Monthly Archives

December 2013

Marriage, Money, Uncategorized

How to Avoid a Christmas Budget Blowout!

December 7, 2013

The Christmas Season….Family memories, special liturgies, beautiful decorations, delicious food, and the gifts. Sometimes these wonderful things can cloud one’s judgement financially and lead to regrets, stress, and a blown budget. Half of Americans are estimated to put Christmas on a credit card this year. Half of those are not planning to pay more than the minimum payments. Sounds like a set-up for a serious Holiday Hangover.


I don’t want you to end up looking like this guy at the end of Christmas. Or ever really.


I never told my money where to go…now I wonder where it all went!!!


What if you set aside a pre-determined amount of money for Christmas spending and then only spent that amount? You would have a Christmas budget.

You are in luck, friends.

This year, we found an awesome tool created by the Dave Ramsey team that will help us plan our Christmas budget and keep track of all expenses associated with each person on our list! That means we will have confidence and peace knowing that we’re buying things already budgeted for and working our way down the list without regrets! Ahhhh, freedom.

Please download it for free and let us know how it works for you!

christmas budget


Meet The Missionaries!

December 6, 2013

Some of you may be familiar with “missionary maps” we’ve sent out in paper form over the years. It was a lovely display of all FOCUS Missionaries across the nation divided by campus teams they serve with. Well, FOCUS is now officially too big to do the ole mish map! God is awesome.



If you want to see a great online equivalent so you can look at all the wonderful staff FOCUS  has across the nation, click here to see it!

I believe Jonathan and his team are on the second to last page and I am on the very last page. Yup, we haven’t updated our staff photo in 6 years. Don’t judge us ūüôā

Catholicism, Marriage

How We’re Celebrating Advent

December 3, 2013

Happy Advent!

I wanted to share some of our Advent traditions we are forming around the Teixeira home. I must tell you…it hasn’t been easy to choose these preparations. I tend to lean towards unleashing the Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving, fire up the oven for baking Christmas goodies, decorating the whole house in lights and ornaments. Jonathan tends to lean towards actually waiting to celebrate Christmas until it’s Christmas and using Advent as a time to prepare for Christmas…crazy, right?!?!¬†

You can imagine our clash in preferences…but by golly, I must admit Jonathan is right on this one. It’s Advent…a season of preparation. Good marketing in the last 30 years has eradicated the culture’s perception on the liturgical season of Advent. People jump right from Thanksgiving into the flurry of ¬†parties, music, baking, decorating, shopping, wrapping, eating, and celebrating so much so they are burnt out once Christmas actually arrives. Many people wake up the day after Christmas ready to clean everything up, assess the damage on their credit cards, exchange unwanted items, and move on with life. They’ve already been celebrating Christmas for weeks by this point.¬†Liturgically, this is just when the party should be getting started.¬†

So Jonathan and I struck a deal and decided to deck the house out Advent-style. We would put as much emphasis on Advent as the culture is trying to get us to prematurely put on Christmas. Check out some of the decorations.

We have a tree! It's complete with lights AND purple (color of Advent!) ornaments.

We have a tree! It’s complete with lights and purple (one of two Advent colors) ornaments.

A homeade Advent Wreath sits on our kitchen table now. Nearby are books we are using to pray nightly devotions and prayers.

A homeade Advent Wreath sits on our kitchen table. Nearby are books we are using to pray with. We chose a daily devotion filled with Mother Theresa reflections and the Christian Prayer booklet for Night Prayer.


Jonathan gets to light the candle AKA play with fire for a few minutes. This may or may not be his favorite part of the tradition.

Jonathan gets to light the candle AKA play with fire for a few minutes. This may or may not be his favorite part.

These are lavendar scented candles from Walmart. The pink one is Sweet Pea scented. There are WAY more sophisticated Advent Wreaths out there I suggest you copy. I am not the crafty type so this is what we’ve got folks. If you wander over to this blog¬†you will see more skill, crafts, and ideas for making Advent something to get the kiddos engaged in and excited about.

For the music…the only song I know that is Advent approved is “O Come O Come Emmanuel” so I created a playlist on Spotify with 135 versions sung by different artists. If you know of any more, I would really appreciate it. The best versions I have found so far:

1. O Come O Come Emmanuel by The Piano Guys –¬†

2. O Come O Come Emmanuel by The Civil Wars –¬†

3. O Come O Come Emmanuel by Matt Maher –¬†

4. O Come O Come Emmauel by Sufjan Stevens –¬†

5. O Come O Come Emmanuel by Shane and Shane –¬†

Lastly, we dress in the corresponding candle color of the week to Sunday Mass, per Jonathan’s request (not an unusual request if you know my husband at all). ¬†I couldn’t get a photo to turn out yesterday but I wore a purple scarf and Jonathan wore a purple shirt. We will continue this next week and the last week of Advent. On the third Sunday in Advent, Gaudete Sunday, we will show up wearing pink.

There you have it. What are your Advent traditions??? We’d love to hear them!



Infertility, Marriage

My favorite Infertility Blogs

December 2, 2013

Without a doubt, embracing infertility has been one of the hardest crosses in our marriage. For anyone reading this with infertility struggles, past or present, I am sure you can relate.

It’s hard not to judge time in “years of infertility” or by the various medical tests and treatments we’ve exhausted…to choose hope and joy in the present moment. By God’s grace, a great doctor/nurses, and good family/friend support, we keep puttering on somehow. I don’t mean to sound all gloom and doom…that wouldn’t be an accurate depiction of our life since we really are blessed in many ways. But this cross, like none other I’ve faced, has a way of weaving itself into every single day at some point. There’s no escaping it, especially since every single day brings a unique regimen of medicine/tests.

Something that makes the journey easier are great infertility blogs out there from women who have experienced(-ing) infertility first-hand. I find them honest, vulnerable, witty, relatable, and most of all Рrefreshing!

Without further ado, here are the blogs I enjoy most (Updated April 2016):

Primary Infertility


Secondary Infertility

Crossing Over/Pregnancy/Parenting after Infertility