Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Little Engine was a good neighbor

There are several lessons we can take away from the story The Little Engine that Could.  One that I hadn't noticed until last week, when I my son decided he wanted to listen to it a lot of times in a row (which I didn't really mind because I love that book), is that it's a good Samaritan (or good neighbor) story.

When the little train's engine couldn't make it any further, the toys try to get help from passersby.  They ask the shiny new engine, but his response is that he won't stoop that low because he carries passenger and dining cars.  The next one who wanders by is also too good to help, because he's important carrying heavy machinery.  Then an older engine comes by but simply says he's too tired and that he can't.

Then another engine comes along.  It's shiny and small, really an unlikely candidate to help.  He starts off by asking what the problem was while being friendly and positive.  With his "I think I can" attitude he offers a helping hand and together they make it over the mountain to help the boys and girls on the other side.

See why it reminds me of the parable Jesus taught of the Good Samaritan?  (Parable below.)  While many would just pass the hurt man on the road thinking that they were either to high to help or that someone else would, finally the most unlikely candidate steps up to the task.  This unlikely person was a Samaritan or person of a different race, and not only helps the man there, but takes him to safety, cleans him up, feeds him and cares for him.

How many tasks do we pass up because we think we are too skilled or too good to do them?  How many people do we pass by without even giving them so much as a smile or hello, let alone a helping hand?  How many ministries do we support who help people in need?  How many people do we open our homes to?  The list goes on of questions we could and should ask ourselves about how we are doing as neighbors and what we can do to change.  

Jesus made a clear point about who the neighborly person was, or good neighbor was.  But in the end, even if we are nice to our neighbors (here and there and everywhere) but don't share with them the motive of why we are nice--it's all for not.  We must love because He first loved us.  We are nice because Jesus was nice when we weren't even capable of being nice.  The good things we express are only because they are attributes of God that we are reflecting.  This world needs Jesus.  

The Parable of the Good Samaritan
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.  A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.  So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.  But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.  He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.  The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”  
Luke 10:25-37

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Intentional time with the Lord: Prayer

Over the last few weeks we've covered these topics in these devotions:

  1. Created with intention
  2. Working with intention
  3. Loving your neighbors intentionally
  4. Loving your enemies intentionally
  5. Loving your children intentionally
  6. Loving your spouse intentionally
  7. Intentional time with the Lord:  Grace

Those are a great start to living a more intentional life, but if we are to really be more effective and intentional it needs to start with our time with the Lord.  David Matthis says, “Only prayer can transform information into intimacy.” (p. 48, Stay Christian in Seminary)

See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.  Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  1 Thessalonians 5:15-18
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.  Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.  Romans 5:12-13

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7

You don't have to look very far to find a lot of scripture about praying.  In these three passages it talks about being constant in prayer, praying without ceasing and in every situation to pray.  When Jesus came, the curtain was torn giving us direct access to God.  We don't have to ask a high priest to pray for us or offer sacrifices in order to pray.  We have a direct line to God via prayer.  

When we come before him we don't have to have it all together, or even be in a certain place.  We can pray wherever we are, whenever we want.  We draw closer to God by reading His word and praying to Him.  We can pray in our homes, our cars, our workplaces and everywhere in between.

I know if you wanted to you could wave your hand
Spare me this heartache and change your plan
And I know any second you could take my pain away
But even if you don't I pray
Help me want the Healer more than the healing
Help me want the Savior more than the saving
Help me want the Giver more than the giving
Help me want you Jesus more than anything--More than anything, Natalie Grant

Dear Lord, 
Thank you for sending your Son to die for us, so we could have a relationship with you.  We humbly come before your throne and lay our requests at your feet.  You alone are mighty to save, and we thank you so much for Jesus.  
In Your name,

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Intentional time with the Lord: Grace

Over the last few weeks we've covered these topics in these devotions:

  1. Created with intention
  2. Working with intention
  3. Loving your neighbors intentionally
  4. Loving your enemies intentionally
  5. Loving your children intentionally
  6. Loving your spouse intentionally

Those are a great start to living a more intentional life, but if we are to really be more effective and intentional it needs to start with our time with the Lord.  One thing to remember and focus on is grace.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,  so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
  Ephesians 2:4-10
God is so very rich in mercy, love and grace.  When we focus on grace during our time with God, knowing that God gave us our salvation freely and not because of anything we did, it humbles us when we come to Him.  Let's not lose sight of the amazing grace God has shown us.

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me.I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind but now I see.
-Amazing Grace, 1779 

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord, grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary's mount outpoured, there where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.

Grace, grace, God's grace, grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
grace, grace, God's grace, grace that is greater than all our sin! 
-Grace Greater Than Our Sin, 1911

Dear Lord, 

Thank you for your immeasurable grace you have shown such undeserving people. Help us to study your word and always stay amazed at grace.  Thank you for another day.

In Your name, 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

My husband has a secret admirer (and yours may too)

Dear hubby of mine, 

You may not realize this, but you have a secret admirer.  You may think that this would be a cause of concern for me, but it's not.  In fact, I couldn't be more pleased.  

You are the sweetest, strongest, most compassionate, loving, hard-working, servant-hearted and God-fearing man I've ever known.  I am so thankful God put you in my life, even though I wish it had been sooner.  You are my best friend, husband, my favorite person to laugh and cry with, my co-adventurer and the sweetest father to our son.  

Back to this person I was talking about though.  They study every move you make, trying to mimic you because they are so crazy about you.  He looks up to you, hangs out with you and really tries to be like you -- and I couldn't be happier.  Have you figured it out yet? 

He watching.  He's noticing.  He's learning.  He's gathering how to treat others by the way you treat them.  He's taking it all in.  There's no doubt he's learning from me too, but you are the one he really looks up to.  You're his daddy.  Your secret admirer is your son.

  • He sees you bring me coffee and learns it's nice to be thoughtful.  
  • He sees you help with dishes after dinner and learns it's kind to be helpful and a part of the team. 
  • He hears you opening the door when you get home and runs to greet you.  No matter how long or hard of a day you've had you always greet him with a smile and hug and he learns it's always nice to be kind.
  • He sees you working on your bicycle and learns what it's like to be a good steward.
  • He hears you read books to him and learns no matter how much education you have or how serious one is at work, they can do silly voices and sing ‘The Wheels on the Bus..’.  (Ok, he also learned this one from your former boss! J)
  • He sees you work hard and learns how to provide for his family. 
  • He sees you and learns what it's like to be a man.
  • He sees you interact with me and learns how to treat women.
  • He sees you read the Bible, hears you read the Bible and pray and you point him to Jesus.

You may think you are just going through your day, which you are, but there is so much more to it now.  I know you're not perfect, but I am sure thankful our son has you to look up to.  I'm thankful he has someone like you to mimic, learn from and know.  I tell you this not to make you nervous, but to encourage you because you're doing a great job. 

You are also about to turn a year older tomorrow.  I just wanted you to know I'm so proud of you, not just for your accomplishments but for the man and father you have become.  You work so hard to provide for our family and little J and I appreciate you so much.  You selflessly lead this family of ours so well.  You help keep the cars running, change furnace filters and do other things around the house.  You get up early and yet, you're willing to stay up late with me talking.  You're my favorite man, ever.  My forever Valentine, The father of my child and I love you with all my heart.  

Keep up the good work,

Your wifey 

Monday, February 13, 2017

How we stay connected now that we're parents

The theme for this week's Mommy Style Monday is how we stay connected with our spouses once there are kiddos in the picture.  I love this topic because I know my husband I have certain things we do that I'll share, but I am also looking forward to hearing what works for other couples out there!

Recently, a woman at our Church was encouraging us to be sure to go out on dates at least once a month.  When we politely tried to disagree for various reasons, she didn't seem to understand that there are other ways for couples to stay connected and reconnect once you have kids.  We didn't press any further, and just kind of 'smiled and nodded' and moved on with life.  

You see, I married my best friend whom I love very much, and we were married for almost 7 years before we became parents.  We had always wanted children, and we got to spend those (almost) 7 years building our lives together as a foundation for our forever family.  We didn't get to choose when we'd have kids (I don't think most people really do, right?) and looking back I'm so glad we had all that time together to continue to date, converse and get to know each other before another little human was added into our family.  Now that there is a little one, we love to spend time together as a family!  We had those 7 years as just us, and we love sharing time as a family of 3 now! 

Here are three things we intentionally do to connect in our marriage:
  • Alone time/Dates at Home.  Our son also goes to bed a couple hours before we do.  So, we get all that 'alone' time after he goes to bed and we fill it with some chores, chatting, show watching (Love Amazon Prime!  Have you seen This Is Us?!?! We love it! (Get the NBC app and watch it free!)) and whatever else we'd like!  (A couple other things we do play scrabble or rent/watch a movie (redbox or Prime!))

  • Couple meeting.  On Sunday nights we have a little couple meeting after our son goes to bed.  It's a time where we go through what's going on in the coming week in our schedules (like any important dates/birthdays/parties/etc.) and how we are doing.  It's also a time where we really reconnect and can also talk through any issues that may have come up during the previous week.  We find that when we set aside that time on Sunday nights we are less likely to feel like we have to hash through something haphazardly during the week that can wait until we can calmly discuss it and that there is an actual time to bring things up.  We got this idea from our Sunday School class at Church, and we've really enjoyed how it encourages us to stay on the same page in life, our marriage and our parenting!

  • (Family) Getaway.  At least once a year we try to take a (family) getaway, sometimes just for a day, but preferably overnight somewhere fairly close.  We generally try to unplug from technology, spend time together enjoying God's creation.  When we lived in NC we went to Charlotte, the mountains or the beach.  Before we had a child we would stay in cute little bed and breakfasts.  Since most aren't kid-friendly (fair enough) we've decided to find places that are kid friendly and also fun for adults to patron!  So this past fall we stayed in a Yurt at the YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch and really enjoyed being in the mountains together.  Just yesterday we got back from the YMCA of the Rockies near Estes Park where we had the BEST time!  On our drive home my husband and I both commented that we wouldn't have had as much had it just been the two of us.  I mean, we would have had fun for sure, but our little man just makes the world SUCH a brighter place.  Love my sweet guys.

Little picture collage of our weekend getaway.  Scenic drives, snow picnics, sledding, rollerskating (our son's first time and he was great!!), some of our favorite pizza, lots of time together and no schedule!!
I think you have to do whatever works for you, your marriage and your family.  If you have a sitter you love or family super close who can watch your kid(s) for date night--great!  If you carve out time to nurture your marriage with kid(s) around or asleep--great!  You have to find what works for you, your comfort level, your spouse and your kid(s).  I don't think there are any one size fits all plans for marriage or parenting, but these are the things that have worked for us!  

Check out all the other ladies participating below and if you'd like to sign up for the next Mommy Style Monday go to Kiana or Madeline's blogs.

Kiana at Glitter & Donuts | Madeline at CaseyLand
Chandler at Life as a Larsen | Rachel at Tutus and Heels | Kahana at A Beautiful Life
Monica at It's All About | Andrea at Snow by Heart | Melissa at The Frolics of Mama Llama
Erica at Good Job Momma | Cayli at Nightchayde

Friday, February 10, 2017

Step of faith

You know that feeling when you get a really good idea?  It's kind of fluttery, but mostly really exciting?  Maybe it's a solution for a problem at work.  Maybe it's a new idea to try at work.  Maybe it's some way to handle a tough situation.  Or maybe it's just something to try to connect with people.

I had one of those a few weeks ago.  It was the beginning of the year and I want to be more intentional with my time and life, right?  So, I had this great idea:  a Walking Fellowship.  Where women (no offense guys) could get some exercise and chat, getting to know each other and maybe share how God is working in our lives.  

Maybe I should back up.  I've never really been that outgoing.  Like, I kind of faked it for years in High School and College, but it's just really NOT who I am.  I do well in small groups...of like 1-3 people and then all the sudden I shut down if it goes over that amount of peeps.  I'm introverted, introspective and I over think just about everything, ever.  So, perhaps it's also like social anxiety?!?!  Add in being a mom (and first time mom) and probably get the picture.  I prefer to hang out with people one on one and that's about it.  

So when I had this idea that was out of my comfort zone I had a feeling it was God nudging me.  Kind of like when I share personal things on this blog.  So I sent out some feeler messages to women in my area and I was blown away with the response!  It seems like this wasn't just some crazy was a pretty good one, perhaps even filling some void for others too.

So fast-forward a couple weeks and now we've had our first few meetings.  It's not huge.  It's varying, and so completely awesome.  It's about community.  It's about women (who have all been moms too so far that mostly have a kid or two in tow) getting some exercise.  It's such an encouragement (to me at least) to get out of the house and hang out with people in a similar stage of life.  No need to put on airs or anything, just a place to come as you are and hang out.  Just my kind of group, and I hope it's yours too if you can make it!  (Let me know if you are in the area and don't already have the details on when and where we meet!)

Unfortunately we had this kind of freak ice storm last week so we had to cancel our third meeting.  But the interesting thing with that?  Some expressed that they were sad we wouldn't be hanging out.  I felt the same way too!  So I think that definitely means we have community going on, which was the goal (and to get some exercise of course!)!!  Woot!

I love what happens when we trust God, obey and step out in faith!   What has God maybe been nudging you to do that would take a step of faith to do?  Try something new?  Attempt something new at work?  Start a group?  The possibilities are endless.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

A wall in my son's room

I love this wall in my son's room. First you can see some of my favorite words from Psalms, then my childhood nighttime prayer plaque and then, you can hardly see it in this pic, it's the Puzzle. The adoption fundraising puzzle that has so many names written on it -- of everyone who helped us bring our sweet boy home.
I love walking in his room every morning and seeing his sweet, smiling face and I also love glancing at this wall (that I can see from the door) that has so many memories on it. So, so thankful to be his mama. So thankful for all those who helped us bring him home. Most of all, so thankful for how God orchestrated it all. I can hardly believe my little guy will be 2 next month! <3 span="">

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

5 lessons I learned from my child at a restaurant

Do you ever get bothered when your child seems to only act up when you are around other people?  Especially, say, family?

A few weeks ago we had lunch out with some friends.  Our typically well behaved toddler did not act typically.

**Enter me pulling out every trick in my bag, literally.  Meanwhile I was trying to play it cool so that the sweet couple across the table:  a. didn't think we have a terror of a child or b. that I am a completely incompetent mother or c. both.**

My husband and I have a rule that if we're eating a meal our son sits in a highchair.  We started that at 6 months and it's always gone really well, except of course for the Thanksgiving that I forgot to bring one but that's another story...and this specific lunch...

So, I'll just try to paint the picture for you.  Our good highchair sitter pretty much all but climbed out three times before the meltdown where I actually just had to take him out of the highchair and to the car to change his diaper and pants that he'd spilled ice water all over.  Before the spill he'd eaten a squeezie applesauce from my bag, several crackers (that actually were a true Mom-Fail because I had accidentally grabbed the cracked pepper instead of plain and they were too spicy for him), a second applesauce and some goldfish.  I usually try to just give him a few goldfish at a time but he wasn't having it that I poured out like some ridiculous number (probably around 30) of them onto the table to make him happy.  He ate a few and then went full on swinging arms clearing everything off the table within reach which included all of the goldfish and his ice water which ended up drenching him.  Hence the new pants and dipe.  Oy.

You may wonder why I'm going into so much detail, and the thing is...that was only about 10 minutes of our entire lunch and the rest went somewhat better once the food came.  Then after he was done eating (oh and he ate on my lap, did I mention that?!?  He wouldn't go back in the highchair...of course.) he wanted off my lap and just to *literally* run around the restaurant.  It was awkward to say the least...

5 Lessons I learned from that lunch:

1.  You can't control your kids, or any other person for that matter.  I mean, I don't even have the best self-control, so why do I think that I could or should control someone else?!  As parents we are shaping and shepherding our children which is very different than controlling them.  You know who is in control of everything though?  God.  So this is something I've been praying more about as I've come to grips with the fact that I can't control every scenario.  I can plan and pack for the 'worst case scenario' and it still will not be enough.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.  Proverbs 22:6

2.  Sometimes you have to bend your rules, like the highchair one (not laws).  Now I'm a rule follower through and through, just ask anyone who has known me for any amount of time or has worked with me.  So this one is hard for me, but most of all we must love our kids and meet them where they are.  Sometimes that means bending or breaking one of the arbitrary rules we've set up.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

3.  Others may not (will not) love my child as much as I do.  My husband and I love and cherish our son more than all the other kids we know, and that's how all the other parents are too.  I have to be ok with people, even family, not loving my child as much as I do.  They don't have to think he's the smartest, cutest, sweetest, best kid in the world because he is to me.  He's my world, as he should be.  He's mine!  (aka, it's ok when he acts up in public or when out to lunch because he's a kid and I know the real him!)
Children are a heritage from the Lordoffspring a reward from him.  Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.  Psalm 127:3-4

4.   Don't worry about what other people think.  My husband, and likely parents, have been telling me this for years.  So what if they think I'm incompetent?  So what if they think I gave him too many snacks before lunch?  So what if they don't agree with every parenting choice?  No one, not even my husband--the man I married--agrees with everything I do all the time.  And I live with him, and said yes to him, and well, do life with him and have become one with if we can't even agree on everything....there is not one person on this earth that will agree with every choice i make in parenting or otherwise.  And that's ok.  I do what I think is best for my child and our family.  So that's that.  (Remind me of this when I get insulted from mom shamers and stuff....k?:)

5.  Kids will be kids.  This ties right back to the first one above.  Kids will act however they want, whenever they want, wherever they want and however they want.  Much like adults, right?  (haha!)  Tantrums will come in the middle of a busy restaurant while not sitting in the highchair but instead completely sprawled out flailing over the *likely dirty* floor for all to see.  I think the real question is, or the real thing I learned is....  How am I going to handle it?

Parenting is great.  Parenting is 24/7, especially when you're the mama.  Parenting is also tough and I only have one child who is a toddler.  I already know that there are harder times, and easier times to come.  The question is, how am I going to handle it?  With lots of prayer, lots of studying of God's word, lots of love, loads of patience, lots of support and lots of grace.  In the end, it's always, always worth it.  We are helping build the next generation.  What an honor and privilege!  We're going to make mistakes.  We are going to be harsh instead of loving.  We are going to need to extend extra grace to ourselves too.  But let's do our best and let's do it together!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Loving your Spouse Intentionally

It's the month with one of the biggest commercial holidays in it and that comes with a lot of stress and strings sometimes.  Let's not get caught up in the roses, chocolates or dinners and forget about what really matters--our relationship with God and our relationship with our spouse.  Let's be intentional with our words, and actions this week and every week.  Let's love them unconditionally, let's pray with them and for them.  Let's respect our husbands and husbands loves your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.
  • We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19
  • Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Pray together:
  • For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.  Matthew 18:20
  • Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.  1 Thessalonians 5:11

For Husbands:
  •  However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.  Ephesians 5:33
  •  Great prayer ideas for your wife at Desiring God.

For Wives:
  •  However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.  Ephesians 5:33
  • Great prayer ideas for your husband at the Unveiled Wife.

Let's Pray:

Dear Lord, 
Thank you for my husband(wife) and all he does for our family.  Please help me to intentionally unconditionally love him in my actions.  I also ask you help me to respect him and pray with him more.  Thank you for our marriage, our family and for such a great adventure partner.
In Your name, Amen

(Recommended Reading:  Love and Respect)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Frederick Douglass: the man, the escaped slave, orator, writer and key civil rights leader

I have wanted to do a series to highlight some people for Black History Month, but got a little intimidated because I want to do it justice. Black History month is an opportunity to put the spotlight on the important contributions of Black Americans.  It's about so much more than the end of slavery, Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King Jr, which are great things (and people), but there are so many people that have made a difference in our country and we just didn't get an opportunity to learn about them in school.  Or, I didn't at least.  

Here's a great mini bio of Frederick Douglass:

Find out more about Frederick Douglass:

Frederick Douglass Books:

Friday, February 3, 2017

Fun Fridays: Valentine's Day Round-up (for friends, kids or your Valentine!)

Love is in the air.  (Or maybe it just is here because my hubs got home after being gone for a week AND it's the month when both V-day and his birthday happen back-to-back!)  I've rounded up a few fun, festive treats to make below.  The more involved ones are closer to the top and the last two are super easy and still cute!  Whether you're handing them out to friends, co-workers, neighbors, your kids or your love I think there is something everyone would love below.  

Crepes - great for breakfast for dessert!

No Bake Cake Pops

Fun Fridays are a new series I'm doing.  It's an idea I came up with when planning for 2017, and wanting my last post of most weeks to be positive, fun, helpful and encouraging.  They will feature tips, activities, and other things you can incorporate into your weekends and/or family time!  If you or another blogger you know would like to join me next time just fill out this form here.  Thanks!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Our story

I know some of you already know our story, or at least bits of it.  In honor of Valentine’s Day coming up I thought I would share a bit of it on here.

While my husband and I both went to the same college, although I was three years behind him, and were in the same Christian groups throughout, we didn’t actually meet until I had graduated and moved back home and we both signed up for eHarmony.  Isn’t it funny how life works out sometimes?  Or rather, isn’t it funny how God works sometimes?  We just watched all of Anne of Green Gables (love, love, love it and hadn’t seen it in YEARS!) and I got to thinking that I could have seen our relationship much like Anne and Gilbert’s if we had met earlier in life.  I digress…

After I graduated in May of 2007 I was working long hours for the highway department and loving it.  Since I’d graduated, it was kind of hard to meet people, so I signed up on eHarmony on a whim and in July got matched with this guy with dreamy eyes.  To my pleasant surprise, he reached out through their guided communication the day after we were matched and we ended up meeting at Barnes and Noble a few weeks later.  The rest is kind of history.  We hit it off right away, had so much in common and every lots of mutual (aka slacker!) friends.  We were living an hour apart at the time, so we’d meet up in the middle some of the time. 

By October, he wanted me to meet his best friend to get the ‘approval’ or something.  So we flew out to San Francisco for a quick trip.  Before we left, Jesse mentioned (more than once) that he’d really like to fly a kite on the beach while we were there.  I kind of wondered why it was such a big deal, but went along with it since it seemed so important to him.  Little did I know what that would mean…

We had a great time visiting the city and sights with his best friend.  Then Saturday morning we all went to a beach in Pacifica (where his friend was living) to fly the kite.  We got to the sand and before I knew it, I was holding the spool of string to the kite and Jesse had me counting to ten.  I think I was kind of counting his awkward steps away from me, but it is kind of a blur.  Then, the kite went up and I saw something sparkly coming towards me.  It was in fact a beautiful engagement ring.  He came over, kneeled down and asked me to marry him.  I said yes and his friend caught it all in photographs!  So sweet and thoughtful of those two. 
Once we got back to Colorado we set a date, made plans and a few months later in June of 2008 we got married.  Talk about a blur, I thought the proposal was a bit of a blur, but our wedding day definitely was.  We had a great time making our vows, taking pictures, visiting with family and friends but so much of it was just a blur because it seems like it went by in a second.  Anyone else feel like that?

Jesse was in grad school, and when he finished in 2010 we moved to North Carolina for 5 years for a Post Doc.  We started pursuing adoption in February 2014 (although didn’t send in paperwork until December 2014) and brought our little J home in April 2015 (after spending a couple weeks with him in GA waiting for the ICPC to go through).  Then in the fall of 2015 we got to move back to Colorado when Jesse landed his dream job!  So, that’s a bit of our love story.  Hope you enjoyed it.  We have had many ups and downs (you can see a few here, and here) in our lives as well as marriage, but God has been ever present and we are beyond thankful.  I may have written it differently, but I would have missed out on much,  The grief and sorrow make the joy that much sweeter.  Love my guys. <3 o:p="">