many people probably don't know about me.

A dream to live on a farm. To own horses and several dogs. A few cows and maybe some chickens. A dream of life more simple. As of late, my dream has been fueled by a certain blog I read. A blog called The Pioneer Woman. I want to be The Pioneer Woman. I want to learn to be an amazing cook and to just take care of my kids and the farm and my animals. I want a front porch swing and a big country kitchen with a stained glass window. Maybe a creek that runs through the back yard.

I know some of you are laughing at me right now and thinking "you wouldn't last a day". But, you have no idea. I have dreamed about this for many many years.

There is a tension between this dream and living missionally in the heart of Austin. I haven't quite figured that part out yet.

But just know that if ever we move into a big house in the country someday...I haven't lost my mind. I've actually had a dream come true.

(Would that mean I can't wear cute shoes?)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Where Has the Time Gone?

I am sitting up in my living room with the blinds open, watching the sun rise on the 1st day of Jessica's Middle School career. She is not yet awake and part of me is wanting to let her sleep in. Today and every day for the next three years. How did this happen? How is my first born, the child I have almost grown up with, starting Middle School?

Thinking about this has caused me to pray more lately and to talk more openly with Jessica about these next several years coming up. I'm not sure what about Middle School is so frightening to a parent. For me it's that I remember so well the butterflies for boys, drama with girls, hurt feelings, passing notes, being exposed to words and things I'd never heard of and not feeling like I could talk to my parents about them, feeling pressured to have my first kiss and being SCARED TO DEATH, etc...

I remember feeling that all was right with the world because I got cheerleader, but how do I parent a child who might want it so desperately and doesn't get it? How do I parent a child who likes a boy but he doesn't like her back? What advice do I give when she comes home crying because all of the girls decided to be mad at her at school that day for absolutely no good reason (this will happen)? How do I parent her to not be one of the "mean girls"? How do I continue to instill in her kindness...that she needs to be kind to all of the kids, whether the "popular" kids like them or not? How do I teach her that gossiping makes girls ugly, when I struggle with it myself? I am struggling through all of these things and it's not because it's the first time I've thought about them but I feel like my parenting is in some sort of spotlight now...and for the rest of her school years. This time is key. This time begins to shape who my daughter is as a young woman.

Ultimately, I have one fear...that Middle School will change her. Jessica is already kind, sensitive, responsible, humble, loving and obedient. My fear is that the world of Middle School will begin to teach her that those attributes aren't important. That it's more fun to be mean to people and make fun of people and hate your parents because they are stifling all of your fun. That your family that you thought was really cool isn't that cool anymore and you're embarrassed to be seen with them. Oh my gosh...even saying that freaks me out and breaks my heart.

My prayer for Jessica is that God continues to grow her faith in Him. That he protects her and also guides her. I pray that she feels comfortable talking to both Nate and me about ANYTHING and I pray that God gives us the strength to answer those questions with sensitivity and wisdom.

At the heart of it all...I'm scared to death she will go through everything I went through and I want so desperately to protect her from that. But I can't. So today, as I drive her to school, I let go of this suffocating fear and turn my oldest daughter over to God. I should have done that a long time ago but it's taken me going through these thoughts and fears to realize that all of this is out of my control.

I trust you with my child, Lord. Thank you for giving me this amazing opportunity to raise her and bring her up in ways that honor you.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Plea for Prayers

Meet my cousin Shari Johnson. She is 39 years old. She lives in Orlando (or right outside of), Florida. Maybe it's called Winter Garden...I can't remember...I always just think of it as Orlando. She is married to my cousin Joel. She graduated from Florida State. She has two small children, Gracie and Jacob. Jacob is 6 and Gracie is 8. They only make it to town for holidays once a year but they are family and they are close family. You can tell from even the small amount of interaction with their family that one time a year that their kids mean EVERYTHING to them. They possess a family bond that is easily seen and felt within five minutes of being in their presence. Joel and Jacob have their "thumbs up" sign with each other and Gracie, in all of her shyness, falls in to security the minute she's in the arms of her mom or dad. They love each other. All of them.

Shari has cancer. She has breast cancer. I know that we don't know a ton but what I do know is that it's cancer and cancer is never good. They did a double mastectomy last week. They were first hoping that it wasn't in the lymph nodes, but it is. Today, they had a pathology report on the nodes they removed and it was worse than they thought. They are starting chemotherapy immediately. Shari's mother died at 41 of breast cancer so I can only imagine that that might be contributing fear and anxiety to this whole situation. Joel and Shari are very strong believers and their faith throughout this entire process is inspiring.

I usually don't use this as a place to ask for prayer requests but tonight, I am going to. Please, if you pray, pray for Shari. Please pray for her husband Joel and their two children, Jacob and Gracie. I believe that my God is a God that heals. I believe that He brings peace and comfort to His people. I believe that because He says it to be true. I'm praying that He makes good on that promise with the Johnson family. Please pray, with me, for that.

Heavenly Father,

I pray for Shari tonight. I pray, Lord, that you will give Joel and Shari a peace that passes all understanding. I pray that you bring comfort that only you can. I pray that you answer questions and give guidance. I ask that you remove confusion in the minds of Jacob and Gracie and that somehow, you can instill in them the confidence, even at their young age, that you are in control and work all things for good. I ask you Lord, most of all, to please heal Shari. I beg you. In the meantime, please wrap your arms around her and comfort her. Let her feel your presence more than she ever has so that if nothing else, this will be a sweet time of communion with you.

Thank you Lord for Shari and what she brings to this family.

We love you and trust you.

Slave Hunter

I am reading this man's book right now, called Slave Hunter. I can usually read a book in a day or two. With this book, it's taking me forever. I think mostly because it's heavy. It's heavy to read about things going on around the world that we all really just don't have a clue about. And if we have heard about them or do have somewhat of a clue, it sure is easy to kick back in our nice, comfortable homes with food on the table and healthy kids and not enough hangers for our clothes, and pretend we don't.

It's not that I think that we are really terrible people here in America who just don't give a rip. I'm sure there are people like that, but I'm not insinuating that's how we are as a whole. I just think that it becomes so overwhelming to care. To think that there are young girls, not much older than my Ava and definitely younger than my Jess, being sold into slavery for $20 and being shot up with drugs and raped and beaten many times a day, is unthinkable. But, it's happening. And, it's not JUST happening in other's happening in OUR country. Read this article, which gives quite a few statistics about Sex Trafficking in the United States. It reports that between 18,000 and 20,000 people are trafficked into the United States each year with close to 10,000 of those being victims of the Sex Trafficking Industry. It also talks about the Sex Industry (prostitution, the sale of women and children through sex trafficking, the sale of child pornography, etc) and how it brings in annual revenues between $7billion and $57billion EACH YEAR!!!!

I don't know what the solution is. I don't even like to think about it. It's not fun. It's depressing and heavy and solemn. But, I love that Aaron Cohen is making a difference. Maybe it's in small ways but, he's doing something. He didn't just read about it and feel sad for a moment...he's making a freaking difference. He's walking into Cambodian brothels, risking his own life, to help save these girl's lives. I'm in awe of people like this. They give up the luxuries we wouldn't DARE consider giving up other people. It blows my mind.

Thank you, Aaron Cohen, for being the kind of person some of us wish we could be but don't have the guts to be. the very least...please go to Abolish Slavery and donate or sponsor a victim that's rehabilitating.

Friday, July 2, 2010

We've Seen a Side of Love Most People Never Get to See

Sometimes I am ashamed of my testimony. Sometimes, I don't want to tell my story. Sometimes I think of my story as sad and ugly. I think about the different tiers of my rebellious youth, my pregnancy out of wedlock, my years of hard partying and then my marriage and the lows we have had in that.

The other night, Nate and I got a chance to sneak out of the house for a couple of hours because my dad was staying the night. We went to Apothecary in our neighborhood and sat at a table by the windows and just talked. It was a couple of hours of pretty intense conversation. Talk about our families, the lows in our marriage, our kids...there were even a few tears shed (seriously not that many)...just a few:) When we got in the car, Nate said to me "man, this is the real deal. When you can sit and talk for hours about painful stuff...differences, family dysfunction, lows in your marriage...and you walk out still completely in love with the person...that's the real stuff. We're strong. We've seen a side of love most people never get to see."

That last sentence stuck with me. Like glue. I have thought about it every day since. I mean, all of it stuck with me but that one sentence "we've seen a side of love most people never get to see", really made an impression on me. I think mainly because to me, it sounded like he was saying we've had the privilege of experiencing a love that people would want but don't get to experience. It made me view "my story" differently. It made me realize again that it's a beautiful story. It's a true story of love and redemption and restoration.

How cool is it that our God can take such broken people, broken marriages and broken dreams and give them new life? A beautiful life.

I am thankful for that. Are you?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Church Announcements Say A Lot About a Church

I meant to blog about this a couple of weeks ago and just forgot in the chaos that is my life.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a proud "mom moment" however, it wasn't one of my kids that made me proud. It was my Church. I can only assume I feel this way about my Church because I have been there since close to the beginning and have watched it grow since it was a wee little one.

I am sitting there next to a girl who has never been before and who is skeptical about "Church" to begin with and my husband gets up to give the announcements.

Here they were:

Porn Again Christian- the guys in our Church will be going through a book written by Mark Driscoll called Porn Again Christian at The Gingerman Pub on Monday nights.

Santa Rita Courts- We, as a Church, are going to throw a huge backyard bash at the oldest projects IN THE COUNTRY on the east side of Austin. We will be serving this community food, playing a three on three basketball tournament with them, hanging with the kids, face painting and will have bands playing music.

Uganda- We have a missions team that will be going to Uganda for a couple of weeks in the summer. Please talk to Mary Monkton or Justin Hroch about going, if you are interested.

Adopt a Missionary Program- We have a new program that our City Groups will be taking on where each CG adopts a missionary. We email that missionary, commit to praying for that missionary, skype with that missionary, send care packages to that missionary and if we feel called to do so, help financially support that missionary. Basically, we become like a family to them and support them however they need support.

Last week...we had a missional spotlight from the Nixon's who have been helping the Schleuter's love on a group of homeless people here in Austin. They are letting these people into their homes to take showers, eat dinner and help do work around the house. They have started a new ministry called Renew, where they have taught the homeless how to make art out of trash. They are selling them at a booth on Congress at First Thursday. The coffee tables they made were UH-MAZING!! Want one!

I'm sitting there thinking..."this is such an awesome church". The word "porn" doesn't get mentioned in Churches very often and the fact that there is a pretty big group of guys that show up each time Nate goes through this book at The Gingerman, is really really cool to me. It shows that there are men who can get honest with their sin/struggles, share them with other men, and fight that sin together. I love it. I love that my husband doesn't think twice when asked to lead it. It's a pretty vulnerable spot to be in.

The Santa Rita Courts Backyard Bash was AWESOME! We had over 200 people show up and went through hundreds of burgers and hot dogs. We played with children who looked like they'd never played a game in their life. They were giddy over the face painting and by the end of the day, they were painting us! There were 6 year old girls that held Betsy better than I did (I'm assuming they get lots of practice with younger siblings) and little boys that wouldn't let go of my legs when I would try to walk. They were STARVING to be touched, to play games, to have a conversation, to tell you their name. I loved it and am talking with my friend Tara right now about starting a women's Bible Study over there.

I don't know as much about the trip to Uganda this summer but I know the team that went last year said it was life changing. I have seen the video and I wanted to go this year so bad but can't leave Betsy for two weeks yet. Maybe next year!

The Adopt a Missionary Program has been great for our City Group so far. We have a missionary named Heather and she is a missionary among the Shan people. She is AMAZING and her sacrifice in the name of Christ is so inspiring. It has changed the way Nate and I view our lives and our family mission and has spurred many conversations, since meeting her last week, about what true sacrifice is. I am so excited to get to know her more and pray for her as she prepares to return to Myanmar.

I love my Church. And it's announcements.

Begging for More

I had a fun girl's night out last week...for about an hour and a half before Nate started texting me wanting to know "where I was". Betsy woke up and wouldn't go back to sleep. (Let's just say they're both up "shoot's" creek if I ever die in a car wreck.) However, that's not at all why I'm writing.

I was challenged by my three lovely friends (ahem...Amy, Hannah and Megan), to update my blog more often. I don't really update it often enough for a couple of reasons: life is rather redundant and two...I had no idea people actually read it. No one EVER comments. It's a good thing I don't find my value in how many comments by blog posts get!

We spent the evening here laughing over stories and sneaking sips of wine from each other's glasses when the person wasn't looking. We got giddy over the idea of starting a book club with each other. Three of us have read the book "The Help" (which you can read about here) and so we are starting to discuss that book tonight over more wine. light of these girls thinking I have a little bit of talent in the writing department, I have decided to set a goal to blog at least twice a week. I know it's not a lot but it's a start.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Letter to Jessica, Ava and Betsy

So, Mother's Day is coming up this week. It has been a morning of reflection for me as I think about that and what it stands for. It is a day set aside to honor our mothers. Some mothers are definitely worth honoring...and some aren't. My mom is a mom worth honoring mainly for her love for my brother and me. She and my dad raised us in a Christian home and for that I am the most thankful.

My reflections today have been mainly on what my role as a mother to Jessica, Ava and Betsy will mean to them someday. What will they look back on and remember about me? We are given these precious children to raise the best we can and it's so hard and such a big responsibility. Gosh, I know I've messed up so many times already and will mess up so much more but the main thing I want them to take away from my parenting is that I taught them about God's love for them. That he loved them so much that he sent his son to die for their sins. I hope they grasp that someday. It's hard for me to grasp, actually, but I learn more about God's love for me every day.

I have written them a letter to share my feelings about being their mom...

Dear Jessica, Ava and Betsy,

I love the three of you more than I could ever express in words so I'm praying that over your lifetime, my actions will show you.

I hope you remember me for always hugging you, telling you how beautiful you are and how proud I am of you. I hope you remember me reminding you that beauty of the spirit is more important than beauty of appearance. I hope you see me strive to model that and not just say it. I hope you will all feel comfortable talking to me when you are going through tough times and that I was remembered for being a good listener, not just an advice giver. I hope you will come to me when you need prayer. I hope you will trust me and feel safe with me.

I can promise you there will be hard times. You will cry over heartbreak, laugh so hard with friends you almost pee your pants, feel butterflies over a boy. There will be times you feel insecure. Times you feel overwhelmed. Times you feel sad. Times you feel left out. Times you will feel confused.

I am dreading the day I see you heartbroken over a boy. Or crying quiet tears in your room over someone talking about you. I'm praying that I will be graceful in how I love you in those moments.

You will most likely play sports, an instrument, sing in the choir or cheer on your school teams. You will have prom to attend. Homecoming. Football games. Parties.

I can promise you that I will love you through all of these things. I can also promise you that I will mess up. But at the heart of it all...I will love you.

I am praying that along with all of these normal things you will experience, that through it all, you are learning to grasp God's love for you and what the gospel means. This is my strongest prayer for you. It is the most important lesson in life.

I pray that one day I am not just your mother but also your friend.

My heart is busting at the seams with love for you three girls.

~Your Mom

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Husband is Cool

Not even a year ago, our family was eating Saturday morning breakfast at Austin Diner (one of my faves) and Nate was tossing around the idea "what would it look like if local musicians could find a way to give of their time and talent to benefit the city they live in?". As he's talking out loud to himself about this I'm thinking "Oh, uh uh, yeah. That sounds great", which could have been translated as "Gosh, I freaking love this french toast."

We had no idea that morning what was in store for us with that question. Music for the City.

This is Nate's baby and I am SO proud of what he has done with this. It started out as just a fleeting thought and has turned into an already respected and sought after Non-Profit here in Austin.

Music for the City has received press from News8 Austin, a front page article in the Austin Business Journal, an article in the Austin American Statesman and many many mentions on people's blogs, tweets and facebook pages.

One of their biggest accomplishments was in January when they threw a benefit concert (in a mere two days) that raised over $17,000 for a rescue center in Haiti called Real Hope for Haiti.

On May 8th, Music for the City releases their first compilation album, filled with austin musicians and the songs they donated to benefit kids in crisis and victims of domestic abuse.

I am proud of Nate and feel blessed to be married to someone who cares so much about people...and a little jealous that he has such great ideas:).

My husband is really freaking cool.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fashion Blog Phenomenon

There is a whole world of fashion blogging out there and I have stumbled upon it...

I have been quite the little fashion-blog-reader lately. There are a few that I find time to stalk in between projects at work and I'll share them with you in a bit. These girls are creative, talented, fashionable and way too cool...all of which I thought I was but am slowly learning that I'm not. I mean, getting the "best dressed" award at Temple High School doesn't really qualify you as being fashionable out in the real world, does it? Oh, wait...I didn't get that award, Rebekah did. So, I'm not even fashionable enough for T-town? So sad.

I used to think I was creatively fashionable but realize now that picking out the cute dress on the front rack at Target doesn't count. These girls have the ability to accessorize and arrange outfits in a way I can only dream about. Check them out: Indiana Adams is in my city group at Austin City Life and is one of the top fashion bloggers in the country (I think)! This girl has impeccable style and I love her decorating and cooking tips too! Not only is Kendi fashionable but she has me laughing outloud at my desk some days. Just found this one and have really enjoyed reading it.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Betsy Grace Navarro

So, I'd like to share a few things about our latest and greatest: Betsy Grace.
I am head over heels for her. I am head over heels for all three of my girls. Each one of them are so special to me and for very different reasons. Jessica and I have a special bond because it was just the two of us for five years. She is mature and wise beyond her years. Ava and I will forever but heads but she is so full of life and hilarious to be around. And Betsy...well...she's a little miracle and a testament of God's grace in my life, Nate's life and in our marriage.

Nate and I have been through things that most marriages would not survive and sometimes we look at Betsy and see grace all over her because had we not persevered through the hard times, she would not be here.

She is quiet, so sweet and has a smile that will light up the room. Sometimes she just looks at me and I almost feel for a second that she gets it. She gets that she is grace and she gets what she means to me.

Here is a note that Nate wrote about her on facebook right after she was born:

Betsy Grace arrived on December 19th, 2009, three weeks early and right on time! She weighs 8 pounds 12 oz, is 21 inches long, and is a mama's girl for sure!

We gave her the name Betsy after Melissa's "gran" whom our entire family loves deeply. We gave her the name Grace because to Meliss and I she is a beautiful picture of just that.

Those of you that know Meliss and I know that our first 5 years of marriage have been a rollercoaster....and not a kid-friendly Disney World kind of rollercoaster.....more like an old carny rollercoaster that comes off the tracks and takes out the dude selling corn dogs and cotton candy......ok......bad analogy.

Our marriage has had some unbelievable highs: the greatest being the births of Ava and Betsy Grace, helping start a church that we love, and the friends we have made along the way.

We have also had some devestating lows...lows that most relationships don't survive...lows that have left friendships broken...lows that have forced us to cling to and belive in something that we have often been close to but rarely understood...GRACE.

To be brutally honest we found out "we were pregnant" with Betsy Grace at a time when we thought our marriage wasn't going to survive...

But we did...were here...she's here....and it's GRACE.

And so it takes a village......

Over the last week we have been reflecting not only on God's grace and Betsy Grace, but we have been blown away by the grace that has come our way through our families, our church, and our friends.

Melissa's family watched our girls while we were at the hospital.

Our jobs gave us plenty of time off work.

Many friends have come to visit.

We were given baby stuff galore....beds, bedding, clothes, changing table, diapers, carseat, and the list goes on and on and on.

We have been loved well by our families, our church, and our friends.Thank you so much. Your friendship and generosity has been grace to us as we welcome Betsy Grace into the Navarro family!

So it has been 7 years since I met beautiful Melissa Jones at The Blind Pig Pub on 6th street. I was a skinny kid with long hair who played in a rock band and she was the prettiest girl who ever gave me the time of day. We would stay at the bar till the lights came up, hit "the Onion" for some late night pizza, and talk for hours....blissfully unaware of what the future would hold...

My how things have changed...

I got a haircut,a job, and am not quite so slender...late night pizza has been replaced with late night diaper changing...and 7 years in we have 3 daughters, 2 dogs, a thousand regrets, and are currently in the market for a!

The pain has been real....but so has the grace!

December 28th, 2009 finds me grateful for the grace that has come my way through the unconditional love, forgiveness, and healing found in Jesus,through my best friend Melissa Jones Navarro,our daughters Jessica, Ava, and Betsy Grace, our families close and far, our church, and friends like you.

Hugs all the way around,


Monday, April 5, 2010

What to Write About

My brain isn't big enough to sort out all of the thoughts that pass through it on a daily basis. I think about things like: work, kids, Nate, fashion, social justice, how to begin to help the homeless and what that looks like, how to fit in grabbing lunch with certain friends to catch up, outspoken people who take politics too seriously, racism, adopting a child, praying for Haiti to open up their adoption again, reminding myself to pray for friends who have asked for it, wanting people to think I'm funny, wanting my husband to think I'm pretty, not wanting him to think anyone else is pretty, reminding myself we live in Austin, TX where all the pretty girls roam, praying for couples who are going through hard times, how to keep a clean house with three kids and a job, how in the world to keep up with laundry, loving my neighbors, loving my friends, how I need to be kind and thoughtful and encouraging to my husband, how badly I need to lose weight, how I need to be content with who God made me, how to stay home with my kids, how to love my children better, how bad I want that cute pair of shoes, reminding myself I have more shoes than I need and that I can't take them to heaven with me, instilling in my children the command to love others before ourselves...

This is why my head hurts at night.

These are some of the things I'll blog about as they are what's on my mind. Keep checking back...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm Back...

Well...I am back. And, you've missed a lot! A new baby. A new Austin City Life location. A new Non-Profit. Lot's of "news" in the Navarro home.

God has blessed our family beyond comprehension and I can't wait to catch everyone up on that.

I am going to post a new entry on here tonight but for now, I'll leave you with a few pics...