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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

An ode to the brand name.

For those of you who have moved, you understand the dilemma of finding the generic brands you're used to at the price you love. In fact, you understand the dilemma of finding ANYTHING in the brand new store, with the brand new layout, and the brand new items. It's all new. Because of this, I was forced to buy some name brand items that I had avoided like the plague before our move. Call it the new me, but I now know why the ones I was buying are generic. And now I am fully aware of what that extra dollar and cents gets me!
Dear Clorox Wipes,

How could I have known that you were so much better than Hill Country Fair? I admit, I tossed you aside due to the more expensive price tag you wore. Had I known that you would be so soft, smell so clean, and easily break from your strand of other Clorox Wipe friends (instead of me having to rip you apart like your counterpart...pun intended), I would have picked you up in an instant. I think you're great and I'll use you often. Thanks for still being my friend and working so well for me.

Faithfully yours,

Friday, August 27, 2010

Exciting news!

I'll just clear the air, I'm not pregnant. Funny, though, because when I called my dad to tell him my exciting news, our conversation went like this:
Me: Hey, Dad! Guess what?!
Dad: I'm gonna be a granddad!!
Me: No, but I got a job!
My sister, Aimee, thought the same thing. But, joking aside, I'm officially an employee at Gordon-Conwell! I will be working in the Communications office as the Electronics Communications Coordinator. We are super excited and just so grateful for this provision from the Lord.

When I think back on the process of looking for a job, I must be honest in saying that it got discouraging at times. I found myself before the Lord asking him why he was being so "slow in providing." However, if there is one thing I've learned through the waiting process, it's this: God's timing is perfect and just because we are waiting, it doesn't mean he isn't providing. He provides patience when we want results. He provides faith when we lack it. He provides perspective when our vision is blurred. And for those things, I'm grateful.

Of course, I'm grateful that he provided a job, too :) And, being at the seminary will allow me to be more involved in what Jon will be doing these next three years. What a blessing! So, thank you for praying, for encouraging, and for following up with us. It's meant so much to us and we want to celebrate what the Lord has done with you.

We pray you see his unique provision in your life and give thanks for his watchful eye!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Reunited...and it felt so good!

So, remember this post? Not long after I finished writing it, I got a call from our friends, Danny and Andrea, that they were coming down to visit! We had talked about it briefly before, but it was up in the air whether or not they would be able to make it. I was literally giddy with excitement that they were coming and we were going to experience even more familiarity!

We had so much fun with our first-time visitors. We had five people living under this little roof. There was lots of laughter, eating, and exploring.

Of course, we decided to take them into Boston. No trip to Boston is complete without a little subway action...

...some awesome poses...

...and cool shades.

We had a grand time exploring Boston together. We even ran into an old friend!

We also took some super awesome pictures...

...while "pahked in the Hahvahd yahd."

A lovely time was had by all (at least I think so!). It was so wonderful to have some of our best friends be our first visitors and we can't wait to welcome some more!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Transition Low #1

Yep. I had it. Just when I thought I was transitioning well, I had a little "glitch." And I didn't even see it coming! I was making my Granny's recipe for Beef Stroganoff and the lump crept up my throat. I made it all the way through dinner, then came up to Jon (doing the dishes...SEXY!) and told him, "I'm getting sad."

This is where you'll want to know something about me. For some reason, I feel as though I need to warn Jon of my sad episodes. So, our new routine, so to speak, goes like this:
Me: "I'm getting sad." (Translation: I'm about to cry.)
Jon: "Why are you getting sad?" (Translation: Oh dear.)
Me: "I'm not really sure." Tears start to flow. (Translation: I'm feeling a lot right now and I can't really put my feelings into words.)
Jon: "Come here. Just let it all out." (Translation: Oh dear.)
And there you have it, my friends! This is what marriage is all about! :) But, on a more serious note, this week was a little harder as far as transition goes. You get to a point in a new stage of life where you just want familiarity. You want people to know you. You want people to get you. You want your nights to get busy again. You want to know your way around the city. And that's where I am.

Thankfully, I've had good conversations with family and friends. Whether your encouragement has been flat out or you've just been someone that knows me, I've been encouraged. I can do this.

And good news! Today starts our 2-month stretch of entertaining with small breaks in between! Ryan, our good friend from Texas, is coming to visit today for a few days. He lives overseas, so we haven't seen him in over a year. Then, Jon's parents and brother come to visit in September for a few days. Then, my parents come to visit end of September/early October. THEN, my whole family comes to spend Thanksgiving here. FUN TIMES AHEAD! And lots of familiarity. Bring it on.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Giveaway!

Not from me...sorry!

But, this giveaway is AWESOME! AND, there's only a few more hours to enter.

Click here to enter! And while you're there, look around. You'll leave feeling creative, crafty, and inspired!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

2 Years!

I'm changing it up a bit, considering Jon and I have been married for two whole years! I can't let that slip by without writing about it :)

Has it really been that long? It seems like yesterday we were seeing each other for the first time before we said, "I do." A lot has changed over the last two years...

We'll start with the most obvious: We no longer live in Texas. On our way up here, I remember seeing the first sign that told us which highway to take to Boston and I thought, "Never in my wildest (or most mild, for that matter) dreams did I think I would ever live in Boston!"

Growing up, I'd always been the one to "stretch" those around me (usually my parents). Then, I married Jon. He has stretched me in more ways than I thought possible. Marriage is definitely a refining process and I can't express in words how grateful I am that God chose Jon to be a tool in His hands. So here we are starting our third year of marriage in New England.

Second, we no longer celebrate each month of marriage. Man, I loved that tradition! And marriage is not like having a child (although it's been known to LEAD to that!). You can't say, "Oh, we've been married for 17 months now!" It just doesn't have the same feel. But that first year of marriage you totally can! And we did! We found lots of unique ways to celebrate whatever month we were in. Looking back, I wish I'd written out what we did. It was such a sweet time of marriage.

Third, we transition better. I like to joke about how emotional I can be, but let's just say Jon saw the truth of it as I transitioned into marriage. This is when he began saying the famous phrase, "Just let it all out," while stroking my back or playing with my hair. Of course, he was referring to my tears. And my emotions are the same, if not stronger, when it comes to the "transition prep." But as we moved into our new home and began to make friends, look at churches, and all the other fun things you do when moving to a new town, we transitioned well. We were flexible with one another, showing much grace where needed. And I like to think that's due to us knowing one another better.

While there are many other things that have changed within the past two years, one change sticks out the most: I love him more everyday. This is a subtle change. From the beginning, you wonder how you could ever love someone more. Then, you look back at the beginning and think, "And I thought I loved you then." I love his character and the fact that he works hard at whatever he's doing. I love that he doesn't raise his voice with me, but speaks to me in kindness. I love that he knows how I like my coffee. I love that he knows how much I hate exercise, but gently encourages me to do it anyway. I love that he prays for me everyday.

Jon, thank you for two wonderful years of marriage. Of course, we've had our ups and down along the way, but I can think of no other man that I'd rather do life with than you. You stretch me past my limits, yet do so with great kindness and grace. Thank you for loving me selflessly. I love you!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Out with the old, in with the new - Part 2

"It is our wisdom to make the best of that which is, for it is seldom that changing our place is mending it." - Matthew Henry

Isn't that a great quote? I am currently doing a study over the book of Ruth and this quote seemed to jump out at me. It sums up the lessons the Lord was and continues to teach me as change becomes our normal. Does that make sense?

Jon and I talked and prayed and talked and prayed our way through our decision to move to Boston. Our sole purpose for doing so was for Jon to pursue his Masters of Divinity at Gordon-Conwell. Come to find out, God had different purposes for our move. Isn't that how he always seems to work? Of course, we're still here for Jon to get his Masters, but so much more came from the process of learning to trust God with the unknown.

My family and friends will tell you that it was not an easy decision for me to process. There were many "ugly cries," as I like to call them, along the way. I remember saying to one of my dear friends, Shannon, "Will I ever be the same? Will I ever NOT be emotional?!" She confidently assured me that this state of emotion wasn't permanent and that she could already see my movement away from sadness and towards confidence in God's will. And she was right! I began to get excited about the move and less intimidated by the change that was ahead.

Which brings me back to the quote I began with. I am learning that whatever stage of life God has placed me in, I have the opportunity to make the most of it, rather than try to change it. I must understand that God, in his sovereign wisdom, has not only ordained, but purposed my steps and allotted my days. He has thoughtfully placed me where I am, so that I might grow and learn and become more like him.

So, that's where I am regarding the newness that is New England. And, as it turns out, I LOVE it!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Out with the old, in with the new - Part 1

We're here!! Can you believe it?! That's what we keep asking ourselves..."Do we really live in the Northeast?" And the answer would be YES! So far, it's been great. Challenging at times, yes, but such a sweet time in our lives and in our marriage. So, how did we get here? Here's what we've been up to lately:
  • We lived in Greece for five weeks! While we were there, we spent a few days in Athens getting to know the culture a bit, then headed to Ioannina, Greece for four weeks. We had a blast! Unfortunately, our memory card decided to "malfunction" the last few days of our trip. Translation: We have no personal pictures from our time in Greece. Thankfully, there were a plethora of cameras on our trip and so here are some of my faves that other peeps took:

Some of our team in Corinth:

Our team in Athens; these were our
16 "children" while in Greece:

Oh, just another day in front
of the Parthenon:

This was our first day in
Ioannina in front of the lake!
  • On our way back to the States, we made a stop in Ephesus, Turkey! This was one of my favorite parts of our trip! Such rich, Christian history in one place. Here are some of my favorite pics from this part of our trip:

This is the theatre of Ancient Ephesus. It
holds 25,000 people. Pretty amazing experience!

Jon and I in front of the Celsus Library,
the third largest of ancient sites:

Just enjoying some apple tea on
handmade Turkish rugs. No big deal!

This was the last ferry ride we took while
traveling. Thankfully, this was not the overnight,
ten-hour ferry we endured enjoyed earlier!
And that, my friends, concludes Part 1 of I don't know how many! Life is good, God is faithful, and we're enjoying the journey! More later!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

And we're back!

I've been neglecting the 'ole blog. Perhaps it's because there's so much NEW in our life.

Don't you worry...I'll be updating very soon. In the meantime, you can enjoy the new "bloglift," if you will, that my dear friend Jordan gave me! In fact, if you like it as much as I do, you should click here and see what kind of deals she's offering to give YOUR blog a bloglift.

Talk soon!