Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Peace out, 2013!!!

It has arrived! New Year's Eve; the one holiday that gives you a fresh start. What's this mama doing?? Pshh.. I'm putting on my finest PJ's, fuzzy socks, having a movie marathon and pretending for the last time that I can eat however I want! Don't be jealous! This year was rough for me, to say the least. It has been filled with many trials and struggles as a mother especially. So, I would be lying if I said I was "sad" to see 2013 go.. NOPE! Be gone 2013!!!! lol
So we do it every year...the infamous "new year's resolutions." We are motivated, going to lose those 15 lbs, and then by about May, we have completely forgotten or abandoned our resolution(s) all together. Yes, I am quite guilty of this. BUT, since I am blogging my resolutions, I have no excuse; I will forever have them in front of me where I cannot lose them and I will have all year to work on them. I never have just ONE resolution, and I aim to make them lifetime resolutions, not just for the new year, but at least making it through one year is a small step.  I have a total of 2 "followers" on this blog, and I don't expect anyone else to actually take the time to read through it but if my resolutions help to motivate anyone else beside myself, that would be AMAZING! So behold, I give you my 2014 resolutions!!

1. Do more/be more involved with my family--Turning off the electronics, going on walks together, having game nights, doing crafts, as long as we are spending quality time.

2. Never miss a day of devotions, personal or with the family--for those who may not know, "devotions" are time spent with the Lord in Bible study, prayer, meditation and worship. This requires extra discipline on my side, there are days where I get so busy and make excuses..there are no excuses, I MUST do them!

3. Be healthier--of course that includes losing weight for me but I also mean no more JUNK. Not just food, but junk tv, junk sites, junk anything! Healthy physically, mentally, AND spiritually!

4. Don't sweat the small stuff--sometimes we try so hard to be in control, but God is in ULTIMATE control! When something doesn't go our way, or according to our plans or wishes, we have meltdowns and hissy fits. It's not the end of the world if my house is a mess for one day, it's not the end of the world if the kids are fussing, it's not the end of the world if no one comments on my blog or social media-No. Big. Deal.

5. Be more patient/loving--this is especially true for me as a mother. I have allowed myself to lose my temper too often and have not shown my children love by example. I have a best friend (love you Britt!) who gives me a hard dose of TRUTH in love and is constantly reminding me of this when I cry to her about my kids.

6. Get our finances in order--we have a plan this year, we NEED to see it through!!!

7. Have at least ONE date with my husband every month--this doesn't mean we have to spend money or go out. We can do it at home after the kids are in bed, we can go for a walk, whatever it takes.

8. Get a new tattoo--I decided that any tattoo I get will be honoring to my faith, and I have a really good one in mind for my number 2!!!

9. Be mindful of social media--it can be both a blessing and a curse. I have lost friendships over things I post on my OWN page. Someone out there will always disagree with your opinions or views, and most of them choose to cause drama, if not careful, we end up opening a can of worms and doing more damage than we set out to. I plan to get on once in a great while, manage what I need, and get off. otherwise, we can spend hours and getting sucked into what we don't need.

10. LAUGH MORE--pretty self explanatory. Just need to enjoy every day more, find the happiness and live it!

So there you have it! I will be held especially accountable, at times I'm sure I will fail, but the thing is to keep going! Get up and dust yourself off and try again! HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all! May you have a blessed year and a safe one! God bless!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Dear Mary...

"Mary did you know that your baby boy would some day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy would give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when your kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God."

Dear Mary,
2013 years ago, you were approached by an Angel of the Lord who told you that you would bear the Son of God, as a virgin, chosen by God Himself. You were so young, were you afraid? All the emotions you must have experienced at that moment, the fear, the uncertainty, the excitement? Of all the people on the planet at that time, you and you alone would bear God in your womb. As your belly grew, what was it like? The connection of feeling this most important miracle move inside your body. God watched over you and protected you, Mary. You could have easily been stoned to death when the people saw that you were pregnant before marriage, but you weren't. He kept you safe and healthy until that most fateful day. As you felt ready to give birth to God, were you afraid? Knowing you were running out of time and still had not found shelter? But you did.

"So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them at the inn." Luke 2:6-7

As you watched your Son grow, He must have been the most joyous child and the most helpful one! For 30 years, your Son, the Son of man, the only perfect being to have ever walked this planet, lived with you and you beheld Him. What was it like? Was He funny? Was He sweet? I'm sure you never had to ask if He was telling the truth, because you heard truth itself whenever He spoke. He must have been the most incredible and fulfilling thing to have ever happened in your life! When you asked Him to do something, He must have done it with beyond perfection! When He had to leave home for His ministry, it must have been so hard for you to see Him leave you after having Him by your side for so many beautiful years. Were you proud, Mary? When word reached your ears about His healing the lame, the lepers, the blind, the sick, even the dead? Were you surprised at all that your Son was walking on water and calming storms? You knew time was drawing near, you heard Him speak about it many times. I would have hoped and prayed that there was some other way, but you were a servant of God and trusted Him.

The day arrived; that most terrible day for you to have witnessed, for any mother to have to witness. How your heart must have been bleeding inside as you watched your sweet and innocent child being beaten, shamed, flesh being torn from his raw wounds. How were you able to bear it? As a mother myself, I could hardly allow the faintest of thoughts about my children being hurt without tears burning my eyes and pain in my heart.. but you chose to stay and see, He must have felt comfort knowing you were there, His mother. You must have been overwhelmed and overjoyed when at last He rose and defeated death and sin itself! Did you know the impact His death and resurrection would have 2013 years later?? He has changed my life, Mary. I have accepted Him as my beautiful Savior. I know that you are in blissful paradise now by His side  forevermore. I wanted to thank you, Mary. Thank you for obeying God and carrying this miracle. Thank you for raising Him and loving and caring for Him. Thank you for allowing Him to die for my sins.

                                                              Yours Truly,
                                                             Lisette Lopez

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A touch of Christmas; Decorating Lisette Style

IT'S HERE!!!! The most wonderful time of the year!! Like fall, I couldn't wait to put up my stuff like I usually do the day after Thanksgiving. I did two weeks early. Every year, I add just a little bit more or change just a little bit here and there as far as what I put up or make. When it comes to the holidays, I tend to veer away from traditional colors and find a way to always incorporate my favorite shades of course. So the question is, what is my Christmas decorating style? Is it beachy? Is it rustic? Is it whimsical? Is it shabby chic, or vintage-inspired? I really couldn't peg it down to any single one. I think it's very me, which seems to satisfy everyone else in the house. So BEHOLD! I give you Christmas-Lisette style! (warning-there will be LOTS of pics)

My mantle. My newest addition is the mercury glass owl and the amazing string art by Thread therapy. Oh and a few feathers in a blue mason jar never hurt anyone ;) I made the stockings two years ago out of felt and added little clusters of buttons in the top corner of them. The sign I recently made with a homemade turquoise stain and silhouetted letters and nativity modpodged on with the shelter being made of burlap. the window shutter is our newest Advent calendar!

The entry way table. The basket is filled with fresh pine clippings from my backyard and I threw in a few pine cones and cedar roses.
The Nativity-we are missing one wise man thanks to my daughter who decided these were fun to play with last year. We got these as a wedding gift 9 years ago and have stuck with them since.
This is a wreath we got years ago and I hang it on the interior side of the front door.
I made this wreath two years ago as well-just a Styrofoam ring wrapped in yarn and the "merry Christmas" is made out of jute string. And of course throw in a couple seashells, burlap and felt roses and voila!
I saw a tutorial on making cone trees out of cereal boxes. I downloaded the templet for them and had fun using materials I had on hand to finally have little cone trees!
After I started having kids, it wasn't very practical having glass ornaments anymore. Being on a tight budget, I got creative in finding ways to replace just about all of the fragile ones with handmade ones, I even recycled some of the old glass ones by wrapping them in yarn or jute-making them unbreakable.

I had an old King James Bible that we never used and it had some water damage, so I took out the pages with the Christmas story from Luke 2 and mod-podged them onto old glass ornaments.
Every year, I make it a point to buy at least one new ornament for the tree. Last year it was the white owl, this year it was this mercury glass vintage key via Threshold at Target, and the glittery pine cone was from Hobby Lobby.

Here's the tree!

What better way to end a day of decorating than a cup of hot cocoa! The rainbow marshmellows were just a bonus ;)
This was an amazing sunset after putting up the outside decor. God is the ultimate artist! <3
The lights we got last year are LED and these change into an array of different vibrant colors! We LOVE them!

What is your Christmas style? Whatever you like, use it! Make it your own and don't worry about "rules" or "perfection." And the most important thing is to remember to keep CHRIST in Christmas!!

"For unto us a child is born..." Isaiah 9:6

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Our first Marriage Retreat and 9 years of Marriage

This past October 23, my husband and I celebrated 9 years of being married. I'll tell you one thing, it certainly doesn't feel like 9 years! I would like to report that we have had a blissful marriage with exchanges of "I love you more, no I love YOU more's" and living the American dream happily ever after, but I would be lying. Just to give you an idea, I was 20 when I married, he was 24 and we fought most of our honeymoon and worked with each other in the same office for the first two years which did more damage to our relationship than I had ever anticipated. We both are born again Christians and don't believe in divorce so I became scared that we had made a mistake and I was doomed to an unhappy marriage for the rest of our waking lives. But thankfully since we have our faith, God has seen us through some tough times in our marriage, including losing our home to the recession, forcing us to short-sale. God has done a work in ME especially, showing me and teaching me so much about the true meaning of love and HOW to love. We have watched many marriages crumble around us, including my own parents. In the midst of it all, we have fought harder to make our marriage work all the more and have kept Christ at the very foundation. Without Him, it could have NEVER survived. We are blessed with our two beautiful children, and I am privileged to be a homemaker, not out of an abundance of financial blessings, but quite the opposite. It required great sacrifice to have me home and we continue to sacrifice every day to make it happen, but I am most certainly where God wants me to be, and that's all it takes for me.

Many people I talk to in the middle of a divorce say things like "we fell out of love," or "it's better for the kids not to see us fighting so much," or "there's nothing I can do because they don't want to work it out" and pick up the phone and hit up the lawyer on speed dial in some cases. It breaks my heart that we as a society have really put marriage down the list of things worth fighting for and replaced it with our careers, children, and happiness. Let me tell you this now, marriage is ALWAYS worth fighting for!! think about it, you CHOSE this person to be yours forever!! When you said your vows, you vowed to love in good times and BAD. Don't sit there and tell me it's not worth it! Every marriage will have trouble, hard times, and dry spells. Love is a CHOICE, and ACTION, not a feeling! Granted, there are different situations in every marriage but my point is that everyone needs to know that marriage is sacred, invented by our loving God and designed to be heaven on earth, please don't be willing to give up so easily! If you must go down, go down swinging!

OK, now that your eyelids have just about glued shut from reading so much, let me get to the fun part of this post. Because of finances, we weren't able to plan anything special for our anniversary, not even going out for dinner. Our church does this retreat every year and starts sign ups in the summer and takes payment plans to pay off this trip, so thankfully with the Lord's provision, we were able to attend our very FIRST marriage retreat this year! The location: The Hyatt Regency Resort Hotel in Newport Beach, California. This just might have been the all around best hotel we have stayed at from the rooms, to the service, to the location, everything was gorgeous!
This was the view outside of our room. We were overlooking a golf course and a volleyball court. We had our own little balcony and the room had a king size bed with modern fixtures, art, everything!
they had this beautiful, textured, taupe colored wallpaper on an accent wall and the side table lamps were big and stunning.
this was just a small part of the lobby (right before the bar area) and just beyond that, the patio lounge area with fire-pits, throws, cage swings and sofas.

they had touches of seaglass and turquoise and aquas throughout the hotel. I had no idea why I was so attracted to any of it (heavy on the sarcasm, hehe).
This was upon our arrival while we were waiting for our room to be ready.
What?! This IS just the essentials for the weekend!!
I was so in love with this wingback chair!
This was my outfit for the next morning, my most favorite dress!!
Ready for our next session and a day of fun!

I have never been to "Fashion Isalnd," and had truthfully, only recently even heard about it. Its like an outdoor shopping mall and has lots of restaurants and cafes. So we had a whole bunch of free time so we went on over and walked around before lunch.
Just a random coi fish pond for shoppers enjoyment and delight.
Ok, I got to tell you about this because we were blown away! Here, you can see that my handsome hubby has a pair of chopsticks in his hands because we decided to eat at P.F. Changs for lunch. Well, we were in a bit of a financial pinch and the only reason we chose to eat here was because we happened to have a gift card for it. I had only eaten there once before and I didn't remember too much about how it all worked so I mentioned to our waitress that it was my husband's first time there (which it was), and that I had only been once so she said that since it was our first time the manager would meet us at the end of our meal with a little something special for us. We were delighted, thinking we were going to get dessert or something. Well, after excellent service and DELICIOUS food, out comes the manager and welcomes us and hands us each an envelope thanking us for coming and in each of our envelope was a $10 gift card! Our meal ended up being completely FREE!! Can you believe that?? What a blessing! Tell me that wasn't the Lord's provision!! God is good people, God is GOOD!
This was our last evening there and we were blessed with a Christian comedian who had us in stitches and rolling in the isles by the name of Carlos Oscar. He has his own show in Las Vegas and is insanely funny!
Their bathrooms were immaculate and had huge full-length mirrors in each of them to help you making sure you always look good from head to toe ;)

We were so incredibly refreshed and blessed by this that we decided that we had to do this every year, God willing! If that means it would be the single and only trip we take each year, its worth every penny! It gave us the chance to re-kindle the flame and enjoy and invest valuable time into our marriage relationship away from the chaos of everyday demands. INVEST in your marriage!! It's always worth it and never returns void! Keep your spouse FIRST, and their needs above your own, and you will see miracles happen!

"The man said, 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flash; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man.' For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." -Gen. 2:22-24

Monday, November 4, 2013

A day of rest..and lovely things

"On the seventh day God had finished His work of creation, so He rested." -Genesis 2:2 (NLT)

We live in a society that thrives on the hustle and bustle of everyday work, there always seems to be something to be worked on, and no time to "stop and smell the roses." As a stay at home mom myself, I am busier with my two children than I had ever been at any previous employment I ever had. Between my daughter's school, taking care of my son and his extra learning, the never ending loads of laundry, cooking, cleaning, homework, prepping, devotions, the Titus ministry (a ministry through my church that I lead to teach young girls/ladies how to read their bibles among many other things), being a Scentsy consultant, blogging, etc., there just seems to be no time for idleness. God created us, and in doing so He knew we would be like this. After creating the universe and all that entails, He set aside a day to rest and enjoy His work. Did He tire and need to rest? He is God, He could never rest and still go on and function for the rest of eternity but He set an example for us by resting on the seventh day. So often we get so caught up in everything that we forget to take that precious day off, and the effects could be disastrous to ourselves and loved ones. We can be crankier, short-tempered, irritable, and we take it out on the ones we love most and they also are hungry for that time to just be with us. It is also hard to hear God's still, small voice when all we keep is noise around us constantly. "Be still, and know that I am God."- Psalm 46:10

Our day of rest is a time to renew, reflect, and relax. It is such a precious gift to have and so rewarding its no wonder God commanded it of us, its a great blessing!
So here's a little bit of my most recent day of rest. Of course, it started with going to church in the morning in which I had some fun getting dressed and loved my outfit that day.

Church (as always) was awesome and after, we spent some time at the in-laws and my moms and came home. I love to craft and create whenever I have the opportunity and as you saw from my previous post about the Glitter and Spice Workshop I attended, you saw the fall succulent arrangement I made. Of course, since I have a brown thumb and can't keep plants alive to save my life, the arrangement had died and molded and the only survivor was my lone succulent. So I transferred it into my Glitter and Spice coffee mug and was quite happy with it! So I found a new home for it where it can get plenty of sunlight and grace me with its beauty on my makeup vanity.

 One of my favorite ways to relax and unwind is to read. Recently I started to re-read my most FAVORITE book ever!! Its a Christian fiction by Francine Rivers called "Redeeming Love," and it is a book I could never tire of. I sincerely enjoy having a real book to read, I'm not a fan of the e-readers. There is just something about turning the pages, the smell of the book, in some instances the history and age of the book itself and who it has passed from. This particular copy was gifted to me from my dearest friend before she moved to Texas, she knew how much I loved it, and it is and always will be precious to me!
Since the weather has cooled, I absolutely love being able to snuggle under a throw and be in comfy PJ's and a favorite chair or reading spot. Enter my two favorite spots in the house!! The Lazy boy chair was inherited from my late grandparents and its beyond heaven to sit in. The other is the rocker I have rocked both my babies in and I just can't bear to part with it yet.

 Please excuse my faded makeup it was the end of the day and it was all about to go down the drain anyway lol.

I was so refreshed and blessed by my day of rest and I would really encourage you to remember to take that time off. It's ok to say "No" to an event or invitation if you haven't had that time to rest yet. You WILL be blessed by it! Take the day to remember all that wonderful things God has done, His creation all around you, the blessings you have received, and just enjoy life and your loved ones! I would love to hear your favorite ways to relax or what you like to do on your days of rest in the comments. :) 

                                                                  Happy Resting!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Glitter, Spice, and everything pretty!

Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending a workshop for "creatives" put on by Brier Rose Design, called "Glitter&Spice." This was the first of its kind and I was so excited to be around other creative and godly ladies. I have known Collette, head of Brier Rose Design, for a few years now and am in LOVE with her work and aesthetic, so I signed up right away when she announced this workshop! The women I had the privilege of meeting were all so talented, many of whom had their own businesses or shops. I have to admit I was a bit intimidated when we went around and introduced ourselves and what we do..being that I am only a craft-a-holic and felt for a moment that I was the party crasher. But these ladies are all so sweet and welcoming that I quickly got over that. The event was held at the talented Sara Lucero's beautiful home.
This was the sign in table when you first walked in (above).
Everything was styled by Brier Rose Design. This was the decor at the entry outside of the front door.  (pictured above)
 Our place settings were gorgeous and we got to take home our personalized mugs along with some other great goodies and our creations.

 These were the "swag bags" full of handmade goodies from some of the vendors that we got to take home with us (below).
This piece was created by Kristina Carter (above).

There were of course crafts we got to make and of course I was excited to add even more fall decor to my already bursting home. When I call myself a craft-a-holic, I'm really not exaggerating..I may have a problem lol!

This was our first creation, a fall succulent arrangement in a hallowed white pumpkin. This was probably my favorite thing we did! It was so fun and really neat to see the other creations and how no two were alike, as individual as each lady.

This was our next project, a fall fabric scrap wreath. Very easy to do, the grapevine wreathes were already pre-made by Collette, all we had to do was tear strips of fabric of our choice and tie them all over the wreath until we were happy with it. The sign in the middle was also another project, we stained the wood and hand lettered whatever we wanted on it afterword. I decided to use it with my wreath and think they look good together.
 It now graces the top of my fireplace mantle.
This was one of the items that came in our swag bags, a crochet little pumpkin by Laila's Charming Pieces. Isn't it seriously the cutest thing?!

My collection of pumpkins is as eclectic as I am.

Ok, ok...Confession: I was so excited about my swag bag that I totally opened everything like a kid at Christmas and didn't even stop to think to take pictures of them in their adorable packaging before I opened them. (Hangs head in shame) I'm sorry! In it was a very cute pumpkin cookie by Twins, Trinkets & Treasures, a really cute feather necklace by Love Sparkle Pretty, a hair bow by Brier Rose Design, and I'm sure I am having a brain fart and forgetting something. :( This workshop also featured a guest speaker, Christa Mortimore, who is a professional photographer and fashion blogger. She inspired and challenged us to pursue and use our gifts and talents that God has blessed us with and really encouraged us. We also made a faux caramel apple, but mine didnt dry enough in time and kinda fell apart so I wasn't able to take a picture of it before it came undone :/ This was such a fun and refreshing workshop I would TOTALLY do this again and again! What girl doesn't love her some glitter and spice? ;)


*If I have forgotten anyone from this workshop, please let me know and throw in your link in the comments!