Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Week in Photos: January 9-16

I tell you what... it's only week two and I'm behind on this thing, and it makes it hard to remember what happened last week! It's making me realize how time seems to go by in a blur and makes me want to keep up with this more! So let's see what I can pull together from last week:


I officially failed to take a photo on this day. And so sadly, I don't really remember what happened. It's amazing how quickly you forget!


SUCH a great day. Seriously... the best! We transitioned our church over to our new pastor, and it could not have been more special. The church went WAY above and beyond to honor our work here and send us off with lots of love and gifts (including sending Josh to the national championship game!) and then hosted the greatest farewell party we could have imagined with about 400 of our closest friends. And it was SO MUCH FUN because we had not a single thing to do with the planning, and yet it was perfect with all of our favorite foods, a great local band, in the coolest venue. All of this to say that I'm not sure why we are all so adamant about planning our own weddings! Find a friend you trust and who knows your taste and let her run with it. It was so great just to show up and enjoy! 

Aside from my family who lives here, this picture is the number one reason why everything in me wants to stay, even though I know we have to go. Our staff is now family, and this is one of the most special groups of people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. I'm so thankful that our friendships will not change just because of some distance.


Pawpaw ran off to Arizona with daddy and left his hat. Finders keepers.


We had to break into a friend's house to retrieve some cookies she was holding hostage. These are our "mad faces" when we discovered that she locked the garage door! There were also several videos that we sent her to let her know just how upsetting this was! The kids thought it was a great adventure.


All is right in the world today. Nathalie's cookies, shipped all the way from Arizona, are the best!

Oh yeah, we also got a dusting of snow on Tuesday, and the kids thought jumping on a snow-covered trampoline was the most fun ever.


Playtime with sweet friends from down the street. Annabelle was all about Ava and just kept trying to climb all over her! I am so going to miss them!


I'm guessing I forgot to take pictures today in our mad rush to get the kids packed up for a sleepover and getting myself and Annabelle (and all her gear!) ready to go away for the weekend. We spent the majority of the day on airplanes and airports, but I did get sent several photos from our sweet friends Jared and Rebekah who basically made the kids feel like they were at summer camp! Is it any wonder why they love staying with them??


We spent the weekend in Maryland with good friends of ours and while Josh was in meetings, Annabelle and I got to sneak away by ourselves to the mall for a couple of hours. So I treated myself to a birthday pedicure while she watched in fascination! She was too squirmy for her cute piggies to get painted.

While on the trip we also ate the best food in Baltimore (oh the crabcakes!), did a lot of shopping in the Georgetown fashion district, and swung through D.C. to see the sights. As always, AnnieB was a trooper, and proved to be a great shopping buddy!


This might have been the most fun I have ever had watching Josh preach. He was the guest speaker at a great church in Columbia, MD and the crowd was so responsive and energetic. I felt like I was at a comedy show!

Our plane ride home was super eventful, too, as little bit wouldn't sleep and then puked all over me (and I mean all over me) when we landed in Detroit. I'm thankful for a husband who is willing to run all over the airport to find new jeans and a shirt for his smelly wife. She clearly felt better after getting all of it out of her system!

We got home pretty late, but it was super special to walk in and see that the kids had decorated our (messy) kitchen. I wouldn't trade 35 for anything... my life is so full that there is nothing I could possibly want.

Well I guess that's a little more than a week's worth, but at least I'm all caught up! Two weeks down, fifty to go!

Monday, January 11, 2016

A Long-Overdue Kid Update

Since at one time this was a place to keep up with our (too fast) growing children, I figured there's no time like the present to do a very long overdue update on my favorite kids on the planet.

Jake turns 6 in March, has half a year of kindergarten under his belt, two less teeth in his head, loves Legos, Playstation, Wii, and the iPad, and has recently taken an interest in karate, so we are exploring that as an option in the near future. He is still the sweetest, most kind-hearted child I know, and makes friends with everyone, which also makes him a bit of my emotional one. His best one-liner here recently was on New Years Eve when his aunt asked him if he wanted an extra scoop of ice cream and he responded with, "Sure, I'm not driving." He's my buddy and makes us all laugh all the time, and he loves his sisters (particularly the new one) so much.

And then there's Miss LillyLilly-bug. Oh my that she is a handful... in a good way most of the time. She turned 4 in September and is seriously a twirling ball of all that sparkles, skipping and flipping everywhere she goes. Dresses are the only acceptable wardrobe choice, unless I force her into a pair of pants, and if the dress goes all the way to the floor like a princess, that's even better. She loves to play pretend (and can do it for hours, just like her mama used to do), color and draw, play dress-up, and ride her bike. She recently learned to whistle and shows off her new trick to anyone that will watch. She's begging to go to dance class, and cannot wait to start pre-K, asking about once a week whether it's her turn to go to school yet. She's pretty witty also, but mostly just over-the-top dramatic, and keeps life interesting and fun.

And oh sweet, sweet AnnieB. I know she's ours and I'm bias, but ask anyone who knows her and they'll agree that she is the world's BEST baby. That little thing smiles about everything, and even when she's getting "fussy," it's almost as if she tries to make herself laugh to get herself to stop crying. It's kind of comical actually. We've decided that she has Jake's determination to accomplish things, but without his tendency to get frustrated and mad when he can't do it right away. So it's his drive with Lilly's more chilled out personality, so she's pretty happy while she's trying, but loves to figure things out. That's probably why she was my 5-month sitter, 6-month crawler, and 7-month stander and cruiser. She babbles mostly "da-da-da-da-da" (of course) but she also sometimes does "ba-ba-ba" and my favorite, "mmmmm-ma-ma-ma-ma." It's music to my ears. We haven't decided yet if she's going to have Jake's volume, but she sure can squeal for happiness sake! She started out as my smallest, but has caught right up, weighing in at 19 pounds at our last check-up. She's still my little thumb-sucker, which is a big change from my paci-loving other two, but it sure does come in handy and I don't have to constantly search for the magical baby soother, since she can always find it herself. She has stolen everyone's hearts for sure.

It's crazy for me to think that we have been parents for almost six years! I always rolled my eyes when people said "they grow up to fast," thinking it was so cliche, but now I know why they say it. It's the truest statement ever. While I would love for them to stay little, I thank God everyday that they are healthy and growing, and I love seeing more and more of who they were created to be with each passing day. Who knew a person could love this much?

Friday, January 8, 2016

Week in Photos: January 1-8

Surely this is something I can keep up with in 2016, right? I want a way to document the simple everyday things, which I generally snap photos of on my phone, so hopefully I can carve out some time once a week to upload my camera roll and keep a little weekly log of what is happening in our family. I feel like time just goes faster and faster, and I want to remember the simple little, everyday moments, especially why our kids are so small. So here goes...


Happy New Year! We all made it to midnight this year and then had a lazy day at home playing board games and taking naps.


Saw numbers at the gas pump that I haven't seen since my senior year of high school. Thanks, Kroger fuel points!

We also had a surprise visit from some of our favorite friends... and the new lead pastor kids of TPC!


We had some BIG NEWS to share with our church family!


Annndddd in bigger news, we found some buyers and WE GOT A CONTRACT ON OUR HOUSE the day before it was going to be listed!!!


This one decided she'd rather stand ALL. THE. TIME. instead of sit and crawl. Time slow down!


Enjoyed the start of our last month of our normal Lexington routine... a little BSF and then lunch with Gramma. Gosh I'm going to miss Wednesdays here.


I so enjoy watching this girl play in any environment... she's got the BEST imagination! Here we are at Paul Miller Ford getting some work done on the van. We were probably there for close to three hours and Lilly did not complain one time! And as a sidenote, I would highly recommend getting your car serviced there. On Thursdays they have "Ladies' Day" and along with your oil change you get free breakfast, a free cupcake, and a gift bag full of goodies. The staff was so great to the kids, too!


Our last Georgetown MOPS this morning (sad!) and just a little R&R on this rainy afternoon. Lilly got these headphones for Christmas and wears them non-stop. I think it's the cutest, even though she kind of looks like a tiny teenager.

So that's it... week one in the books! If I do nothing else on here this year, my hope is to at least continue with this, so we'll see! I want to appreciate the normal, ordinary everyday, because I am so grateful to be at home with these sweet kiddos. Hopefully this will help me do just that!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A new year, A finished house, A new adventure

Happy 2016!

To be honest, I am surprised that this blog even still exists as infrequently as I update, but thankfully the good ol' Internet hasn't kicked me off yet. Which is good, considering that I have plenty to document in the coming months (and plenty to catch up on it when if I get around to it). So since nap time gives me a very small window to throw some of this out there, I'll start this year with a very quick recap of what is happening around here, in hopes that I can expound on it later, and do a catch-up post about the kiddos later this week, since that would take up an entire post on its own.

So since I left you all a little bit hanging and wondering when in the world this never-ending renovation is going to be finished, trust me, I felt the same way. We ripped the house to pieces in June, and it wasn't until the week of Christmas that the very last part of our kitchen was installed after many, many obstacles. Renovating a kitchen from the studs is no joke... and between the cabinet designers, manufacturers, installers, and getting on people's schedules, there are plenty of opportunities for things to get held up. But after many mishaps and even the wrong pieces being ordered and delivered at times, I am thrilled about how it turned out! I need to do an entire before and after post, but just in case that never happens, here's our finished project (and you can see some of the before pictures here if you want):

Isn't she beautiful? I can honestly say it's exactly what we had in our heads when we looked at the space, and that kitchen island is my favorite spot in the house. It's where we have most of our meals, do our schoolwork, and hang out with friends whenever they come over. It was worth every penny.

BUT... here's the really unexpected part of our house plans...

As of two days ago, this beautiful house and all of our hard work is under contract to sell to another family.  For the past month and a half, Josh and I have been praying about and preparing for a move to Birmingham, Alabama, and to be honest, one of the hardest things for me to wrap my mind around was leaving what we thought would be our forever home. And then on top of that, leaving the church that we started in the care of someone else. As you can probably guess, this was not something that either one of us saw coming or expected, which is why we purchased a home last spring.

So why the move? Over the past four years, really since the church started, Josh has been heading up the coaching and training for future church planters through the Association of Related Church (ARC). This is the same organization that helped plant us, both when we were in Illinois and again when we started our church here in Kentucky, and for me personally, the people we met through the organization and the resources they gave us were always like fresh breath in my lungs. I told Josh to run every travel opportunity by me before he committed, unless it was for ARC. The people at ARC care about these pastors that plant so much, and want to make sure that their families always stay healthy. I loved everything about it, and told him that we would always do whatever we could to help make their mission of planting 2000 churches by 2020 a reality. For a long time he was able to pastor our people here well and continue to help get these churches started, both of which he loved doing so much. But the reality was that our church continued to grow and more and more families continued pouring in, and more churches needed to be started and more planters were coming through. We did feel like eventually we would be forced to choose, but did not really know when that would be, until a couple of months ago.

Here's the thing... I love Lexington so much. When it came to picking a place that we'd call home, we fell in love with horse country. Aside from a couple of colder-than-usual winters, it is absolutely everything I wanted my hometown to be. And I love our church, and I have far too many great friends that I consider family that we have met through our church. Oh yeah, and then there's the house and that kitchen. Oh that dreamy kitchen. But when it came down to it, there is no doubt in my mind that Josh was made to do this. Church planting fans a fire inside him like nothing else, and he loves being a mentor and coach to those stepping out to plant a church. If we believe that the hope of the world will only be found through the growth of God's kingdom through the local church, then we have to do all we can to make sure great churches are started in every community. So although it's a hard thing, it's the right thing. I have not felt such a peace about a move or a decision like this since the time we decided to move here, and if these past four years are any indication of how much fruit obedience can bear, then I can't even imagine what is to come. Sowing and reaping... funny how I picked the name for this blog around the same time we planted here. 

I could go on and on, and there are way too many stories of confirmation and just really amazing things God has already worked out for us to make this the easiest "yes" possible, but he probably does a better job of it anyway, so I'll sign off for now with the clip from his sermon this weekend. 

Never say never. Never in a million years did I think I would marry a pastor, fall in love with Kentucky (since I lived here when I was younger and said I'd never consider it), help start a church that would grow to minister to thousands, and definitely not move to Alabama. I may be the only Vol fan in a sea of crimson there, so I know without a doubt that it's God doing the sending.

I challenge everyone to do something crazy-bold for God at some point this year. If He's whispering something to you, go for it. One tiny step can lead to another and another and before you know it, you're on the greatest adventure of your life. I'm so thankful I said "yes" to Josh when he asked me to marry him 6 weeks after we met. I'm thankful I said "yes" when it came to moving to Illinois. I'm thankful I said "yes" when we prayed about planting a church. It's always unexpected, but never fails to leave me in total and absolute awe of God's goodness.

So that's our next great adventure... hopefully I'll be better about keeping you posted this time around!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Just Because

Just because baby 3 seems to get no blog love, and I haven't even gotten her birth story written yet, I can at least share her incredibly gorgeous newborn photos taken by my wonderfully talented friend Jenna. It is so hard to pick a favorite, so I'll just post a bunch of our sweet little AnnieB.

That's just a handful, so i think I may have to make an album just with her newborn pictures in it! It's hard to believe that she will be three months old on the 21st... fastest three months of my life! She was in the 20th percentile for height and weight when she was born, but at her two month appointment she had beefed up to 12 pounds, 12 ounces and is now in the 75-90th percentile! I guess she won't be a little peanut after all, so she is following in the footsteps of her brother and sister. Mama makes good stuff I guess! She is absolutely a dream baby... so content and quiet! I've never had one so quiet... even her cry is pretty tame, and I often double check the backseat just to make sure that she wasn't forgotten. My heart is so incredibly full with these three!

Thursday, July 30, 2015


It's amazing what a little paint on the walls and new flooring can do to a space! We actually have more done than these pictures show, but here is the work in progress. Our crown molding should be done this week and our furniture is in (but all piled in the middle of the room right now) so I should have before and after pictures of our space soon! Well, all except the kitchen, which is set to arrive at the end of August. Thankfully though it's starting to look like home!

View from the old kitchen. The room closes to view (the old dining room)
is the kitchen expansion and the room with the big window is the new dining room.

From the other direction... both rooms will be one big kitchen. Woo!

Our little floor model.

View from the back toward the front door.
The hallway is gray (or greige as they say) and the rooms are all a blue/gray color.

Jake cannot handle not being in any of the pictures. Neither can Mario.
And I spy a sleeping baby.

New floors, recessed lighting, and paint in the living room. So much better!
We're hoping to get everything moved in and situated over this next week. Stay tuned!