Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Saturday, July 21, 2012


i can't stop thinking about mexico these days:

maybe because summer camps are being held now at {rancho genesis}, the camp i worked at the last two summers.  maybe because i miss the food and i'm craving a {taco stand} right about NOW.   maybe because i miss the beautiful people that i fell in love with.  maybe it's because really my heart is mexican.  or maybe it's just because that is the corner of the world Jesus has given me a passion for.

the last few nights i have been dreaming about the ninos.  very simple dreams.  i wasn't doing anything earth moving or life shattering.  i wasn't solving world hunger or abolishing abortion.  i was just loving on the kids.  hugging them, kissing dirty little faces, holding very sick babies, and just being there.

last sunday my pastor was talking about how eternity is like a rope that goes on infinitely.  the first inch of the rope is our lives. if we are lucky that represents about 75 years.  that's nothing people.  how are we going to spend that inch of the rope? 

as i left mexico in may, my prayer was two things for this summer.  one...  that God would direct me in where i can minister here and two...  that i can spend time with my family and extended family.  it's been so exciting to see how my prayer has been answered.

in the next few weeks i want to share with you stories form this summer...

::happy trails::

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

it's high time i share...

that my camera broke two.5 months ago, thus the lack of posts {lame}

that i am back in the united states

all the last stories of my year in mexico

how amazing Jesus is and how much He cared for me over the last year

the sad times

the happy times

my lil' brother graduated from highs school

my massive shopping trip

all the crazy good deals

i turned the big twenty-3

i am teaching myself the ukulele i got for my birthday

i will be the worship leader for my sister and brother in laws youth group they lead next week

all the great and wonderful things that Jesus is doing

my great anticipations for what's going to happen this summer

::  ::  ::

but srsly...  thank you for not abandoning me

and still showing me support by your emails and comments

even though i have been silent.

i promise i'm back!

{mucho besitos}


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

so much more

i received a voice mail, early tuesday morning,
from this cutie-pa-tutie,
who happens to be my sister grace.
it went something like this;

{hi tiff...  ok... i know that  you can't talk because it's really early your time but...  
i just wanted you to know that, i've been praying for you and... 
 i don't think you know how much i love you.  *sigh.  it's like SO much.
and...  can you imagine, if i love you this much, how much more God loves us?
that thought just overwhelms me.
so...  i just wanted to tell you, i love you, and you rock my socks off,
and i'm praying for you,  and...  i just LOVE YOU.  

dear lovelies who read my blog,
do you know how much you are loved?
you are loved infinitely more then you can  imagine.

Jesus reminded me of this, the other day,
through my sister Grace. 
 [check out her blog  here]

i love how He sends us little reminders,
through people, things, and circumstances.
how have you been reminded lately???

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

un año--- con amor

hey lovelies!
it's been a year ago sunday,
i have been calling mexico
my home.

so cheers to mexico,
and the many years ahead!

here are a few highlights,
from each month.

:: March ::
arrived to my new little casa.
made it cozy.
got settled.
ate my weight in mango's on a stick con limon y chili.
helped care for a little boy with a burnt neck.
held a orphan with spinal bifida.

:: April ::
met my durango family.
stacked twenty plus benches on a truck.
welcomed new neighbors.
prepared activities for spring camp.
ran two weeks of spring camp.
survived the cold sleeping conditions at camp.

:: May ::
took the bus from ensenada to the border for the first time.
attended my sisters bachelorette party.
walked to raise awareness for the orphans in china.
went home for two weeks.
wrestled my little sisters.

:: June ::
watched my {seester} become mrs. neesby.
gained another brother. SCORE!
got to sit in on some chmelar family style meals.
celebrated my sister aubrey's birthday.
started summer camp two thousand eleven.
learned how to stomach chili's.

:: July ::
connected for the second time with my first orphanage i worked with.
watching {the walls of jericho} each week, performed by a different orphanage, and feeling like a proud mama each time.
pulled a cactus out of a little boys leg.
held my first dance party at my house.

:: August ::
made a lot of new friends.
came to the realization that hot water is a luxery
and dirty feet are normal.
gave more of my heart to mexico, and the people in this country.

:: September ::
took a week rest.
road my first roller coaster.
visited two orphanages.
started our tutoring program.
visit from seester dear.

:: October ::
went three weeks only rinsing my hair with vinegar and backing soda.
started visiting a nursing home with my violin.
opened a library on wheels for the niños in durango
became a pinterest-holic.

:: November ::
started attending a spanish church.
became a member of the worship team.
watched my first school program by the niños in durango.
took a picture of a sixty year old lady, who just received her birth certificate.
attended a chinese circus in mexico.

:: December ::
knit a case for my laptop.
had the cutest kitten  for a day.
took the kids from durango to a christmas party complete with santa.
a flight home to be with my big beautiful famly for christmas.
photo shoots.
christmas eve, candle lit service.
buzzed my brothers heads.
taught my little sister her sevens multiplication facts.

:: January ::
ate stinky tofu and lived.
started up our tutoring programs again.
lots of planning for spring and summer camps.
hospice care.
another visit from seester dearest.
shopping at the second hand shops for the first time in mexico.

:: February ::
valentines party.
consumed really delicious mole.
made my own mole.
played at the beach with my niños from durango.
intense spiritual warfare.
made fruit pizza.

{Porque yo sé muy bien los planes que tengo para ustedes —afirma el Señor—, planes de bienestar y no de calamidad, a fin de darles un futuro y una esperanza.}

Jeremías 29:11

Thursday, March 1, 2012


dear inner princesa,
sometimes you come out
in the most random places.
please never leave me.

dear blancita,
you are beautiful.
thank you for the shopping fun
and showing me that 
your inner princesa never gets old.

dear life,
you are crazy.
but i love you,
and all the moments
within you.

dear cows,
thank you for making me
stop and enjoy.
and making me miss iowa
that much more!

dear yesterday,
you are a beautiful thought 
in my head.

dear tomorrow,
the best is yet to come.
i believe that, 
with all of my heart.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

...somewhere between...

hello my beautiful friends!
just wanted to say never fear,
i am alive and well,
just extremely busy with life at the moment.
and i am afraid it may not slow down until next week.

this week we are preparing for a group of
medical personal to swoop in this weekend
and help put on a clinic on Saturday,
along with a kids program.

i have so many things i want to tell you,
but at the moment i am somewhere between,
building sandcastles with this little guapo,
or stuffing my face with fruit pizza
i made myself the other day.
and of course lots of stuff in between.

just wanted to stop in and say,
love you, bye.

get ready for some pretty insane
awesome-ness next week!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

love is...

...color blind

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

love birds

meet, mom and dad chmelar.
aren't they just the cutest things you ever laid eyes on???
they've been married 27 years, 
and check out all this lovin'.

christmas photo shoot

cute things they do:
-kiss at meal times, when us kids clink our glasses
-my dad is always whistling that sexy whistle (yeah... you know what i'm talkin' about!) to my mom, but tries to disguise it in other songs.  {amazing grace...  wooo wOOOooo.... how sweet the sound}
-taking ballroom dancing classes.
-are super PDA!  (public displays of affection)
-plan adorable little dates.
-the way they call each other bunny and bear.

i guess over the last few days, i've been thinking a lot about my life.
what i am doing and why.
the passions i have in my heart, and how they were cultivated.
of course Jesus put them there but, He used my parents in a big way to form who i am.

they taught me many things:
to work hard.
in order to have friends, i have to show my self friendly.
that a good name, is a good thing.
to look in peoples eyes, when spoken to and shake with a firm hand.
always to look after the underdog.
and much more.

but the biggest thing they taught me, was how to love.
thy did this by how they loved each other.

::  ::  ::

the way my dad loves my mom is super incredible.
how he works so hard to provide.
at times working three jobs.
the way he serves not only my mom but my grandpa.
he takes care of his father in law, like no son in law ever would.
(like i said in yesterdays POST, my grandpa lives with us)
the way my dad forgives and
is in constant pursuit of mom,
shows and makes lasting imprints of love on my heart.

the way my mom never talks bad about my dad,
but always lifting him up to us kids and in public.
i love listening to her talk about how incredible he is.
it shows me the respect she has for my dad.
the way she serves my dad in big ways like,
coming alongside him, to help provide for our family.
taking on little BIG cleaning jobs and involve us kids,
making it a joint, family mission.
or in small ways like serving him first at meal times.
always making our home a haven.
a place of rest.

::  ::  ::

my parents aren't perfect.
but they taught me how to love.
that Chmelar's CAN.
and to Never give up.

so i guess this is a little tribute to you mom and dad.
{i love you}

Monday, February 20, 2012

my lil' lumberjack

i have this passionate love for the elderly.
i don't know exactly when or where it started.
maybe all the times my parents took us kids to sing at nursing homes,
and i knew i wanted to be a CNA, and care for these people.
or the fact that my own grandpa started living with us when i was eleven,
and i got to be his very own personal, nurse and therapist.

meet my grandpa.
doesn't he look like a little lumberjack?

he's mine.

i received news last night that my grandpa has congestive heart failure.
his health is failing very rapidly.
today he is getting a blood transfusion.
please pray with me, for my grandpa.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Saturday play date love

sometimes i feel like i live in {durango}.
sometimes that feeling comes with a lot of exhaustion.
emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
mostly because of all the pain, hurt, and need we see.
more then ever, i felt that this week.

but despite all this, 
i still love the fact that i have the privilege to have relationships with these people.

as you all know...  
we tutor the niños four days a week, 
and then on Saturday...
it's play time!

here's a look at what we did Saturday.

::  ::  ::

lots and lots of artistic ability in {durango}

my silly frog with balloons, 
turned into the most sought after painting. 

next female, vincent van  gogh.
she painted about eight paintings.
every time i turned around,
 she was asking for another piece of paper.

at another table we had some serious engineers.

the niños built tall towers.

the niñas, castles.

there's nothing like chubby little hands and faces.

 just want to squeeze and kiss, every last inch of their chubbiness.

street hockey got pretty intense with the older chicas.

we play hard here in mexico.

i was literally sitting in a cloud of dust to get the pictures.

but totally worth it.

the best part has to be all the lovin'.

and those suffocating-ly, good hugs.  

if you've never spent a day in a community like this...
i highly recommend it.

but beware...  
it's highly addicting...  and you may never want to leave.
just sayin.