growing up.

This weekend was our, much anticipated, birthday party weekend. We started celebrating on Tuesday (which was Teo and Eva's actual birthday). Felipe had the day off from work and I just worked a half day, so we could get in some quality family time on this special day. We packed a picnic lunch to take to the pool and spent the afternoon entertaining the kids with thier cousin, Andrea (who also shares their birthday - but she's 13 years older ;))! It was a good day. It was a great day, actually. It was the kind of day that was so peaceful, enjoyable, laid back, and carefree - that you laugh at everything, and care about nothing (except the things that are REALLY worth caring about - like my family) - kind of days. It was just what we needed.

And before I knew it, it was Saturday (party day). Everything went off without a hitch (since I don't consider only giving myself an hour to set up a "hitch"). We started party-ing around 11:30, and the rain held out until 4:30, which was perfect timing, as we were packing everything up around 4:15. Teo had so much fun with all his cousins and family. And we made sure to capture some memories for Eva to relive (through photos), so she can see how everyone singing her Happy Birthday made her cry. Of course, I don't think it was the actual song that made her cry, but more-so the volume of the song that did her in. Speaking of singing Happy Birthday... Teo LOVES to sing, and he sings Happy Birthday all the time. He will sing it at the top of his lungs, solo, on demand, or on a whim if he wants to. He just loves to sing it. And when I say, "Ok, its time to sing Happy Birthday..." before I can get another syllable out of my mouth, he's bellting it out for everyone to hear and gets halfway through before I can get his attention to tell him to stop and wait for everyone else to sing along. So, I think Teo sang Happy Birthday to himself about three times in all, plus a couple times to Eva... What can I say - he may be the spitting image of his dad, but he is his mommy's boy - a persister, through and through.

The house was a DISASTER when we finally got home, and Eva went down for her, much needed, nap right away. But, Teo was SO excited over his new toys, he just played and played and played, and eventually I managed to muster up enough motivation to start cleaning up, setting up new toys, and rearrange their room to accomodate said toys. It was a long day. But, SUCH a good one :)

We were up-and-adam early on Sunday, as we wanted to catch the early service (9:30 - which is early for us) at church. I'm not sure the message could've been more fitting if I'd picked it myself. It was about parenting. Not a "how to" or even, "how [not] to", but more of a "let God". It was a wonderful reminder to me, on the heels of celebrating the awesome lives of our two kids with their birthday, that my children are uniquely and amazingly created by God to do unique and amazing things for God. And the most important job of ours, as their parents, is not to make sure they are the best dressed in their class, or the smartest kid in their Pre-K, or the most popular, the best athlete, or most accomplished musician in whole wide world. The most important job of ours, as their parents, is to make sure they know who God is. To make sure they know that God loves them no matter what failures or successes they experience in their lives. To make sure they know that God does not measure them by what they can bring to His table, but rather on how they respond to what He brings to theirs.

My kids are 3 and 1, and I have no idea what I'm going to be when I grow up - much less what they are going to be when they grow up. But, I know that God is sovereign. He is purposeful, and He is a planner. He's got this. Which is awesome. When I remember that, a weight is lifted. And rest results. Thank you Jesus, that I don't have to worry about the things that I worry about. I pray to be wise in the ways of Christ - to point myself and my kids in the direction of Him - "Seek first the kingdom of God..." and know that He's got the rest. Because, in 20 years, my kids will be 23 and 21 (and I don't even want to think of how old I'll be), and I can't think of ANYTHING in the world that I could give them now that'll do them any good then, other than the knowledge, truth and love of God - and to teach them about faith in Him. Even if I could give them a million dollars and the best financial planner in the world to go along with that million dollars... money, and the beautiful things it can buy will not last. And I've never seen anyone use a fancy car as a casket, and the rings on your fingers don't usually make it to your body's final resting place. So, I can spend my energy, effort and heart teaching my kids to "chase after the wind" - and keep chasing and chasing and chasing, because we all know how quickly the wind changes (styles, technology, phones, cars, trends, etc.). Or, I can spend my energy, effort and heart teaching my kids to chase after the One the NEVER changes, NEVER leaves, NEVER not loves or provides in His own way. That's the BEST thing I can ever do for my kids. And Lord knows how badly I'm capable of screwing that up too - so I pray for His grace to help me teach them right and well, and to be an example of it all for them.