September Whirlwind

Whew! September has been such a blur. On the 6th, we celebrated miss Emma's birthday! I cannot believe a year has come and gone already! I have commented so many times that her first year seemed to go SO much faster than it did with Collin. Collin's went fast, but wow!! It feels like life keeps speeding up and I can't catch up!

Emma is such a little sweetie...and a fireball. :) She has added so very much to our family!! I love the way her personality continues to come out. She is even more strong-willed than Collin is and I certainly feel like I'm losing my mind most of the time trying to keep up with her and Collin, but wow I love her!! I pray everyday that we can mold that strong-will into a God fearing and God loving little girl who grows up to use that very will to impact eternity!

I also adore the friendship that these two continue to grow! I never really thought about this until Emma came along but I pray that our children will truly be friends and love spending time together. They already know how to push each others buttons, but boy do they fiercly love each other, too!! I hope their love continues to grow!

After Emma's birthday, we switched into packing mode. We accepted an offer on our house about a week before Emma's birthday but didn't want to start thinking about all that entailed until after we celebrated her. Wow, I had no idea how huge of a project it is to move...especially with little ones! While we'd had our home on the market, I had started to purge...sell things, give things away, throw things away...but it is amazing how much stuff we have! Yikes!! As the end of the month and our closing date approached, we quickly realized that we needed to be totally out of the house about a week before the closing date. Our calendar was so very full this month that we just had to get out then. The thing is, we haven't found another house yet. My parents have graciously opened their home to us as we continue to house hunt. They have rearranged their house, garage, lives to make room for us. And they have encouraged us to take our time and not rush into the wrong house. We are very thankful for their generosity!

We closed on our house this past Friday and are now settling in to our new "normal"....even if it is a temporary normal. We are excited about what the future holds and are diligantly praying for God to lead us exactly where He wants us...and we KNOW that He will!


Alaskan Adventures

Alaska is absolutely beautiful! Unfortunately, the pictures you'll see in this post DO NOT do it justice...hence my new hobby. ;) But, I'll tell you about our trip and share them anyway.

Robert's college roommate, Dan, lives in Alaska which is who we were staying with once we got there. There were some other friends, Brent & Carrie, who were visiting the same time. I didn't get to know Brent and Carrie too well until after college, mostly during this trip. They are a great couple!

The plan for much of the week was to go backpacking. While I do enjoy camping, I'm not such a great backpacker. The last backpacking trip I went on was before I had Collin. It was with a friend of ours from Wichita and we headed to the Buffalo River in Arkansas. For the most part I enjoyed the trip until we had to walk through waist deep, cold water and when I nearly got bit by a snake while taking a bathroom. That pretty much did me in that trip and then Robert just went with his buddies. But, it's Alaska, right. That's a fun way to see the back country.

It really wasn't that bad and I did enjoy the backpacking portions but I also enjoyed showering. :) Since there were now 2 girls on the trip, the boys graciously agreed to break up the backpacking portions. So one night we were able to stay in Seward, which was my favorite Alaskan town this visit. The hotel we stayed in wasn't my favorite but we were able to go on this awesome glacier cruise and see humpback whales, dall's porpoise, bald eagles, stellar sea lions, puffins and other incredible wildlife! Robert and I also took a trip up to Denali and went on a bus tour through Denali and saw a couple Grizzly bears, lots of caribou and some Moose.

I'm so very glad I went along. Before we left, we talked about all the things we want to do next time we come...but who knows when that may be. :) Hope you enjoy a few pictures.


Amazing Alaska!

Well, we made it home last night from our trip to Alaska. I'm SO happy I went!! Alaska is quite beautiful....so beautiful that we already started talking about our next trip there. Who knows when that will be, though. I had a couple "revelations", I guess, while we were there. Robert's company has an office there and the possibility of moving there at some point is actually a possibility. Up until our visit, I was completely against it. Now, however, the only thing that would stop me is how far from family it is...which is an important factor for me. So who knows what may or may not happen. The other thing I discovered is that I'd really like to explore the world of photography. There were so many moments and places I wished I had captured better. I was talking with a friend about my new found hobby and learned she has an interest in it as well! So, we're gonna look into taking an introductory photography class to learn more about it, save up for a camera and enjoy our new hobby. :) I'm excited!!



Many, many months ago, Robert and I began talking about taking a trip to Alaska. Robert's college roommate works for the same company Robert does and it currently working for them in Alaska. So, not only could we visit Dan but we could visit Alaska! Pretty cool, huh! Well, as we started getting down to the nitty gritty of actually planning and scheduling the trip, it looked like it was only going to work out for Robert to go to Alaska...for several different reasons. And that's been the plan for the last several months...until Thursday night.

Robert has been incredibly busy with work and will just become busier and busier as he's in a new leadership training program that is already very demanding. He'll be in this program until May. With the everyday demands of life and then the added stress of Robert's Elite program, I was becoming a bit desperate for time with my hubby. Alas, I began to wish I, too, was going to Alaska with him.

So, I mentioned it to him Thursday...and he was leaving Saturday morning. He was excited about the prospect of me coming so I began checking flights. Thankfully, we had enough airline miles to get me there so I just needed to buy a return flight. We found a decent price on a return flight and decided to go for it.

This trip is a big deal for me for a couple different reasons: 1) this is the first time I've left Collin and Emma, apart for a 3 day stint away from Collin before Emma was ever born, and 2) what a fun, fun opportunity to explore God's beautiful creation with my hubby....something that has been a dream of his for a long, long time!

My parents are amazing and very willing took on the task of watching Collin and Emma for us so we could have this time away together. I could not be more grateful and humbled to have such a supportive family willing to do anything for us at anytime. My inlaws are the same way and if the trip hadn't been so spontaneous (as far as me going along) they would have been here in a heartbeat as well.

So, here I am in Alaska with Robert truly in awe of God's glory and goodness...and we haven't even been here a full day or seen much apart from landing at the airport!

I'm excited to see what the week holds....


Live your life...

"Live your life in such a way that those who know you but don't know God will come to know God because they know you."

Those are powerful words and quite challenging to live by but it has become my life motto. I grew up in a Christian home, always going to church. I became saved one Sunday at Sunday school when I was 5. For being so young, I can remember so much about that day. The lesson our teachers gave us; being asked if anybody wanted to ask Jesus to come live in their heart; being the only person who raised my hand that day; going out in the hall and talking with my teacher to make sure I really understood-as much as a 5 year old can understand-what it meant to ask Jesus into your heart; praying and asking Him to come into my heart; and the sheer excitement after I prayed knowing I had Jesus in my heart-forever! I couldn't wait to find my mommy and daddy and tell them "I asked Jesus into my heart!"

Being 5 and continuing to grow up in the church, God protected me from many things and situations I could have found myself in. But I didn't really being to truly grow in my relationship with Him until we moved to Oklahoma in 1997. It was a very, very difficult time in my life. But thankfully, I got plugged into a good youth group and everything changed after going to summer camp one year. It's interesting, though, because although I began to really grow in my relationship with Him during high school, I certainly see times in my life where I put God on the backburner and let life get in the way. I became too focused on myself and what I wanted to do. While He was always a part of my life, He hasn't always been my life. Until the last few years....

Becoming a parent has changed me in so many ways! I have experienced God's love for me in brand new, incredible ways. The love I have for Collin and Emma is so very intense and yet God reminds me constantly that not only does He love them so much more than I even do, but He loves ME so much more than I can truly understand. It's truly uncomprehensible at times! So very incredible!

Being a parent is very humbling! Especially as your baby grows and begins to mimick you. Wow, have my eyes been opened to so many areas of growth opportunities in my life!! Yikes! One of the biggest things that has been in the forefront of my mind is obedience...and obedience right away, the first time. We work on this every day, all day with Collin. I have been convicted so many times when I tell Collin "you need to obey mommy the first time." Do I obey God the first time? How can I expect Collin to obey me right away when so often I don't obey God right away? If I want to be a good remodel for my kids, I need to live exactly what I'm teaching to them. God has given me many opportunities to obey Him, the first time. :)

So I did, in a big way recently. A few months ago, I felt very strongly led by the Lord to ask my neighbor if she'd like to do a Bible study with me. For some silly reason, I was so nervous to ask her this but I couldn't shake God's leading for me to ask her. So, I did. And she enthusiastically answered Yes! and immediately asked if she could invite a friend of hers to join us. I was so excited and of course said Yes! So, the three of us began meeting on Tuesday nights, studying His word. It has been such a huge blessing for me and for them. They are both new to the faith and can't get enough of studying God's word. And neither can I!!Within the last few weeks, we have started studying Ruth and have added 3 more girls to our study! What a huge blessing and privelage it is to see God moving in my life and in others lives!

Last Tuesday at our Bible study, I was reminded again how very important it is for me to seek God everyday and live for Him and to let Him live through me. We were discussing a particular passage in Ruth and my neighbor was sharing something with the group I had said to her months and months ago, likely even years ago, that had literally changed her mindset and life. Wow!! Talk about being humbled!! At first, I honestly did not remember what I had said to her and was praying it was something that would bring God glory. It was such a good reminder to "Live your life in such a way that those who know you but don't know God will come to know God because they know you."

I pray this is true in my life. I pray that my day to day life always points others to Christ. I pray I am love because He is love. I pray that when people see me, whether in the aisle at Target or the aisle at church, that they don't see me but rather see Christ through me.


One amazing man

Today we celebrated my hubby's birthday! He is an amazing man and we are so lucky to have him in our lives. Robert keeps me on my toes, that's for sure. :) You never know what he's going to say. Having kids means my life is always interesting but it has been interesting for the past 9 years he's been in my life. On a serious side, though, he is a great, great man. He loves the Lord, works so hard to provide for our family, he is a great daddy and his kids absolutely adore him!! Him coming home from work is one of my absolute favorite times of the day, not just because I'm excited to see him but because Collin and Emma completely light up when he walks in the house. So sweet! God knew exactly what He was doing when He put Robert and I together and I couldn't be more thankful!! Happy birthday, Babe!! We love you so very much!!


Back in the Saddle

I've decided to get back in the saddle again on blogging. I can't believe how much my life has changed and how much I've changed as a person since my last post. A lot has happened in a little over two years! The biggest change is the addition of our sweet and fiesty Emma. She's been with us for almost a year already!

Not only has my life become busier with an active toddler and an almost toddler but I have grown a lot, too. My goal with this blog is just to share me...what's happening in my family, what's happening in my walk with the Lord, what's happening in life. It may not be something that interests anybody else but it'll be nice to get my thoughts written down. Journaling without making my hand tired from all the writing. :)

So, here we go....