Archive | November, 2012

Backpack Outreach 2012

29 Nov

Christmas is fast approaching, are you prepared? I’m not and that’s ok. I haven’t bought a single present. I did go Black Friday shopping with my friend though. The last few years we have gone to Target at 4am. Not to buy anything huge like a big screen TV or a computer. No, we go to buy $1 movies and pajamas and to watch the really crazy, stressed out people…we find this fun. (I’m not too sure what this says about our sanity though.)

Giving presents has always been a big thing for me. Brandn’s birthday is 2 and 1/2 weeks after Christmas. When we first got married, I would shower him with gifts for his b-day and Christmas. I’m talking gifts like a foosball table, new hockey equipment and skates, a PlayStation and a ton of games, a mountain bike, cash for various “i” products and so on.

After having Danica I realized “things” are a bad gifts; I came to this conclusion from personal experience. I can’t tell you how many toys I have stepped on or how many have broken within days. I don’t give gifts to people b/c I think they will like it. In all actuality, they will laugh about it after I leave it give it to Goodwill. Now, I give the gift of food. I know what my friends like and I give them their favorite snacks, drinks, cereal and so on. Brandn thinks this is silly and usually says “don’t put my name on that.” But he knows this is the kind of person I am and he has grown to love and admire this about me…that was sarcasm people. lol
Last year was the first year that I stepped out of my “me” box. It’s sad really; it took me 30 years to think about someone else; a complete stranger. Last year, we headed downtown for a homeless outreach. We went as a church and we brought our kids. We didn’t have a clue!! We showed up with a ton of hot food and backpacks stuffed with supplies….within 5 minutes we were out of food and backpacks. Let me tell you, those 5 minutes changed me. Read my 2 part blog about that day here. My friend went too, read that blog here.

We are doing it again this year. There is a need out there and we’re meeting it; we will no longer turn a blind eye. The need is bigger than us so we’re doing what we can. We are showing up with hot breakfast tacos (or burritos if you’re from west Texas.) Will you partner with us? Will you help your fellow neighbor? Will you provide the greatest gift this Christmas, the gift of love…the gift of showing you care…the gift of not ignoring…the gift of seeing those overlooked? Each complete backpack costs $20 and will contain a bus pass and a gift card for food. Will you sponsor a backpack, or 2 or 3? Click here to donate and click on “Give” . You can set up an account or just click “quick give” and select Christmas Outreach 2012. Help us last longer than 5 minutes!!!

God tells us to love our neighbor as yourself….give to the least of these… the oppressed….do the work….fight the good fight.

JOIN US!!!!!

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.



22 Nov

Thankfulness. I’m thankful for so many things but sometimes it’s hard to tell that because I’m too busy complaining. Throughout November,I’ve noticed several people posting what they are thankful for on faceBook and I refused to do the same because I didn’t want to jump on the band wagon. So, I’m being TOTALLY original and blogging about what I’m thankful for and posting it on Thanksgiving. A day that, millions of people around the wold, have designated as the day we all come together and tell everyone what we are thankful for. (Can you fell the sarcasm?)

I’m thankful for God’s love. I’m a Pastor’s wife so I have to say that first, right? 🙂 It’s true. He loved me from day one. There are days when I’m not exactly easy to deal with; heck, lets be honest….there are days when even I think I’m being obnoxious and I would get away from me if I could. But He still loves me. He loved me so much that He sent His son to die for me. His son loved me so much that He was willing to die for me. But it doesn’t stop there. His son LOVES (present tense) me so much that He wants to live in my heart.

I’m thankful for my husband. He loves and supports me. He keeps me sane when all I want to do is go crazy. Right now, you’re probably thinking “Ummm…she thinks she’s sane?!?” Yes, yes I do. It could be much worse so you should be thankful for him too. He makes me feel safe. He makes laugh and he has brilliant timing for quoting me scripture exactly when I don’t want to hear it. Love you babe.  So glad you asked and so glad I said yes!

I’m thankful for my daughter. She has taught me unconditional love. She cracks me up and she’s WAY too smart for her own good. She grows me daily. She pats my back when I’m sad and she likes to watch me drive away each morning. Since moving to Round Rock, she has developed a passion, or obsession, with recycling; which I have to say makes me quite happy. While at my Nana’s funeral, the priest was talking about our duties as Christians. Danica got all excited and said “Mamma, he said “duty!”” This made me so proud! Some of you may thing I’m being sarcastic, I’m not. It really made me proud because I do the same thing. lol

I’m thankful for Revive and my Revive Church family. You guys are awesome! I love our women’s community group and the ladies that I share life with. I love that Danica calls Rachel “Grandma Ortiz.” One of the hardest parts about moving to Austin was taking Danica away from her grandmas in San Angelo. Well, Rachel is part of our family and loves Danica, and Danica loves her. I love that these ladies know the real me, and are my friends anyway. I love that they remind me I’m not a bad mom. I love that we will watch each other’s kids even if it’s last minute. I love that we can cry together and make fun of ourselves 5 minutes later for crying. I love that we do this crazy thing called life together.

I’m thankful for Pandora. The last 4 songs my station played are “All I Want For Christmas” by Mariah Carey, “Don’t Look Back in Anger” by Oasis, “After All Holy” by The David Crowder Band and “Summer Breeze” by Seals 7 Crofts.

I’m thankful for my house. We went through months of crap but we finally got a house and it was totally worth the wait. God blessed us with a huge, beautiful house and we are trying to figure out how to bless God and others with it.

I am so blessed and I need to be thankful more often and complain less.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. – James 1:17 NIV

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

House drama: Grace

7 Nov

Well I promised you part 2.

Let’s recap part 1…Friday night B and I wanted to rip someone’s head off.  I forgot to mention that I finally convinced B to let me stop by our house and pay our squatter a visit.  I rang the doorbell, no answer.  I rang it again, no answer.  I walked around the back yard and looked in the windows; no evidence of packing.  I rang the doorbell again and by “rang the door bell again”, I mean rang it 67 times in 1 minute.  She wasn’t home.  Good thing I guess b/c I have no idea what I would have said or done.

B took Daisy for a walk and came home talking about the parable of the unforgiving debtor.  At first I didn’t see the connection.  What does that have to do with us?  Well, I’ll start off by totally condensing the parable.  A man owed a TON of money to the king; the man couldn’t pay it and the king showed pity on him.  Someone else owed this same man a small amount of money.  The debtor couldn’t pay it and the man did not show pity on him and had him thrown in prison. Um…ok?

Well, we were the unforgiving debtor.  You see, our lease was up in a few weeks and we still didn’t have a house.  I called the office to see if we could extend our lease another month.  It was available but since it was a month lease it went up several hundred dollars.  I was mad but I went along with it.  We were in the same situation a month later.  Our apartment was available again but they had already leased out our garage.  This time I threw a hellacious fit and demanded they lower our rent and tell the guy he would have to wait for the garage.  For some reason they listened and I got my way!  We were convenienced but the complex lost out on some rent and the guy didn’t get his garage.

A few weeks later we signed on the house.  We didn’t get the keys when we wanted them.  I was thinking of every possible way to get her our of our house.  I wasn’t extending the same grace on this lady that was shown on us.  God used this moment to teach us a lesson.

We decided to change our mind set.  We realized grace was previously shown on us and God was telling us to show grace on this lady; you know, pay it forward.  We woke up the next day refreshed.  Since we weren’t consumed with being mad we had time to enjoy the day.  We took Danica to a super cool park and we went out to eat afterwards.  We still didn’t get the keys that day but it was ok; we would get them soon.

This is the cool thing about grace.  Even though we were extending grace to someone else, we benefited from it.  We weren’t worked up, stressed out or frustrated.  We were having a good time as a family.  We ended up getting the keys the next day and everything worked out.  Happy ending.  There you go.  Rainbows, bubbles and sparkly things. 🙂


Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.



Nana = Love; reposted in honor of my Nana

5 Nov

I know I promised a part 2 to my last blog but that will have to wait. My Nana passed away this morning. I knew this day was coming and I knew I would be sad, but I didn’t realize I would be this sad. I loved my Nana and I always will. We have salami in the house and I ate some in honor of her. lol Peace out Nana, I love you! I posted this a few months ago but wanted to post it again:

So again I find myself with too much on my mind. Thought about a blog about yesterday and it felt forced. I don’t want to force myself to write, just to publish another blog. I want it to be good. You take time out of your day to read what’s swimming around in my brain so I don’t want to waste your precious time.

So here goes….

My father is in PA right now visiting his mom. We call her Nana. She has Alzheimer’s. This disease is awful. She’s no longer in her house, the place she called home forever. She’s in a nursing home and doesn’t remember where she is. Sometimes she remembers her kids, sometimes she doesn’t. My dad is going through the house collecting her personal items before the crew comes in and disposes of all her stuff. This stuff represents her life and it will all be put into bags and hauled away soon.

This is depressing. What’s the point? At the end of your life you can’t take anything with you. We’ve all heard the stupid saying “you never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul.” I guess I never thought about that till now. My Nana won’t take anything with her. But what about what she leaves behind? Kids. Grand kids. Great grand kids. Memories.

I’ll share some of my memories with you:

She always had Ginger Ale in her fridge. Not a 2L bottle but the cute, little green, glass bottles. Every time I see those I think of her. She also always had salami too. I LOVE salami; we will buy a pound and eat it in days. It’s disgusting how much salami I can eat yet so wonderful at the same time. She wrapped the lunch meat and cheese in saran wrap and placed in Tupperware. We had to use a fork to get a piece out and then wrap it back up again; no getting it out with your fingers, this was not allowed. Only touch the piece you will eat! This analness was passed down to my father. If I grab a piece of lunchmeat or cheese with my fingers, it’s the end of the world in their house. Not in my house though; it’s a lunchmeat and cheese free-for-all! I’m such a rebel.

Sitting at her small table in the kitchen learning to play Solitaire and always trying to catch her cheating.

Eating the best homemade, Italian food. Scarpellis. Yum. They are thin, crepe like things that she would fill with cheese and pour chicken broth over them. I remember stirring a huge pot of pasta sauce.

Werther’s Original.
Her “shows” aka soap operas.

Getting yelled at for sliding down the stairs.

I could share more, but I won’t.

She is Nana, and she is loved by many.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

House Drama: I want to punch someone!

2 Nov

Ok.  Brandn and I FINALLY bought a house, yay!!!!!  This madness started back in June.   I tend to write my blogs the way I think it; as if I’m taking you on a journey through my brain.  For your sake…I’ll keep this brief.

Our lease was up the last day of August  so we started looking at houses in June.  We put offers on 2 houses prior to the one we bought.  We didn’t just put offers on them; we signed contracts and paid earnest money.  We thought we had the houses only to find out at the last minute we didn’t.  I will spare you all the details about why things fell through.

We found a beautiful house in Round Rock and put in an offer.  We signed contracts and put down earnest money.  Things came up along the way so I didn’t allow myself to get too excited.  We ended up closing on the house Friday morning at 9am!  Whoo-hoo it happened, we bought a house!!!  Well…we didn’t get the keys at closing.  We didn’t get the keys later on in the day.  We didn’t get the keys Saturday.  We got the keys Sunday at 5pm.  Again I will spare you all the details but bottom line is we bought a house Friday and didn’t get the keys till Sunday.  We were paying for someone else to  live in our house and we were MAD!!!

On a scale of 1-10 I’m the kind of person that immediately jumps to a 10 and gradually comes down to a 7.  I get worked up something fierce.  As the day goes on I realize there is nothing I can do and I can either cry or laugh.  I get so mad I cry and then I start laughing.  Brandn is the kind of person that starts at a -5 and then get madder as the day goes on.  By Friday night we both we at a 10 and we were ready to attack!  Brandn can’t punch a woman, but I can!  I wanted to pay her a “nice” little visit.

We had signed the 1 million papers to make the house legally ours and she was living in OUR house, illegally.  Yes, I called the Sherriff’s office to get her evicted.  But an eviction takes 30 days to write up and then she had 60 days to vacate; so that was useless  I thought about calling the cops since she was trespassing so maybe they could get rid of her.  But then she would be in jail and NOT packing; so that was useless.  I told Brandn our only option is to break in and put all her stuff in the front yard; he didn’t go for that.

Friday night he took Daisy for a walk.  He came back and said God placed the parable of the unforgiving debtor in his heart.  NOOOOOO!!!!!!!  This was not time for a parable; this was time to be pissed off!!!!!  (If you know me, you know I can relate just about everything back to Friends.  In my head, the “NO” above sounds like Monica when she and Rachel loose their apartment b/c Rachel says Chandler is a “transponder.”  Watch that brilliantness now.)…sorry, I digress….

Brandn likes to do that to me.  When I’m worked up he likes to quote me scripture.  He’s usually right but I couldn’t relate a woman illegally living in OUR house to a man who owed the king money.

And then it hit me….CRAP…..he was right!

This blog is long enough so stay tuned to find out how.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you….welcome to my brain.