Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Another Reminder of our move!

I've blogged again, but you'll have to follow me here to read it.


Also, join up with our blogging community on facebook to get the latest posts and to join our conversations.


Hope to see you soon!

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Big Move!

For the past year, I've been planning on moving my blog over to wordpress for more control and to handle the number of readers that follow.  I've finally finished the move, and I'd like to invite you to join me over at thegracekissedlife.com.

Click the link below to read my latest blog and to join me over there!  Thanks for allowing me to share my journey with you.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Trip to the Fair

Today, we made our annual stop to the livestock barn at the Jackson County Fair.  Pax crashed on our way, so he slept through the entire visit in his awesome Bob jogging stroller.  However, Abby had a blast seeing all of the animals and fell in love with at least a couple before we left.  We even had a nice family volunteer to take a photo of all of us together.  Did I mention I love living in the South?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Highlights from this Summer

I am long overdue for a life update, but that's how we roll in the Cirlot residence.

Lots has happened since I gave my last update.

We kicked off the summer with a trip to Fort Morgan, Alabama with Bryan's side of the family.

Abby and her great grandmother on the schooner celebrating her cousin Cade's birthday.

Pax thought throwing sand was mad fun.  He wasn't too crazy about swimming in the Gulf though.  He likes rivers and pools much more.

We visited Fort Morgan and explored it as a crew.
The kids even participated in a sweet sibling moment to appease their mother.

In July, Pax finally had his surgery to correct his tongue tie.  Other than having a terrible time with anesthesia, everything was a breeze.

You can see he isn't a fan of anything that causes early mornings to happen.

Pax quickly was back on his feet like a pro.  The summer continued with ice cream sandwiches (gluten free, of course!) and lots of time outdoors.

Pax being ridiculously cute in our little plastic pool.  It was $35 well spent two summers ago!

It's hard to beat frozen treats in summer heat.

As the summer came to a close, Abby started her K-4 year, and Pax and I have been flexing to find a new routine without big sissy's help.  Church@The Square finally moved into our new building, and we are so excited about the new chapter that is waiting for our family and ministry.

Abby posing while her buddy Bongo watches wistfully wishing he was the center of attention.
Laundry time is fun in an 18 month old's world.

This past week, we vacationed at the camp.  It felt great to slow down as a family!  Maybe, I'll do a post soon to share some highlights from our trip.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Motherhood Is Not For the Faint of Heart

Motherhood is not for wimps.  It is not for sprinters.

You will be required to run a marathon whether or not you feel trained for it.  

I overslept my alarm this morning, which means I woke up to Abby running down the hallway and Pax stirring in his bedroom.  Moments into alertness, I'm changing diapers, pouring cereal, cleaning up messes, and commanding the day.  I like to wake up slowly, even if it means forfeiting precious sleep. There was nothing slow about today.

Pax was testy.  I'd like to say it was because he is teething, but I think we both have to admit at this point that it is just because he is 17 months old.  

He thinks the world should revolve around him still, and he is learning the painful truth that it does not. My old familiar archenemy fatigue was dragging down my pace, and Abby's energy was causing her to run laps around the house in search of an outlet to satisfy her curiosity.

Pax was melting down over everything from the cereal not dancing in front of him to the chairs being too white that he sat in.  

Realizing that I was not going to be able to keep up with them while doing chores, we forfeited all and started working towards leaving the house for a splash park visit.  An hour later, we made it to the car mostly in one piece. It took me 10 minutes and more spankings than we'd like to admit to push Pax into the carseat against his will. 15 teary and tantrum minutes later, Abby and I emerged as war victims from the car, and Pax looked content that he had let us know how frustrated he was in transit.

I let the kids run and play at the splash park until Pax clearly needed to nap.  I loaded them back up into the car with towels bundled on top, and we made another 15 teary and tantrum minutes later back home with Pax and stuck him in bed.  Abby was a trooper and helped me unload the car.  I filled her full of PBJ sandwiches and laid her down for a nap.

Now, in the quiet, I rest for a minute before Pax wakes up and we do the whole thing again.

I frequently have people ask me why I would leave a profitable career to stay at home with my kids. It's not because it is easier.  

It is easier to change diapers when you make $25 an hour to do it.  It's easier to care for a grumpy toddler when you know you get to say goodbye at the end of your shift and leave him.

I do it because of the Gospel.  I believe that Jesus is real and that this world is at war against the Enemy. I believe the most powerful moments of influence we have over our children are in the trenches of motherhood.

I want to invest every moment I have into training my children to love and follow Jesus well because our time on earth is short and the days are evil.  

When my energy is low and I wish I could hide away under my fluffy down comforter, I am teaching Abby and Pax that I treasure them more than sleep when I still get up and serve them to the best of my ability.

When our groceries run low at the end of the month, I teach Abby and Pax to be thankful that God has provided us food by not complaining and demonstrating a thankful heart as we eat bean tortillas or PBJs again.

When Pax pushes me over the edge and I respond in grace, Abby gets to see that being a mother is hard but that God gives grace to the weak and that kids are still valuable even when inconvenient.

Abby tells me she wants to have ninety kids one day.  I smile about it and imagine her running an orphanage with her outgoing personality and boundless energy.  I'm thankful that she sees motherhood as a gift and not a burden.  I hope I get better at demonstrating that.

Moms, none of us are perfect.  Most of us are tired.  Let's remember that serving our families is not worthless or vain.  In fact, everything we do for Jesus' glory, even in the shadows behind closed doors, is important.  Keep running the race.  In the Spirit's power, we can finish well.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:1-2, ESV)

Monday, August 12, 2013

How to Have Great Second Day Curly Hair

I'm going to be posting a blog soon about deciding to go shorter with my curly hair, but someone asked me today to post some tips about how to wear great second day curly hair.  I had originally made a video blog (vlog) earlier this year about it, but life got busy and I never posted.  I redid the video today with my shorter cut and it's more detailed.  However, I still decided to post the original video, because I thought it might be helpful to show how you can do second day curly hair with various lengths and styles.

I won't claim to be a great vlogger.  It is incredibly awkward to video yourself on your iphone or webcam, but hopefully the information will still be good!  I give props to all of the frequent vloggers out there.  I prefer writing any day.

Let me know if you have any questions!  I love to talk about curly hair.

My Favorite Ways to Style Second Day Curls from Peripety Designs on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

All or Nothing

I've been going through the book of Matthew in the mornings, and one of the stories just popped out at me today. Matthew mentions a woman in chapter 9 that had been suffering for 12 years with a blood discharge that had been incurable. In her context, chronic bleeding would have made her "unclean" and she would have been excluded from normal social and religious functions.

Sickness and isolation.

12 long years. Then, we read in the other Gospels that she had spent her wealth going to different physicians who tried unsuccessfully to find a cure. Can you imagine how hopeless her situation was?

After bleeding for 12 years, I can't help but think that this woman was surely anemic at this point.

The fatigue that anemia brings feels like hundred pound weights attached to every part of your body where doing absolutely anything is exhausting.

When I was at my worst, I couldn't sit up in a chair. It was too exhausting. I lost my drive to do anything, and resting was still tiring. During those down days, I didn't go anywhere, because I knew I wouldn't have the energy and strength to get back from my destination. It was isolating and felt hopeless.

Photo by Ruth Livingstone courtesy of stock.xchng
I relate to this woman. I am so thankful that God spared me 12 years of waiting for relief. Two years were tough enough. The story goes on to tell us as we piece it together through reading the accounts in the Gospels that this woman heard about Jesus, sought him out, and pushed through a crowd to touch the hem of His garment.

The energy she expended to get to Jesus demonstrates her faith. 

This was an all or nothing moment for her. Either she was going to meet the Master and find healing or there was nothing left for her. I love that Scripture goes on to tell us that Jesus knew the moment "she" touched Him. He felt power leave Him, and upon seeing her He said, "Take heart, daughter, your faith has made your well (Mt. 9:22)." At that moment, she was well.

In this life, we all face things that are too big for us.

It may not be an illness.  It could be the death of a child or an irreconcilable relationship that makes our hearts ache for heaven.  While our faith in Jesus may not provide the physical relief or the relational healing we hope for (clearly, not every person who has faith is healed or relieved of their difficult circumstances), we will not be disappointed when we leave this world to pursue our Savior.  It's all or nothing.  When we have faith and reach out to Him, Jesus will look at us and say, "Take heart, child, your faith has made you well."

Indeed, it will be well for us.  

Illness, heartache, broken dreams, and shattered realities will be only a vapor as we realize that all we really needed was not the healing we pressed forward for in a moment of desperation. No, what our souls really longed for was Jesus Himself. In Jesus, we, who have nothing to offer, have gained all and lost nothing. Any heartache this world can bring cannot compare with the joy to come.

Indeed, dear believer, it is well for us.

"And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.(Matthew 9:20-22, ESV)"

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