Our Bittersweet Texas Souvenir

Phew! After yesterday’s tender post today’s topic feels like a breath of fresh air even though I’m a bit indifferent over what I’m about to share…

Last week I dished out our Texas trip itinerary complete with pictures but that post was getting long so I left out the part about us buying souvenirs.

Today I’m gonna spill the beans.

On Thursday of our trip we spent the day at the beach and when Friday came my husband and two younger kids were exhausted and wanted to spend the afternoon at the condo after going to the sea turtle facility that morning.

My oldest daughter (Paige) and I however still had a bit of go left. I’m not a huge souvenir person at all but Paige wanted to check out the beach shops and I was game for chauffeuring and tagging along.

Here’s the honest truth with those beach shops—they’re packed to the gills, everything’s branded with the tour destination name which skyrockets the price, and when you’ve seen one you’ve seen em all!

…except for the second shop we ended up in…

That one had its own unique little feature…

Paige spotted it first.

The advertising was plastered on the front window.

HERMIT CRABS SOLD HERE

Hook, line and sinker Paige was the bait and they reeled her right in.

“Mom!!!! We should get hermit crabs!!!”

“Oh man, that might be kinda cool!” I was quickly getting sucked in too.

We marched through those doors like gals on a mission and our feet carried us straight to the hermit crab exhibit, ignoring the cluttered shelves of South Padre Island knickknacks.

Oh how I wish now that my eyes and pocketbook would’ve met a twenty dollar water bottle, or a fifteen dollar ball cap, a t-shirt, or a towel…something other than the crabs!!

But we succumbed to the hermit crabs. And not only that we thought it’d be real cute to surprise the rest of the family back at the condo with these crabs so there was no checking in with my husband on my spontaneous “live” purchase.

We walked out of the store with two hermit crabs, a small plastic cage, their food, extra shells, and a watering sponge, plus 35$ less than ten minutes beforehand.

When we got back to the condo we set the crabs on the kitchen island waiting for Nate and the kids to spot them on their own.

They did! Within minutes! And this is a Christian blog so never mind what my poor husband said!!! Basically in a very curious R-rated way he asked what they were!!!

McKenzie and Warren were enthralled and wondered why there wasn’t a third crab, one for each kid.

Before long we were all in the Jeep, headed back to the store to purchase one more hermit crab. My husband was on board with all of this.

That evening though I began researching proper care for these new-to-us little critters and found out they are a lot more maintenance than what you see in the beach shops.

They’re actually not cared for properly in these shops and require heat sources, a variety of food choices, and two types of water—salt and fresh.

In the beach shops you will see them with a sandy flooring, extra shells, hideouts, water, and pellet food. They make it look super simple, this is why I was cool with getting them.

After realizing all of their needs I was like “you guys we gotta take these things back!! Tonight!!”

I was having some serious buyer’s remorse and was absolutely not okay keeping them because I knew they’d need a bigger cage, more supplies and more responsibility than originally thought.

My sweet husband though. Oh my goodness. He looked at me and said, “Alicia we’re not taking them back. We’re gonna keep them. We’ve made way stupider choices before. This is fine.”

And he is absolutely right.

About $150 later we have our three hermit crabs and their crabitat all set up in Mc’s room. Thankfully she was thrilled to show them hospitality!

In a heartwarming way I’m reminded of my dad as I care for these little guys. My dad, up until his dirt bike accident, had all kinds of reptiles that he raised and he was very passionate about it, even hatching baby bearded dragons a few times. So it’s neat to think of this as a reflection of his hobby.

Had I known before purchasing the hermit crabs what I know now I would’ve never bought them. But here we are and life definitely shows itself to be an adventure at times so we’re making the most of it. They really are interesting to watch and two of them have already switched shells. They’re night critters so we literally have to sneak in and spy on them if we want to see them in action.

The joke is, when I went to Florida back in April I brought home a live palm plant, Texas these hermit crabs…now if I make it to Alaska or Africa someday who knows what I might bring home…

Weekend blessings to you all!!❤️

Living on His Plans

When people talk about how they can’t wait for life to return to “normal”, I mentally stand on the other side thinking: ‘but I’m not 100% okay with the old kind of normal, the pre-covid normal…What changes do I want to see made within my family for our “future normal”…What is it that I want to grasp as a spiritually beneficial takeaway from this unique time?’…Because I don’t want to revert back to my Alicia’s world, impatient, on the go self when things do return to “normal”…my true colors usually show up best with a well thought out detailed itinerary…that’s part of my control girl flaw.

I’m trying to figure out how to mesh this current lifestyle (the things I’ve learned during my coronavirus-downtime) with what’s to come when life eventually does return to “fast-paced normal”…and the idea of loosening my firm grip on ‘itinerary-style-planning’ definitely needs to be part of a wiser planning method for myself.

We’ve all seen firsthand now how things can dramatically change in a matter of day to day living.

I have to laugh in spite of myself — back in late February, before I even knew the word coronavirus existed, I had sat down at my kitchen table and counted through my calendar all the days that I had marked down to substitute teach, and there were many. And in my eyes I was seeing dollar signs and the amount of money that I’d be able to tuck into savings to put towards a trip our family has/had scheduled this summer. In the midst of counting sub days I literally thought of how foolish it seemed because subconsciously I knew something could come up and any of those days could be taken from me, none of them were necessarily ever guaranteed to stay locked in. Sure enough every single one of them was canceled out through the end of the school year due to the virus. Continue reading “Living on His Plans”

Mystery Blogger Award

Thank You Gail of gaillovesgod.blog for nominating me for the Mystery Blogger Award. Gail has a wealth of Biblical knowledge, a ginormous love for God, and shares her testimony in a way that points to Him! You can check out her blog here! Thanks so much Gail for the nomination!❤️

Here are the guidelines…

• Put the award logo on your blog

• Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog

• Mention the creator of the award
The creator of this award is..Okoto Enigma

• Answer the five questions you were asked

• Tell the readers three things about yourself

• Nominate ten to twenty bloggers

• Notify the bloggers that you nominated them by commenting on one of their posts

• Ask your nominees five questions with one weird or funny one

• Share a link to your best posts

Three things about myself:
1. control-freak….yikes!
2. I’m reading a book to help deter that flaw (Control Girl by Shannon Popkin)
3. Jesus is my saving grace!! Continue reading “Mystery Blogger Award”

May Day Baskets!…DIY #4 project

I can’t even believe myself right now, it’s the middle of April and I’m actually getting my DIY post out before the end of the month. Woot! Woot!

This month we’re going to work through a DIY that will be for the benefit of next month—May Day Baskets!!

Anyone remember those?

I felt like I needed to do some research and provide just a bit of background info on these little “forgotten” about gems and here’s what I found out:

According to NPR.org May Day Baskets used to be quite a thing with a history clear back to the ancient European pagan festival of spring known as Beltane. When the continent became more Christianized some of the more rowdy aspects of the celebration faded out with May Baskets managing to remain.

Interesting right?

In the 19th and 20th centuries May Day Baskets made their appearance in the United States signifying and celebrating the welcoming of Spring time. A person would collect goodies in a basket and then secretly deliver them to a neighbor’s door on May 1 as a special treat.

In some communities May Baskets provided a chance to show romantic interest. The giver would place the basket at the door, knock and run off…however if the receiver was able to catch the “basket-hanger” it was a chance to steal a kiss from him or her.

In more recent decades, for whatever reason, May Day Baskets have lost their luster.

I’ve joked in years past that May Baskets should be a thing again because maybe when they faded out is when the world got so messed up and maybe if they made a come-back the world would be a little bit brighter…super far stretch from reality but we could try!!

Here’s what you’ll need if you’re interested: Continue reading “May Day Baskets!…DIY #4 project”

Drive It Like You Own It

This isn’t the post I intended on writing this week…but when God prompts I’ve learned to respond so here we go…

I’ve been driving my husband’s ginormous truck for the past week now, my grocery getter is out of commission for the time being.

Before I get to the point of this post let me tell you a few of the issues I have with this truck: first off, Nate has it all jacked up, so for a mama who never quite made it to five foot it’s not really ideal. Secondly the other day when I subbed for P.E. class I had driven the truck to work and it just so happens there’s a sticker placed perfectly in the center of the back glass of an AR rifle. My husband is an avid hunter, sorry PETA….anyway when I pulled up to the school I thought about how this sticker may be offensive, therefore I was slightly paranoid for the next few hours that the school principal might show up in the gym and interrogate me, thankfully nothing ever came of it.

…Now this next part I’m dishing out for free, for your entertainment and pleasure…on Wednesday I stopped at the bank and decided it’d be best for me to run inside rather than attempt the drive-thru for fear of wiping out the building (or the truck). As I was getting ready to leave the lobby, our banker greeted me and casually asked, “Can I watch you get back into that truck?” ….ummm great grief, are you kidding me?!! Thanks for making it even more awkward lady!!… Continue reading “Drive It Like You Own It”

Sunshine Blogger Award

Thank you Vivian from God’s Whispers of Truth for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I always enjoy reading your blog for sweet inspiration and encouragement!

Be sure to check out Vivian’s blog if you haven’t already. Click on the link above and then read her “my story” page under the menu option and you’ll be hooked—you’ll see for yourself what a brave warrior she truly is.

About the Sunshine award:

This award is given to creative, positive and cheerful bloggers by other bloggers as a token of appreciation and admiration.

Here are the rules:

• Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to him/her.

• Answer the 11 questions provided by the blogger who nominated you.

• Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.

• Notify the nominees by commenting on one of their blog posts.

• List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post.

I’ll answer the questions Vivian had for me first:

1) What is the bible verse/passage which you turn to the most for comfort?

I’m obsessed with Philippians 4:13, ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength‘….probably because it was the first verse that spoke to my broken, lost heart at the time, it grabbed me and directed my attention to God, and still has a grip on me. It was also the first verse I memorized on my own without someone else’s input or influence. Continue reading “Sunshine Blogger Award”

Part 3: Remembering My Dad (lessons and spiritual growth)

That was nearly twenty years ago; I can still feel the sting of the pain even now…Goodness I miss my dad…

*This is part 3 of a 3 part series- links to parts 1 and 2 are located at the bottom of this post

Growing up I took for granted the idea of family time and commitment. We had many fun times, but I failed to place much value on our years together while they were occurring.

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Winter of 1999-a few months after my dad’s motorcycle accident

I’ve managed to mentally revisit and collect the moments we spent together and I hold on to those precious memories now.

I can also identify our number one struggle as well. We believed in God, but we were far from a relationship with Jesus, therefore our family-dynamic suffered in following Christian morals, which led to lenient parenting. Often times I was absent—drinking and partying with friends. House rules and expectations were shallow for me; late nights and a selfish mentality were abundant. Mistakes and poor choices were high as I ran wild.

It wasn’t until I was married with three young children and in my mid-twenties that I recognized the hurt and brokenness in me. I thought I could fix it on my own and I tried for the next five years.

I watched as my mother, meanwhile, had found healing over my father’s death by seeking Christ. I remember relying heavily on her for wisdom during that trying period and she pointed me to Jesus every time.

And then one day I finally submitted… Continue reading “Part 3: Remembering My Dad (lessons and spiritual growth)”

More Grace

Mother’s Day has just passed and although I enjoyed my day, this past week has challenged me to consider that perhaps I expect too much from my kids.
It’s good to want to see my children make right choices, to want them to try harder in school, and to do well in life, and love Jesus like crazy. But sometimes my expectations reach beyond what really matters and other times I fail to adequately communicate what I expect and just assume they already know.

Within the past few weeks my oldest daughter has misplaced the new jacket her dad and I recently bought her, and I’ve been annoyed by this; not just a little annoyed either. I’ve managed to get my daughter annoyed now also with my constant nagging, “did you leave it at school?” I’ll ask her one day, and then the next day, “maybe it got left at church?!”…“how about in the vehicle?!”

More than likely at this point, my poor girl (mentally) eats, sleeps, and drinks this jacket because of all my harping.
Chalk up another “mom-fail.”
Can I make matters worse?…Yes!!! Because let me not forget to mention that I’m ridiculously frugal and the jacket was an Old Navy clearance and cost only $5.97. I know you’re reading this and probably thinking ‘then just go buy a new one’ and I would…maybe, but we live a few hours away from the store, so whining about it seems like the logical and mature adult-way to handle this situation…
Now if there wasn’t a lesson to be learned in this I wouldn’t waste my time writing about it of course….sooooo guess who recently lost their water bottle? (the water bottle they’re obsessed with—the one they take everywhere—the water bottle that if two fills of it are drank each day, her daily water-drinking goal is met…)
Me!!!!

Continue reading “More Grace”