FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE

from villages in the Amazon,& Ghana, 
 to the bumpin city life of Capetown, London, & NYC
to the suburbs of Jersey & the farmlands of Lancaster
I’ve been to them & all and have observed this truth;
Humanity is fighting. for. their. life.
The tendency is to say;
 ” Look at how much we have in The States we are so jaded  & ungrateful lets go serve in Zimbabwe”
( or fill in the blank with whatever impoverished nation of your liking).
Whats crushing is 
while people are indeed fighting for the most basic life necessities 
in several  nations (including this one) 
and please don’t misunderstand me those necessities are indeed crucial 
 there are people in our lives who are fighting to face each day.
It is universal.
It breaks through all socioeconomic & cultural backgrounds alike.
No matter where they come from or what they have,
Humanity is struggling to feel like they can go on.
and all too often we don’t even see it.
It is MORE than fine to cry yourself to sleep after a hard day,
to be frustrated or annoyed,
to wonder when can I start living the dream,
or to not quite have figured out how to start doing what we love.
Those are all important steps as we try to make sense of our person, 
& discovering where we see ourselves thriving.
We’ve all been there its healthy, necessary, & beneficial for growth.
But this is not why I’m writing  this post.
Today I write because 
my heart is SO heavy
 for so many
 who feel hopeless and pointless
for the beautiful people I’ve seen reach an all time low
for the time I’ve spent crying & praying for those who just want to give up.
The truth is; to one extent or another we’re all fed with little lies that whisper
failure
replaceable
annoying
boring
unsuccessful
unimportant
etc.

The devil is a liar & likes to see us self destruct and buy that garbage.
IT INFURIATES ME.
When people make genuinely make  fun of others,
IT INFURIATES ME
when people disrespect others 
IT INFURIATES ME
when people ignore people
IT INFURIATES ME
when people act like they’re better than others
IT INFURIATES ME
…because humanity is already fighting for their life, 
there is no need for adding to that pain. 
I’m embarrassed to say I don’t always notice when people are struggling.
Partially its my oblivion…
but Greg is the most observant man I know & when he doesn’t see it
I know it’s partially because people guise up their lives pretty well..
The other day Greg & I went to Lititz Spring Park & loved it,
our dog went BUCK and wanted to run after the hundreds of ducks and baby ducklings,
we walked around for a bit peeping at the various artists proudly displaying their art,
 had some delicious chocolate,
& then we saw a bench.
Painted on this bench was the quote
” Be Kind; EVERYONE you meet is fighting a hard battle”.
EVERYONE.
not just the impoverished.
not just the famous.
not just the non christians
not just the people overseas
EVERYONE
this is a call to be kind
extraordinarily kind
to go out of your comfort zone 
& SAY to someone they matter
or INVITE SOMEONE OVER
or WRITE A LETTER
or MAKE SOMEONE DINNER
or PRAY FOR SOMEONE
or LET THE WAITER KNOW YOU APPRECIATE THEM.
do whatever it takes to demonstrate love for others in this life, 
even if it makes you look like a fool
even if it means standing up to the mean person
 or showing love to the mean person
None of us have the eyes of Christ who sees all and knows all
we can only beat ourselves up so much for not knowing someone was struggling
but what WE CAN DO is step our game up.
We can practice speaking life to others so frequently that it begins to pour out as naturally & powerfully as PA thunderstorms in the summer.
Please focus on intentionally adding joy & life to one person you come across.
*commit* to loving them
This life we are given is beautiful , good ,& hard.
nobody even for a moment needs to believe they’re at it alone.
We don’t need to cave into the dog eat dog world that society insists on, because more dog’s make life more fun !
Humanity is fighting for their life
won’t you join Christ
& join me 
in shouting 
in TANGIBLE ways
to whomever crosses your path
that they are not alone
that speaking + showing love is louder than lies,
& that life is worth fighting for.

It's Just Not The Same

5 years after serving Jesus in PA summer after summer
– which led to Greg sadly saying no to family vacation-
by working at a camp to some of the best kids we’ve ever known,
THIS WAS THE YEAR
THIS IS THE SUMMER
 that not only was he going but we were going.
we were driving away at  9:15pm 
& when I say we there, I really mean he.
Greg drove the entire way 
down to South Carolina 
a 9 hour drive
617 miles straight
no complaints
(just some jamming to EVERY TUNE under the sun
& a pit stop or two for a quick caffenated pick me up)
like the rock-star husband he is.
his blushing bride well… 
I tried my hardest to fight my bestie Sleep,
but I ended up hanging out with her for a little under two hours.
When we arrived: I felt SO alive, Greg … not so much.
But we were there.
the same condo,
 the same beach, 
the same turtle footrest, 
the same slightly dented curtains
 {from when a slightly annoyed brother intended to toss a book at a slightly relentless sister
she knew to duck, but the curtains not so much.}
it was ALL THERE pretty much how they last left it.
& just how Greg remembered it.
There’s something so refreshing about experiencing the unchanged 
in a world where everything is constantly changing.
I wanted to learn about every memory made there
I wanted to laugh until it hurt and swim until I realized I was no match for the crushing waves
I wanted to be a part of future ” remember when’s”
I finally understood why during the DaSilva Squad Wildwood Vacation Greg kept saying
” I’M PART OF THE MEMORY”
funny the depth of humanities cry conveyed in my stoic sweet husband:
WE WANT TO BE INCLUDED & REMEMBERED
As much as I am someone who loves change
who loves to explore every new territory I can get my hands on,
there’s something so valuable in the tradition, in the constants,
in the returning year after year
to the same place,
with the same tribe.
Only problem was it wasn’t the same tribe.
Obviously there was me, who 5 years ago Greg didn’t know much less imagined 
“hmmm… in 5 years I’ll be here with my wife”.
But that’s life. ever changing. full of surprises.
THIS SUMMER
THIS IRVING FAMILY VACA was;
 hilarious,
 fun, 
encouraging, 
restful,
prayerful,
silly,
but not the same.

“How can you say that? you don’t know Myrtle Beach any other way”

Well perhaps not, but I do know family.

I know how there’s no feeling like having everyone come together
despite the changes that life brings
and knowing you are forever included & remembered.
Greg & I have absolutely been guilty of missing out on some prime family time
PLEASE don’t mishear me
we can’t always make it to every family function
sometimes we just cant
and that’s okay.

But rest assured, even when you’re not there, your included & remembered.

But oh how precious it is to be together.
Next summer I’ll be saying ” I knew it just wasn’t the same”

My dad always said
” together happiness happens”
& the longer I live the deeper my appreciation for that phrase. 

I crave the summer of 2016.
where my prayer  is to bring my sisters “his” sisters with us
because family time without any members of you tribe 
 its just NEVER the same.
and as I’ve mentioned sometimes we NEED SAME.
After all
tradition / what makes family vacations so special
lies not in the location
nor the irreplaceable turtle footrest
but the setting aside a time in the crazy changing world that is life
and S T O P P I N G  in your tracks to say;
but TODAY family.
Greg’s parents stayed at the beach for another week,
while we grownups had to go back to work.

{ turn up TODAY  they’re CELEBRATING

30 YEARS 10, 957 DAYS 946,684,800 SECONDS

of DATING EACH OTHER
& they are still as crazy about each other as newlyweds
( i can say that because I’m part of that newlwed crew πŸ˜‰  }

The newly made memories are ever so fresh,
the reminiscing on memories past ever so sweet,
but the excitement for future yet to be made  memories…
there’s no comparison
nothing like it
one migt even say
IT’S JUST NOT THE SAME πŸ˜‰

Displaying IMG_20150711_084730.jpg

SOMETIMES FIRE WORKS

Since birth my family & I have celebrated the 4th of July at the one and only Jersey shore. This weekend my mamae querida shared that these  FIRE WORKS were so special because my parents had 1st watched them when they arrived in the U.S. 25+ years ago, as a symbol of hope & freedom, & we’ve been watching them ever since.
As the years went on so much has changed in our family.
We have overcome so many obstacles, but 8 years later
this wildwood these fireworks bring usback together.
They remain this symbol of hope & freedom.
Hope that no matter what sad things take place, good can come from it.
Freedom to not allow those things to keep you from forgiving 
& seeing the beauty from ashes.
NERVOUSLY we approached this weekend, 
after 8 years of no interactions 
after 8 years of experiencing 
a rollercoaster
 – loops, high velocities, steep inclines + all- 
of emotions,
my 1st time meeting my 1/2 siblings.
 Instantly I was met with a love for them
 that I can only describe it’s source being the Holy Spirit.
We did so many ofthethings my brothers & I did growing up
sharing with them our memories
& just an outpouring of this bond that is being a sibling.
of sharing the same dad.
I have a sister, who is shy gentle wild & attached to me at the hip.
And what does she do as she hugs me ever so tight to say goodbye?
Gives me her minion she won on the boardwalk 
so we as sisters could have matching minions as sisters.
She is 7 
oh how her compassion towards me melted my heart.
Then she blushingly asked ifshe could call me to talk.
Of course.
What a gift in 8 years I haven’t walked the boardwalk with both my parents
but THIS YEAR i did.
though separately
we did.
Greg & I.
but most sentimentally, we did,my brothers & I.
Don’t worry Brendan we hopped into Aquabeaches HOTTUB just for you πŸ˜‰
I spent the weekend in such a special place 
with family old & relatively new
I praise the Lord for Wildwood & Fireworks
because sometimes
FIRE works to mold the broken situations & make them beautiful.
forever as it did for my parents symbolizing hope,freedom, & now redemption.


Raining & Pouring, not a moment was Boring

β€œMom, camping is not a date; it’s an endurance test. 
If you can survive camping with someone,
 you should marry them on the way home.” – Yvonne Prinz, The Vinyl Princess

Thankfully I already did πŸ˜‰
Going camping with Greg for the 1st time in our 4 summers together,
was adventurous, serene, & hilarious.
Setting up the tent, making a fire, filling up our bellies, 
getting caught in a thunderstorm,
with the addition of bringing our pup with us…
 surely stirred things up as a camping trip to remember.
We most certainly felt that “endurance test” that camping can be,
but the thrill, the peace in being enveloped by this beautiful gift that is creation,
stops us in our “big bad tracks of I GOT THIS humanity”
 to say HOW GREAT THOU ART.
As we found our groove as a camping team
we marvelled together in the vast love of our Creator,
calling us to pay attention to why He brought us camping in the 1st place.
 To shift our attention off the trivial temporary shelter of a tent, 
& instead to rest in the eternal shelter that He is.
To be enthralled by beauty of a blazing fire,
& recall that He ignites our souls.
To be captivated by the stillness of the tree’s
the cool refreshing summer breeze, the vastness of the stars, 
& paralleling them all to who He is.
CAPTIVATING. REFRESHING. VAST.
Greg & I adored our 1st weekend camping together,
because we not only survived 
but we thrived on the notion of how little we are
& how BIG our God is.
as we layed together in our hammock
 as the thunder ROARED & the rain POURED.
” Whatever form it takes, camping is earthy, soul enriching and character building, and there can be few such satisfying moments as having your tent pitched and the smoke rising from your campfire as the golden sun sets on the horizon–even if it’s just for a fleeting moment 
before the rain spoils everything.”-Pippa Middleton

 
 
infinitely better then a 5 star hotel, is this BILLION star view tent !
OH SNAP we fancy with this tent with a skylight πŸ˜‰
What luxury to lay wrapped in the arms of the person you love. 
I’ve always been a believer in ICECREAM as the most important meal of the day 
CAMPFIRE GRILLED Hot Dogs is really the only way to go
…well unless its CAMPFIRE GRILLED CHICKEN
we were astonished by the HYPE COMMUNITY & VELOCITY at this slide
 the entire church either slid down the slide several times until we bruised
OR cheered everyone on hardcore from the sidelines
turn up for family !
Bonitinha da mamae

Tetherball Champ 2015 : Lady Irving

As if we’d go camping sem CAFEZINHO

OUR 1st TIME CAMPING TOGETHER EVER !!
MOUNTAIN PIES.
never heard of it?
google em’
make em’
devour em’
your welcome.
Coitadinha;this is Greg loving the fact that (& i don’t blame him it was SO cute)
Lady SPOOKED by thunder ran to Greg for security
“your voice is the soundtrack of my summer, do you know you’re unlike any other? you’ll ALWAYS be my thunder
so BRING ON THE RAIN BRING ON THE THUNDER”
bravin’ the storms of life with you …literally