10 November 2010


i follow this blog and i like it a lot. i have this...

as my desktop background right now, and you should too. i love her art, and i love even more that she's a giver.

09 November 2010

08 November 2010


i've found it pretty ironic (and awesome) ever since having ruby that almost every time i am questioning, fretting, or frustrated over something she seems to all of a sudden be doing i'll suddenly receive a parenting e-mail, some good advice, or coincidentally see or read something somewhere that perfectly lines up and sheds some light. this e-mail from babycenter.com did that very thing for me about 25 seconds ago..

"Does your child deliberately ignore you when you ask him not to do something? Try not to lose your temper if he does. At this age, making a big deal over little transgressions like pulling petals off a flower or spreading newspapers around the house may inspire him to test your limits even more. Ignore the minor infractions and save your lectures for really big no-nos like biting a playmate or pulling the dog's tail."

holy guacamole is ruby doing this non-stop right now. she will literally look right at me with a big smile on her face while continually doing over and over again just what i told her not to. vally and i were talking the other day about how she'll even wait for me to turn my head or walk out of the room so that she can keep disobeying and then quickly stop right when i look at her again.. crazy! these moments are so trying on me and push all of my buttons, and i have to admit that i definitely lose my cool with her more often than i'd like to (although today while she kept eating a sticker from the cashier at trader joe's after i told her not to giggling with this little smirky smile on her face i had to turn my head because i was laughing so hard.. i liked that feeling rather than the sheer annoyance i usually have in these moments). how is it that she already knows how to be so defiant and disobedient? why oh why is this something that is so innate in all of us? these instances with ruby are full on reminders for me of just how self gratifying we all are even without being taught how to act that way. i just pray and hope that i can be diligent to bestow grace and patience onto her just like it's been given to me so so so many times before.

all i can say is, good thing she's so darn cute. :)

06 November 2010


vally told me yesterday that she started reading some of our first blogs the other day, and it inspired me to do the same. although i believe the post below is the only one that d has ever written on here, i was so thankful to go back and read it again. man oh man how far we've come since that day.. i'm amazed and so thankful that daniel was such a rock for me when we first found out that little ruby girl was on the way.. and looking back now, i'm even more thankful that it's apparent how God was, and continues to be, faithful in the midst of how unsure, yet trusting, we were. we talked in home group this past week about ways that God has used "evil" for good in our lives, and although i know ruby being our little surprise girl was in no way "evil" from Him, her being a part of his plan for us is definitely an area in which i can say that something totally unforeseen in our plans has been used for such good because it was in His all along. i'm thankful that this blog has been around to be some sort of a chronicle of a bit of the crazy journey we've been on the for the past couple of years.

21 October 2008


So I think that it’s probably fitting to begin my blogging trend after about a year by spilling the beans that Alinna and I are pregnant! I awoke one morning last week only to drink some coffee and telephone some friends on the East coast. I spoke with a good friend who usually asks, "You pregnant yet?". I figured I'd beat him to the punch and 'jokingly' tell him Alinna and I are pregnant. I had no idea that Alinna would come home later only to tell me that she thinks we actually ARE pregnant. So, three pregnancy tests later, we found out we're as pregnant as we were when she took the first test. Why does it seem that we all think the first one is wrong? God has such a sense of humor. He knew when I was joking with my friend that I was exactly right about us being pregnant. I can picture Him laughing the very moment those words fell out of my mouth. He not only knew we were going to have a kid before I woke that very morning, but He knew before Alinna said "I Do" and before my mom had me in 1983. "He knows the plans he has for us."

When Alinna came home and dropped the bomb on me, I was filled with excitement and shock! The moment financial worries popped into my head, I was instantly reminded of God's provision for us in the last four months of marriage. We moved to California in June with tons of questions, a couple answers, God, and each other. He's provided me with a job, us a car, Alinna a job, a roof over our head, another roof over our head when our apartment wasn't ready, and so on. I have NO DOUBT in my mind that HE WILL provide for us in the future. I’m just trying to remember the past while not dwelling on it, live in the present as best I know how, and trust God with the future, not dwelling on that either. I've been reminded of so many lessons this past week that are helping me feel calm and relaxed about the present as well as the future. It's not bad or wrong to ask God questions. We see Habbakuk ask God some tough questions and God doesn't let them go unanswered. Each morning I could easily wake to have the world hit me in the face by ALLOWING wonder and worry to fill my head... Why now with a kid? How are we going to provide when we can hardly afford to live without a kid? Can I put myself aside enough for God, a wife, AND a kid? Does having a kid mean I must give up on my dreams and move to an easier and more comfortable life in North Carolina? It's God's plan and timing, not my own. One of my favorite C.S. Lewis quotes from Mere Christianity:

“That is why the real problem of the Christian life comes where people do not usually look for it. It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking the other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all you natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.”

We may think we know the plan, but when we think we do, he's right behind to say, "Oh, no you don't." Although I wish he would answer these questions with neon signs, he never does. We all know God doesn’t want life to be a cake walk. I think he wants us to walk into the fire, step out into the deep blue ocean, be imprisoned for His sake, leave our families, and grow up! All in all, I’ve asked God questions this past week and a half, and though he hasn’t flashed answers my way, Alinna and I are seeing answers as we live in His will.

Just to catch you up on what we’ve been talking over since this “baby news” arrived on October 9, 2008, Alinna and I have decided to remain in California and be a Light out here in the community of Oceanside. Thanks to her for being a fantastic wife that allows to me to pursue my dreams while standing by my side through everything.

05 November 2010


d and i had ruby dedicated before our family and church on october 24th.. it was such a perfect day, and we were so thankful to have so many people who we love and who love us there to share it and commit to walking alongside us as we do our best as parents to raise her well. my friend taylor was coincidentally in town for the weekend with her amazing camera and offered to capture pictures of ruby and all of us on her big day. i had to share..

dedaj, gunter, mehaffie, and struble's unite!

leaning in like we love each other... 'cause we do!
Align Center
such a sweet sweet sweet one of my girl and her auntie v.

nothing beats a great jumping shot.

i love them all so much.

us three. <3

our longtime and generous friends, josh and taylor (the photographer).

what a doll face.

my mom made this awesome dress for ruby especially for her dedication day. amazing.


this captures her personality to a tee.

how can i love her so much?

we are so so thankful for our fun and crazy family.


i wouldn't say that you'd often hear me mentioning things that "i want"... i've always been an (overly) frugal person, so i tend not to think about spending money on this or that unless it's a necessity. lately though, there have been some things rolling around in my head, so thought i'd share my little dreamy wishlist. i guess this is "window shopping" for a mama who's usually perusing windows through the internet instead of actually walking past them. :)

a massage.. oh the gloriousness that is a full body massage. i've been graced with a couple in my lifetime, and i find myself every now and then just wishing i were lying on a table in a dark room surrounded by soft music, nice smells, and body oils. ha sounds a little odd out of context, but it's quite a wonderful thing. :)

yes, i know, it's a skillet.. but we have all stainless steel pots and pans right now, and after watching rachael ray daily for the past few weeks, i think i might need to get into the market for something in the non-stick department. very housewife of me, i know.
please do not point and laugh at this being on my wishlist. like i was telling vally the other day, i can't tell you how many times a day i think, if only i had a dust buster right now. maybe because i have a little maniac in my house getting crumbs and what not all over the place on an hourly basis.

and speaking of rachael ray, have you guys heard of her newest cookbook? it's called look and cook, as you can see.. the first 100 recipes have step by step pictures, and the rest of the recipes allow you to go online and cook along with her (commercial free) during the 30 minute meal prep. so cool.
ahhh.. i recently unearthed a sample bottle of brown sugar and fig lotion that i've had for who knows how long, and i fell in love. it has such a soft and warm scent.. hopefully bath and body works will have a blowout sale soon so i can stock up for the skin-chapping weather ahead.

and here's one that i'm sure will be on my dreamy wishlist for years to come.. nice, ridiculously expensive, designer jeans. guys, these jeans go for about 150 dollars (and up).. i mean, my wedding dress was only about 50 bucks more than that. maybe one day i'll bring myself to take the plunge, but i'll probably have to deprive ruby of diapers or a meal or two a day for about a week to fit it into the budget. but hey, that's why it's called a wishlist, right? :)

and lastly, the most ridiculous thing of all. the ipad. i usually don't go bananas for or even really care about technological things, but i have to admit that these are pretty neat. maybe one day i'll win one in a raffle or something. :)

ok, that's all for me. do you all share any of these wishlist items? what are some of yours? let's all wish together.. because i always feel that in wishing i just become more and more thankful for the fact that i'm blessed with so many things that most others would just be icing on the cake.
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