Saturday, November 22, 2008

An Update

So it's been a while since I lasted updated...all 2 of you who read this. We have been really busy lately. Looking back now, I am not really sure what has kept us so busy, but life sure has. I am trying really hard to finish all of my school work before Jan. Then once Jan. comes, I am going to do all of my hours with clients. So that's kept me a tad bit busier then normal. Molly has been growing leaps and bounds. She is a lot more verbal now, and interacts on a whole new level then like a month ago. It's amazing to see her everyday change and develop. She is such a blessing in our lives, and I am so thankful for her. Kim and Eric came to visit, and we got to meet Beckham for the first time. I was so excited, but I think Molly was more excited. She hugged and kissed him the whole time, with no prompting from us. She loved on him so much! It was actually funny to see her "mothering" him.

Church has been crazy busy, but none the less still great and exciting. We are growing every week. That is a huge answer to prayer! We actually are moving into a larger theater in Jan. It's so exciting, because after that move then we will have to find another place to meet, or open a second site. So many possibilities in 2009.

So I know this wasn't much of an update, but at least I can cross "update blog" off my to do list. We are leaving for New York this week for Thanksgiving. I am excited to get away, because I always look forward to coming back. Plus, the grandparents will give Eric and I a much needed break from parenthood. That's always nice! Until next time, enjoy your day!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

one year anniversary

On Sunday, the 12th we celebrated our one year anniversary of living in Wisconsin. Last year when we moved here it felt so rushed and hurried, that I wasn't able to take it all in. I had just literally given up possession of my home-we sold it, in one day, praise God! But I felt like I was handing all of my hard work over to people who didn't know and understand what that house meant to us. So for all of you people who are saying "you can't take it with you"...blah, blah! I know a house is a possession, but right now, for me it was my pride and joy. Eric and I saved up all of our money, bought this house that needed a ton of work and some TLC, and we made it to be our own. We picked everything out for it, and we did all of the work, with help from our families. But it truly was ours. I love that house and I miss it daily. I miss my hardwood floors, and my paint colors, and having a yard, and waving to the neighbors. I miss pulling in the garage and knowing I am home, and just miss knowing that it was all mine. So when we sold it and handed over the keys, I wasn't fully prepared to grieve for this house. I kept telling myself, and still tell myself, it's a house, we'll have another one. Which I know we will, but I will always love that house on Jason Court.

The move here physically went smoothly. All of our stuff made it, with a few dents and scratches, and most importantly-the cat survived the car ride. Eric didn't officially start until Nov. 1, and we moved here Oct. 12. Trust me, with a 2 month old baby, I was thankful for the help, but I was also counting the days down until he started work again! We were able to feel out the area, and get to know the staff, our neighbors, and what it meant to start over again.

Then when Eric started working and I was home with Molly all day, I began to miss Cincinnati and all of the familiar things there. I knew more people, I knew how to get around, and I felt needed there. Sure Molly needed me, and Eric to a point, but I really felt like the kids needed me, or other people counted on me for things. Here wasn't like that, at all. In Cincy, Eric and I were a team when it came to ministry, we had each other. And when things felt like they couldn't get any worse, they did, but we had each other to turn to. So why was I grieving a place I couldn't wait to get away from. I wanted to run and keep on running.

To this day I miss Cincy, the people, our friends, Carters :), Skyline, and all those great Queen City staples. I miss being needed again by the church. I am needed every other month here for the 4/5's class, but really, I just show up the other weeks.

God is faithful, and we have the best opportunities here that we wouldn't have had anywhere else. God's promises are new every morning, and he has/is blessing us with many people to serve here. So needless to say, I love Wisconsin, but I will always love Cincinnati too. It was our first ministry, first house, first baby, and a lot other firsts. Thanks Cincy for a great ride, and now Hello Wisconsin for another one!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

fall beauty

so for some reason i love fall. i love the weather, and the colors. you can take one look at my house and know i love fall colors. everything i have is practically red, orange, green, tan, brown, blue, etc. i am attracted to those colors in stores, and anywhere else you see them. this is my second fall in wisconsin. last year we moved here i guess in the middle of fall, but the second weekend we were here it snowed. and it didn't stop till april. so now snow yet, frost, but no snow. so i guess this is the first fall i have actually been able to enjoy in wisconsin. let me tell you, it's beautiful. probably where you are at is beautiful too, but here, i just want to get out of the car at every corner and take a picture. i am constantly telling eric, "look at those leaves...what a beautiful setting for a picture." which by now he rolls his eyes, and smiles a little. but seriously it's gorgeous here.

i think since having molly i have become more appreciative of the little things too. like color changing leaves. i try not to take life for granted, and i really do try and take it all in. since moving here i have seen awesome sunsets and wonderful rainbows. eric and i went to hawaii on vacation and saw rainbows there, and trust me they were beautiful too. but in hawaii you know you are going to see rainbows, in wisconsin, it's actually surprising to me still. i have seen 2 complete rainbows here, like start to finish. which i think is incredible. to me the rainbow still means the same thing it did for noah. god has not forgotten me, and he will never forget me. although last year at this time i had my house packed on a moving truck and we all had to live 4 days without our stuff, we slept on the floor of our house with a 2 month old baby, and lived out of a cooler, god never forgot us. eric and i still talk about those 4 days and what fun we had in our empty house and how we will never forget those simple days. then moving here, knowing not even one soul, and making it through. we will be here a year on the 12th, and i still am excited to get up and see what the day brings. i am still excited to go to the ridge on sundays and we see what cover tune the band is going to sing, and i am still excited because i can see god at work daily.

the leaves may change color, and look beautiful for a time, and rainbows may appear once in a great while, or when you need one, but god's promises and faithfulness will last forever. please know he has not forgotten about you. he knows what you need, and when you need it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

the hummingbirds

i have some flowers in window boxes, but they are on my railing on my balcony, so flowers in railing boxes...and everyday these two hummingbirds come and fly around the flowers looking for food. and everyday they are disappointed, because my flowers aren't giving them what they want. but sure enough, the next morning, they are back again. i don't know the intelligence level of hummingbirds, or anything like that. so i am not sure if they are smart, dumb, or average, and how much they really remember.

one day when i was trying to take a picture of them, i got to thinking, these hummingbirds are like people. people are attracted to other people, or things that aren't really going to give them what they need, like the "flowers." although the "flowers" are pretty, they aren't what we need, and their beauty is only on the outside, because they have no nutrition inside them. but we keep going back to the "flowers" daily, or weekly, looking for something, or wanting something from them. when really, god is waiting for us, to give us what we need.

my flowers now are slowly dying. it's getting colder outside, and the frost is soon to come. the hummingbirds don't come around so much anymore. maybe they found what they were looking for.

what are we looking for? acceptance, love, forgiveness, friendship, the list goes on. just remember that whatever you are looking for, god is truly the answer. he can fill you up, that you will never be empty again.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

swimming class

so last night eric and i had the pleasure to take molly to her first swim class. she obviously is not going to be michael phelps when she is done with this 10 session class, but she will be more comfortable with the water. molly has been swimming before, and i am sure most of the other kids have been too. but it was so funny to see all of these kids, 12-18 months get in the water with mom or dad and splash around, and us parents singing silly songs to them. i can only imagine what the kids were thinking.

it's weird for me to think that i am getting her comfortable with the water, so one day she can jump in and take off on her own. i like knowing that i am protecting her, and that i am in charge. i guess this swim class is preparing me for a lot more then just swimming. it's preparing me for the first day of school, the first soccer game, the first date, and then for her starting her own life someday with a man. wow! all of that from a swim class?!

i think i am learning, slowly, i am not in control. molly truly is god's child, and i need to give her to him. i can not control her whole life. good grief, the kid fell twice yesterday and her face looks like she was in a dog fight with bruises and everything. but really, god is in control of her life, and i can only teach her survival skills, and how to help her float. this swim class will be good for us. not only will she learn good techniques, but i will learn to let her go a little bit, and lessen my grip on her.

i love this kid in a very scary way. i would do anything for her, which i think is why she is spoiled. some people say that they don't know how they could love another kid. is your heart big enough for two, three, ten? just think how big god's heart is, and it gets bigger everyday.

Friday, August 29, 2008

officially mom to to a toddler

so a little update on my wonderful daughter, molly...
-she is now walking, like really, really walking, not crawling anymore! yikes...
-she is getting another tooth, so hopefully in the next week or so it will break through, bc she is not so nice right now
-she thinks it's funny to call me dada...not so funny
-she gives great hugs and kisses
-she loves cat food, yuck!
-she is going to her first class this fall at the library. i will obviously be there with her, but it's still exciting.
-eric and i are still debating on swim classes, i am a yea, he's a we will see.

so there's a little update on molly. getting to stay home with her is so amazing. she is so funny, and she knows it, so it's even funnier. trust me, i love it when eric comes home so i can have a little break, but secretly i miss her when she is napping or asleep at night. molly pretty much is my best friend, and i am so thankful for her. it's funny how 2 years ago our doctor told us we may never have kids, it just might not be in the cards for us, and now we have a beautiful, healthy baby girl. god is awesome.

so some other things happening...i got my 12.00 jeans at old navy last week. i am still debating whether or not i like them. they seem a little tight, and i don't mean tight like the hip, cool word, i literally mean tight. so we will see. i was told by eric, and the peeps at old navy that tight is the style. i think they just wanted to make a sale, and eric wanted me to buy jeans for 12.00.
my mom came to visit this week. i love having my mom here. i love the extra help with molly, and watching molly interact with her. it's great. and of course we went shopping. molly was pretty much the big winner that day, but she usually is.

i am still trying to play catch up with school, but i am getting there. i am really looking forward to fall, and the colors, and cool weather! i love jeans and sweaters! and molly got some really cute fall/winter clothes that i can't wait to put on her. so other then that, life is good. i am happy for the weekend, i guess. eric works on saturdays and molly and i hang out, so pretty much like any other day, but it's the weekend. i think i would be less of an american if i didn't like the weekend. so hope you all have a good weekend, and a great labor day...aka, day off work.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

thank you olympics

so i have been enjoying watching the olympics these past 2 weeks. i love all of the athletes, and i still get choked up every time the national anthem is played. i wonder what the medal winners are thinking when they are standing up there and watching the usa flag being raised. i know i would totally be thinking, do i sing, or not sing. what if i forget the words, and then you are on sports center, and they are talking about the olympic athlete that forgot the words, etc. that's a lot of pressure, you know. something i will never need to worry about, because i will never be going to the olympics. none the less, i love the olympics. it gives me something to look forward to every night, and it's nice too because it's not re-runs, and it's something eric and i can watch together. this time in the year is hard for us since we don't have cable, gasp, gulp, gulp, another gasp! yes, people do live without cable nowadays, by choice. but it is hard when all there is is re-runs, and crap. so anyways, it's nice to watch the games right now. i also hate cheering for the people/team that always win, like the patriots, but i couldn't help but not cheer for michael phelps. holy cow! 8 gold medals. wow! so with like 2 days left of the olympics i will be glued to the tv, watching, taking in every last moment of it.

other then the olympics, life is pretty good. my only complaint would and schedules. i know it is inevitable, but i feel like molly and i get on a really good schedule, mainly sleeping, and we are on a roll for a couple of weeks, and then bam-out of now where, we are back to square one. so that has recently happened. she is not wanting to nap during the day, and waking up a lot at night. so i am trying to readjust myself to this new schedule. but the good news is it will be short-lived, like the old good schedule, and we will get on to another schedule soon. today molly and i are going to old navy to buy their $12.00 jeans, for kids they are $7.00. so we will see what fits, and what not. but no other plans, other then soaking up the last bit of the olympics. hope you all (like 1 of you, mom) have a good weekend too.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

ode to supernanny

so i love watching supernanny! jo frost is seriosuly outstanding. when you think about it, she really just speaks a lot of common sense to people who have seemed to lost their sense. supernanny brings families together, and reconnects them. i love watching her, and all of her wonderful tactics.

other then supernanny, today has been a good day. it started off with a trip to the dermatologist, and then a biopsy on my arm, then to target (yea!), and then hanging with the mollster. i love watching her explore and discover new things. she is so wonderful. today she took her new walking toy, and totally t-boned the cat. on purpose! she kept doing it over and over again! he never really moved, and he just sat there. then she took a big bouncy ball and bounced it towards him. this ball is like 1/2 of billy's body size, and he was scared to death. he just froze, and the molly would do it again. it was a lot of fun to watch. who would have ever thought watching your kid and cat would be fun?! who needs tv? heck, we don't even have cable!

well, now back to supernanny! man i love her so much. on myspace, i should totally put her down as my hero, and someone i would want to meet.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

back to the cheese castle

when you cross over the illinois/wisconsin border you see this tiny little building, it's in the shape of a castle, and the sign reads "cheese castle." that little building now tells me that i am home. in ohio, driving back to good'ole liberty township, when i saw touchdown jesus, that always told me i am home. in findlay, when i saw the big sugar towers, or water tower with flag city plastered all over it, that told me i was home. and in knoxille, the big golden ball at world's fair park told me i was home.

being in the ministry i am not sure you are ever really home. ministers tend to move around, quite a bit. well, some do and some don't. it just all depends. i never moved until i got married, and eric and i started our new lives together. i left to go to school, but knoxville wasn't what you considered your permanent residence. i loved knoxville. there are days i long to be back at jbc. those days seem a lot easier, and less stressful. getting to class on time was your biggest worry, and now it's paying the rent on time.

last week eric and i traveled back home. i use that term, home, loosely. i really feel like the city you are in should not define you, but that's a whole nother blog. we went to findlay for a wedding, and for eric to preach at our home church. i was wishy-washy before leaving. like i stated in my last blog, findlay brings about a lot of mixed emotions. but this visit was good. i am glad we were there for a longer period of time, then just 2 or 3 days like usual. eric's mom took the whole week off, so that was a lot of fun for me to hang out with her. i feel truly blessed because i love my mother-in-law, and we have a great relationship.

our niece, mandy, got baptized while we were home, and we had molly's first birthday party. it was fun, busy, and i am more tired now, then when we left. now we are back to the cheese castle and i am trying to get a routine going again. i am so far behind in school it's not even funny. i am so far behind, that i don't want to even start again. dropping out sounds good, but i won't.

i think god has been trying to teach me a lesson about contentment, but i might now always be listening. i am learning to be content with what i have, and where i am at. we live in what i would classify as a small apartment, but i don't have to work. i am able to stay home with molly and truly enjoy her. that's my passion, to be a mom, and god is fulfilling that passion. we don't have a nice, fancy car by any means, and we seem to keep pumping money into it. but we have always been able to pay the bill when it comes. there's a song that i hear like 10 times a day, because i listen to k-love, but a line in it says, "have what you want, but want what you have." do i really want what i have. at first i think i thought about this line in terms of material things. but now after going home last week, and now returning, i am thinking of this line in relationship terms. i want a strong family relationship, and i have it. thanks god.

one more thing, last week at molly's party a very special person came to see us, suz. suz is this brilliant, witty, awesome person that my brother fell in love with. i didn't know her until after andy died. but now i see why he fell in love with her. i went to stay with her after andy died for a week or so. i wanted to meet this person my brother loved so deeply. in my 14 year old mind, this all made sense. my parents let me ride the train from toledo, oh, to chicago. all by myself. that doesn't seem so smart now that i think about it, but this was like 2 weeks after the funeral, and i am not so sure we were thinking clearly. none the less, i met her and fell in love with her too. we haven't seen each other as often as we both would like to, but we still remain close. she is fabulous, and i am so glad she was able to come meet molly, and spend time with us. i often wonder what would have happened with her and andy if he didn't die. she is now married to a wonderful man, and they are happy. that's what andy would have wanted, for her to be happy. and i smile knowing she is.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

going home

so eric, molly, and i are leaving today to go back to findlay. on our journey to ohio we are stopping in kenosha to see the bolton's. then we are back on our way. going to finlday leaves me with a lot of mixed emotions. sure it's the place i was born, raised, and married. it's also the place i buried my grandparents, brother, and watched my family get torn apart. so, it's not always a happy reunion to go back. i have an aunt who left findlay over 20 years ago, and she has never, and will never come back. it's funny because you have people like my dad who love it. he was born, raised, and will die there. then you have others who can't run fast enough from it. who knew small town america could be so scary? visits in the past i have to admit, mostly have been dreaded. now with molly, i am a little excited to take her to some favorite places. but she is so young, almost 1, wow! will she even remember?

eric and i had a chance to move back to findlay to work at a church. i am not kidding or being sarcastic when i say this, but i truly thank god on a daily basis we didn't move back. i think i would be an awful person to live with and be around. findlay had so many firsts for me, and so many lasts.

i wish it was a place that i was so pumped up to go to. i wish i had better memories there. the only good things that came out of findlay are my best friend adrienne, and my husband, eric. and all of the memories i have with them.

don't get me wrong. findlay is not an awful place, i have a lot of friends, and a pretty much all of my family there. they find it appealing. i think it's hard to see findlay as this wonderful, small town, full of republicans, and you don't have to lock your doors at night, once you move away from it. once we hit the signs on 75 that say findlay, my stomach turns a little. but you know i am trying to be more optimistic for this trip. we are going to be there for like 12 days. so i might as well make the best of it. ryan and karis are getting married, which i never thought would happen. eric is performing the wedding, and we all are matchy, matchy for it. that is exciting, to me :) and we are having molly's first birthday party there. so that is giving me something to look forward to. now that i have a kid, and am getting older (24, it's old) i want to have this part of me that gets excited to show my kids where mommy grew up, and where mommy and daddy got baptized, and got married. and i will always have, here is where uncle andy is buried.

so going home gives me mixed emotions, and i think it always will. but some things i have to look forward to in findlay:

1) archies

2) dietschs

3) hoonan gardens

4) george house

...and those might be it :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

a year of mommyhood under my belt, well almost

so molly is turning 1 in like 2 weeks. i can hardly believe it. the first year has really gone fast. sure there are days when she is cranky, and grumpy, and it feels like forever. then there are days that i think "wow, when did you start moving so fast?!" she has grown up a lot, and to think a year ago she was still inside me. i am now starting to get sad about the first year, and all of the accomplishments she has achieved, and what is still to come. i was putting all of her pictures in photo albums to display at her birthday party, and to just remember the exact day i saw the plus sign on the pregnancy test, to now, watching her look at books and turn their pages. holy crap!

a year of motherhood has taught me a lot, and i know it will continue to teach me. i definitely do things i thought i never would, and i give in to her all of the time. but something really important it has taught me is to be less judgemental. once you become a mom you become part of this big motherhood club i think. you see moms, and women in general in just a different way. you understand a lot more about them, and why their kid is screaming. because sooner or later, your kid is going to be the one screaming in target. you really see the struggles of women trying to balance life, husbands, kids, jobs, housework, etc. you become more empathetic and less harsh with people. a lady at church always says, "no judgement here." and i think, you know, you are right. now, i do think there are times when someone should be like, ok you are breaking the law, or not acting in a godly-manner. but for the most part she usually is referring to giving your kid the extra bottle, or letting them crawl around way past bedtime.

last week when adrienne was here-which sidenote, was a great visit- we talked about our labor and delivery experiences. which another thing, once you become a mom, you are allowed to think your experience was the worst one out there! i give you permission, because i sure do think mine was awful! i could scare teenage girls away from getting pregnant by telling them my 3 day experience! so go ahead ladies, pat yourself on the back for all of the hard work you did to get those babies out!

molly has also taught me a lot about being gentle, and patient. i used to think i was a very patient person, and now i feel sluggish waiting on her sometimes. i love to go exploring with her everyday, and chasing her around the house. the simple toothy smile she gives me is seriously is enough to melt me. but i usually choke back tears and thank god for blessing me with her. i am still amazed at what a wonderful gift molly is, and that eric and i had a hand in creating her.

you know being a mom isn't always easy, and it's not always pretty either. but the reward of seeing your child everyday is seriously the best. sometimes when i get so proud of molly i sit and wonder if this is how god feels we do something right. i bet he cheers just as loud as the rest of us when one of his kids does something monumental.

Monday, July 21, 2008

missing andy

so about a week ago was the 10 year anniversary of my brother's death. for some reason this year, the tenth year really hit me hard. it was like the first year was monumental, and the tenth year was, and all of the other years just didn't count or something. my brother was 22 when he died, and i was 14. we were so different, yet so much alike. i knew my brother, obvioulsly, but it really wasn't until he died and the years following it, did i really get to know my brother, and what he was about. he was a kind, and gentle person. he genuinely cared about someone, not just what was on the outside, but he saw their soul. andy had this way to just calm a room full of anxious people down with just one simple hey. he used to call every saturday morning and when i would answer the phone he would say hey. i miss that. it took a long time to get used to not hearing his voice on saturday mornings.
sometimes i feel guilty because i have done so much more then my brother. i graduated college, got married, had my 1st job, had a kid, and got the heck out of findlay. i know he would of eventually done all of these things. especially moving out of findlay. then i think about all of the things he did do in his short, but meaningful 22 years of being alive. he impacted so many people, that my family is still hearing stories about him today. he has impacted me, and for that, i am forever grateful. sometimes i don't think of andy as my brother, but as some sort of legend. he had a way with words, vocally, and on paper. he knew what you were thinking, and he knew just what to say. i learned so much from him, and am still learning from him.
i get sad sometimes thinking about how molly will never meet him. sure i tell her stories about him, and show her pictures, but it's not the same to me. she will only ever know this photograph, but not the beautiful person inside of it.
i miss andy every day, and wish i could share a cup of coffee with him again.

Monday, June 30, 2008

still excited

so yesterday at the ridge, mark announced the grand total our offering was for the dominican republic. a little background- we took an offering up last week to give to the DR to help with building a feeding center in what is called the hole. the ridge supports go ministries which is down there helping the people. so during the oneprayer series, churches participating were encouraged to one week take up an offering and give it away. 100% of the offering should go to a mission organization, help build something in your town, etc...just give it all away! so we decided to take up an offering and give it to the feeding center in the DR. last we gave $27,400.00! i was so excited when i found out, and i am still so excited! our church is made up of probably 80% of people that have either never been to a church before, or have been to church but didn't fit in, or people frankly asked them to leave because they didn't fit the mold of church-goers. so for our church to give that much, is truly God at work. we barely meet our weekly need for a regular offering, but for this sacrificial special offering, our people stepped up and listened to what God put on their heart, and they gave. i am so happy and proud of our church. i am happy about the monetary aspect of it because the feeding center will cost $36,000, and with our offering, they are almost there. but more importantly i am happy about our people learning what it is like to give of themselves, and being selfless.

i am not sure i can put into words how proud i am of our people. i think this a huge page turner for the ridge, and i think people are going to be more open to see how God works, and how he will work through them. the whole oneprayer series was an awesome experience, and i am so glad we did it.

sidenote- our kids in the kindergarten through 6th grade brought in $360.00 last week alone. our goal with them was $75.00, and if they reached that they could hit any teacher with a pie in the face. so all of the teachers, myself included stood up front yesterday and got slammed with pies in the face. so that was fun, and sticky. i am so proud of them. one teacher made this comment, "we raised $360, it's like our kids are helping the DR do a whole 360 degree turn around." so true! our kids are so excited that they helped other kids. wow, isn't God great!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

my very own

so yesterday i created a blog for eric and i to keep supporters, friends, and family updated on our lives, and our ministry. today i am creating my very own blog to share my thoughts, opinions, and funny stories with you. now i am sure both blogs will be similar, since i will more then likely be the one updating both of them, but this one is just for me.

i decided to "name" it called out one, because i was listening to hillsong untied in the car, which i pretty much do everyday, and one of their songs talked about us being the called out ones. and for some reason that just really stuck with me. i feel special in a non-corny way knowing that God specifically called me out to live for him. i wonder how often i really carry out this calling? i would love to think that i do, but when i loose my patience in the grocery store with the lady in front me remembering she needs butter after she is almost out of there with her bags, and she runs back there real quick to get butter, and for some reason is gone for like 10 minutes...are my thoughts, and smug smile on my face telling the cashier, it's ok, no problem, really living out my calling?

i believe we are all on this constant journey through life trying to live out our calling. some are better at it then others, and some seem to stumble on every bump in the road. moving here to milwaukee was a lot harder then i ever imagined it would be. but now that we are here, and we are trying to live out our calling, i truly believe 100% with my heart we are right where God wants us to be.

so next time your husband annoys you with some random question, you get stuck behind someone in the 10 items or less lane with their 25 items, or someone you are meeting is running late, remember to live out your calling, and part of that calling is being patient, and loving.