Chapter 30

Paris, turning 30, 30th birthday, Paris, Europe, Rome, travel, travel blog, faith blog
May 23rd, my actual birthday! do I look 30?! 😝

Turning 30…

Some of us anticipate it with joy and excitement. Some of us cringe and want to hide. Some of us don’t really care because it’s just a number. We get old and life goes on 🤷🏽‍♀️

As I was planning our European getaway for my 30th, I was so excited. I had begun planning it a year out and as the year went on, it still felt so far away. Then the week before came, the day before and at last it was the day of! (I can’t believe it’s already been a month, now)!

I was so nervous, and it all felt so surreal. Was it really happening?! After what felt like the longest travel experience ever (long story, but let’s just say Trump

is literally to blame 😂), we finally arrived in Rome. 

I wish I could say it was all rainbows, birds chirping, and wind blowing in our hair. Instead, I was bawling my eyes out, because they lost our one checked bag that had all of my husband and my clothes and shoes in it. I didn’t even have extra underwear in a carryon because I was too busy worrying and making sure all of the girls’ things were packed in them. 

I was so mad and angry and began thinking that everything was going to go wrong. That it was a mistake going there and I wanted to immediately go back home and crawl into bed! 

We were at the airport making the claim for what felt like forever, and by the time we were finished, our pre planned driver had left. So we stood around waiting for a taxi that would take our family of 5, to our hotel. 

My husband, through it all, remained cool and kept reassuring me that it was ok; It would all work out. 

That night we showered, hopped into bed and I began to reflect for a few minutes before conking out from exhaustion and sleep deprivation. 

The next morning I woke up, put on the same clothes and opened the windows… 

Wow! I realized we were in freakin ROME, ITALY! We had a room with a quaint and beautiful little terrace and from it you could see St Peter’s Basilica and roofs lined with terra cotta tiles. So picturesque and dreamy. 

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My beautiful girls and our beautiful view!

I took a deep breath, and thought about the events that transpired in our travels. I realized that the devil was trying to steal my joy, my peace, and my excitement. In that moment I literally said, “oh no devil, not today!” 

 The night before I thought God was punishing me for something. I thought he didn’t want me to have a smooth, fun and sweet time visiting Rome and Paris and turning 30 with my family.I felt like I was out of his protection because our bag got lost. And as I really thought on that terrace

and as I’m typing now, I realize how completely ridiculous it sounds. 

I know that the God I serve is a loving, compassionate, joyful God who wants nothing but the best for us. And what the devil tries to do is trick us into thinking that we’re being punished and deserve whatever mishap or unfortunate circumstance comes our way. 

What a jerk, right?! 😡

If you’ve followed me long enough, you know that I’ve struggled with anxiety. Anxiety about the future and wanting to control things so that I know what will happen and how it will happen. I’m not God, though. Through this I’ve learned that I need to allow God to be in control of every single situation. Big or small. 

Allowing God to be in complete control sets us up for being completely okay when things don’t go our way. When I realized that the devil was trying to egg my anxiety on, in order for me to lose sight of what was right in front of me, my perspective changed. 

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Same outfit different day, who dis?

Come on, just being in Europe, safe and sound, with actual clothes on my back, dirty or not, was blessing enough! Every material thing is replaceable… and guess what y’all… two days later, our bag showed up and was delivered to our room! 

I mean won’t he do it?! 

So, as I embark on this 30th chapter of life, I just want to encourage you. Shift your perspective to see through the eyes of gratitude, contentment, joy, faith, TRUST that God has your back and release full control over to him.

Whether you have a good day or a bad day, as long as our hope and our trust is in the Lord, nothing can separate us from his love, his goodness, and his promises! 

“Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:34-35, 37-39 NIV

Paris, turning 30, 30th birthday, Paris, Europe, Rome, travel, travel blog, faith blog
Walking towards the Spanish Steps
Paris, turning 30, 30th birthday, Paris, Europe, Rome, travel, travel blog, faith blog
So blessed with the sweetest husband and sweetest little babes

Washington DC with kids

Hey y’all! Hope you’re having a wonderful Tuesday, it’s Mardi Gras here, and we stay as far away as possible… it’s just not our jam and we usually always try to get away.

So, on Thursday night, we flew out of New Orleans and ventured into DC with all THREE girls in tow.

Now, I know what you’re thinking… we’re crazy. Although that may be a little true (haha), I actually love bringing our kids along for travel. I want them to experience the world with us, even at their young ages, and show them all the different places outside of our little bubble down here in the south. I want them to have these memories of visiting different places and cultures and be adventurous.

Having said that, they’re still only 5, 3 and 7 months, so, were there moments when Sam and I let out deep sighs and questioned our choice of bringing them along?!

YES. Yes we did.

We’ve all been there right? 🤦🏽‍♀️😏

Anyway, I’m sure you’re here to see if it’s actually possible to travel there with children, and it is.

HOWEVER, in hindsight, I think planning the trip for summer time, if you’re not used to really cold temperatures, would be a better time to visit with small children. I literally had layers and layers of clothes on them and they were so annoyed and wanted to undress any chance they could.

That was thoroughly frustrating.

Other than that, DC has so much to offer in terms of things to do. All of the museums are free… yes, free! You have the monuments, which are a great experience. The White House (which you can tour if you schedule in advance). We didn’t tour it because the girls are too little and I’d rather them be older to appreciate a tour of it. The National Zoo (also free), and the Museum of the Bible, which you have to pay for, but honestly totally worth it! Everything about it was great, and there is even a little play area for the kids, with  games relating to Bible stories.

There’s so much more that we didn’t get to do because of the weather, it rained 2 of the 4 days we were there and it seriously was so cold, at least for us. We made the most of our trip, I think, despite the weather. The girls were along for the ride and they just love being with us.

In terms of food, I think the best meal we had was at Founding Farmers Everything is farm to table and was seriously delicious, definitely have a meal there.

My mom is from El Salvador, so one thing I grew up eating a lot of, are pupusas, if you’ve never eaten them, I’m sorry. You’re missing out. We ate in this very tiny, literal hole in the wall, called El Rinconcito and they had some pretty tasty pupusas there. I had read that DC was home to a large population of Salvadoran’s so, finding a restaurant that served them was essential for me to check out.

Lastly, another little place we’d heard about, &Pizza. Honestly, the pizza was great, but I think we’ve had better, though it’s worth a try. It was a tiny place as well, but pizza was made fast and hot and it was, pizza!

I like to think of this trip as a pregame to our trip to Europe in May!😬 ahh!!

We survived with a few hiccups, but if you are like me, and love having your kids experience different places with you, I say go for it! They are smart and are attentive to much more than we give them credit for. Our oldest for sure remembers a lot of our trips and things we do even at home, and talks about them for months after.

In summary, summer is better because no layers of clothes, Free, fun, history, Free. lol

 

DC with kids, Washington monument, Washington DC, travel with kids

DC with kids, Washington monument, Washington DC, travel with kids

DC with kids, Washington monument, Washington DC, travel with kids

DC with kids, Washington monument, Washington DC, travel with kids

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DC with kids, Washington monument, Washington DC, travel with kids

Clear the Clutter

Clutter.

I absolutely H A T E clutter. Yet, as I type, my coffee table is cluttered with folded laundry. The chair next to it is cluttered with more clean, not yet folded laundry. 

This type of clutter is ok, since it’ll soon be folded and put away neatly, Konmari style. If you haven’t seen Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, on Netflix, go now. Seriously, she is an organizational wizard. 

Anyway, I’m in the middle of de-cluttering the mess in our home. Digging through piles and piles of the girls’ clothes, that seems like if I lined each piece, it would go on for miles and miles! 

I’ve been separating the sentimental pieces, from the heavily worn, no longer suitable to wear even at the playground, pieces. When on earth did I get THAT crazy with kid clothes?! 

Our coat closet is filled with toys, their playroom filled with more toys than a toy store. It all seems so excessive, and I feel guilty. It’s way more than my husband and I ever had growing up. 

Then, I think about the clutter in my heart. I let the outer clutter, invade my heart and I become a grouch, grouchier than the main man, Oscar himself. Haha

It’s a lesson I teach myself over and over, it’s just a season. The girls will make a mess, over and over. They’ll spill, leave trails of crumbs and run around enjoying their childhood. 

I remind myself that I do the same with God. I’ll snuggle up to his word, pray, worship and love on him and let him love on me. Yet not before long, I make a mess, leave trails of crumbs and run around like a mad woman, yelling at the girls to clean up their mess. Scolding them for not eating their food. 

Let them snuggle up to me and just be. The way the Lord wants us to just sit with him and be. Letting him lavish his grace, his love and his blessings over us. 

His word and his presence de clutters our hearts and minds and frees us from what the world tries to tie us down or burden us with. The world leaves us jaded and annoyed, while God gives us peace and joy. 

Peace in the midst of chaos and clutter and joy in the midst of struggles and the not so good days. 

So here’s a reminder, to clear the clutter in our hearts. To not allow what’s going on around us to determine our days and our attitudes. In motherhood, to not worry so much about the piled up laundry and overflow of toys, but know we’re blessed with a family, a home, food and clothes on our backs. 

And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” Colossians 3:15 NLT

Not Your Average Meal Prepper

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Meal prepping has begun! Who loves meal prepping?!

Not going to lie… I really don’t like it LOL I mean, it’s awesome after all is said and done. But in the moment, I’m kind of annoyed by it… am I the only one?

*I hope I’m not* 😝

While chopping up these delicious veggies, I had an epiphany.

I must admit, I’m terrible at being creative when it comes to cooking meals. But give me a pancake recipe, and I’m whipping it up in no time! 

Why are pancakes so delicious?! 😩

Baking is fun… cooking meals, not so much. Why? I really don’t know, it just feels like a chore to cook, only to have my girls give me a stank face and leave their plates full. Even with the hundreds of pins I’ve found on Pinterest, I can honestly say I’ve successfully made a handful of them (that everyone has eaten and enjoyed).

Are you too a victim of pinning meals in the hopes that your family really will enjoy it?! If so, give me a thumbs up in the comments

Anyway, back to my epiphany. Having just admitted at my lack of creativity for meals, maybe that’s a reason why my children do not enjoy their veggies anymore.

I mean, when they were old enough to start eating solids, I made them almost all the veggies under the sun! Even the ones I don’t and will probably never eat… 😬 

Now, I can’t get them to eat an avocado (they’re gross to me, so can I really blame them?!) Broccoli, cauliflower(even with all the ways that you can “mask” it nowadays), zucchini and squash (I mean they don’t even have a taste, but I still eat them) TOMATOES! well the list can go on and on. 

Also, I might add that I can barely get my husband to eat veggies 🤦🏽‍♀️ so can you really blame me for wanting to cook the simplest meal ever?! It’s hard to have a “colorful” plate with a house full of the pickiest eaters! 

I’m so very guilty of buying veggies that go bad! And I honestly hate that! Like, I don’t feel like chopping veggies if I’m the only one who’ll eat them, making Mac n cheese is easier… ugh I sound terrible.

So, I take the blame, I guess? 🤷🏽‍♀️ 

While meal prepping is in full effect, in the hopes of eating healthier, maintaining my milk supply and losing the excess weight, MAYBE…HOPEFULLY, I can convince my girls to eat their veggies with me! 

I mean it’s not like they eat junk food 24/7, because they do like a few of the yummier ones like carrots and corn. But one cannot live on those alone HA…HA! 

Pray for me y’all! 

I guess that’s my resolution, it doesn’t have to be January to make one. ☺️

If you have any ideas on easing veggies into my girls’ plates, and yummy family friendly dinners, share them with me! 

I’ll add them to my Pinterest Food board 😂 except I really will try to make more than one recipe in a year! 

🧡

-Lorena