Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Beautiful Friend's Wedding

Photo courtesy of Simply Jessie Photography
One of my very favorite people in the whole world got married a few weeks ago,
and I am so thankful that I could be there to see it.

Em and I have been friends now for eleven years.
She and I met while living and working together with Cru in Mexico...
the place I had least wanted to spend a year of my life...
the place I came to love deeply...
the place where I met some of the best friends I will ever have...
the place where I met my husband...
and the place where I saw the Lord move so powerfully in the lives of so many wonderful friends.

God's plans are SO much better than our plans.

So, while my husband managed both meetings and our son,
I spent four wonderful days in Chicago with Emily getting ready for her wedding.
Since there wasn't much left to do, we were able to have lots of fun and lots of conversations.
She was such a beautiful, calm, and composed bride, 
and her wedding was unforgettable.

You can see more incredible photos of Em's lovely wedding at Jessie's blog here.
I didn't bring my Jessie kindly let me share this one.

I love you, Em!!
I am so very thankful for you,
and I am so happy for you and Paul.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Half Marathon

I keep calling it Brandon's "Mini" because that's what they call the half marathon that happens around race time in Indianapolis, The Indy Mini.  But, there was nothing mini about it.

Brandon had never really run long distance before when he decided to get some friends together and train to run a half marathon in Albuquerque.  He hated it, and he loved it.  And, the combination of both being in shape and having an outlet in exercise was extremely helpful during a crazy season in his life.

On the day of the race, Caleb and I ran around the course with our friend, Denise, and cheered him and our awesome friends on.  It was lots of fun until I found myself standing on a hill of large, black biting ants that crawled up my pants and bit me everywhere... causing me to freak out and almost knock over a runner... but that's another story for another day.

I am so very proud of my husband.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Gila Cliff Dwellings

As I mentioned in a previous post, my mom came and stayed with us for a while.  It was such a wonderful, wonderful experience, and I will be forever grateful for all the blessings that came through her being here.

She left a few weeks ago, but before she left my dad came out to visit us.  While Brandon and I were up in Albuquerque for the half marathon, my parents drove all around southern New Mexico exploring old highways and state parks.  They are so cute.

We then spent one day visiting the ruins at Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.  If you're local, I highly recommend you make the trip if you haven't before.  It is very, very remote, but the drive is incredible.  And, if it's too far...consider camping.  You can see photos from our camping adventure there in this post.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

This is how awesome our friends are...

A few weeks ago, we were spending some time together with our staff team.  Towards the end,  we were handed a box wrapped in red paper.  Inside the package was a scrapbook...filled with individual pages created in such fun, unique ways by many different friends...friendships that span the eight years of our life here.  As soon as I looked at the first page, I knew it was a priceless gift to treasure forever. 

Still crying while looking at the book, Holly handed me another gift to that she said was also a collaboration of many friends.  As I began to open it, she crouched down in front of me with her video camera.  I couldn't imagine what kind of gift could merit filming.  A little nervous (and still crying), I opened it.  Inside, was a simple piece of paper (shown to the right).  If you can't tell from the photo, they gave us a vacation!  On the back of the paper were the words, " get to pick" as well as the details and the list of amazing people who made this happen.

WE ARE SO EXCITED!!!  We are heading to the Mexican island of Cozumel in a little over a week.  It is still so hard to believe...even as I see it in writing.  Caleb will stay with our amazing family in Illinois (thank you, C & T), and we will spend our days snorkeling, reading, and eating Mexican food.  We (all three of us) can't wait! 

You guys love us too well sometimes.  :-)

p.s.  We were given another very special gift that night.
I will share about it sometime in the future.

Thursday, May 24, 2012



 Well, I didn't mean to take such a long blog break...
but I guess we have been a little busy.

We are moving.
 Packing our stuff.  Selling our house.  Moving cross country.

When Jude was born last August,
the significance of his medical needs changed the way we viewed the future.
With the reality that we would have a child who was medically fragile,
we began to consider the eventual possibility of moving to a place where he could get better care.
Our lives and our future were surrendered to the Lord.

So after October,
the life we thought would look one way was now no longer going to look that way.
Broken and surrendered, we began to pray about our future. 
 Through some conversations with our bosses, conversations with our friends and family, and much prayer, the Lord made clear to us that He was leading us in a new direction.

We are temporarily moving to Orlando, Florida.
Brandon will work and serve at Cru's national office for a year.

During this year, we plan to seek the Lord as to what's next.
We also plan on resting and healing.

We're so thankful for this timely opportunity,
and we are so thankful for the Lord's clear guidance in our lives.

And, as far as my blog break goes,
I have much to catch up on...
including how awesome our friends have been as we prepare to leave.

Stay tuned...