Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas in AZ

We have been having a wonderful time here in Az celebrating Christmas with our family. It was so nice to have my aunt, uncle and cousins here from Florida, as well as Andrew's dad here to celebrate with us! We have been busy hiking, eating, watching movies and spending time together. Poor Weston has had a pretty bad cold most of the time and the stomach flu hit two of my cousins, but over all it has been wonderful :)

This is a pic of Christmas dinner: Roasted pork tenderloin with a blackberry sauce, brussel sprouts and green beans with walnuts and parmesan, sauteed carrots with sage and au gratin potatoes

First glove from daddy
sisters singing carols

papa Ray
with Omie on Christmas eve

playing geezer golf in the yard
some cousin lovin
Uncle Ronnie's famous burgers in the making

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ist Christmas

Before heading off to Arizona on Monday, we had a little Christmas of our own with Nonni this past Friday. Weston enjoyed the tissue paper from the gift bags and loved looking at the little Santas on his Christmas pjs! We had so much fun with our little guy and look forward to many more Christmas memories with him. One of our favorite gifts was a handwritten Christmas letter from Andrew which brought a tear to my and Nonni's eyes. We will save Weston's letter for him to read some day, but we all are so blessed by the treasure that we have in our Andrew!

First Bible! Very is like a sanctified comic book :)

Love the Santa's on my feet

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas goodies!

Happy boys!

We are excited to have our Nanni here with us for a fun weekend doing
an early Christmas and concert at Grace Church

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Summarized

I am getting so excited for Christmas this year and it's not just because we will be on vacation with our family for 2 weeks! ( even though that is pretty exciting! ) I am also getting excited to celebrate the beautiful, yet true, story of God coming as a baby to save sinners. This year more than ever I am more aware of what God really did now that I have a baby boy of my own. What a humble way to enter His world, that He created with His mighty hand! A baby is so helpless and sometimes pitiful and it just blows my mind that our God would humble himself to the point of infancy just to show us His love.

In my time of reading today I came across this passage that summarizes Christmas for me in a such a neat way and I would never have expected to find it in the book of Titus!
Here it is: Titus 3:4-7
"But when the kindness of God our Saviour and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."

Saturday, December 5, 2009

More Thanksgiving fun

As promised here are more pics from our wonderful trip to Manteca and Weston's first Thanksgiving

Thanks Bob and Sue for having us over again this year for a fabulous feast!

The cousins are multiplying! Poor Weston doesn't have a sibling yet, but he doesn't seem to mind :)
The newbies to the group: Weston, Luke and Ava

Proud mommies!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

5 months today!

It's tiring being this cute!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving trip to Manteca

Joy and Weston helping Papa blow out his birthday candles
Don't you dare take away my bottle mommy!

Looking bored

Here are a few pics from our wonderful trip to Manteca for Thanksgiving. I will post some more later. We had a blast hanging out with Andrew's sister and brother in law and their two little ones as well as other members in the Gutierrez clan. What is nice is that even though the family is so big, many of them live in the area so we are always able to visit a few while we are there. The house is no longer calm and quiet like it used to be! ( not sure why the pics are fuzzy this time! Sorry , anyone know why this happens sometimes?)

Monday, November 23, 2009


This beautiful sunset was one of many that my parents get to experience from their backyard each night. For some reason the sunsets in AZ are so much more vibrant than the ones here! Sunsets and stars are two of my favorite things to view in God's creation and always remind me of His majesty and how big He truly is. That no sunset is ever the same and that there is no end to the vastness of space just speak of His awesomeness!
During Thanksgiving week when we were kids, my mom would have us ponder what we were thankful to God for and to prepare to share that around the Thanksgiving table on Thursday. I loved this tradition and even though I am not at home anymore with this assignment I have begun to ponder on the great blessings of this year and what I am truly thankful for.
But yesterday during church, what the pastor shared directed my heart in another direction. My previous answers at the Thanksgiving dinner table were usually thankfulness for family, friends, good food :), a great college roommate, etc etc. While all great things and things that God should be praised for the pastor had us think more deeply on thankfulness.
He took us to Luke and the story of the ten lepers. He miraculously healed all ten of their horrible disease but only one returned back to fall on his face before Christ and thank Him. Why? This one leper truly knew who Christ was and what He did. This one thankful leper received not only healing to his body, but to his soul as well. It is not until we recognize the horrible/diseased state our heart is in that we can truly be thankful for what Christ has done in our hearts. Once we see our sin we finally see our need for a Savior. And what a loving Savior He is! He will never turn away a broken heart over sin and that is what I am thankful for. He saved me, a sinner, at a young age but I am still learning to be thankful for what He actually did in my heart and my life. I forget often the miracle that was done in my diseased soul and the great and mysterious sacrifice of the cross. This year I hope to thank God for my salvation more and to realize that all the other blessings are really secondary in perspective.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

On the road again!

We are packed up and on the road once again, this time to Manteca for
Thanksgiving this week. We have had a busy week and our little guy is
tuckered out as you can see! He had his 4 month shots on Monday, poor
baby but is doing well. The only issue is he seems to be on a nursing
strike since Monday! Anyone had experience with this? But he is now
13lbs and showing no signs of being a little early praise God! He
laughs throughout the day at almost anything and just this week
mastered rolling on one side from his tummy to his back. He will also
now play with rattles and he loves anything that makes a crinkle
sound! So cute :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Birthday in Arizona

My Parents live in beautiful Scottsdale Az and we always like to drive out when we get the chance, but it has been over a year and a half since we have been out! So for my bday this year I decided it would be fun to come! We feel so refreshed after staying at their resort like house and it is a great place to get away from all the hustle and bustle. We arrived late night this past Thursday and it was so quiet out, it was eerie! We all have been sleeping so soundly and eating gourmet meals every day :) I get to stay until this Friday, but Andrew had to leave today to get back to school. More pics to come of Weston's first trip to AZ!

Believe it or not, this was my first car! I know I know...spoiled brat right?! Well my parents let us choose any used car we wanted if we waited until we were 18 to get our licences. I don't think they thought about classic cars being in that genre, but I did! My dad loves to fix up cars and motorcycles so this was our project. I found it in a guy's garage in 5 pieces, but envisioned this beauty! My dad has added alot more to the car under the hood in the past few years and let's just say it could get me to school now alot faster than it did when I drove it! In college I traded it back to my dad for a car less precious to beat around town in. Whenever we come to visit we always go for a ride. The inside smells wonderful if you like the smell of old classic cars and it always reminds me of those early mornings driving to school with my sister!
Target practice in the back yard of course!
Birthday dinner at Heirloom. I am sad I didn't take any pics of the amazing food we had that night! One of my fav chefs out here opened a new restaurant and my parents thought it would be fun to go and sit at the chefs table with a perfect view of the kitchen. How fun! We even got to walk around the kitchen after dessert. The chef de cuisine made us his own personal creation before we ordered: foie gras on baguette with some tarragon oil and a berry reduction. Andrew passed on that but it was amazing! Then I had a grilled quail terrine with greens, a crabcake in a fennel broth and then an olive halibut fillet with artichokes and roasted tomatoes! They brought out two fabulous desserts for us to try: a chocolate speckles cake and homemade doughnuts with lemon cream inside.  It was a great dinner and Weston slept pretty much the whole time as well! 

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

4 months!

Our guy is already four months! He is growing alot and likes to eat
all the time! This past month has been more of a challenge with
keeping up with his appetite and he also seems to have developed a
very sensitive tummy. Each day brings something new with our
expressive baby! He giggles each time we change him and talks to
himself quite loudly when he wakes up each am. So cute! He loves to be
on the go! He likes to look around at different people and places and
will now fuss if he gets bored :) he also Loves music. To help him
cheer up we put on this classical baby cd and he will lay and kick his
legs for a good 15-20 minutes! We are having so much fun

Great new bath tub!

So this is bathtub #3 that we have purchased! Who knew it would be
such a tricky thing? The first one wouldn't hold water (ironic) and
the second one Weston grew out of, but this one is genius! It is
inflatable so it is super soft all around and is much more portable
than the other awkward plastic ones. Weston loves it since he has room
to kick his legs and be on his belly. We love bathtime, we just need
to work on the drying off part...he screams like I am torturing him!

Trying rice cereal!

Our little guy is such a hungry man all the time that I decided to try
a teaspoon of cereal and see if he would like you can tell he
loves it! I'm not surprised as Weston loves any kind of eating
experience :) we will see how it goes!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Light and yummy! Shrimp cucumber cups

We are having some friends over for dinner tonight and I thought I
would share an old recipe I found again that I love! So easy and yummy
and great as an appetizer:

Cut one English cucumber into 1 inch pieces scooping out the middle.
Chop 1/2 pound cooked shrimp and combine with a little olive oil,
lemon juice, 1 garlic clove minced, 1 tablespoon chopped capers,
chopped fresh flat leaf parsley and salt and pepper. Fill cucumber
cups with shrimp mixture and your done!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Recent Happenings

We have been so spoiled lately as you can see in this pic, we have had
wonderful visitors! First my mom, dad and sister came for a few days,
my mom staying on an extra 2 weeks! And then Andrew's mom came for a
couple of days! So Weston had both grandmothers at the same time for a
day and loved it.
What a blessing to have family willing to drive many hours and many
miles to stay with us in our tiny place and to serve us with such love
and affection! Between all the cooking and cleaning being done for me
as well as the free babysitting, I am getting quite spoiled!
These visits have also come in a time when they were much needed. For
the past few months I have been struggling off and on with Vertigo
symptoms that actually started last year. For whatever reason the
symptoms have been much worse after Weston was born. Needless to say
that between Weston and I there have been quite a few doctors
appointments! (all his have been normal baby stuff)
I have been to my normal MD a few times, an ENT, had an MRI and just
recently went to the eye doc to figure out the problem. Praise God
nothing serious has been discovered and it may be as simple as needing
glasses! My vanity is fighting against the idea, and picking out
frames will be more painful than bathing suit shopping! But I am
grateful and hopeful that there is an end in site to the dizziness and
all the running around to appointments. In the meantime I have learned
how much more I need to grow spiritually. I found myself with a
complaining spirit and given to self pity after expecting (and frankly
thought I deserved) to feel great after I had our baby! Oh dear.
Although it isn't completely sinful to want to feel normal while
trying to learn to care for a newborn and accomplish everything it
requires to keep our home up to the health standards at least, it is
sinful for me to be complaining and lacking thanksgiving despite the
small trials! But our God is so faithful and is teaching me that no
matter the circumstances He is there and He is in control even when
there are unknowns. I should have this lesson down by now, but I hope
I'm a work in progress!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Family Photo Shoot- a month late!

A month ago we decided that we wanted to capture our little guy before he gets much bigger in a more professional way than my meager attempts at photography- and I'm sure you all are tired of the fuzzy iphone pics! Our friend Dave is an amazing photographer and here are some of our favorites from the day!