Tag Archives: dear cruz

dear cruz and rider,

4 Jun

Sometimes, being busy is a good thing. Sometimes, it’s not. I feel like for myself, these past several weeks have been a mix of both extremes. I have been finding myself extremely overwhelmed with work, thankful for the job I have, busily rushing around you both, AND trying to make intentional time to focus on you and just to be a mom too. This balance that I have to find, I will never understand. I’m often told by other mom’s that it looks like I am super mom. That it looks like I have it all together. And that I do it with grace. While those are HUGE compliments to me and also very encouraging, I DO sometimes feel like the world is running AROUND me. That I’m NOT making time for what’s important. And I’m constantly feeling guilty for the nights that I can’t tuck you in. AmI doing the right things here? Do I work too much? Am I shuffling around my boys- the very REASON why I stayed home to begin with?

It’s a constant battle. One that I fight every day in an effort to make sure that I am maintaining some sort of BALANCE. And it’s not ever easy. I find that in my life, Satan does everything that is possible to make sure that the balance in my life is constantly chaos. If it’s chaos, it means that I am doing something very, very wrong. And it means that I’m not focusing on what’s important here. And that I’m not spending time with Jesus and allowing HIM to direct my steps. It only means that I’m relying on myself and all the things that I think are important to get done. And I’m not focusing on things from above, like the Bible calls us to.

Anyways. I guess this quick little letter is my way of saying. ‘I’m sorry’ to you both. You’re both too little to understand all of this big vocabulary, but someday you will. I’m sorry that I’ve spent the last few months rushing around you, impatient, sleep deprived, and grumpy. Mommy is doing some things to get back on track, including changing my diet so I’m not so irritable. I’ve been really, really horrible at keeping and maintaining any kind of balance these days. And you boys have gotten the short end of the stick, somewhat. I do promise you, that mommy is doing the best that she can. And I promise you that you really ARE the first things I think about when it comes to any decision I have to make. And I promise you that I’m going to strive for more balance in all the areas of our lives. And that when the balance scale is starting to tip, I will be more intentional about spending time with Jesus to get me back on track instead of just plowing forward, hoping the season will end soon.

Even though I am your mommy, and I’m trying to do the very best that I can, I still make mistakes too. I’m still learning and growing too. And I’m so lucky to have both of you as my little boys. Both of you sweet, patient with me, forgiving. And loving me enough to see past the mistakes I’m making along the way. I’m so grateful that we are in this journey together as a support system to one another. That’s what family is. And I’m so glad you’re mine.

I love you all the time.

Mommy xo


dear cruz,

3 Jun

It took almost 8 months, but you finally decided that your brother isn’t actually that bad. Your first bath together was one of my happiest and greatest moments to date as a mamma. Nothing thrilled me more than to watch you two playing together and making each other laugh. I think you sat there for an entire five minutes mimicking Rider’s squeals and babbles and it made him laugh endlessly. Which then made you laugh endlessly. Which made me cry watching you two.

I knew there HAD to be a day that you would come around and enjoy having Rider here. You just weren’t totally into it right from the beginning. And while I did spend sometime stressing out and praying about it, I actually wouldn’t have it any other way! The moment that you wanted to get into the bath and play with Rider for the first time was THE BEST moment. And I’d do the past eight months over again in the same exact way to have my heart as full as it was in that moment.

Totally worth it.

I think I will cherish whatever relationship you have with your brother MORE, simply because it hasn’t been the easiest road ever since we introduced him to you. But I know that you love him. Now that he interacts a little bit more and can already laugh at your jokes, I see a beginning of a very special friendship happening. And it fills my heart and makes me do nothing but want to cry.

I know all too well how special it is to be close to your siblings. To have them as your best friends and to love being with them. I have wanted nothing less for the two of you. And while I realize that I can’t FORCE it to happen in MY time, I have been praying that you two would be close someday.

It just hasn’t happened in my timing. As most things don’t.

I am beyond happy for bath time these days. It’s about fifteen minutes a day where I can count on the fact that you two will play well together. That you will make each other laugh and enjoy being brothers in the water together.

I deeply hope and pray that this is a glimpse into the future for you both. That you will grow up the best of buds and that your adult years will be full of love, friendship and being there for one another. As best friends and family do. I can only hope and pray that you will find friendship in one another as I have in my sisters. Yes, you’ll fight and want to kill each other sometimes. But you’ll be the first to stand up for one another when they need it. Or you’ll be there when hearts get broken, as much as that thought pains me. I pray for a special friendship and bond between the two of you. One that you both will one day realize is so special and that you’ll take care of.

These are the moments that make all the hard stuff SO worth it. All the frustration, sleepless nights, tears- GONE in this instant. And it makes me realize that while this job is HARD (being mom), I’d do all of it all over again to be able to sit and savor moments like these. I’ll never forget this moment, Cruz. When you asked to get into the bath with brother and when you decided that he’s actually not THAT bad after all.

I can only hope and pray for a thousand more moments just like this.

I love you Cruz. You are a special little boy. I pray that you and Rider will have a friendship that will grow over the years in whatever capacity it should grow. I know that you will become the best big brother that there is. And I’m so proud of this sweet moment that you wanted to get in and play with him.

It’s enough to fill my heart for a LONG time.

I love you always,



dear cruz,

20 Jan

If I could teach you just one thing in this life, aside from teaching you about Jesus, I hope and pray that I can teach you this:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:6-9

This is something that I am still trying to learn. It’s something I struggle with every day, and something I pray that I won’t struggle with for much longer. But this passage is really hard for me. It’s hard, in this world we live in, to not be anxious about anything. To not worry about everything. To not be fearful.

I understand, completely.

Cruz, when life is overwhelming, when your mind won’t shut off, when fear takes over and when you’re anxious about so many things and you don’t know why- know that you can trust our Almighty Savior. Mediate on this passage. Trust in Jesus. And pray without ceasing. There’s so much about this life and this world that doesn’t make sense. There’s so much bad, anger and hate in the world and it is scary. Evil is scary. This life is only for a moment. Don’t waste your whole life being afraid and anxious about everything. Dwell on things that are pure and right and honorable. Fill your mind with the positive. Surround yourself with things that are true and pure. Guard your heart. Guard your mind. God promises peace. God is peace. Fill your life with Him, and you will live a life of peace. Even if everything around you is not peaceful.

I pray for you every day, Cruz. I pray that you and Rider both will live lives that are free of anxiety and fear. Lives that are full of peace and truth and honor. Do not be afraid. God is with you and will uphold you. Trust in Him, for He never fails.

I love you, my sweet boy.



dear cruz,

30 Nov

You turned 2 this month. Two years old. TWO. I just know I am going to blink and you’ll be turning 14 soon.

And I am so not ready for that.

It’s been a crazy season, ever since we brought brother home. That first week home with the two of you was probably one of the hardest weeks of my entire life. I thought for sure that you were wondering if things were ever going to be the same again. I wondered if you were confused. I wondered if you were mad at me. And that thought almost killed me. But over the past almost 12 weeks, daddy and I have watched you adapt and grow to really love your little brother. And nothing warms my heart more than when you lean in to give him kisses. Or when you still like to help me burp him. Or how you ask to go see him every morning if he’s not awake when you get up. It’s a special thing, to watch two brother’s relationship and friendship begin to develop. I pray for it to grow every single day. And I can’t wait for the day when you two will be running around wreaking havoc and getting into all sorts of mischief.

But then I can wait. Not just because of all the mischief that’s headed my way. But because I am all too familiar with how horribly fast this life goes. And I don’t want to miss it.

You are such a special kid. You are talking more and more these days- sometimes in complete sentences! You repeat EVERYTHING we say. Everything. It has us laughing all day long. You started sleeping in a big boy bed last week. And while I have an entire post on that coming, I’m happy to report that you have completely blown us away with how easy that transition was!

Can potty training be that easy please?

Your daddy and I often look at each other after you’ve said or done something and we say out loud how truly awesome you are. It’s true. You are seriously one awesome little dude. We have been so blessed by your life and you bring SO much to our lives. When I was a kid and imagined what my future children would be like, I had no idea that God was going to bless me with two of the most amazingly cool little boys ever. You are one special boy Cruz.

You bless my life so much, everyday.

So here’s to another year together little guy. I’m the luckiest girl to be your mamma.

I love you forever!


dear cruz,

9 Sep

You are about to become a big brother. A BIG BROTHER! It’s pretty crazy that God has chosen you to be a big brother to a little brother. There really is nothing like having a younger sibling or two. Being the oldest is something special indeed. You will have Rider who will look up to you, respect you and want to BE you in a lot of ways. I pray every day that your friendship and love for each other is as strong as me and my sisters. It’s really special Cruz, to have a little brother. It’s something that will be annoying at times and one that you’ll truly grow to value in your life. There aren’t many people who are more important than my sisters. It’s a very special relationship that will always be apart of your life soon here! Mommy and Daddy are so excited for this new change- to add Rider to our crazy life and to bring him home to meet you! For so long you’ve just been talking to and kissing my belly, trying to understand what we mean when we tell you that your brother is in there. And you get to meet him soon! And he will be your little brother always; someone who thinks you are the greatest person on earth and who just wants to be near you, with you and just like you. You have a special role, my son, as big brother. And Mommy can’t believe it’s almost here!

Mommy has been making sure to do some fun things with you this week. We had a special ‘cookie date’ at Paradise Bakery, where I learned that you LOVE the sprinkle cookies as much as I do! I tried to eat the cookie fast so I could have some too, but you loved it and so while we tried to share, you pretty much ate all of it. Ha! Mommy loved sitting there with you as you played with Woody, Buzz and your cars, knowing that these were one of our last little ‘dates’ where Rider wasn’t in the picture. I truly took it all in, watching you eat, laugh and play. Chocolate chips ALL over your mouth and letting you take sips of soda. It was a great memory for Mommy and I always have the best time when it’s the two of us.

Daddy and I took you to Peter Piper Pizza, wondering if there would be things for you to do there since you are so little. But you LOVED it. You loved ‘playing ski-ball’ with Daddy, riding the carousel and playing other various games that you really are too young to play right now. And although you wouldn’t even TASTE the pizza (you’re missing out kid!) you were such a blast to hang out with. When it was time to leave, you didn’t want to go, asking for More! More! We’ll go back there soon, I promise.

I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around what life’s going to look like once Rider’s here. And Mommy has been crying a lot lately, at the thought of it not just being us two anymore. I always wonder if I have had enough time with just you. And while God’s design for our family has looked different than what we planned at this point, we are SO excited for Rider to come. The uncertainty of it all makes me nervous, but I know that God’s grace will cover us and I pray more than anything that it will cover YOU. That this transition will be smooth and gentle on your tender spirit. I promise that Mommy will still give you all the same love and more after Rider comes. I promise that Mommy and Daddy will always take care of you like we do right now. And I promise that once Mommy is feeling better after having Rider, we will have many more cookie dates and McDonald’s dates like we do now. You are my special first born child. I can’t imagine ever loving another child the way I love you. And yet, I know I am about to experience it. I am about to enter into a world where I have TWO little boys to love on and cherish. How did I get so lucky, Cruz? How did God choose YOU to be a part of Mommy and Daddy’s lives? You will never be forgotten as we add onto our family. You will never be left behind. You will always be my little Cruzer, someone who is incredibly special to us and who has changed our lives in all the best ways possible.

You are going to be a big brother. Wow. You are going to be the best big brother there is, I just know it. And always remember how much Mommy and Daddy love you. Always remember how much we are blessed by you. And when you’re a little older and Rider’s getting on your nerves, remember what it means to be a big brother. Have patience with him. He loves and looks up to you so much and only wants to be with and like you every second. You’re one cool dude in his world. Give him grace and space to be his own person. Come to his defense when he needs it, but step back from time to time too. I will always be praying for a healthy brotherly love for you two- that you would be the best of friends who play hard and fight some too (it’s good for the soul!). But that at the end of the day, you would both be Godly men who seek Jesus in every aspect of your lives. And that you would encourage one another, lift each other up, and be the best of friends. No matter how hard life gets or where it may take you.

Mommy loves you Cruz. You are so special to me. You’ve taught me more in these past 22 months than I’ve ever learned in my whole life. Seeing the world through your eyes has taught me more about myself, my friendships, and my perspective than ever before. And you didn’t even know you were doing that for me! You are a very special little guy- the coolest kid on the block, but one with such a sweet, tender spirit and gentle demeanor. Mommy and Daddy wouldn’t change what we have in you for anything. We love you tremendously Cruz. There is no one else like you.

I love you so much,


dear cruz,

19 Jul

I could almost cry instantly these days, that our days of it just being you and me are numbered. Don’t get me wrong- I am SO excited/nervous/anxious/elated to be adding your little brother to this crazy mix of our lives. I know that once he gets here, it will almost seem impossible to think of life without him. This, I do know. But I am about 8 weeks away from meeting his little darling face and while I can’t wait in most aspects, I am also wondering what you are going to think about all this. Did I have enough time with just you? Did I give you everything you need from me before my attention will be divided?

Ok. Now I’m crying as I type this. I didn’t think I’d get through it. HA! Stupid pregnancy hormones.

But in all seriousness, I am anxious about the fact that I won’t be able to focus all my attention on you simply because I feel like you are so little! And while I do know that you are way smarter than even I give you credit for, I wonder if you will be confused while I’m in the hospital. Will you be scared when you come to visit me at the hospital? Will you wonder why you have to leave when Daddy, your brother and I stay there for a couple days? Will the transition of bringing Rider home be hard for you? I don’t want it to be. I want you to always know that even though your brother will be as loved by me and Daddy, you will never be tossed aside or not as important to me.

It just scares me that you won’t understand.

I know it will all be a transition and that we will have good and bad days in the beginning. Well, always. HA! But I have been praying (and will continue to pray) that you and your brother will become instant buddies. Best friends. That you will love each other only as brothers can. That your special bond and friendship will be so special and so unique and so awesome. That you will fight with each other as brothers do, but that you’ll love each other more because of it. That jealousy won’t be an issue in our home. And that both you and Rider know that Daddy and I love you both individually, but the same amount.

A part of me wonders if I truly savored these past almost two years that I’ve had with you. Did I absorb all of the ‘you and me time’ that we’ve had? Did I take it for-granted? I’d like to think that I truly took advantage of it and that I enjoyed you while I only had one to love on and spoil- somewhat. Ha. I’m trying to take in these last few weeks that we have, Cruz, of just you and me and Daddy too. You have been more special to me in these past almost two years than you will ever know. It’s hard to imagine loving someone else as much as we love you. It’s impossible to imagine how I’m going to divide my time.

And my true fear is that you will feel forgotten.

I have loved these days with just you my little Cruzer. You’ve taught me and Daddy more about love and life that you will ever know or realize. And your brother will do the same for us too once he’s here. But you need to know and remember that we will never stop loving you. We will never forget you. We will always be with you. No matter how many other kids we have and love. You will always be special. You will always be my first son. And you will always be so important and loved by us. I’m sure Rider will be born and I will wonder why I was so worried. But with the unknowns looming in the near future, you need to know that while this is a fear of Mommy’s right now, you will ALWAYS be my special Cruz.

And that while I think I couldn’t possibly love you more, when I wake up tomorrow, I will. It’s amazing how much God’s taught me about love since you’ve been born. I can’t even fathom how much he loves us. Because I feel like He can’t possibly love us more than I love you.

And He does.

I love you Cruz. No matter what comes, that will not ever change!

Love Always,


dear cruz,

2 Jun

Mommy and Daddy have been so busy this month. May has been the one month looming on the calendar that overwhelmed me just from looking at our calendar. We managed to photograph 4 weddings, a good amount of lifestyle sessions, a boudoir shoot and a birth. Each of these experiences and photoshoots are things we are extremely grateful for, so there’s no complaining out of us! But it’s been a very busy month.

To top it off, we moved this month. And that means, we had to find renters, fix up and clean our home in Gilbert, find a new place for us to live, pack, move, unpack, and get settled. Mommy took one trip to California for work. Daddy took a trip up north for work. All of this, with all of our photo shoots AND the edits that are piling up all happened within the same four weeks of May.

In the blink of an eye, May was over.

I’m telling you all this because I’ve been away from you a lot this month. I know there are a lot of mommies out there that go to work every day and are away from their babies and children much more than I am away from you. And I’m thankful that we’ve found a way for me to be at home as much as I am with you.

But since I am a full time stay at home working mom, and due to the industry I’m in, it does require me to be away from you some to work and to run our business successfully. This is so good for mamma- to have her own dreams, aspirations, achievements, goals outside of being a mamma. I see and understand that. I value it immensely too. But like every other mom out there, I’m also flooded with guilt from being away from you so much at times- even though I know you are always in good hands, taken care of by people who love you so much and who would never hurt you. But I still struggle with guilt from time to time while I’m away and working.

Or even if I’m in the same room and working.

I feel like no one prepared me for the amount of guilt that every mom feels at times. And I know it’s Satan, just trying to make me feel like I’m a worthless mother and that I’m not making good decisions for you. That I’m never spending enough time with you. That you’re growing up too fast and OMG, am I missing it??

It’s these thoughts that are very overwhelming to me. And I know I’m not the only one.

So while it’s on my mind, I wanted to make sure I wrote you a letter to remind you that no matter how busy we get, no matter how much we work or don’t work, you and your brother will always be one of our top priorities. You are always on my mind Cruzer. Dadda and I are always thinking about how we can make a good life for you guys and how we can provide for you and take good care of you. Mamma doesn’t like being away from you. But when I start to feel guilty, I try to remind myself about how truly blessed and lucky I am. I get to work at home with you there on most days. And while it does make for crazier days and weird working hours, there’s nothing I’d trade for it.

I try to remind myself that it’s good for me to have some space; to have my own thing that’s completely separate from being a mom. And while I do love being a mom more than anything, I do feel like there is a good balance in my life. Once I’ve had a crazy few days of work, it’s actually refreshes me to be a better mom in some cases. When I write it all out and read it over, it makes me feel like I have nothing to feel guilty over! Which is true, but every mom experiences it on some level and at some point.

Just remember my little man, when mamma has crazy busy days or months with work, you, dadda and Rider are always at the top of my thoughts and priorities. And always remember how God truly blessed me beyond words with the ability to work from home at something I love as a career more than anything I’ve ever loved as work in all my life.

When guilt creeps in your life, push it out. We have so much to be thankful and grateful for.

I’ll remember that too.

I love you forever,


dear cruz,

8 Apr

You are going to be a big brother! And what’s funny is, you don’t even know it yet! You are too little, my little man, to understand that there is another addition the family who is on their way. I’ve just recently tried explaining to you that there’s ‘a baby in mommy’s tummy’. Oddly enough, I do think you understand what I’m saying. But I know you don’t fully understand what is about to happen.

Well, in about 5 months or so.

You are going to be the most amazing big brother. I still can’t believe that we are going to be adding another kiddo to the mix- it’s hard for me to even imagine or comprehend loving another child as much as I love you. It feels like there’s only room in my heart for you! But every mamma who’s gone before me has told me that once that second baby is born, you do love them as much as the first.

And that there’s no way to describe how it happens.

But it does.

You are learning so much these days. Every day I feel like you start to learn how to say a new word! You love being outside. You say, “Side! Side!” when I ask if you want to go play or if you get bored if we’re indoors to long. You say, “Wow!!” whenever Dadda or I open the garage door. And when I sing to you before bed in the rocking chair in your room, you look up at me and say. “Mamma, Mamma..” over and over again during the whole song.

There’s no better sound than your little voice saying. “Mamma”.

You are a special little boy, Cruz. I love learning from you and watching you learn from us. I can’t wait to see you teach your future brother or sister and watch you two play and grow together. I can’t wait.

But in the meantime, I will wait. Instead of being too anxious for the next one to come, I am going to treasure the time left I have with just the two of us. Attention will be divided once this little baby gets here, and mommy worries about that all the time. But I can promise you, way before brother or sister is here, that you will always be my special boy. And I will always love you as much as I do now.

Probably more, even. If that’s possible.

I would like to slow down time for a little bit. So you can be little forever, looking up at me while I sing ‘Jesus Loves Me’ to you, saying “Mamma, Mamma” over and over again. Just slow it down for a minute. Just take in how small you are and not think about how every day is another day towards you becoming a man. I just want to savor these times with you. You are so little and you are my only baby, right now. It’s not going to be like that forever and I desperately want to remember every second.

I’m excited for the future, Cruz. I’m so thrilled you’re going to have a brother or a sister soon. And I can’t wait to watch you two grow up together. I also want you to remember that I will never love you less than I do right now. It’s not even possible. And while I will make room for your brother or sister in my heart (and already have), you are so incredibly special to me. You always will be and nothing can change that.

I love you my Cruzer man! You are my most special, precious little boy.

Love, Mamma

dear cruz,

20 Jan

I feel like every time I sit down to write these letters to you, the only reasonable way I find myself starting each letter is with “I can’t believe how big you are getting.” But it’s very true. And it’s a thought that crosses my mind every single day. And I’m told that it will cross my mind every day for the rest of my life.

You are into everything these days. You love to point at the lamps, lights, fans, windows, even the microwave. You are curious about everything. And when I explain things to you, you contemplate everything that I am saying and take it all in. It’s as if you’re an adult listening to me intently. And you look at me like to want to respond with a full sentence, but you can’t quite yet. But you are very, very smart. Daddy and I can already tell.

I am eager to know what your gifts and talents are. What will I be driving you to and from on Saturday mornings? Who are your friends going to be? Are you going to love Jesus? There’s so many things I wonder about you. There’s so many things that I can’t wait to find out! You surprise me with new things every day. It’s such a blessing watching you grow up. You, sweet Cruz, are the biggest blessing of all my life. When I was pregnant with you, I only thought about how I was going to have a baby. And how I was going to be a new mom. And how I was going to do the best I could with Daddy to raise you right, along with any future brothers or sisters.

And then you were born.

And I’m not sure what we did right to deserve such an amazing little guy like you. I had no idea that you were going to be the most interesting, coolest little kid with the best personality ever. You have only exceeded my wildest expectations Cruzer. And all you’ve done is be YOU these past 14 months. And these have been the hardest most fulfilling 14 months of my entire life.

And I wouldn’t change any single thing about it.

I love you my Cruzer, with all of my heart.

dear cruz,

29 Nov

We have a lot to be thankful for.

Today looks a lot different for us than it did a year ago. So much has changed and we have never been more grateful that it has. I had no idea that I’d be where we are, but I am so thankful for God’s direction in our life. He is here, Cruz. He is watching out for us and protecting us.

It’s amazing how much YOU have changed in one year! Every mamma who’s gone before me has told me that it goes by so fast. And they are so right. This year has just flown by without a second glance. I’m told that pretty soon I’ll be teaching you how to drive, watching you go off to college, raising kids of your own. That in a blink of an eye you will be all grown up and I will be wondering where did the time go.

That thought makes me sad, but so excited for you too. I’m so thrilled to be able to watch your life grow right before my very eyes. I haven’t missed it! I haven’t missed out on you and I can boldly say that I really have taken the time to enjoy my time with you. Right before you were born, mommy was faced with decisions that wouldn’t allow her to work anymore. There wasn’t any possible way that I could work at my current job AND put you first, despite what was promised to me. And I knew that I didn’t want to miss out on anything during your first year on this earth. Choosing to stay home and make my own career path has never been a better idea and it’s never been a decision that was blessed MORE.

I am thankful for you. Cruz. I’m thankful for dadda- a man who is humble and stands for what is right all the time. A man who cares about other people and who seeks God in everything he does. I’m thankful for our jobs and for God’s ability to give us the desires of our hearts- in His timing. I’m thankful for Audio, our puppy, who you adore. I’m thankful for opportunities on the horizon. I’m thankful for life and for how different things are this year. Change is exactly what we needed and God has directed our steps all the way.

So while you’re first year of life has been one of change and uncertainty for us, I’ve never been more happy to walk through that uncertainty and change. It has truly shaped us, grown us and brought us to a place that I never thought we’d be. Be thankful for a God who loves us, Cruz. A God who allows us the freedom to make our own decisions, but who leads us if we just trust Him.

And you can trust Him. He will never fail.