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Little Happies: Musical Memories

September 15, 2014

Last week was a sad and tragic week in our family.

A beloved member was taken from this life and welcomed into the next…sooner than anyone would’ve expected. Thank you all for your prayers for Caitlin’s family and especially my cousin Jeff at this time. Please keep lifting them up in prayer since it will be a long road ahead.

On that somber note, I am jumping back into the Little Happies Monday posts.

This week, I am drawing from music that has made me happy or was tied to a season/memory in my life. These by no means are my favorite songs now so don’t judge me. 🙂



Let’s travel back to 1988 when I was three years old and THIS song came on the radio.

An instant classic, I’d say.

Why at three years old was I listening to and loving a song about a romantic getaway? Who knows but it was sure fun to dance to.



I used to lock myself in my bedroom during middle school and BLARE this song.


Because it was in the movie Man Of The House  and I was OBSESSED with Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Like, two entire bedroom walls covered in posters of JTT’s face from Teen Beat Magazine obsessed.

So, as I lay there I would think about how cool JTT was and how much I liked his long hair. (Currently I am married to another Jonathan who had long hair at one point…hmmm)



Let’s just get it out there.

I am dramatic.

OK, it’s been said.

Remember this song? After I saw Titanic three times in theaters, I had to get the soundtrack ASAP.

For weeks I had a routine of, yet again, locking myself in my bedroom with the lights out and dozens of candles lit as I would blare this song and sing into a hairbrush while looking into a mirror and bawling my eyes out as I sang….pretending to be Celine Dion or Rose Dawson depending on the day.

Those were glorious moments for a twelve year old.



And then NSYNC happened.

I loved ALL their songs so really there wasn’t one particular favorite.

But this song had a really cool music video that I loved so much I taped it on VHS during TRL (Total Request Live on MTV for you youngings). I watched it daily for weeks after school, thinking about how someday maybe I could meet J.C. (Weirdly enough Jonathan actually has met and talked to J.C. from NSYNC. First JTT and now J.C. Chasez? I was meant to be with this guy!)

NSYNC jams basically dominated the rest of my High School years but I won’t torture you all with more of their hits.



I am not sure exactly when I heard this song but it simply reminds me of college and being in Alpha Phi. There must have been several spontaneous dance parties to this hit. It’s just so fun! 🙂



College is also when I started listening to Christian music for the first time.

I love good and well done Christian music but you have to sort through a LOT of fluff and cheesy songs.

This song was one I loved from the get go. I heard it my freshman year of college and it reminds me of a summer program I experienced with a non-denominational ministry in Jacksonville, FL for ten weeks one summer with nearly 100 other college students. That summer was INCREDIBLE and really helped me set a foundation of daily prayer in my life. I will never forget it.



I hear this song and I think of Fall 2008.

It was my first year as a missionary with FOCUS – Fellowship of Catholic University Students and I was placed at University of Illinois. All the students were listening to it that Fall. It was my first time living away from Nebraska…totally on my own. I really grew up that Fall and this song just represents that time for me.



Summer 2010 and The World Cup!

I was at a FOCUS New Staff Training that summer and due to the World Cup everyone had soccer fever. I played dozens of pickup soccer games. And along with about a hundred other women on staff, we learned a coordinated dance to this song. It was a blast.

It also was the summer Jonathan and I began dating 🙂



This is a song that reminds me of dating and marrying Jonathan.

We had a few rocky patches while dating and this song always spoke to me and filled me with profound peace that we would make it through…with God’s love.

Well we got engaged and on October 22, 2011 we got married and this was the song we danced to at our wedding.



Oh the waiting.

This song reminds me of two periods of my life – singleness and infertility.

I used to go on long runs and have this song play on repeat as I tried to absorb the lyrics and instill an attitude of patiently waiting within my heart and mind. Usually I just ended up crying as I ran for miles.



This song isn’t related to a specific season of life…rather a specific night.

We were out cruising Denver on a Friday night and we pulled up to a red stop light. There was a car on our right-hand side, windows down, blaring this song. They were jamming out to it. Hard. Their car was shaking they were dancing so hard. Jonathan rolled our windows down and began dancing and screaming along with them. They noticed and we all started hysterically laughing. We were then informed that one of the guys was getting married the next day. We cheered him on gladly. Then the light turned green and we were off.



This song was one that Caitlin loved.

It was played at her Celebration of Life service.

I will always think of her when I hear it for the rest of my life. It’s really a peaceful song and it makes me want to tell her “Yes. We love you…and you will always be beautiful.”

May the light and life of Christ shine within you, dear Caitlin, making you radiantly beautiful and more alive than ever. We love you!

Well that’s a Little Happy wrap!

What songs remind you all of certain memories or seasons in your life? Let me know in the comments!



Little Happies: BABY REGISTRY!!

August 4, 2014


Welcome back to the littlest happy link-up on the planet! 🙂

Here are some of the happy things going on in our neck of the woods:



We had a bottle of whipped cream in our fridge I had completely forgotten about!

Well last week I re-discovered it as I was pouring my morning cup o joe and had a moment of inspiration. Yes, it was delicious.

Double little happy since that is the mug I hand-painted with Jonathan for a Valentine’s Day date three years ago.


ustheduo.jpgHave you heard about Us The Duo yet???

They are a talented married couple who make and sing music together.

I am hooked for good and have been listening to them non-stop since the concert.



The most surreal part of our week…we started a Baby Registry! (Amazon, Babies R US, and Pottery Barn)

For most of you out there, that truly would be a Little Happy since it’s a relatively small task on the journey to parenthood.

If I am being honest though? It was a HUGE HAPPY!

I’ve guarded my heart something fierce through infertility – meaning that I have NEVER done/thought of/looked at anything relating to Baby Registries.

Doing this simple act with Jonathan was like a breath of fresh air. It was like the shackles of infertility that have held us stagnant for so long began to fall away. It felt like there is a baby out there for our family and we are looking at items for them. We had so much joy doing the registering because it meant that the next time we see these items, it means that Baby Teixeira is coming home too.



I got invited to this by a friend of mine. She thought I might want to join her in attending this sale and even said that expecting moms can come arrive at 8 am for a pre-sale.

Then I cried a little happy tear.

For so long I have been afraid of moms.

I fear they won’t accept me or treat me like a “real” mom since I can’t talk about pregnancy, labor, cracked nipples, or the return of my cycle post pregnancy…as if those things are what make a mom or something.

I am sure some women will simply treat me as lesser and I am prepared for that.

But not this friend of mine. She treats me like I am expecting like any other momma out there. No, I don’t have all the details but that’s alright. She asks about the adoption regularly, like anyone would ask about how a pregnancy is going. She’s made me feel like a mother-to-be and I simply can’t express my gratitude for that.

That’s a Little Happy Wrap! Have a great week!


Little Happies: BY JONATHAN

June 2, 2014

Time for this week’s Little Happies, and I thought I’d take a turn recalling some the things that made me smile this week.


Memorial Day. We office was closed and we spent the day with another missionary couple.

We spend the day by:
Playing Bocce (lost and then found 2 balls in the last round!)
Grilling burgers and dogs
Playing Dominion.

A good day.



What’s better than a 3-Day Weekend? (thanks Memorial Day!)

A 5-Day Weekend.

Not sure what this smells like, but it smells good.

Not sure what this smells like, but I’m guessing top notes of fresh laundered pillows and maple-topped pancakes, followed by a base of playing cards, with slight under notes of sweaty runs. Mmmmm!

Working at the FOCUS office has some cool advantages. Among those are a chapel, daily Mass, fun coworkers, and days off. We get a certain number of days we can use when we’re sick, vacationing, or just need a day to chill. The policy governing these days states we must use 10 days per year. The FOCUS fiscal year runs June-May (aligned with the academic year), so the year ended this week. Turns out I had only used 7 days so far this year. If I didn’t use 3 more, I’d lose ’em. So, after being at work one day (Tuesday) I took the rest of the week off.

And I’m glad I did, because we have a MOUNTAIN of paperwork to do as part of our adoption process. Thanks to the time off, we have most of it done. I also had a great time hanging out with Amanda a ton. A lot of our adventures lately have been related to Happy #4.



Running again.


I love running. I was a sprinter in High School, but got lured onto the cross country team with the offer of delicious brownies after practice every Friday. To this day, Coach Berkowitz’ wife’s brownies are the best I’ve ever tasted. By a long shot. Anyway, that turned me into a runner. The weather started getting nice around my birthday at the beginning of May, but then I got sick for 2 weeks, then it snowed, but now it’s sunny and I feel great, so I laced up my shoes (a great pair courtesy of our mission partners at Greg Baum’s Flying Feet) and hit the road. I downloaded a new running app, Zombies, Run! which is an audio story that unfolds between songs. I am “Runner 5” and I go get supplies for our base. Of course, throughout the missions, I encounter “Zombs” and have to increase my pace 20% for a minute or so to outrun them. It’s really fun, AND it can run at the same time as Nike+ (which I’ve been using for years to track my runs) and Stitcher, which I use to stream podcasts.




The complex in which we currently live HAS A POOL. We finally took the plunge and visited the pool. You might think we were hesitant, but regarding this decision, we jumped in with both feet. Aaaaaaaand that’s all the pool puns I have.

Anyway, it’s been really hot this week in Denver, and it was quite refreshing to take a dip in the pool. Our friend Lindsay came over so Amanda, Lindsay and I hit the pool. We hung out at poolside, swam around a bit, and then when the girls went back to lay poolside, I grabbed my kindle in it’s waterproof case (A.K.A. a ziplock bag) and read IN THE POOL. I started reading Zero to Maker, a book that chronicles a man’s journey from passive consumer of technology to active maker and co-creator of openROV, an open-source underwater robot project. After that, I paged through an Arduino project book, Make: Simple Arduino Projects to get some ideas for my next project.

Pool Books:



As you may have seen in some of our other posts, we bought a townhouse and will be moving in about a month. As of late, we’ve been doing our best to sniff out deals for furnishing the new house. Hunting for these deals has been a lot of fun and the bulk of our fun adventures lately. I’ll hold off on most of the details because we’ve got a full post coming up explaining “How We Furnished Our New Home for Only 1/X the Cost!” It’s felt like a game trying to get that fraction as small as possible. Each little success there has certainly been a happy, but I won’t share them all and ruin the upcoming post.

But, since you asked nicely, here’s one (very) small preview:

We wanted a sectional for the basement. We found one on Craigslist that would perfectly fit our smaller space down there, so we jumped at it. Here’s what it looked like on Craigslist:


And here’s what it looked like when we finally got it in the small SUV we borrowed from friends to haul it home:


It fit! Kind of…

We made it safely home and the couch is chilling in our garage (along with a number of other sweet deals waiting until they move into their (and our) new home.


Thanks for checking out my week! How was yours? Leave it in the comments below.


I Will Possess Your Heart

April 12, 2012

I’m working on a talk about prayer for our New Student Leaders’ Retreat this weekend, and this song came to mind. I wrote a post about it a while ago for my old, now-defunct blog. I thought it’d be great to re-post here at truegoodandbeautiful.

I Will Possess Your Heart, one of the singles from Death Cab for Cutie’s album, Narrow Stairs, is a wonderful song. One of the new things I’ve done in my Bible studies over the years is listening to non-spiritual songs in a spiritual way. Looking for a holy message among everyday things. A lot of songs can be listened to as if it’s God speaking to us, or us speaking to God. It’s a wonderful exercise to go through as it helps us look for God everywhere. Love songs are pretty easy to use because our human love is but only a pale reflection of God perfect love. And guess where I found Him. That’s right. In this song! (It’s about love!) Here’s the video, along with the lyrics and a short discussion. Please be sure to add your two cents in the comments!



How I wish you could see the potential
The potential of you and me
It’s like a book elegantly bound, but
In a language that you can’t read just yet

You got to spend some time, love
You got to spend some time with me
And I know that you’ll find, love
I will possess your heart
You got to spend some time, love
You got to spend some time with me
And I know that you’ll find, love
I will possess your heart

There are days when, outside your window
I see my reflection as I slowly pass
And I long for this mirrored perspective
When we’ll be lovers, lovers at last


You reject my advances and desperate pleas
I won’t let you let me down so easily
So easily

Longer chorus with last line repeating three times


I find it interesting to listen to this song as if God is singing it to us at those times when we turn away from Him. Or He’s singing it to all the prodigal sons and daughters that have yet to come home. Let’s take a look at it from that perspective. I’ll discuss the verses first, and then the chorus.

How I wish you could see the potential / The potential of you and me
This line describes so well God’s longing for a personal relationship with each one of us. God wants to have an intimate relationship with everyone. He created us to love us.

It’s like a book elegantly bound, but
God continues to tell us how wonderful things will be if we take a step toward Him. He we say “yes” to Him. Our relationship with Him is beautiful, a work of art.

In a language that you can’t read just yet
But because we aren’t in the relationship with Him, because we haven’t/aren’t experiencing that personal relationship with Him, we can’t understand it. It might be nice when we see it in other people, but we don’t understand it. It doesn’t mean anything to us. Yet. It’s as if God is saying, “I want to be in this amazing relationship with you, but you don’t quite understand how wonderful it can be or why you’d want it. I’ll help you see why it’s so great, why you’ll desire it. You don’t know now, but you will.”

There are days when, outside your window / I see my reflection as I slowly pass
And I long for this mirrored perspective / When we’ll be lovers, lovers at last
As if He’s saying to us, “I swing by to see how you’re doing. When I’m there I slow down and watch for a bit. I am amazed by you. Mesmerized. I love you. And I hope for the day when you’ll look back at me. When you’ll come see how I’m doing. When you’ll get caught up in the love we’ll share between us. I long for that day. I await the day I’ll love you and you’ll love me right back.

God wants a relationship with each of us, but He can’t force it. He can’t help but love us, but He can’t make us return that love. In His infinite love, He gave us free will. We have the choice. We can accept His love and love Him back, or we can reject both Him and His love. The verse describes someone rejecting God’s love.

My advances and desperate pleas. As if God saying, “I’ve tried all sorts of ways to get you to love me. I’ve done so much. I’ve given you my Son. And still you reject me.

I won’t let you let me down so easily / So easily
He continues, “I’ll keep trying. I still love you. You can reject me all day, but I’ll still come back tomorrow and love you more. I love you.”

The chorus clues us into how we enter into that deeper relationship with the Lord. It gives us the instructions as to how to get to know our Heavenly Father:

You got to spend some time, love / You got to spend some time with me
We have to spend time with God. We need to pray! We might not want to spend time with God. We might not want that relationship. But the Lord wants it. He wants us. He just asks for a little bit of our time. You got to spend some time, love. We need to do this. It’s not “you should spend some time,” or “you should think about spending some time,” but “you got to.” We have to pray. We have to spend some time with our Creator. Prayer is how we can grow closer to the Lord!

And I know that you’ll find, love / I will possess your heart
If we pray, if we spend that time with God, we’ll grow to love Him. We’ll love Him more and more each day. He will possess our hearts. But first we have to know Him. We have to pray. We have to come to Him each day and talk. Spend some time with Him just like we would with any other friend. He asks us to give Him a little time, because He knows that we’ll want to give Him a little more time and a little more time. He knows we’ll love Him a little more and a little more.  We will come to know the Lord, and we will come to love Him, and we will give our hearts to Him. He will possess our hearts, but only if we take the first step and enter into prayer.


Love this song? Check out the album!


Beauty in Music

April 5, 2012

Recently Jonathan discovered a couple of new songs we have been enjoying. Jonathan pretty much discovers all the good music in our home. If it were up to me, we’d still be listening to the same play list I uploaded onto my ipod a couple years ago that I haven’t changed since….consisting mainly of Disney hits, 80’s pop ballads, and books on tape about leadership. Not the most intriguing or consistent mix. I am grateful for Jonathan’s ability to find beauty in music he listens to and to introduce it to me. Perhaps you will find them as beautiful as we have –

Taylor Swift & The Civil Wars – Safe and Sound (from the Hunger Games Soundtrack….we are BIG FANS!)


Angus & Julia Stone – Love Will Take You (from The Twilight Saga….we are NOT fans of Twilight though, sorry!)


Civil Wars – Poison & Wine