Thursday, November 21, 2013

All Things Fall...

Oh how I love the Fall

A cool breeze, leaves changing, the smell of the fire place, pumpkin flavored desserts, hay rides, pumpkin patches, Starbucks caramel apple cider and the list goes on and on of why I love the fall time. When I think about the fall, I think about family trips to Apple Hill in Northern California. It is a place my family went to every fall. We would go the pumpkin patch, visit the little shops and eat BBQ chicken, apple salad, caramel apples & drink fresh apple cider at Able's Apples Acers. Life can be so unpredictable and unexpected. I would never have thought that at 29 years old I would no longer have my father still with me or that both of my brothers would be living in different states literally across the country from where I am living. I think it has been 6 years since my sister, 2 brothers and I have all been together and due to different circumstances I do not know when the next time is we will all be together. Yet, when I close my eyes It seems like just yesterday we were all piled into the teel Astro mini van headed to Apple Hill to pick out our pumpkin. So 15+ years later all I have are those sweet precious childhood memories. But you know what...those memories are absolutely priceless and the thought of them still makes my heart happy. Sometimes, at the end of the day, all we have is memories to hold on to. It is so important to make sure to make those beautiful, priceless, memories with your family & friends.

So, this autumn season like always I have made sure to plan plenty of "fall outings" for my family. John is never too thrilled with the idea of visiting another pumpkin patch or driving to some community festival but once we get there he is always so happy we went. I know it would be so much easier to just stay at home with our girls (especially since they are 6 months old & 2 years old) but I just think it is so important to start making memories with them and establishing family traditions right now (no one is promised tomorrow). My prayer is that when my girls are grown and married with kids of their own that they will be able to close their eyes and smile at the sweet memories of their childhood with John & I here in good ol' Texas.

Here is a look at the Fall 2013 with the Alcala Family

Having Fun at the Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch  

At our neighborhood Fall Festival

At YaYa's neighborhood fall festival

Our 2 Minnie Mouse's on Halloween

Alcala Family trip to the Dallas Arboretum 

The Texas State Fair (we went twice!)


Having a play-date at the Dallas Arboretum on "Tiny Tot Tuesday"

Click here for more pictures of  Tiny Tot Tuesday at the Dallas Arboretum

Happy Fall Y'all!


Monday, November 4, 2013

Hello Toddler Bed

Bye Bye Crib...Hello Toddler Bed

Tonight was a night I have been dreading for the past 2 years. Tonight we said good bye to Josse's crib and hello to her toddler bed. OK, OK, I am being a little dramatic. All we really did was take off one side of her crib and add the toddler rail (which is just a shorter side) in its place. It actually still looks exactly like her crib with just one shorter side. But, I honestly would let Josse sleep in her crib until she is 5...well maybe not 5 but at least until she is 3. But,  unfortunately Josse learned how to climb out of her crib  a few weeks ago, so every night she climbs out 3-6 times throughout the night. John and I started to worry she would fall climbing out at 2am or whenever she decides to hop out and come wake us up asking for breakfast. It seems a lot safer for her to climb over the little guard rail instead of the tall side of the crib. Plus, things can not really get worse with her climbing out since some nights she literally get's out every 2 hours!!! Even with all of this said, I still did not want to transform her sweet baby crib.

Josselyn helping daddy put together her toddler bed

It is not so much the transformation of her crib that is hard, I guess it is just that she is getting older and no longer needs a crib. It really does seem like yesterday she was sleeping in a bassinet in my room. I totally remember writing the Blog Empty Nest Syndrome when I first moved Josse out of my room into her crib! Having little ones really does put into perspective that our life is but a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow. In the blink of an eye newborns turn to babies, who then become toddlers, who before long will be starting school, then graduating and well you know the rest...

Josselyn's bassinet she slept in for 4 months in my room

 Josselyn in her crib for the very first time

I feel like I say this every time I write a blog now days but I am constantly being reminded to cherish the moments, be intentional with my time and embrace each and every season of my life. I was in the kitchen today and Josse dumped out a bag of pita chips on the rug and then Jewel started to cry and then to top it off Candy my dog threw up! I just stood there with chaos around me and all I could do was sing in my head the song "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor haha. But then tonight as I laid in Josse's toddler bed with her and read her a story I wished I could freeze time right here right now forever and ever. What's my point? Life will always have its chaotic, stressful, crazy moments but it will also have its beautiful, priceless, precious moments. We just have to learn to not sweat the small stuff, learn from the hard times and cherish those happy moments in our day with the ones we love.

My big girl sleeping in her toddler bed for the very 1st time

Friday, November 1, 2013

6 Months With Our Little Jewel

6 months old... Where has all the time gone?

I can not believe that my precious Jewel is 6 months old. And I really can not believe that in 6 more months she will be 1 year old!!! Don't worry I have already started thinking about her 1st Birthday bash. Let me give you a little baby Jewel update: Right now Jewel weighs 15.6lbs (40%) and she is 26in long (60%). She can roll over and even sit up for a few seconds (then she topples over!). She sleeps through the night anywhere from 8-12 hours (praise the Lord). Little Jewel does not have any teeth yet but she sure likes to put everything in her mouth.....especially her thumb!!!! Julianna is always smiling and can babble up a storm. We have heard her say "dada and papa" once while she was in her crib (of course she had no clue what she was saying but it was still cute!) Jewel has a pretty boring diet of only breast milk (5-7X a day) but we did try giving her avocado last week (she hated it). I just bought some organic rice cereal to introduce to her this weekend so hopefully she likes that.  Jewel just got her ears pierced (Daddy was traumatized) so look for her new bling in all the pictures I post.

Julianna really has been a God send to our family. She is the happiest, sweetest, baby I have ever seen. She is so laid back and just goes with the flow. It is by no means easy having a 2 year old and 6 month old but Jewel definitely makes it as easy as she can for mama :) Although I get sad thinking about my littlest princess getting bigger I can not wait for Josse & Jewel to become play mates & best friends. It is crazy to think that this time next year Jewel will be 1.5 years old and Josse will be 3 years old and I just know they will be playing house, kitchen, etc together.

In my life right now God is continuing to teach me to slow down, relax and enjoy the ride. Every day may not be perfect but there will be something perfect in every day. We have our good days and crazy days in the Alcala house but I just have to remind my self this is just a "season" and one day I will miss this season of my life (even if it was a crazy one).  Although it is cliche my goal daily is to just live, laugh and love. I want to LIVE my life 100% for God, I want to LAUGH daily even if it may not be the best day & I want to LOVE everyone around me unconditionally.