Friday, March 21, 2014

Farewell to my 20's

Good Bye 20's

On March 31st I will be bidding my farewell's to my 20's. I honestly believe that your 20's are probably the most important decade in ones life. Think about it for a moment... for most people it is in their 20's that they decided on a college or a career, a spouse, if they want to have children, etc. So many important life decisions are decided during the age of 20-30. I am not saying it is the BEST decade of your life (I pray the best is yet to come for my life) but it was a very monumental decade for myself personally. As I think back on the past 10 years of my life I can not help but be amazed at how much has happened and changed in my life. It truly was the best of times and sometimes even the worst of time. But as I reminisce over my last decade I can not help but smile becasue most of the BEST moments in my life happened during that time.

Lets take a walk down memory lane...

At the age of 20 I made the decision to move to Midland, TEXAS (I have been in Texas for 10 years now). I had just graduated from a 2 year Bible School Masters Commission USA in Phoenix, AZ.  John and I had been dating long distance for the past year and since I knew he was "the one" I figured we needed to try out actually living in the same state.

A few months after I turned 21 I was finally engaged! Although that does seem very young (especially now) to be engaged, John and I had been dating over 3 years and I was getting quite antsy to begin the wedding planning. Don't tell John but I already had my wedding dress, the invitations and may have even booked a venue before he had proposed!!!! hahaha

22 was both the best and worst year of my life. For as long as I live I will always remember the bitter-sweet year of 2006. On June 17th 2006 I got married to the love of my life John Michael Alcala in South Lake Tahoe, California. I had dreamed of that day my entire life and it turned out more beautiful than I had ever imagined. One month later July 26th 2006 my father unexpectedly died of a heart attack, leaving behind my mom, my 11 year old sister, 16 year old brother, 20 year old brother and myself. That day is still a total blur. I was talking on the phone with my mom early in the morning as my dad left their house to run some errands...he never came home. It wasn't until almost midnight that night that his body was found. I spent that entire year trying to adjust to being a newlywed while walking through the most awful, unimaginable, grief.

Turning 23 was a breath of fresh air. John and I bought our 1st house the week of my birthday!!! I'm still not quite sure how we bought a house making as little money as we did and looking like total teenagers haha But we did and made some incredible memories on 2611 Ward St. I also graduated college from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Magna Cum Laude, with a bachelors of art in psychology & a minor in Sociology. College was so important to my dad and I knew he would have been proud.

Exactly 1 year later as I turned 24, we sold our house and moved to Dallas, Texas. That was quite a year of new adventures. We moved to Dallas, TX to help with a church plant and begin in a new chapter in our life. We left behind the place where our relationship began and where everything was comfortable and familiar. Although I miss Midland and the memories there, I am so happy that we made this move. Even though our life here today is nothing like it was in 2008 (so much has changed) I truly feel like Dallas (Frisco) is home and where we are supposed to be.

Turning 25 was a fun year for our family. John was promoted to being an equity trader at NFJ Investment group, we were running Invictus USA, a college/young adult group together and I was loving running the Women's Ministry "Bloom" at our church. We were getting to do minsisty with our very best friends and family here in DFW. That year I also surprised John with a trip to NYC for his Birthday! At the time neither of us had ever been to New York and we had both always dreamed of it (especially John!) It was a fun trip, and at the time I never would have guessed that we would be back every year since then.

26 was a land mark year for my life! In October 2010 John & I took a trip to Europe (Spain, Italy & France) which had been a life long dream for me. Then, in December 2010 I found out I was pregnant! Finding out I was pregnant was such a surreal time in my life. I always new I wanted to one day be pregnant and have kids but it always seemed to be so far in the future...I did not exactly LOVE everything about pregnancy but it was an amazing experience that I now looking back on and cherish so very much. Sure, it had its ups and downs but I wouldn't trade it for the world! *An extra bonus that year was my mama & little sister moved from California to Texas!

I was 27 years old the year I became a mother. Getting married and becoming a mom were the absolute best moments of not only the decade but my life. My sweet Josselyn Grace Alcala was born 8.26.11 and she gave me one of the greatest gift of all MOTHERHOOD. From that moment on my life has never been the same (and I have yet to have another full nights sleep)

28 is a year I will never ever ever ever forget! Exactly one year from the day Josselyn was born I fond out that I was pregnant again! We were in Mexico on a cruise for John's 29th Birthday and I felt nauseous...To make a long story short it was a very unexpected, unplanned, but oh so wonderful surprise!

29 has been one of the craziest, most overwhelming, yet perfectly beautiful year of my life! We welcomed our 2nd little princess Julianna Faith Alcala into the world on 4.22.13 and she truly is our precious Jewel. I also joined the 2 under 2 club that year (not many women experience 2 babies under the age of 2 in their life time) and that has honestly been my greatest challenge yet greatest blessing of my entire life! It is a year I will never forget & always cherish.

I will be honest it is a little emotional saying good bye to my 20's. When I turned 20 I was single Cali girl who had been going to school in Phoenix Arizona for the past 2 years, living in a tiny apartment with 4 roommates...10 years later, I am a Texas resident who has been married for 8 years and is now a mother to two! Although I couldn't be happier with the path my life is on it is still tough getting older. My prayer for my life is that the BEST truly is yet to come. I never want to live in the past, but instead enjoy the present and look forward to the future. They say that "30 is the new 20" so I am just going to keep telling myself that and maybe I will eventually start to believe it haha! But in all seriousness, I am so humbled & thankful for the blessings the Lord has given to me. I know that I absolutely do not deserve any of it! I pray that I spend the next 10 years living my life 100% for the Lord, loving my husband, girls, family & friends. May I be a reflection of God's love to all those I encounter and may I age gracefully along the way ;)

Farewell 20's & Hello 30's...

Saturday, March 15, 2014

St Patrick's Day Play-Date

Josselyn hosted her 1st St. Patty's Day play-date this past Friday!

My 2 year old is not the average 2 year old. She is always trying to make her own plans & schedule her own agenda haha. Usually she gives me her "to do list" at about 7am on the dot. It usually sound something like this..."Mommy how bout we get dressed, go to the mall, take candy on a walk and play with the kids" (she calls her friends "the kids") Sometimes she adds in a Starbucks trip or a trip to YaYa's house, the pet store or the park. Well my social butterfly 2 year old had a blast at her little buddy Eli's Valentines Day play-date/party last month and for the past few week all I have heard about is how much Josse wants to have a party and have all the "kids" aka her friends come over to HER house (Jewel, John & I are chopped liver). I decided I would let her host a little St Patty's Day play-date/party & invite a few of both her and Jewel's friends over for it.  Josse had so much fun helping me pick out the decorations, crafts and food (well actually all Josse requested were cupcakes & cookies haha). She helped me every step of the day and it turned out very fun and quite green!

Here are some pictures of the party

I of course had to get all OCD and replicate a few Pinterest ideas I cam across. I took apart a green fabric strip tutu I made Josse a couple years ago and I just tied the strips onto some twine and added in a little burlap. I then cut out some letters with my Cricut and hot glued them onto some canvas squares.

Next I decided to make a couple paper clover bouquets to sit around with my Cricut. Of course this idea was inspired by Pinterest! Josse was a little upset I would not let her help glue them together but she did get to pick out the green paper for them.

Everyone who knows me knows that I can not have a party without a handmade paper banner (I use the Cricut of course) and Josse & Jewel's 1st St Patty's play-date was no exception. I did keep it simple and I just used scrap book paper I already had. I will say the little paper leprechauns I figured out how to make on the Cricut turned out super cute but where wayyyyy to time consuming lol Oh well Josse loved them and even named them haha!

I put together a couple tissue paper balls and bought some balloon sticks so Josse could give all of the guests a balloon to take home. The balloons were a huge hit with the 2 year olds however, they made taking pictures nearly impossible!!!!

Then I took Josse to the oh so wonderful Dollar Tree store and let her pick out a little gaudy/green decor to sit around the house. She chose a massive leprechaun, some green tinsel garland, fake gold coins and some surprisingly cute little leprechaun hats for the kids to wear. I also lucked out becasue I had tons of green & gold sequin material from one of our church's women's ministry Christmas party I decorated for a couple years ago.

You can't have a play-date without a few snacks and since this was a St Patty's day party we went with a very "green menu" and unfortunately I am not talking about a healthy/organic green menu. We served our guests:

-Paragary's chinese chicken salad (a northern California favorite) w/rolls
-Spinach quiche
-Green fruit kabobs (kiwi, honeydew, green apples, green grapes)
-Josse's favorite green veggie's (snap peas, cucumber, broccoli, celery)
-Green key lime chocolate dipped pretzels (from Trader Joe's)
-Crunchy green beans (from Trader Joe's)
-Green veggie chips (from Trader Joe's)
-Green baby Puffs for the under 1 year olds

This was a Josselyn Grace Alcala party so of course there were some desserts! She picked out all of the desserts and actually had a few other treats on the list as well (cake pops, chocolate marshmallows, etc) but I had to veto a few so the parents would not kill me! The dessert list included:
-Shamrock cookies
-Green & white sugar cookies
-Green cupcakes

For refreshments we kept it simple with Apple Juice for the kidos & then some Pelegrino, Simply Lemon/Lime & Icy Kiwi drinks for the mamas.

Josselyn picked out a few crafts to do with her friends. The made shamrock faces & colored fuzzy leprechauns with a pot of gold. I'm pretty sure most of the kids made 1 or maybe 2 shamrock faces but Josse on the other hand made 7 of them lol.

What's a play-date without friends?!? We had 8 little munchkins join us for our party and they all came dressed extremely adorable & festive in their green. And if you look closely you can see that all of the mama's were in green too!


What a fun day with my 2 little leprechauns. The two of them sure do make life fun! I can't wait for our next play date. 
Happy St Patrick's Day y'all