Tuesday, December 21, 2010

two years of wedded bliss

December 21, 2008
I married the man I love

So, the last two years haven't necessarily been all-bliss, but I am so glad to be on this journey with my love. I am blessed by a man who loves me, accepts me, and has the heart of a father to this generation. The last two years have held all manner of challenges, nevertheless the foundation of our marriage has held us together and made us stronger. I love everything about our life. I love how different we are and that we challenge one another. I love the children he's given me and the fact that we get to partner together to raise them in godly ways. I love his heart to fund the work of the Kingdom and I am honored to be his help-mate in every endeavor in life. I love that he has taught me the meaning of love and that I'm called to do so beyond myself. I love what our life is now, despite every challenge, and what it will become. Two years ago, I began the greatest adventure of my life, and I know that we have only just begun.
I love you Caleb Manuel Arrazolo. You are beyond special to me.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Updates: the Arrazolo family

Once again, it's been a while since I updated and am therefore so very sorry! However, updating from my phone is tedious and more time consuming than I've had time for, honestly. However, things are quite wonderful here in Mommyville and I cannot wait to update you on what has been going on;
- Little Miss Liberty is exactly four months old today. She is a ball of joy, laughter and so much love! :) She is now rolling from tummy to back, laughing and showing off her gummy smile, babbling that adorable baby talk and sleeping in her very own crib for 10-13 hours a night. I am so blessed to have a baby girl soo wonderful. :)
- The Arrazolo household is moving! Although the house hunting didn't go quite as expected, we were blessed nonetheless, and will be starting off the New Year in a 1156 sqft apartment that we will call home for the next year and a half! (at least). Momma is very excited about the move. More space, more functional space, and
most importantly? LARGER KITCHEN! yayyyyyyyy! :) Momma is looking forward to making this new place a home. :)
- Caleb and I will be celebrating our 2nd anniversary this coming Tuesday. :) I have been blessed by a man who challenges me to grow and who has taught me the true meaning of love. I have grown and cherished growing in understanding what 1 Corinthians 13 is truly about. :) I know we have many more years to come and "I'll be better when I'm older."
- Caleb and I have also opened up our very own Internet store. :) Mostly all-natural and organic materials, as well as links to a TON of other products. Do us good and check it out! We are so excites to grow as entrepreneurs that we may sow greatly into the kingdom of God and to the house of prayer. :)
- Daniella continues to do wonderful in school, and is growing up so fast! Her team of parents is prayerfully considering what this little Miss' next step is. If you would join us in prayer, we would be eternally grateful! :)

As soon as we get all moved in, January 2nd, we'll have a brand new computer and wi-fi that will allow me to finally get on a blogging schedule! :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The joys (and trials!) of being a stay at home mom!

I have been a stay at home mom now for 13 weeks (a little longer, but 13 weeks with Aaliya) and I've got to say that it has been one of the most fulfilling 13 weeks if my life. I love staying home with my little girl, I love being able to wake up in the morning and enjoy her right alongside (and much more!) of my morning coffee. I love having her smiles and gurgles fill up my day and I love not missing her firsts and her quirks. Along with those joys have come many trials and changes so to speak. Our lifestyle has drastically changed and so has our comfort level. Weekly lunches and goin out have made their way out and in its place have come lots of tears and prayers that God will come through and provide for us our daily bread. I am so pleased to say, He has yet to let me down. Our lifestyle has changed, but we know this is just a season. When I start to panic and begin to look for 9-5 kinda work, I remember that this is only a season. Aaliya will only be a baby once and how important it is for her and for me to be there, helping establish a solid foundation. We may not have the little (and big!) extras we may desire, but when I'm sitting with Aaliya and her gummy smile lights up the room, I remember (dare I forget!) that she is my special blessing and worth every sacrifice made. I remember vacations are temporary, entertainment is time wasted and things will be eaten by moths.

PS. Mary Jo over at Covenant Homemaking is having a great series on "Coming Home." Make it a point to check it out.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The House-Hunting Chronicles, pt. 1

So, recently (very!), my husband and I prayerfully decided to purchase a home. We believe the Lord has given us a gift of hospitality and we desire to own a larger home so that we may open our home in a greater fashion. After all, it's a buyer's market and it should be a piece of cake, right? WRONG! So wrong! We have found many a houses we like, however they have all been short sales (which means they take SUPER long) or slightly out of our budget. It has been a crazy experience and it's only just begun. We are coming against a few challenges, so, I'm masking you join us in prayer in this matter.

- Pray we find a home we like in a nice neighborhood within our price point.
- Pray financing, inspections and everything else goes smoothly with no set-backs.
- Pray for supernatural favor with seller and financing. 6% closing costs!
- Pray for supernatural provision for this house.

How may I pray for you?

A Mother's Calling

I have always wanted to be a mom. I never forced it, nor did I want it out of it's God's intended timing, but growing up, I always knew I had the "calling" of a mother. Ironically, there have been several encouraging, prophetic words spoken over me saying that I carry "a mother's anointing." What a blessing, honor and privilege to carry the calling of a mother. I think of my precious gift, Aaliya Liberty, and am super choked up at the thought that the Lord has given her to me, as a gift, and that He knows she belongs to Him, and I am but a steward of His children. Nevertheless, the grace poured out over this mama since the birth of her little "defender of freedom" has had her in a perpetual state of thanksgiving and awe at how good my God is. Regardless of the good, the bad, and the ugly choices I have made, my sweet precious girl has been the favor of the Lord upon my life. Despite the hardships faced (financially, emotionally) because of choices made to rear her, that sweet precious life is worth it all... Then, I think about my sweet Daniella Grace. She is not of my womb, and yet she is mine. I have loved her as my firstborn and prayed to the God above she will know no difference in my love between her and her sister. Once again, the Lord has been gracious, and He has heard my cry. If my Father can grant to me the grace to love another's child as if it were my own, then I cannot help but think He is calling my family to become the family of a rejected child, a wounded teenager or a stranded soul. My husband (whether he knows it or not) carries the burden of a father, and I believe one of the reasons He places us together... Grant to this family, oh God, a burden for adoption, for fostering and for providing for this generation!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Proverbs 31: The continual study

It seems as though I am on a continual study of the Proverbs 31 woman and wife. I absolutely love that passage of Scripture because it is a reminder that the Lord values the ministry of a wife and a mother. He has called her as much as any pastor, prophet and apostle and He values the tasks at her right hand. He has even given women our own little guide as to His desires and standards for us regarding this ministry. I believe Proverbs 31 is a beautifully painted picture of a woman who is a wife and a mother and is full of the Holy Spirit. I believe that in as much as I can ask Him what He wants to speak during a preaching, or what He's speaking to someone through prophecy, I can ask Him how He'd like me to keep the home He has entrusted me with, how to manage time & money wisely and how to honor Him by staying at home. I believe He can teach me how to grocery shop on a budget and how to rear our children. Essentially, isn't that what the Proverbs 31 passage is all about?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Amazon Mom=Awesome

Mommy's excited!

Just found out about Amazon Mom on the Amazon website, and I'm pretty excited. I found a box of 216 size 1 Pampers Swaddlers for $20.19. This makes mama very excited, and very proud. I have made it a goal to live a frugal lifestyle until our circumstances change, and have felt like I have been a huge failure. This find encourages me to keep pressing on! :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Daniella's fifth birthday!

My oldest is five years old. Sighhhhhh. I can't believe she's already five and heading into Kindergarten next year. I remember meeting her as a baby of oneish, maybe two and her being absolutely petrified of everyone that wasn't her Daddy... She has been such a God-send to me and I truly love her like my own. I remember a "vision" I once had of my children. I saw 3 children. I saw a tall girl with long black hair, the middle one was another girl by the name of "Liberty" and she was super sweet and gentle. Then, I saw a baby boy. It was crazy. Looking back at that, I believe my oldest is Daniella. In the dream the little girl portrayed strength and that's exactly what Daniella is, strong. In her five short years lived, she's had to come face to face with some brutal consequences and has undergone more transition and change than is fair for such a young girl. And yet, my girl comes out of it with a smile on her face (most days), with a fiery love for her daddy, a beautiful loyalty to her mother and a sweet tenderness and affection toward me. Let's also not forget the adorable possessiveness she has for her baby sister. I am super duper proud of her. My heart radiates with love for her. I never want to try to substitute her mother, not only because I never could, but because that is not the role God has granted to me in her life. I am indeed her stepmother, and much like her mother could never be replaced, I've come to learn that neither can I. :) So, in ode to my pumkin' pie's fifth birthday here's my five favorite things about my Lou.
1. I love how beautifully discerning she is.
2. I love it when we say our "I love you riddle." It melts my heart everytime.
3. I love that she calls me 'Cole. :)
4. I love that she's got so many characteristics that are like me. Just a few, enough for me to notice and smile. ;)
5. I love her excited face and sweet prayers of faith.

I love you Daniella Grace. I hope you know that...

Monday, October 25, 2010

My two loves!

Just thought I'd share a picture of my heart. :)
Caleb & Liya taking their Sunday Sabbath nap together...

Daniel friendly taco salad. :)

So, in our home we've been undergoing a Daniel Fast. Eating only sprouted grains, fruits & veggies is a little tough to do for a long period of time, especially since I don't like fruits. So, on accident, I discovered a Daniel-Friendly taco salad recipe that has become a favorite in my house, very quickly! (Daniel or not.. hehe) I won't do measurements because, well, I don't do them at a home, I'll just give you the recipe and you can mess around with how much of what you like.

1 Can of vegetarian chili
brown rice crips (I used the sweet Chili flavor)
a dab of sour cream (not exactly Daniel, but not horrible, either)
black beans

throw together and enjoy! :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mommy Blunder

Okay. So my little one drinks Baby's Only Organic DAIRY formula and her Timmy loves it. She was on the organic Similac, however after the recall, I decided I didn't wanna risk Aaliya drinking beetlejuice anymore and I swapped over. After doing my research too, Baby's Only comes out cheaper than Similac. Well, this particular organic formula is only sold in two places in Central FL (that I know of). Whole Foods & Chamberlains. The closest (and cheapest!) place to us is Whole Foods. However, out of five or six times that I've either called or showed up, they've only had that particular formula once! (ok, maybe twice). Nevertheless, that is ridiculous!! The last three times I've gone shopping for formula has turned into a wild goose hunt. I've driven to store after store looking For the formula with no luck. Every location sold out! Twice, mind you, with Aaliya having absolutely no more formula. Being a procrastinator is definitely not something that is becoming of a mommy. Nevertheless, today was by far the longest drive yet. I called every WholeFoods store, and every Chamberlains store was absolutely sold out of the dairy formula. Until finally, I found a can. Mommy drove out to Kissimmee for a single can of formula, which lasts around 4 days. Yeah, not fun. So, this mommy has decided to shop online for formula in bulk, because this is just ridonkulous! Gotta low Mommy blunders of an empty can of formula and the search for the organic, tree hugging, impossible to find formula.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Book Review: "A Christian Woman's Guide to Hospitality."

Five out of five stars! *****

I've got to admit that when I picked up this book, I was a little unsure. In my journey to become a homemaker that glorifies my King, I realize than the idea of homemaking in this fashion has become antiquated and unfortunately so has a lot of out resources. And truthfully, the cover looked old and cheesy. Nevertheless, I tried it and it proved that old saying 100% right. You just can't judge a book by it's cover. This book was an inspiration to give unto the Lord the small apartment we love in now and serve those He brings to our doorstep faithfully, not worrying about appearance nor cooking taste, but rather considering our guests "better than ourselves," as Scripture instructs us to. Nevertheless, it encourages every Christian to participate in the ministry of hospitality. It is not only a guidebook, it is a wealth of knowledge on Scripture and what I believe is the Lord's heart on the matter. It also encourages us to pursue the life of the Proverbs 31 woman, mainly in the preparation for the end times. She speaks of learning to barter and stocking up on non-perishables. It really surprised me, but I'm super glad I read it. I can honestly say I learned A LOT. Stay at home mommies and wifeys, this is absolutely a must-read. :)

"A Christian Woman's Guide to Hospitality" by Quinn Sherrer and Laura Watson


“When my heart was embittered and I was pierced within, then I was senseless and ignorant; I was like a beast before You. Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand.” -Psalms 73:21-23

I’m learning that part of dwelling successfully in Mommyhood and especially in Wifeyville is the art of surrender. I feel as though I’m in this season of my life right now, where pruning and sifting is taking place, but it is not your regular sifting and pruning. It is an intensely personal pruning that is touching every part of myself, including my marriage and my role as a mommy. It has been the toughest time of my life and yet in this season I am learning that God is calling me to surrender completely and utterly unto Him. Offense and hurt comes from a place that isn’t dead (and therefore “alive”) within us yet. If then, being a wife is about my husband, then wouldn’t it make sense that every part of me “dies” and I am then called to give up my illusion of what I call “my rights”? God is calling us to surrender every reality and every illusion. It is only there we find truth, liberty and intimacy with our first Husband. It is all about surrender; giving up what we consider a right for the reality that He is wise and in control.

Mommy’s Learned Lessons,

Mommyhood begins in Wifeyville

“She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.” -Proverbs 31:12

I know. There are plenty of single mothers out there who are fantastic mothers in “Mommyhood” without being part of “Wifeyville.” Yes, I know. And I totally agree. But this is about my journey, and my journey starts in “Wifeyville.” The longer I’m married, the more and more I realize that marriage is nothing about me and everything about my partner. Marriage is about giving of yourself without reservations regardless of the outcome. It is about loving the way Jesus loves. It is about a love that covers a multitude of sins. I have to admit, as women it is very common for us to become critical and bitter with husbands because of unmet expectations. It is easy to drift off and fantasize and wish our husband was “as spiritual as Suzy’s.” Well, I have recently learned that is operating and tolerating a spirit of Jezebel. Not to mention, how selfish of us. God has given unto us a “good thing,” a husband and father unto our children and the moment he shows a sign of humanity and weakness, we emotionally bail and check out. It should be our honor to fight for our husband’s spiritual welfare. Our wedding vows included “for better or worse.” It’s “the worse” part we pretend doesn’t exist when everything hits the fan, but it is this season of night, or this time of winter that produces and makes way for the warmth of dawn and the beauty and fragrance of spring. So, to whomever is reading, as I encourage myself through writing this blog, my prayer is that you’ll be encouraged as well. As the spiritual barometers of our home, my prayer is that we will honor our husbands by praying for their spiritual well being and that, in everything we are thankful for them. The dawn of spring will come, and oh what a beautiful day that will be!

Mommy’s Learned Lessons,

I'm baaack!

I apologize about my long silence. I have not forgotten about you, nor do I plan on leaving. Pregnancy was a difficult time and the adjustment period thereafter has been interesting. It's also been hard because my access to an actual computer has been limited. Nevertheless, I'm back. :) Thanks for your patience. I also started an additional blog that is a little more personal as to what I'm learning throughout my journey in the Word, so I encourage y'all to check it out and to subscribe to it!


Sunday, May 30, 2010

[enter in discouragement]

Okay, so at almost seven months pregnant (four more days of my second trimester) I feel like a ridiculous failure. The bulk of my pregnancy has been spent in a melancholy state and/or in a state of chaos. I am so ready for life without these crazy hormones. I really feel done.

I began this blog as a way for me to record this homemaking journey I knew I was to make. And instead of becoming a better homemaker, I feel discouraged, stressed and (evidently) frustrated. Maybe it's the standards I'm holding myself to, maybe it is these crazy hormones, but maybe it's the call to something deeper that I can't understand. Regardless of which one it is (though I'm beginning to think it's a little of all three) I'm ready to not feel like this. Ready to have my cup "runeth over" once again and not feel like everything I'm doing is a total wreck.

Forgive my Ecclessiastes moment, however I must say "There is nothing new under the sun! Solomon, I feel ya brother... If there's anyone out there actually reading my blog, I'm asking for prayer. Seriously. This rut has held me far too long, and I'm so ready for normalcy and fulfillment again. I want to be content with the life and the calling the LORD has given to me. So, with that being said... cue out discouragement, and please, enter grace...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Baby Decor! =)

So, I decided on a theme for the girls' room and I really love this set from Target.com, so I went ahead and registered for it and am hoping I get it during the baby shower...

So, this past weekend, my sister-in-law and I picked up some decor (and made some!) for the baby and her room, so here's a sneak-peek.
Over Daniella's bed, I wasn't sure what to use as a head-board or how to tie in the baby's theme without overwhelming her and we came up with a fantastic idea! We have shutters that we will paint chocolate brown and place them over the bed as though it's a window, and in between the shutters this painting will hang making it look like there's a giraffe out the window! =)

These are the letters we're using to monogram the girls' name on a canvas with scrapbooking paper coordinating the bedding. I'm *super* excited about this one.

I also made baby announcements ahead of time, so that when little Miss Aaliya gets here, they're already taken care of. I made two different kinds, and this is one of them. I'll be placing a wallet-sized photo of her on the announcement and then will attach the information. I think they're super cute, but I'm biased... :)

Cheri's also working on a piece of art that says "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty..." We love that Scripture and speak it over our little Liberty everyday. Just a start, but hey... I'm stoked!

Purge: The Closet

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I wanted to purge the house pre-baby and get things in order. Well, it's taken me a couple of weeks, but I've begun! I started in my closet by giving away clothes I no longer wear, putting away pre-pregnancy clothes that no longer fits (that pile was bigger than I expected) and (mostly) organize the rest of my closet. Granted, I could only do my side, because I can't very well give away Caleb's clothing without his permission, but I'm hoping my example inspires him to do the same! It was quite purging, and I found myself crying through most of it. (Not because of the clothes or the stuff I gave away, rather because that's what I do now: I'm pregnant.) Maybe this purging stuff is more than physically?

More Updates to come...

Amazing seesters

"I thank my God continually when I think about you..."

So, I spent this past weekend in Georgia, where I spent time with my fantastic sisters-in-law (my brothers-in-law are pretty cool too, but not nearly as cool as the girls) and we spent time shopping for home-decor and baby items! I am so very thankful to have these two ladies in my life. They are my pillar when I kinda wanna give up and my accountability in most heart-matters. :) Not to mention, Cheri is ridiculously amazing at art & decorating and inspires me to be more creative. I've decided to take up scrapbooking and card-making thanks to her. (Woop, Woop!) So, I'll be blogging about that soon enough. Priscilla is my ear in matters of the heart and I love her sooo much for it. I wanted to take a little corner in cyberspace to say thank you to my amazing sisters-in-law. <3 align="center">Priscilla :)
Cheri (woop, woop!)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tortilla Pizzas!

After a stressful day at work, I (or shall I say the munchkin in the oven) decided that I wanted pizza for dinner. Being that I don't love pizza, this was quite the mood I was in. Instead of ordering though (working hard at being efficient with money) I decided I was gonna make it. After much brainstorming, I kinda put together my very own recipe and also googled "tortilla pizza" and found similar ones to it. Below are the simple ingredients and even simpler steps. I'm super excited about my new-found recipe idea. It'll be great on a Sunday afternoon after Church or even a Saturday with Daniella. She can participate in making it, and it's a great way for her to get her veggies in. :)


Tortillas (I prefer small, but any size'll do)
Tomato Sauce (I use Heinz All-Natural)
Shredded Cheese
Olive Oil
Italian Seasoning or Basil
Black Olives
Etc with Veggie List (Mushrooms, Onions, etc)

- Pre-Heat Oven to 375F
- Apply olive oil to baking pan
- Mix together about 1/2 cup of tomato sauce with Italian Seasoning or Basil (I never measure, sorry guys)
- Apply tomato sauce to tortillas
- Top off with cheese and veggies
- Place baking pan in oven for 3-5mins,
- Enjoy! =)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mother's Day Craft

So Mother's Day is coming up and I really wanted to share some time with Daniella making something for her other "Mommy" and her grandmas. This year, she's old enough to understand the meaning of Mother's Day and I'm feeling "Suzy Homemaker" so I think I want to steal her away this week so that we can go pick out the things for the craft (more on it in a bit) and to actually start putting them together. She'll have to make four, so I wanted to make it simple enough to where it wouldn't be drudgery, but allow it to be unique enough to where she could pick which one to give to which Mommy/Grandma in her life... Needless to say, I found the cutest craft idea at Michael's (kudos to super creative Boly) and am super excited to get Lou (our nickname for our lovely little Daniella) in on it. Here it is, in case you're looking for ideas for your little ones to get involved with.

"I love you Pot/Candle Holder (meant for little ones between 3-5)

- Clay Pot & Saucer
- Acrylic Paint & Brush
- All-Purpose Glue
- Foam Shapes (Letters, Hearts & Another)
- Candle (optional)

How to:
- Paint Clay Saucer color of choice, as well as rim of pot. Let dry.
- Glue Pot & Saucer so that saucer is facing top and able to hold the candle.
- Glue Foam Shapes in "I love you" format and allow little one to decorate their little heart out on the pots. =)
- Add candle as finishing touch.

Ta-Daaaa! As my little one would say. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do. (I hope)
PS. At this point, I really wish we had a printer. I found amazing coloring pages for Daniella. =) Tons of printable-activities to keep her entertained for daysss!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Grocery Shopping

I must say, I don't think I've ever walked out of the grocery store so happy, ever! =) I went grocery shopping this past Friday. We've been dining out a lot, and I want to continue to save as much money as possible for the arrival of our little Princess. The plan is for me to stop working and I can't quite do that if our needs won't be met. I want to be a good steward of our money, and although the ocassional dine-out is no big, we were just a little outta control. LOL. Anyways, I went to Publix (I refuse to grocery shop at Wal-Mart) and wouldn't you know it their sales were absolutely phenomenal!! I was able to buy Cascadian Farms Organic Cereal for $1.99 which is unheard of, as well as BOGO's on other types of organic cereals for Caleb. We also were able to purchase organic frozen lunches for Caleb for work at $2.00 each. The organic lettuce was also BOGO, so I got two for the price of one. All Seventh Generation Cleaning Products were reduced by 25% so I stocked up pretty good and I was able to do most of my shopping in an eco-friendly way. Caleb and I really value organic food as something worth spending money on (it's more of an investment to us and our health) however, due to financial challenges haven't been able to fully go organic for a while. Thanks to Publix off Good Homes in Orlando, we were able to buy mostly organic foods and still stick within our budget. =) It's really interesting that it happened this week as well, since my friend Mary Jo (http://www.covenanthomemaking.com/) and I were discussing the challenges of buying organic on a budget, but the amazing deals she finds in the small town in Virginia she lives in. Wouldn't ya know it, I was totally blessed this week and was able to purchase what we were looking for at great prices! I was so excited I called Caleb and told him all about it. He definitely didn't share as much excitement, but was glad I was able to stick to budget and bring home healthy food! I'm actually headed out the door to stock up on a couple more items so that we don't need to get them for a while!

Mary Jo from http://www.covenanthomemaking.com/ is having a giveway on her page on Cascadian Farm Organic Foods. That's another way you could save on grocery shopping this month! =)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

the purge.

So, it's been a while since I posted, and I'm sorry! Truthfully, first trimester symptoms are coming back with a vengenance, and this up and down emotionally and hormonally business just isn't working for me! Nevertheless, my sweet little girl moves and dances in my belly, and I'm reminded, she's so worth it! I'm starting to get a little uncomfortable with my pregnancy, but I know that I have a way's to go, so I'm trying to pace myself and get ready for the marathon ahead of me. I've already gotten in trouble with several people from the Church telling me I am doing too much and that I need to slow down. The statements were re-iterated when I started to cramp (mildly and for a week) and I really felt like I need to slow down! I am trying to keep up with the house though. I'm so over the yucky feeling of laundry everywhere and a messy bathroom. I'll be starting to work part-time very soon, so, that'll hopefully allow me more time to spend on the house and on getting myself organized. My aunt, who is a fabulous interior decorator, suggested I purge the house before the baby gets here. Get rid of everything that I've realistically NOT used or looked at in longer than six months, and make sure that everything has a home and is practical. I think I'm gonna start on it this weekend, and I'm starting in MY CLOSET! Purging some clothes, some purses and giving them away. We have been overwhelmingly blessed the last few months, so giving things away is gonna be good. =) Not to mention, giving is such a heart tenderizer (if that's a word? lol). Bottom line is, even after discussing it with the LORD, something's gotta change, and He's starting with my heart and my will, so I'm gonna mirror the inner-workings of my heart with an outer purging. I'm not getting all weird here on you guys, just longing for simplicity again.

I continue to covet your prayers, especially in wisdom, discernment and courage to move forward with the things the LORD asks of me, especially regarding my family's life. He is so faithful and so good, I don't doubt He'll guide me in the steps which we should go. Simple post, but wanted to update. Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Reflections during pregnancy

Phew. Twenty weeks preggers, and can I just say nothing matures you quicker than carrying life within your womb. The last twenty weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions but a great maturing that has taken place in my heart and mind. I figured it'd be good to blog about it, since this blog is, after all, about my life as a wife and a mama.

I'm begginning to see that the most important things in life, outside of Jesus, are relationships. Everything material is beyond temporal, and relationships, if they are the right kind, are eternal. My heart has been turned towards my family in such a dramatic and intense way that I know God is setting me up to walk down a path that will lead me straight to Him. Ironically, when I was younger, I scorned stay-at-home moms who gave up their lives to be with their children, and who gave up earthly ministries to raise children. To me, they seemed un-spiritual, and weak. Well, if that's the case then I'm unspiritual and weak right alongside them, because my heart has been set on fire to be the very best wife and mom that I can be. Not that I wasn't before, but again, the depth and the height with which the LORD has taken it is undescribable. More than anything, I feel the LORD calling me to be a stay-at-home mom to raise Aaliya and co-labor in raising Daniella. Even my heart and my love for Daniella has matured and reached levels I didn't know possible. My eyes have been shifted towards eternity and I suddenly, don't care if I have an earthly ministry, if I get to preach to hundreds or "be somebody" in the body of Christ. More than anything my heart has been turned towards simplicity, servanthood and Heaven; eternity. Ironically, He did this by giving me a child (two, actually). It is absolutely outstanding what He has done in such a short time.

Even the meaning of sacrifice has changed in my eyes. Ask me to give up my cell phone and my time, and consider it a done deal... Ask me to give up my family, and now we're running into some resistance. Think about Abraham, giving up his only son. Put yourself in his shoes and then talk to me about the meaning of sacrifice. Well, that's a different lesson for another day... But seriously ponder on the meaning of sacrifice. A few sleepless nights, less luxury and more thriftyness. We consider this sacrifice? Give up your child for the sake of the Gospel, and then we'll talk sacrifice. LORD, help me. I'm done. I'm soo not gonna go into that one today. I will, however leave you with one thought. Jesus said, "Let the dead bury the dead." Think about what that really means.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Reading Club Suggestion

Recommended Reading:
Supernatural Childbirth
by; Jackie Mize

If you're a mom, pregnant, wanting to get pregnant or knows someone who is pregnant, this book is THE most amazing tool they'll ever use. It'll be my new Baby Shower present everytime! The book ultimately describes the promises God has given unto us mothers and fathers regarding how He is truly our deliverer!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Top Ten on Pregnancy!

Top Ten Best Things about Being Pregnant! (in no particular order)

1. Can you say, vessel of life?!
2. Hearing the heartbeat.
3. Seeing your little monkey via sonogram.
4. Getting out of most major tedious projects just because you have a baby bump.
5. Buying pink onesies and silver tutus! :D
6. Getting to shop & decorate for your little one's room.
7. Having the blessing of God upon your marriage.
8. Getting presents everytime people see you!
9. Having people donate their food, just bcos' you're preggers.
10. Clean house! (Hey, this nesting thing is fantastic and frustrating all at the same time!)

Top Ten NOT so fun things about being pregnant! (also in no particular order)

1. These stupid things called hormones. Why Jesus, why? NO Purpose to them!
2. Undershirts riding up your belly making themselves more bras than undershirts.
3. Being too big for your regular jeans, but not big enough for maternity stuff.
4. Everyone thinking you can't do anything because you have some foreign disease called Pregnancy.
5. Everyone's strange need to tell you their birth horror story.
6. Everyone's innate need to touch, rub, talk to and put their face up against your belly. Yes, even strangers.
7. Random nausea. Not enough to make you throw up, and yet suddenly, you're sick to your stomach.
8. Crying at the drop of a hat.
9. Cravings. Although Double-Stuffed Oreo's are great, I'd prefer NOT to have them everyday Aaliya, thank you very much.
10. The comments on how big you are. I mean, must you tell me everytime you see me how big I've gotten in two days? Yeah, no.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I need your help!

Okay, so now that we found out that the baby in my tummy is a lovely little girl I'm quite the busy mama hen trying to figure everything out, since I have to decorate for two little girls and not just one. No, I'm not having twins, but Daniella Grace, my four-year-old is sharing a room with little Aaliya Liberty my coming princess, so I want to be able to purchase the things I need to decorate Daniella's bed and the entire room with time. That being said, I'm undecided and I need your help to pick. I'm posting below four different beddings (all with similar themes) and I'd like to know your opinion. Leave a comment below with your favorite room and maybe this'll make my decision making easier. (Anyone figured out I'm very indecisive, yet?) Anyways, check them out, and get to voting!!

This one my amazing sister-in-law Cheri picked out. It's BananaFish from Babies R' Us.
No Big Girl set for this one, so creativity will have to flow for Daniella's side.

The Amazing Brooke from Pottery Barn Kids!

Big Girl Set

The Kelsey, also from Pottery Barn Kids.

Big Girl Set.

The Beautiful Penelope, from Pottery Barn Kids.
Slight problem, no big-girl set. Boo! :l

So, which one's your favorite?

Kids' Room Progress!

Soo, my two little girls' room was (and has been!) quite the mess, for quite a long time now. Tonight, I got one of, what I like to call, my mommy-nesting energy bursts and decided to tackle that room (and closet!) and although not completely done, I've made QUITE the progress, and I'm so pleased! :) All I need to do is throw away the three bags of trash, vacuum and finish organizing some knick-knacks, and voila! Instant kids' room. Now, if I can only figure out how to fit the furniture in a cute, functional way!

I arranged the closet so that all of Daniella's toys fit into the closet neatly in the bookshelf. They're organized nice and neat, but in a kid-friendly way so that she can clean-up all by herself the same way "Cole" did. :) Before, this closet was literally FILLED top-to-bottom in toys.

This is Daniella's side of the closet. No more strained-out clothes and rushing around to try to find the matching skirt to the cute top for her. All good & ready for her to pick out her own outfit in her independent four-year-old self! :)

One of my co-workers got this onesie set for Aaliya (the littlest Arrazolo in my tummy) and the baby socks were a wedding present from an old-friend. Not much in there quite yet, but I'm sure this collection is bound to grow, leaps and bounds. Just couldn't leave little Aaliya out. hehe.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Clean House!

While my veggies are sauteeing, a quick post to say that my house is nearly 100% clean. Phew! It's only taken me four and a half months of pregnancy, but outside of the kids' room, the only bit of messiness is the few (two) piles of laundry I have left to wash and the fact that I want to rearrange my room. :)

Clean home, Happy Heart.! <3

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Giveaway! :)

Another amazing giveaway by http://www.covenanthomemaking.com/! :)

This time Mrs. Murch is giving away a Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil! She posted a blog about the benefits of using Coconut Oil in your daily life. But in case you don't get a chance to jump there, check out a few tidbits.
  • Aids in digestion and is a natural energy source
  • Anti-viral and anti-fungal properties! Hello? Can we say immune system reload?
  • Can be used as an alternative to diaper rash cream. (My purpose in wanting the free coconut oil).
  • Great for hair and nails.
  • PS. Great for recipes that call for butter or shortening. It's a healthier approach to cooking and baking!

If you're looking for more info on Coconut Oil, visit http://www.covenanthomemaking.com/ and Mrs. Murch (whom I like to call Mary Jo, hehe) will have some fantastic resources there.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Nursing Cover! :)

So, I was looking thru my email today deleting all the old stuff and I came across a great email that made me smile. :) Because of my signing-up for a Mommy-friendly website, they have sent me a $32.00 giftcard to use for a nursing cover from http://www.uddercovers.com/! This proves to be very exciting considering it's another thing Caleb and I don't need to pay for and another way in which our God has been so faithful. Granted, it may not be on the top 20 things we need for baby, but seeing that Caleb and I are both always on-the-go and we frequent Church, having a nursing cover will make life sooo much easier. I've had friends who have had babies within the last year, and they use blankets for nursing covers. This proves to be such a hassle especially since you're trying to manuever baby, breast and blanket all without exposing yourself to the entire world. I'm super excited and will be picking my oober-awesome design tomorrow (when my computer cooperates a little more.) If you have nursing babes, totally recommend one of the nursing covers, and uddercovers.com has a huge array of super cute ones. :)

Who ever said Mommies lose their style? Woop.

PS. I will be posting pictures up of the style I chose. But in the meantime, visit the site and give me your opinions. I'd love to hear which one you pick for me. :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

So much to do! So little time...

The more pregnant I get, and the more I look around, the more I notice that there is so much to do, with so little time. This isn't just in preparation for the arrival of our little person (kudos to Melissa for hooking us up massively on behalf of that transition), but just life in general. I'm wearing several hats and they're all important to me. The goal is to lead a balanced life and to be able to get most of it done. I realize I'm not super-woman, but I know that what I currently have on my plate I can handle. I'm not over-burdening myself, nor am I lazy and overwhelmed (anymore, thanks to the glorious first trimester GONEEEE), however I've got to figure out a system that is gonna work, and a schedule that I can follow. I'm normally not a schedule person, more like a fly by the seat of my pants kinda gal, however... with everything that's going on around me, I can hardly say that anything else is gonna work. So, with that in mind, my latest project and focus is coming up with a schedule that will be functional and helpful for the entire Arrazolo household. If anyone has any suggestions, please share them. I'm an eager student!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Even admist the storms and the dessert I am finding that the LORD is ever so faithful and that He will truly fulfill your heart's desire. As a wife and mama, leader at a youth ministry as well as an employee it is sometimes hard to find people whom you connect with that you can do life with. See, I'm all about community. My heart is soo into doing life with people. I have so much to learn as a wife, as a mom, and outside of the WORD of God, I believe others' life and experiences are the best tool to learn. In a time of transition in my life, I felt so disconnected and so lost. I felt like "Mama Hen" in a brood of chickies where truthfully I gave more than I did life with (understandbly so). And though that time has prepared me (and continues to do so) for growing as a mama, it was also exhausting and I was feeling lost. I needed adult time, a family to be a family with. The ladies from work are phenomenal, but our views in life are about as different as Heaven and Hell, and our priorities and hearts are set on different things. I prayed, fought the LORD and asked Him to provide. And won't you know it, He did. He's brought in my way a group of Christian couples who are real and funny and solid in His WORD. Granted, I'm not saying we're all soulmates and we're destined to do life together, but, the LORD has heard my cry, and for the time being, He's provided and given me the encouragement of community. That setting tenderizes my heart to grow as a wife and a mama. It places me on the right track because I don't feel alone and I don't feel as though Caleb and I are the only ones who go through "growing pains."

He is so faithful and will continue to be. :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Baby items are piling in!

When I first became pregnant and found out, I have to admit that after the initial bout of excitement, I panicked slightly and questioned God regarding His timing. Caleb & I were experiencing serious growth pangs in our marriage and financially, we were not even ready. But wow, the LORD is so faithful. In my journey over the last four months God has given beyond and abundantly over everything I could have possibly imagined or desired. I am convinced that the child He has entrusted to me in my womb has been created by God, for God and has already been given unto the cause which He has chosen. It it is a simple truth that we all "know" with our minds, but to experience the power of its truth and to come face-to-face with its reality is a humbling experience and I can't help but to share it. :)

First things first, when I starting "popping out a little" and the issue of maternity clothes came up, Caleb became a little nervous about having to go shopping for dress clothes (for work) and all these maternity items that I "needed." Financially, we didn't have extra for clothes, and maternity clothes are very expensive. I placed it at the feet of the LORD and trusted (more like half-hoped!)that in His goodness, He would provide. I planned on purchasing several summer dresses that are made of the "stretchy" material and a couple of pants to take me through work to cut costs. God met my need and has provided an ENTIRE wardrobe of maternity clothes, most of which are practically new and have never been worn. We didn't pay a penny for them. Even when originally the price of $40 was tagged to a chunk of these maternity clothes, I praised the LORD and told Caleb. We were determined to place them in the budget because it was already a deal. Lo and behold, less than 24hrs later, the woman who was selling me these clothes contacts me and tells me she's felt to give them to me for free! Wow, God is so faithful.

Then, the issue of the crib came up. I knew my parents were willing to pay for it and my mom was already talking about it, but my parent's have already spent an insane amount of money on me since I got married (technically, engaged) and I couldn't possibly imagine them purchasing the crib for me. I once again, took it to the LORD in prayer and I placed it in His hands, this time for sure cos' I had nothing to go on. While I was talking to a great friend of mine, she offered up her practically brand-new crib and dresser for once again, nothing. I offered to pay her something for it, but she was intent on giving a blessing and told me not to worry about it. Once again, the LORD came through not only with what I asked for, but threw in the bonus of the dresser as well.

Another thing I placed before the LORD was more of a want rather than a necessity. I've always wanted a rocking chair and I really wanted one for our bedroom for the baby. I mentioned it to the LORD and didn't really think about it again. Won't you know it, I received a phone call from my mom this morning letting me know that her boss offered up a practically-new rocking chair. Did I want it? Uhh, is that a trick question? Of course!! Once again, the LORD provided.

Ohh, I forgot, another friend offered a bouncer (rainforest theme, the really cute one!) for, once again, free. I got a mini-wardrobe for a boy, including several adorable shirts that look Daddy, and a portable high-chair. We also received an offer for a free cover-up breastfeeding thingy and have only paid for shipping. We saved $35 on that alone. Aha! Yeah, the LORD is so good, and so faithful.

Above all the material things He has provided, which is quite incredible, He has provided me with a group of men and women whom I know are truly praying for this baby. Our Church has seen an ongoing attack on the wombs of women and on the children, and in the midst of that, the LORD has raised up people who are interceeding and consistently speaking life into my womb and into this child. It's not one or two people, it has been a flock of people who have approached me and spoken to me, and have prophesized life over this child. That, more than anything humbles me. The purpose and the destiny that I carry forth is beyond comprehension. LORD, You are soo good, so faithful.

"Behold, children are a a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward, like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate."
-Ps. 127:3-5

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Finally, an update

Okay, so it has been quite a while since I've updated this blog, and truly it's been quite the roller coaster ride the last three or so months in the Arrazolo household. The next few sentences will create an update and a picture for you as to the mountains that have been conquered, the journeys that have been taken and the lessons that have been learned.

Being pregnant has been a completely new adventure for me. I am so not used to the mood swings, the cravings and the constant exhaustion that my body is feeling with this little person in my tummy. I was blessed enough not to have morning sickness in the physical sense of throwing up, constant nausea, etc (although I did get the ocassional nausea & tummy ache) however, emotionally it was one of the darkest times I have ever experienced. For almost exactly three months, a heaviness and a depression overtook me in a very literal sense and I can't quite say I know why. I hate to attribute it solely to the pregnancy, however it so coincided with my first trimester that it's hard not to. During these three months, I completely forsook my duties as a wife, leaving my house in utter chaos, my marriage in utter chaos, my eating habits in chaos, and even my relationship with my little one in utter chaos (just to name a few). Most importantly, my walk with God was in utter chaos. Hence my lack of writing then. There was zero amount of homemaking in the Arrazolo household. It was soo hard. However, entering into this second trimester, I have to say that things are beginning to look up. The first order of business was getting my very (very!) messy house back in order and bringing my relationship with the LORD to a right standing. It seems there is sunshine after rain, and a lot of blossoming lilies thereafter as well. It is a daily committment as is my marriage, but in everything, I am learning to lean upon the LORD in a fresh new way.

I have completely cleaned the entire household, except the bathrooms (deep-clean anyway) and the little ones' bedroom. The bathrooms WILL get done this week (I haven't had the stuff I need to do so) and so will the kids' room. Someone was kind enough to bless us with a crib and a dresser for the new baby (for free! Hallelujah!) and we will be picking it up Tuesday, therefore I have no choice, but to put that room in order. I feel it's gonna be quite a project and I have to organize myself for it. I'll be making a list of everything that needs to be done this week so that I can do little tasks every day and tackle it that way. Please pray that divine inspiration comes as to how we're gonna do this! It's not a very big room and I have to fit a baby, a four year old and ALL the things both children entail. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Nevertheless, I have learned that we need to take things, one step a time or it will never work.

I am also working on a small project for our office/dining area and our closet. I bought four cork tiles to create "mini-bulletin boards" that will serve as a "living center." It can be an easy way to access prayer requests, phone number we need, to-do's, reminders, etc so that we're not running around like chickens with our heads cut off and living in clutter by stickies we write, but have nowhere to place. I got the idea from http://www.stuff2borganized.com/. Great website that has tons of great ideas. ;)

Last but not least, I plan on saturating our home with Scriptures by posting up index-cards with the WORD in various places throughout our home. That's pretty much all I've got going on. I'll write more this week and update on the baby-room decorating and etc. :)

It's just a little while longer till I see You
It's just a little while longer till I know You
It's just a little while longer and we'll be together...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Giveaway! :)

Okay, so my great friend (and inspiration might I add) is having her 100th post giveaway and I am sooo excited about it. :)

Here's a link to her page so that you can check it out.

She's giving away a shabby chic apron (which are A-Dorable if I do say so myself)... :) The info for their website is found on MaryJo's page, but the name of the company is Marie Madeline Studio. Soo exciting and soo cute! :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The To-Do List!

Well, potatoes are baking in the oven and in the meantime, I will use the time wisely and blog. :) Sorry I didn't update yesterday, I was caught off guard by my wonderful husband. When I came home I was feeling a little unmotivated so I sat and rested for a few minutes, I started talking on the phone with a friend, and decided it was the perfect time to get off the couch and start re-doing the pantry at least (no funny smells there.) From there I jumped to the fridge and it wasn't quite as bad as I was expecting. However, throwing away some gravy got me a little queasy and then I was done. Hehe. Anyway, so Caleb calls me and asks me how I'm feeling and tells me that he wants to take me out on a date. :D Yayy! My love language is quality time so of course I jumped all over that idea. He took me to sushi (non-raw sushi people!) and then suggested we go spend some time at the House of Prayer. It really shocked me because he hasn't mentioned anything like that for a while, so I jumped all over that one too. Just as soon as he took me to Barnes & Nobles to spend my $10 gift card. :) Needless to say, I didn't get everything done, but I did accomplish most of my list. Here it is copied from yesterday...
  • Vacuum the apartment! (hasn't been done since we moved in, yikes!)
  • Clean out the frigde (MIL left too many leftovers)
  • Organize the messy pantry. (to post before & after pictures)
  • Deep-clean remainder of kitchen.
  • Get all clothes off bedroom floor and fold accordingly.
  • Spend time with Jesus alone.
  • Blog my progress.

Not too bad, considering tomorrow is a day off and I plan on doing the remainder of my checklist and laundry. As well as baking cookies for my ladies luncheon. :D I want to continue with my reading plan tonight and tomorrow, so that's gonna be good. :) Hope you're enjoying my adventure. Still don't have it down (not even close!), but I'm working on it one baby-step at a time.

PS. Below are after pics. Before pics were too embarrasing to post on the web. Hehe.

the fridge. :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

catching up

It has been wayyy too long since I've blogged, and for that, adoring fans, I am soo sorry. (assuming anyone reads this, hehe). Ever since I found out I'm pregnant (9 weeks already, yikes!) it has been a whirlwing of emotions, nausea and slight downer-ness (for the avoiding of the use depression, don't like it.) I haven't really been feeling myself lately on a number of different levels; spiritually, emotionally, physically (obviously) and it's been wearing me down. Needless to say, my home has been in utter disaster for the last month or so. My bedroom is worse off than it was before (though, now beautifully decorated with a queen size bed! Thank you Mommy & Daddy for an amazing birthday present), laundry is wayy piled up and tonight was the first night I actually cooked a full meal since Dec 19th (the day we found out I was expecting). Needless to say, I have a lot of catching up to do. Good thing is, I get out of work tomorrow at 2pm and will be spending the rest of the afternoon cleaning and then will be visiting the House of Prayer later on in the evening. I need to spend time with Jesus, or I'm never gonna survive this pregnancy! I also need to continue to strive to have a relationship with Him and that's been lacking lately too. Good thing my head's on (sorta) straight and I'm getting back on track. His tender mercies are new every morning. :)

Anyway, here is the to-do list for tomorrow, and I will hopefully update then to let you know of the progress I'm making at the Arrazolo household.

  • Vacuum the apartment! (hasn't been done since we moved in, yikes!)
  • Clean out the frigde (MIL left too many leftovers)
  • Organize the messy pantry. (to post before & after pictures)
  • Deep-clean remainder of kitchen.
  • Get all clothes off bedroom floor and fold accordingly.
  • Spend time with Jesus alone.
  • Blog my progress.