Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mr. Owen turns One!

On October 14, 2013 (1 year ago today) our family sat in the waiting room in a hospital in Katy, Texas. We were overjoyed and patiently waiting to meet a little boy. We knew he would make his arrival that day and prayed for a safe delivery for Lacey and a healthy Owen. At 1:17 pm, Owen Joseph Abraham was born. He was perfect and weighed 8 lbs, 11 oz, 21 inches long. From the moment I saw him, I knew what a little blessing he was. Although, I had not idea just how much joy he would bring us in the past year. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from his birthday.
Since that day, Owen has filled a place in our hearts that we didn't know was empty. He loves his big brother, wants to touch everything, and is pretty darn cute (if I do say so myself). I always count down the days in between my visits and look forward to the next time I get to see him. Honestly, my favorite thing about Owen would have to be that he is happy. There is just something so special about seeing happiness in his face. He is so loved. I also have the honor of being this little boy's Godmother. As my first godson, I made a promise to Owen to always be there for him and to be an example for him in my faith. I take this role with great responsibility to live a life that is an example for him.
Also, I want to take a minute to brag on Lacey as his momma. I know I have said this before but there is nothing more that precious than seeing your sister be a mom. Lacey is patient, loving, and caring. If I might brag on her, she is raising two pretty handsome and well behaved little boys.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Best Marriage Advice Ever.

Kevin's dad sent us a link to a list of the marriage advice. Credit goes to http://davewillis.org/the-best-marriage-advice-ever/, I just copied it here to share with all of you. As Kevin and I prepare for marriage, I see a lot of value in this. I hope that is a great reminder for all of my married friends, and something to look forward to for all of my single friends. 1. Choose to love each other even in those moments when you struggle to like each other. Love is a commitment, not a feeling. 2. Always answer the phone when your husband/wife is calling and when possible, try to keep your phone off when you’re together with your spouse. 3. Make time together a priority. Budget for a consistent date night. Time is the “currency of relationships” so consistently invest time into your marriage. 4. Surround yourself with friends who will strengthen your marriage and remove yourself from people who may tempt you to compromise your character. 5. Make laughter the soundtrack of your marriage. Share moments of joy, and even in the hard times, find reasons to laugh. 6. In every argument, remember that there won’t be a “winner” and a “loser.” You are partners in everything so you’ll either win together or lose together. Work together to find a solution. 7. Remember that a strong marriage rarely has two strong people at the same time. It’s usually a husband and wife taking turns being strong for each other in the moments when the other feels weak. (This is one of the many wise nuggets from my amazing wife, Ashley!) 8. Prioritize what happens in the bedroom. It takes more than sex to build a strong marriage, but it’s nearly impossible to build a strong marriage without it! 9. Remember that marriage isn’t 50-50, divorce is 50-50. Marriage has to be 100-100. It’s not splitting everything in half, but both partners giving everything they’ve got! 10. Give your best to each other, not your leftovers after you’ve given your best to everyone else. 11. Learn from other people, but don’t feel the need to compare your life or your marriage to anyone else’s. God’s plan for your life is masterfully unique! 12. Don’t put your marriage on hold while you’re raising your kids or else you’ll end up with an empty nest and an empty marriage. 13. Never keep secrets from each other. Secrecy is the enemy of intimacy. 14. Never lie to each other. Lies break trust and trust is the foundation of a strong marriage. 15. When you’ve made a mistake, admit it and humbly seek forgiveness. You should be quick to say, “I was wrong. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.” 16. When your husband/wife breaks your trust, give them your forgiveness instantly which will promote healing and create the opportunity for trust to be rebuilt. You should be quick to say, “I love you. I forgive you. Let’s move forward.” 17. Be patient with each other. Your spouse is always more important that your schedule. 18. Model the kind of marriage that will make your sons want to grow up to be good husbands and your daughters want to grow up to be good wives. 19. Be your spouse’s biggest encourager, not his/her biggest critic. Be the one who wipes away their tears, not the one who causes them. 20. Never talk badly about your spouse to other people or vent about them online. Protect your spouse at all times and in all places. 21. Always wear your wedding ring. It will remind you that you’re always connected to your spouse and it will remind the rest of the world that you’re off limits! 22. Connect into a community of faith. A good church can make a world of difference in your marriage and family. 23. Pray together. Every marriage is stronger with God in the middle of it. 24. When you have to choose between saying nothing or saying something mean to your spouse, say nothing every time! 25. Never consider divorce as an option. Remember that a “perfect marriage” is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other!

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Road to Catholicism.

Early on in Kevin and I's relationship we started discussing religion. Discussing God and religion often times is one of those tough topics to bring up when you start dating someone. However, with us it has always been one of the most natural things to talk about. At the end of every conversation about religion I would feel a sense of peace. I knew that Kevin and I were both grounded in the most important thing, our relationship with God. From the first month we started dating, Kevin was extremely supportive of me as a Catholic. He started attending mass with me every weekend and along the way, I saw his heart start to open up to the idea of Catholicism. Last week, Kevin and I took a very important step by having our first meeting for RCIA. RCIA stands for the "Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults". This program welcomes people into the Catholic Church as adults and focuses on helping them learn the basic fundamentals of the church. This process involves a lot of prayer and is one that I participated in at St. Mary's as a volunteer. Welcoming people into the church is truly one of the most beautiful things that we, as a church, have the opportunity to do. It is a bit overwhelming that I am now sitting on the other side of RCIA next to my future husband. The RCIA process has already had its ups and downs but through it all we knew that God would show us a path if it was meant to be. As we walked into St. Mary's last week for our first meeting, I told Kevin that I wanted to make sure this was something HE wanted to do. From the beginning, I never wanted this to be about me and my wants for our marriage. He quickly assured me that it was not. Again, that sense of peace was back showing me that this man was without a doubt the spiritual leader, life partner, and soul mate I have been looking for. We both feel that being the same religion is an important step for our marriage as well as a future family. Being able to participate in mass together is something that connects you on a deeper level than just husband and wife. I can't wait to participate fully with him and to receive the Eucharist together. It is one of the things I am most excited about as we begin this journey. This process has been another reason for me to fall more in love with him. As I sit and listen to him talk to our RCIA coach about his relationship and what led him to this decision, my heart burst with joy. This man truly is the one I have been praying my whole life for. He is strong in his faith, he is happy, and most importantly, he is willing to do whatever it takes for our marriage and future. I know that this is a huge commitment from him and something that I do not take lightly as his future wife. So, please keep Kevin and his RCIA teacher in your prayers over the next 7 months. I am so honored to stand by and watch as he takes his very important step. Also, keep me in your prayers so I can control my emotions and not cry every week at RCIA. There is nothing I love more than hearing my man talk about prayer, God, and our future. Thanks in advance and God Bless You!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

OH gooness, I am the BRIDE!

For the month leading up to the proposal, I was hoping that Kevin was busy making some plans. We had talked about rings and the future and just how beautiful it would be when it finally would be a reality. Early on in our relationship I had told Kevin that we needed to date for at least 1 year. I had this crazy idea that I needed to experience every holiday with Kevin before he popped the question. That makes complete sense, right? We went on our first date November 1st, so I was just being patient until November came around. Luckily, Kevin viewed our meeting as the year mark. SO… on Saturday, August 23rd Kevin’s plan was set into motion. A couple months earlier Kevin suggested paying for his mom to get a mani/pedi for her birthday. I agreed and Kerri (Kevin’s Mom) sneakily suggested that we wait and go the weekend they came to Cameron for the Marak Picnic. Since we met at the picnic, I thought it would be neat for his parents to come to visit that weekend. That morning Kevin’s mom and I went to Temple to cash in on this mani/pedi followed by lunch with Kevin and his dad. Any opportunity for me to be a little spoiled in addition to his mom sounded like a great idea to me. The entire morning/early afternoon seemed completely normal and I literally had no hints that Kevin would be proposing hours later. In preparation for Kevin's parents being in town I also invited my sisters to join us for dinner at Oscar Store (one of our favorite places). I had been texting Lacey that week and she shared that they weren't planning on being in Cameron that weekend due to school starting on Monday. That afternoon as I was driving myself home from Temple I got a text from Lacey saying that they decided to come and were at Mom and Dad's. I immediately starting smiling thinking oh what a PERFECT DAY. I would get to see my nephews, have our families in one place, and then a it hit me. Family is in town, nails are done, dinner plans tonight….this was it! My stomach sank in excitement that this could be the day. However, after arriving at home, everything seemed normal, no one was excited, no one was dressed up, no one was acting weird. So naturally, I convinced myself that I had been making all of this up in my head. The week prior, I was cleaning Kevin's house in preparation for his parents coming into town. As he was outside I moved some stacks around to put them away. One of those stacks included 2 phone books (honestly Kevin Gleason, it is 2014, no one uses those things). As he came into the house he asked where I had moved his precious phone books. Curiously I inquired why it mattered and he shared with me that something very important was in there. He shared that he had been working on a letter that he wanted to give me. After PROMISING that I had not seen the letter he let it go. Well, on Saturday amongst our families Kevin told me that he had finished the letter. He said that he wanted me to read it and of course, Lesley was confused. “Can’t I read it later while we are alone?” "Why would I read a letter in the middle of a group of people?" Then all of a sudden, it hit me...this was IT. We went outside and read the letter (which was perfectly written and shared some of the sweetest words that have ever been written to me). As I finished the letter I prepared to see Kevin getting down on a knee, but he did not. No question was popped and we headed back into the house. Of course, at this point I am thinking, this was a trick. When we go back inside there will be fireworks, a waterfall, Aaron Watson, something? Again, everyone seemed normal and did not address us leaving for a good 30 minutes to go outside. As time passed I was starting to get antsy. We had a reservation (which was quickly approaching) and we were without a doubt going to be late. If you know anything about me, you know that I hate being late. All of a sudden Kerri mentioned that Kevin should “play that song for Lesley real quick.” Really? We don't have time for this!! And yet again, I finally had it figured out. Kevin would play a sweet song and then after get down on one knee and pop the question. I was so focused on that plan (the plan I knew was so Kevin) that meanwhile, he asked me to get him a guitar pick out of his case. Naturally, I leaned over, removed all the stuff in the guitar case (including a little brown box AKA THE RING!) and tossed it all to the side. My hair was in my face and it was kinda dark so I really couldn't see well but quickly determined that there was no guitar pick to be seen. As I looked up, I immediately saw Kevin, on one knee with the box I had just tossed aside in hand. I was in shock....surprised to say the least (although I was expecting it after the song). Kevin quickly asked me to marry him and of course I said yes. For all you women out there, you know that when you find the right one, all you can do is think of the engagement. How ill he do it? What will I be wearing? Will my hair be fixed? Will my nails be done? I was right there with you. And as he proposed I started thinking oh gosh, this is it. But all of a sudden a sense of peace came over me and realized that proposals are just a small part of a marriage. I was so honored to share in this moment with my parents, my sisters, brother in law, nephews, and Kevin's parents. But in all honesty, all that really mattered was that Kevin was the one asking me to be his wife. After I realized what just happen, our families prayed with us and we proceeded (as planned and LATE) to Oscar Store for dinner. Since the proposal we have been in a whirlwind of happiness. We have been SO overwhelmed by the amount of people extending their well wishes and prayers to us. I have always known what a fantastic support system I had, but getting engaged was a perfect reminder of the extent of friends and family we have behind us, rooting for us to be happy. So, here I am...ENGAGED. Be on the lookout for more blogs as I enter this fun time of being a bride. I know I will learn a lot and see a different side of weddings that I haven't seen before. So stay tuned for my journey to being Mrs. Gleason!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ashes to Ashes...

It's Ash Wednesday. This is my prayer for this lenten season. May we all use this time to grow closer to God in all that we do. Wishing you a blessed lent.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I'm back....Hello 2014!

Hello 2014! In my time away from blogging, a lot of life has happend! As I started to think of how I could catch all of you up, I realized that I recapped 2013 in my Christmas letter that I send out in December. So, in order to keep all of life documented here on my blog, here is a catch up post of all the ups and down of 2013. The year started off blazing with an unexpected nomination to be a Fish Camp 2013 Namesake! From the moment I found out about Camp Vaculin, I fell in love with Texas A&M all over again. January-August revolved around me suddenly being crafty, hanging out with 19 year olds, and buying all things BLUE! Getting to know the Aggies involved with my camp was a dream come true. I, without a doubt, gained 26 new family members over the course of 2013 and I couldn’t be happier about that. As I look back, I now realize that being a namesake was probably one of the coolest things that will happen in my lifetime. They say traveling does the heart good! In September, I took a fantastic trip to San Francisco with my best friend/cousin, John and two of our close friends Ashleigh & Garrett. It was a gorgeous state full of friendly people, fresh air, and beautiful sites! I am so grateful for the opportunity to travel with friends…not because of the places we go, but because of the memories we make. I always like to look back at last year to see what I wrote about and how things have changed. Since 2012 was the year of weddings, 2013 was the year of babies! On October 14th, I became a crazy aunt of TWO as our family welcomed my new nephew, Owen Joseph Abraham! I didn’t think Reid could get any cuter, but then he became a big brother. There are a lot of things in life that make me proud, but my nephews take the prize. Owen brought with him a new experience for me in making me a first time Godmother. Weeks later (on Thanksgiving Day), I became a Godmother again as my cousin Travis and his wife Kayla welcomed Chancey Lane Dohnalik! These two boys have already stolen my heart and have given me a new sense of responsibility to set a good example in my faith, my love for others, and the way I live. Unfortunately, 2013 has also had some struggles, as most years do. At the end of October our family said goodbye to my sweet Aunt Lisa after a long, hard battle with cancer. Even in the darkest moments of life, there are blessings to be found. This year I was reminded of how unbelievable our family is. It’s easy to be there for each other in times of joy and celebration. Yet, more importantly, I saw just how blessed we are in times of sorrow and struggle. As October ended and November began, a new leaf seemed to be turning. On November 1st I went on a first date with a guy that has turned out to be quite the surprise. Kevin has been an unexpected breath of fresh air for me as 2013 comes to an end. If you haven’t met him, I hope you get to soon!  AND there is is. As best of a recap of 2013 as I could do. I look forward to blogging more over the next couple months and hope that I don't bore you with all that is coming your way (since I have a LOT to catch up on). Love you all!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Selfless Service

Howdy Everyone! This morning I saw the link to my blog on my Facebook profile and realized that it had been a LONG time since I have even looked at my blog. As I scrolled through my old posts, reading my thoughts and posts from years back, I realized just how much I love reflecting on the past. What a wonderful reminder for me to post a new blog today so years from now I can look back and remember those memories you never want to forget. So get ready for an overload of posts coming your way. It is my goal to get back on track! Since my last post in October of 2012 a lot of excitment has happened! This year I decided to spend time focusing on things that were important to me and as a result would inspire others. As I looked back on 2012 I noticed that I spent a lot of time doing things for everyone else but failed to really focus on me and making an impact. As I sat down at the beginning of 2013 to think about what I wanted to do this year, selfless services kept coming to mind. While I wanted to make time to focus on me, I think selfless servie ultimately is a reward for yourself. I get so much fulfillment out of helping others. But, I do think that selfless service also means knowing where to draw the line. At some point, selfless service can result in you loosing track of yourself and doing things for you because you are making so much time for others. Therefore, my goal for this year is to focus on being selfless and inspiring others while still making time for myself and my future. Stay tuned for updates on the latest.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Monster Mash Pudding Cups

Looking for a cute (and easy) idea this Halloween? Try these Monster Mash Pudding Cups. Supplies Needed: 1. Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix (Size depends on servings) 2. Green Food Coloring 3. Oreos 4. Clear Cups 5. Black Sharpie... First you take your sharpie and draw the faces on the clear cups. Try to keep the faces as low as possible in order to use less pudding per cup. Next, you will make the instant vanilla pudding according to directions on box. Once mixed, add green food coloring. Add as much as needed to get the color you are hoping for. Once mixed, let pudding chill until firm. On the side throw the oreos into a food processor until blended. Then you simply scoop the pudding into the cup and add the oreos to the top. Fill cups as full as you wish. Like I said...super easy! One suggestion, the pudding doesn't go quite as far as I expected. So, if you are making 10 or more cups, you will need 3-4 of the big instant pudding boxes. Good luck, and ENJOY! Pictures below for your reference.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Take My Life.

I absolutely love how music can make you feel. Not just any kind of feeling...an intimate feeling that leads you to tears of praise! Last night at St. Mary's I heard the most beautiful song called 'Take My Life'. Some of you problem know it, but it was a new one for me. I wanted to share the lyrics with all of you. Tonight this is my prayer. May God take my life to serve him in whatever way he wills...

"Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands and let them move
at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice and let me sing
always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold
not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
every power as You choose.

Here am I, all of me.
Take my life, it's all for Thee.

Take my will and make it Thine
it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is Thine own
it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord I pour
at Your feet its treasure store
Take myself and I will be
ever, only, all for Thee.
Take myself and I will be
ever, only, all for Thee.

Here am I, all of me.
Take my life, it's all for Thee."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012!

Haha…What didn’t I do? I graduated with my Master’s Degree. I got my first REAL JOB, (which resulted in me learning about insurance, taxes, and all that fun ‘adult stuff’). And most importantly, I became an AUNT!

No. Last year I told myself I was going to watch the morning news every day in order to keep up with events happening around the world. What can I say; I have a connection with GAC and CMT that cannot be broken. ;)

YES!! On May 9th at 2:01 p.m. Lacey & Chris welcomed my perfect nephew to the world. Reid Wayne Abraham has been the perfect addition to our family in 2011! Can’t wait to see what is in store for him in 2012! Also in March my friends Nikkie & Jay Walthall welcomed their first son, Clayton Zane and in August my cousin Kathy & Damion Turner welcomed their second son, Kamdon Wyatt!

Thankfully, no.

In 2012, I want to become more involved in my church, be financially stable, be healthier, and learn more at work to become a better international student advisor!

May 6th: The day I graduated with my M.S. from Okstate and May 9th: The day Reid was born.

Completing my Master’s Degree at Oklahoma State University (Go Pokes!). That walk across the stage (after forgetting my name card in my seat and having to go back… in front of everyone…to get it) was the perfect end to hours of studying, hundreds of pages written, and a thousand pounds of stress.

While I try to see everything as an opportunity to learn, I think my biggest failure of the year was my attempt at online dating. I guess it wasn’t in God’s plan for me.

No. Only little colds and belly aches here and there. My health and the good health of others is something I am extremely thankful for. In past years this is something I have taken for granted and hope to take a better handle on being healthy in 2012!

This is sad, but the best thing I bought in 2011 was my recliner! Technically it was my graduation gift from Mom and Dad. I love relaxing in my chair... and yes, I will admit it. Even if it makes me sound like an 80 year old. Haha.

As with every year, my friends and family give me so much to celebrate and be proud of. In 2011, Erin & Bethany both graduated from A&M. Kayla graduated from Tarleton. My friends at OSU landed great jobs in higher education, Lindsey moved into a great apartment in Houston, and Chris & Lacey have proved to be amazing parents to Reid! Every day I am so proud to witness these people (and all of you) accomplish great things!

I try not to associate with people who appall me. ;)

Most of my money in 2011 went to the usual: rent, groceries, and now…student loans. I definitely do not take the lack of debt that Mr. Terry blessed me with in undergrad!

This one is easy…my nephew! Everything about him excites me! I am so proud of him and the sweet little character he is!

As usual, I loved my country music this year and in June, Lindsey and I went to the CMA Music Festival in Nashville, Tennessee! So any songs I heard there would probably stick out to me for 2011!

Every year I wish I had traveled more. I also wish I would have eaten healthier and exercised more.

I wish I had done less wasting time when I lived Stillwater. While I think I did and saw a lot in my two years there, there was still a lot I did not do.

Since I was back in Texas this Christmas, I spent it with family and friends! Our Christmas changed since we had Reid to focus on now! It was so fun watching him open presents and steal the show. This Christmas I also did my best to remember the real reason for the season and do good for others!

Nope. Here’s to a hopeful 2012!

I have a few…How I Met Your Mother, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, The Amazing Race and my newest shows in 2011 were Modern Family, Parenthood, & The Biggest Loser!

I wanted a job and thankful the Lord provided! I also REALLY wanted to be there the day Reid was born, and luckily he answered everyone’s prayers!

To find a man….again, I am hopeful for 2012!

The first half of the year I was still in school, so I could still dress casual and comfortable. The second half of the year I my fashion sense changed to wearing business professional every day to work! My closet has been transformed to include dress pants and cardigans of every color!

In 2011, my faith kept me sane. When making a big life change, I tend to rely on prayer and reflection a lot more. I am so thankful that, no matter how long it takes me, God is always there to listen and to answer my prayers! I am so thankful to be aware of all the blessings I am granted daily. All my blessings definitely kept me sane this year!

While I was in Oklahoma, Texas was considering making guns legal on college campuses. This ‘stirred’ me for sure! Working on a college campus makes this topic personal and whether you have a firearm for protection or not…they are not needed on a college campus.

2011 has introduced me to a lot of new friends and family! I am really blessed to work with some great people who I enjoy! But, you all know the BEST new person I met in 2011 had to be Mr. Reid! He always makes me smile!

2011 taught me so much about giving back. One of the main reasons I joined the field of student affairs is to help others the way I was helped through my college career. Over the course of this year, I have been given the opportunity to give back to Texas A&M (a school that I love), to give back to Lord (in terms of being more open with my faith and resources), and to give back to family (by being there to celebrate all the little things or lift each other up when needed). I have learned that no matter where I am, I need to be there. There is nothing more important than being present in mind, body, and soul. Whatever you are doing, do it to the best of your ability. This is the best lesson I learned in 2011.