Saturday, June 23, 2012

happy summer time

Swimming lessons!


 Miss Thang has been taking gymnastics...
 Playing outside at 7 am before it gets too hot! This boy wakes up in the morning and wants to go outside immediately! 



 This is what happens when you have a big sister that rules the roost :)
but he also shows her how to put those pink gardening tools to use...she never really played in the dirt until baby brother came along ;)    


Today Ella and I are having a girls day out to go see BRAVE!!! We leave for Arkansas towards the end of next week and are SO excited about our extended stay. I see the temperature creeping up to ungodly highs already and I can't wait to get the heck out of here! It's been a while since we've been able to take a big trip home and stay a while. We are excited to soak up some QT. This is the first time Mike will get to come with us the whole time! What a blessing!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

NYC trip

6 years
5 jobs
4 degrees
3 moves
2 kids
1 dog later...
We are living our happily ever after :) Last week, Mike and I celebrated our 6 year anniversary! We definitely didn't waist any time before getting down to business. Every year has been packed full of adventures...one right after the other. I love it.

Last week we took a little visit to NYC!!! As we plan and think about a possible move to NYC in the future, we took the opportunity to roam neighborhoods and just BE in the city. We didn't go and do a bunch of the fun stuff. We just lived and functioned in the city in between assessments and meetings that we had. It was a very sobering trip...in a good way. We came back with many many things to pray about, think about,  and then pray some more about. Yes we love the city, yes we think it would be an adventure, yes we feel called to the city, yes it's our favorite place to be! But it is a process in which we plan to approach with a "walk don't run" mentality. There are many things to be considered first and then soooo many things to prepare for. It's a tough place to live! Many things have to be in line first...like the stars haha. Here is where we are at in the process...
-Mike has been blessed with a paid residency/training program for this next year.
-We have a host/sending church for the residency. We were very blessed with this because it just so happens to be at the church we attend and have always loved, IBC.

Now we are beginning the next phase of raising support, narrowing down an neighborhood and finding a partnership with a group of people in NYC. We are completely open to whatever God has in store. From here on out, it is very easy for me to "let go and let God" because I know we could not survive this on our own works or doing. I look back on our 3 year journey to this point and see 2 very distinct things: 1. Whatever we have tried to make happen on our own has failed. 2. Everything that has brought us to this point in giving us the tools, people, networks, churches, residency and everything else- has been a God thing...out of the blue and nothing that we chased after or worked to hard for. :) There isn't anything we can orchestrate ourselves.

It is a very vulnerable position we are in right now. I couldn't possibly tell you where we will be or what we will be doing this time next year. But I do know that for today, we are exactly where God wants us to be and that is good enough for me! All I have to do is look back on His faithfulness and presence in our lives, especially the last 6 months, and I know that it doesn't really matter what I do or don't do! That is what gives me peace and contentment through what most would consider a very unstable time. I've never felt more stable and secure.

Here is one of the neighborhoods we are looking into-the Financial District. Home of Ground Zero, Wall Street, NY stock exchange and the new Freedom Tower. There is only 1 known evangelical church in the neighborhood with a population of 60,000 people. Manhattan in and of itself is an intense place to live and this neighborhood was no refuge from it. There is a lot of life outside of the big buildings and A LOT of young families living there. We saw a lot of strollers and kiddies walking home from school with backpacks. That was the one thing I saw in this neighborhood that seemed "normal" to me haha. We loved it. Here are some pictures...




truly a concrete jungle


but if you can make your way through the concrete jungle, there is water on the outskirts! That's Brooklyn across the way...

 What I love is all of the nooks and crannies within this neighborhood where people actually live and real life takes place. People dining on the streets, enjoying entertainment on the streets and doing life in the city.





 this is what an NYC farmers market looks like haha.





So that is the Financial District. We managed to squeeze in a date night.  



And we got to meet up with our friends Michael and Kyndi! Mike and Michael worked together at PCBC and we took our first church planing NYC adventure with them a few years ago. They are planting in TriBeCa with Trinity Grace. It was good to catch up! Their daughter was kind enough to serve us some delicious wooden cake and "tea" from the faucet ;)


Instead of messing with the hotel thing, we were able to stay with some friends from home. This is the son and daughter-in-law from Mike's parents friends back in Van Buren. They were kind enough to open up their home to us! It may help  my addiction to reality tv if I had this to stare at every night.



All for now! We are home and packing in the last few play dates and activities before we head home for ARKANSAS!!! Seriously, can't wait.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

off with a bang!

Summer is off with a bang! We have done so much this first week, it's hard to believe it's only been one week down :) However, I'm seeing some laaaazy days in our future! But for now, we are partying hard, having fun, eating lots of ice cream, family outings, together with friends, packing to move homes, packing to go to Arkansas for July, preparing for our assessment and trip and to New York next week, completing phase 2 of downsizing and yard sale AND celebrating 6 years of marriage. Yes, that as all just week 1 of summer!


 Ella loves to go to the library. I've been taking her to her program and I started ones upon a time with Luca too. This year, they are in different programs because of age so they go on different days. Ella loves it and always has. Luca on the other hand...he's completely oblivious (or just doesn't care) that there is an organized event taking place with someone singing and dancing and telling funny stories to him! He'd rather crawl on the tables, take down the stacked chairs in the back, disassemble the teacher's easel, or do this...

Ella loves to pick out books and movies and to sit and read. Luca likes to take all the books of the shelf...
and pretend like he's playing on the computer!
This wild little man found the ONE AND ONLY book in the entire library with wheels on it, and drove it through the aisles while Ella browsed and read books. :)
 
birthday parties and girl friends...
ella and cooper...
Ella started gymnastics again and she is loving it! She reeeeaaaaaalllllyyy wants to learn to climb that rope! It's hard work but I bet she will by the end of summer :)
and Mr. Man grew so much hair we actually had to get it cut! I wasn't sure we'd ever be doing that again! His last hair cut was last summer some time around his birthday. Pretty soon after, the alopecia set in...but here we are...for now :)

before...
after...
and a few days later...growing like crazy for now anyways!
Yesterday was our 6 year anniversary! My how time flies!!! We have packed a TON of stuff into 6 years and certainly haven't waisted any precious moments of life :) We dined at Rafains Brazilian Steakhouse (one of our faves since moving to Texas), picked up some Sugar Queen Cupcakes, and watched Snow White and the Huntsman. Date night was spent at some of our favorite places back in Plano, right in our neighborhood we were in when we first moved here. We were just taken back by how far we've come and recounting all of the precious memories we've made starting from the very beginning. We were at the restaurant that we took Ella to with us one night when we realized we were so far away from "home" that if we ever thought we were going to go on nice dates, well, Ella would be joining :) So we went to a NICE Brazilian Steakhouse-there are candles, knives and no kid menu-it's quiet and "formal" in there...and she did GREAT! She was one. Precious memories :)