An Amazing Love

Dear Momma,

Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy! Today is all about you. You worked so hard while I was growing up to care for everyone and still do. You taught me about life and to find the good in the struggles. Thank you for your amazing love!

Love,

Me

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEXLrvMGV6k

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A Different Kind of Mother

Mother’s Day is tomorrow. It is a day some are elated about, and a day a lot have been dreading.

You may ask why some dread Mother’s Day, but let me point out some things that most do not think about on this special day.

Miscarriage, loss of a child(ren), infertility, passing of a mother: these are just some main reasons why Mother’s Day is dreaded.

A woman that carries a child in her womb whether it be for a few short days, weeks, or month and loses her dear child is still a mother. She felt the love of a mother. This woman feels the same pain as the mother who loses a child.

It has been said that a child should never die before their parents, but it happens more than anyone would like. The pain parents feel is an unbearable pain I am sure. They integrate their child’s life into their lives and continue to live a “normal” life. Even though a child has passed does not mean that mother suddenly stops being a mother. She will always be a  mother.

Think of the woman that has dreamed of becoming a mother since she was a little girl. All she wants is a baby to rock, nurse, and sing to. All she wants is a youngster to chase around and teach. All she wants is a teenager to talk about crushes, teach how to drive a car, and help shop for prom. All she wants is to help plan a wedding and hold her grandchildren. All she wants is a child to love and watch grow. She wants all these things but cannot have them. She has the heart of a mother.

For someone who has lost their mother, seeing other children with their mother can be tremendously hard. Loneliness and jealousy may arise.

Those who find Mother’s Day hard may just avoid the whole day all together. So on this Mother’s Day, do not forget those who have lost or cannot have children. Do not forget those without their mothers. You could make a big difference in their lives by just remembering.

 

Remember and honor those mothers who have passed on.

Happy Mother’s Day! Especially to those who find this day hard because of miscarriage/loss of child(ren) and/or infertility.

 

 

*Children: From birth to death because we will always be children to our parents no matter our age.

 

 

A Sisterhood Unlike Any Other

Sisterhoods. Most people think of fraternities in college, but I want to introduce you to another sisterhood.

This is a sisterhood that is really stands the test of time. This is a sisterhood that only a special few belong to. This is a sisterhood I love.

Military spouses across the globe make up this sisterhood. This sisterhood is made up of every nationality, of men and women, of spouses of different backgrounds.

The Yellow Ribbon Sisterhood, as my great friend, Aprille, calls it, is a sisterhood unlike any other. The bond of military spouses is something that cannot be explained though many try. It is a bond that one has to experience to understand.

Being a part of this sisterhood is my favorite part of being a military spouse. It is more than just being friends with another military spouse. Friends is really a cheap word to describe it because they are so much more than that. They are my family, and even that does not describe it well enough. They would walk through hell and back with me. There are hundreds I could call, whether I have met them or not, at a moments notice for whatever I need. I know my sisters and brothers will be there for me just like I would be there for them.

Forget college fraternities–They do not have anything on us!

So on this Military Spouse Appreciation Day, I want to give a big hug and kiss to every single one of my sisters and brothers! This life would stink without you. You deserve so much in this world. Thank you for standing by your man/lady. Treat yourself to a spa day/sports day! Love y’all!

Yellow Ribbon Sisterhood

 

Blessings, Big and Small #8-22

This is an installment in the Blessing, Big and Small series.

Over the past couple weeks, God has blessed me beyond measure yet again! Here is how:

 

8. Mister being able to participate in half of Bethel Baptist Church’s basketball season.

9. My parents treating us to the last after-basketball Dairy Queen.

10. A new Vera Bradley hipster purse with matching wallet.

11. An off-the-hook birthday!

12. Celebrating a RISEN Saviour!

13. Dinner with family I have not seen in a while. There were lots of laughs as always.

14. Lots of giggles of Noel in her Easter dress. Mister cannot believe I bought a dress for Noel for Easter. He was mortified! Ha!

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15. 79 cent movies at Drug Mart for our first Monday movie night after basketball season.

16. Impromptu date night at a Cavs game.

17. Mister having a day off before a drill weekend.

18. Having a drill weekend that went by fast. That very rarely happens!

19. Awesome weather! I worked on a project for Noel so she can use our full yard without me being outside.

20. Noel kind of learning that it is OK to be outside without me. She freaks out less and less each time.

21. A ginormous yard. Mister and I have never had a yard this big. Living in the country is great 🙂

22. Unexpected last minute local tax refund.

 

I love counting blessings! God is good all the time!

 

How has God blessed you in the past few weeks? 

 

A Perfect Birthday Celebration

I am finally getting around to blogging about my birthday because it has taken me all week to recover physically. After a very busy March, I am ready to slow down but cannot for another couple weeks. Anyways…back to my birthday; I promise this will be my last post about my 21st birthday! Ha!

We woke bright and early last Saturday morning for a fun-filled day, and I was ecstatic! I was finally 21! We got dressed and ready to go quickly. Mister even picked out my clothes for me!

After dropping Noel off at my parents’ house, we headed to McDonalds for breakfast, Half Price Books and Plato’s Closet for some birthday shopping, and the mall for a movie. Before the movie we walked around the mall for a short few minutes and picked up Mister a pair of cargo shorts (because he does not have enough already *sarcasm*) then headed back for The Host. (BTW–The Host was really good! I enjoyed it a lot!!!)

Waiting for The Host to start

Waiting for The Host to start

After the movie, we jetted on back to my parents’ house for the MAJOR surprise. And when I say MAJOR, I mean MAAAAAJOR!!! They even blindfolded me!

On our way to the major surprise. This is what happens when Mister has the camera...Here ya go, Handsome, I put a goofy picture on the blog just for YOU! :)

On our way to the major surprise. This is what happens when Mister has the camera…Here ya go, Handsome, I put a goofy picture on the blog just for YOU! 🙂

Can anyone guess what the surprise was??? Hint: I am a total foodie.

OK, OK–enough with the guessing.

They took me to Dante! Remember my mom’s friend that is the chef? Well, it is his restaurant!

The chef’s table was reserved for us. And for those of you who do not know what is so special about the chef’s table: it is in the kitchen!

We were able to watch the staff in action and talk with Dante all night. The food was fabulous!!! We ordered the 5-course chef’s tasting menu. Did I mention how fabulous the food was?! Oh, wait–I think I did. Well, it is worth repeating several times!

I hardly paid any attention to the rest of the table all night (oops!) because I was so intrigued by the work in the kitchen. But that is also not surprising since it was totally my thing!

We were at Dante for 3 1/2 hours, and it an awesome 3 1/2 hours!!! My family really knows how to plan surprises for me.

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After the most epic surprise, we headed back to my parents’ house for presents. Then to my in-laws for a small birthday get together and home for the night.

This past week, I set out all my birthday presents on our couch and was amazed at how much was given to me! Spoiled? Very possible. Blessed? Beyond measure!

All my birthday presents!

All my birthday presents!

It was the GREATEST birthday I have ever had! Perfect in so many ways!!! The whole day was jam-packed with stuff I love but, more importantly, people I love!

Thanks, everyone, for a great birthday! It will go down in history 🙂

P.S. Our first winner of the giveaway did not respond, so I have picked a new winner.

Stacey Burke!

Stacey Burke!

I have contacted Stacey. Like before, if she does not respond within 24 hours, I will pick a new winner.

More Than Bunnies, Candy, and Pastel Colors

Easter is so much more. So much more than bunnies. So much more than candy. So much more than pastel colors. These are the things we see all over town around Easter time, but I want the world to know something. It is so much more.

Easter time is celebrating a man that died on the cross but more importantly a man who rose from the grave. This man is Jesus. He had no sin but died to atone for the sins of the world–for every single person.

And He is so much more than “just a man.” He is my Lord. He is my Friend. He is my Saviour.

He is my Saviour because he conquered death. He made a way for me to go to Heaven. He made a way for you to go to Heaven. He can be your Saviour too!

I do not know about you; but when I think of what Easter really means, it is so much more. So much more than we could ever imagine.

Easter is about the cross and the stone that was rolled away.

So…

Happy Resurrection Sunday, dear one!

What My Birthday Means to Me

Today is my birthday! My 21st birthday to be exact, and I am very excited!!! And nervous…

For some reason, the last few weeks I have actually been nervous about turning 21. Call me crazy, but the thought of a new age milestone and new chapter is kind of nerve wracking. Now, I feel like I actually have to grow up. I was counting on being Peter Pan the rest of my life. But here I am turning 21.

Do not get me wrong–I am still tremendously excited about turning 21 too! And the excitement is outweighing the nervousness. So that is good!

I love celebrating my birthday. That might sound a little vain, but I do not want to be vain.

I love celebrating my birthday because I am reminded how great life is. God created me for a purpose. I have been His since the beginnings of the earth. He knew me before I was even conceived. I have been fearfully and wonderfully made by my almighty God, my heavenly Father.

I have a purpose. I have been given this great life.

For a long time, I did not like the way God made me. I did not like the life He gave me. I did not think I had a purpose.

But the more I knew God, the more I knew me.

Now, I love the way God made me. I love the life He gave me. I know I have a purpose.

So celebrating my birthday is not because I want a lot of gifts or whatever. I celebrate my birthday because I am grateful for the life God has given me. I celebrate because I have life. I celebrate because my life is beautiful. I celebrate because I have a purpose and am of value.

Below is my favorite song, “If I Die Young” by The Band Perry. It might not have a lot to do with this blog post, but I love it, so it has to be played on my birthday. Enjoy!

21 Acts of Kindness for my 21st Birthday

For my 21st birthday, I did not want to do something for myself but for others. Lying in bed one night while attempting to fall asleep, the thought popped in my head to do 21 acts of kindness to celebrate my birthday. What a great way to do something for others!

I spent the whole month of March looking for opportunities and waiting for God’s leading as to what I should do and for who. Some of these are simple, and others took a smidge more work.

1. Left a Reese’s cup with a note in our mailbox for our mailman.
2. When we were going through Burger King’s drive-through, we paid for the order of the car behind us.
3. Purchased a dozen donuts from DeLuxe (the BEST donuts in the world!) for Bethel Baptist Christian Academy teachers.
4. Made and took dinner with dessert to friends who are very busy. She is a pre-med student, and he works a lot.
5. Purchased a value pack of diapers for a young, single mother in our church.
6. Purchased the groceries of the lady in front of me at the grocery store.
7-11. Made chocolate chip cookies for the Mantua/Shalersville fire department, Ravenna police, Streetsboro police, the Sheriff’s office, and the Highway Patrol.
12-15. Made chocolate chip cookies for the four families in our cul-de-sac.
16. Made chocolate chip cookies for the sweetest man in our church and his wife. He is always checking on us and talks with us every church service.
17-19. Made homemade, organic body scrub for our preacher’s wife, assistant pastor’s wife, and a sweet lady in our church.
20. Purchased something for friend that she had been looking for but could not find.
21. Taped a small baggie of quarters to a Redbox so someone can rent a movie or two.

It was so much fun doing these acts of kindness, and I am hoping it planted a seed in me so I will continue to find opportunities to do acts of kindness for others through out the year. I ended up making 144 chocolate chip cookies–that is a lot of baking!

I highly encourage you to spread a little love, care, kindness, and grace. It definitely will not be something you regret and is a a ginormous blessing to the soul!

Do not forget to enter the giveaway that ends tomorrow evening!!! Click here to enter–it is so simple a caveman could do it!

21 Years in Pictures

My 21st birthday is 2 wake-ups away! Here is my life in pictures:

Right after birth :)

Right after birth 🙂

1 year

1 year

2 years

2 years

3 years

3 years

4 years

4 years

5 years

5 years

6 years

6 years

7 years

7 years

8 years

8 years

9 years (This is Clash Day during Spirit Week at school. I did not normally dress like this. Ha!)

9 years (This is Clash Day during Spirit Week at school. I did not normally dress like this. Ha!)

10 years

10 years

11 years (I loved those princess PJs!)

11 years (I loved those princess PJs!)

12 years (I was in a pageant and definitely did not win, but it was fun.)

12 years (I was in a pageant and definitely did not win, but it was fun.)

13 years

13 years

14 years (Piano recital)

14 years (Piano recital)

15 years

15 years

16 years (Mister and I's first official date to the Sports Awards Banquet his senior year.)

16 years (Mister and I’s first official date to the Sports Awards Banquet his senior year.)

17 years

17 years (The date on the picture is very much wrong.)

18 years

18 years

19 years

19 years

20 years

20 years

It is so neat to see how I have changed over the years. So there you go; I hope you enjoyed this journey!

I “stole” this idea from Aprille at Beautiful in His Time. Thanks for the idea!

My Baby Will Be 21 {Guest Post from my Mom}

3 wake-ups until my birthday! To continue the celebration, my momma is here today!

On July 27, 1991, we moved into our first home (where we still reside)! On July 28, 1991, I woke
up quite sick and after about two weeks, I made an appointment to see my doctor because I
thought it must be a stomach flu that just wouldn’t go away. NEVER did it cross my mind what
reason the doctor might have for my “flu”, we just never thought of it. At first the diagnosis was a
little shocking and our excitement just grew from there. We were having a baby!

We started praying immediately for a healthy baby, wisdom in parenting, who our baby might
become and the spouse that our child might have someday; oh, and I really wanted a girl. We
already had too many boys in the family in my brothers’ children and we really needed a girl
to spoil in the Cleveland area. We prayed constantly for a healthy baby because I was sure
there might be something wrong because of the horrible “flu” I had my entire pregnancy. You
see, my “flu” continued quite heavily for about 6 months and then tapered off to become more
manageable. I had standing appointments with the doctor every Saturday morning for about the
first 4 months to check me for dehydration. Yes, I was that sick.

My due date was March 30, 1992. The day before my exact due date I woke up with
contractions but said nothing to my husband. I knew it was too early to be going to the hospital
and had no intentions of being poked and prodded forever while we waited. We had planned
on going to Aurora Farms that day, so of course, I wasn’t going to divert from those plans! We
walked all day while baby shopping , went grocery shopping and were settling on the couch to
watch a movie that I wanted to see that night on TV when my parents stopped by and found out
about my contractions and insisted I call the doctor. By now the contractions were much closer
than hours earlier. I called the doctor right away, because if I was going to the hospital, I had to
go then because I had just enough time to get to the hospital and settle before my movie came
on. The doctor couldn’t believe that I hadn’t called earlier, so off to the hospital we went. I was
in my room and settle before the movie came on, so I was happy. I did not want any downtime
that would give me time to dwell on the pain of the contractions. The movie ended and it was
another hour before the real action started.

At 2:42 a.m. on March 30, 1992, Kayla Estelle Lopilato was born and she was perfect! She was
the most beautiful thing we had ever seen. She had a head full of black hair that stood straight
up and she was as round as could be, she was the perfect cuddling size.

And, the spoiling began! I mean, who couldn’t help but spoil such adorableness (my new word)?
Kayla was a truly great kid; she was always so bright and cheerful, eager to learn, eager to help
anybody in any way, never any trouble and always so responsible.

Kayla may have been spoiled but she also grew up sharing everything she had. In the
Cleveland area, she was the only girl among four male cousins…another reason to spoil her!
Kayla shared her toys, her home and her parents. My family is very close and my nephews and
nieces have always been a big part of our lives, and Kayla wouldn’t have had it any other way.
If we were out shopping and she got something new, she always insisted that we get something
for the boys too. And, if we went somewhere special, those boys had to go with us. Three of the
boys moved out of town when Kayla was about four or five, leaving Kayla and her cousin, Justin
behind.

Kayla was eight years old when Justin, then nine years old, came to live with us. It was at that
time that Kayla became a “mother”. Kayla was large and in charge when it came to Justin.
You see, Justin was lost without Kayla constantly reminding him about his homework, his
lunch money, his tie for Chapel Day, his gym clothes, his report due date, etc. If there was a
permission slip to be signed, Kayla would get a slip for each of them, or a fee to be sent in,
Kayla would take in the money for both of them. Justin never complained, I think he
liked having a personal secretary. Justin, who was 1½ years older than Kayla, had no interest
in getting his driver’s license when he turned sixteen, but when Kayla turned fifteen and a half
and started the process of getting her license, she insisted that Justin get his too. Kayla took
care of Justin from third grade all the way through high school.

Now, Kayla is about to celebrate her twenty-first birthday and is happily married to the guy that
we specially ordered straight from God back when we first found out that we were having a
baby. My how the time flew by!

My Sweet Kayla,

It seems like just yesterday that Dad changed your diaper and put Desitin from your belly button
all the way down and around to half way up your back. I think about all of our movie nights,
all cuddled up in my bed, watching the same Disney movie over and over again until the next
movie came out the following month. Nanny was so proud to haul you around everywhere she
went and especially to Young at Heart, she still talks today about how much the senior saints
loved you and you loved them. And then there is the time when you told us that Kyle Lindsey,
the boy that you always swore that you couldn’t stand, was coming to visit and before we knew
we were planning a wedding. Planning the wedding of your only daughter and only child is such
a special time and there was no sweeter moment than the moment you walked out the dressing
room in “The Dress”! We all gasped and everybody knew that was the one. So, now you are a
married woman and our baby is about to turn 21 years old!

We are so proud to call you our daughter and couldn’t be more proud of the christian young
lady that you are today. We love you beyond measure and wish you the happiest day, not
only on this your twenty-first birthday but every day to follow. We cherish the memories of your
childhood and look forward to many more years of sweet memories.

Love you bunches,
Mom

Do not forget to enter the giveaway! Only a few days left. Click here to enter!