Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Even with all of the craziness of our life going on right now (i.e. putting our house on the market, searching online for rentals in Kentucky, and- oh yeah- starting the process of planting a church!) we have still managed to get out in the spring weather and enjoy ourselves a bit.  The weather is either rainy and cold or absolutely gorgeous, but lately the gorgeous weather has been showing up more than the showers.  I don't mind it so much if it keeps it from being uber-hot here in Illinois.  That is something that this mama is not looking forward to!  But here's what we've been up to lately.  We have been...

Sitting around looking handsome (and far too old!)

Going for lots of bike rides and walks.  True story: Jake climbed into his own stroller today and tried to buckle himself in.  Between that move and bringing us his shoes all the time it looks like we'll be spending lots of time outside this summer!

Picking out a puppy.  Yes, you read that correctly... more on that to come

Practicing with the spoon.  Although, we find that we're much better using a fork at this point!

Spending LOTS of time in our swing in the backyard.  He pretty much makes a beeline to it as soon as he gets out the back door (which we are this close to being able to open by ourself!) 

Playing in the dirt.  I am still amazed at how boys just naturally gravitate to it.

Enjoying the scent of the blooms in our backyard.

I think that spring and summer are going to become my favorite seasons now that we have a kiddo.  I can't tell you the last time that I went for a bike ride just for fun or swung on a swing-set.  I never realized that by having a child you really do get to experience parts of your youth all over again.  There is a certain nostalgia, certain memories, that you forget you have until reliving something unlocks them all over again.  In the past month Josh and I have shared more stories about our childhoods- favorite vacations and things to do- than I think we ever have before and I know it's because we're out and about doing some of the same things that we did when we were kids.  Plus, seeing the joy on our child's face as he slides down a slide, runs through the hose, chases bubbles, or sticks his hands into a sandbox makes my heart swell.  It is these sweet moments that I will always treasure about my fourteen-month old boy.  The world really is an incredibly amazing place through the eyes of a child.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Our Other BIG Announcement...

There has been so much going on within our family lately that I have steered clear of the blog just to make sure I kept some necessary things to myself until the time was right to share.  But since we made our announcement to church this morning and later on to the rest of the staff, I have been given the green light to share with all of our dear friends who peek in on us from time to time here.  But let me start at the beginning... this goes way back!

Before we were even married, Josh looked at me one night and told me that he felt like God had put it on his heart to plant a church.  I know I've shared bits of this story on here before, but I feel like it's truly the start of this journey.  At the time, I looked at him like he had three heads.  I didn't even know what that meant, had never heard the term "church plant," and could only relate it to some sort of cult.  Clearly I was not ready for that.  It was only a matter of months that he stumbled across the Crossroads campus pastor job, applied, and we came up to Small Town, Illinois to interview.  I can't say that I fell in love with Small Town, Illinois right away, but I did fall in love with the organization and the people.  When we met some of the folks that were trying to put a campus in their town (the town we would be moving to), I could see the pleading looks on their face.  They knew that they needed a life-giving church in their town, for themselves, their families, and for future generations.  There was a hunger and a burning for Jesus that I had never seen before, and I was moved.  I told Josh that we needed to do whatever it took to be a part of putting that campus in their town.

Over the past two years, we have ministered in Small Town, Illinois, seen hundreds (literally) of people commit their lives to Christ, marriages become restored, addictions overcome, and filled the seats with folks who had not stepped foot in a church for years, if not ever.  Between this Easter and last Easter, over 150 people publicly stepped into the waters of baptism to celebrate their commitment to Christ.  These past two years have been nothing short of amazing.

With that being said, similar conversations about the desires of my husband's heart and his visions of planting a church would sometimes come up over these past two years.  In true Kim fashion, they usually continued to be met with a panicked look that would fall across my face.  In my mind, this dream of his would definitely happen and be something that I would be supportive of, but it would probably happen five or ten years down the road.  That sounded comfortable enough.  That worked for me.  So imagine my surprise when I didn't balk at the idea when he brought it up to me this spring.  There was a tug in my spirit that I couldn't explain and for the first time, I actually had an inkling that the time was near.  Fast forward to just a week later when at the end of one of our messages, a pastor that we have looked up to for a long time was featured in a video because he had given his last message the week before at the church that he pastored.  He had been battling cancer and knew his time was incredibly near.  The message moved me to tears and struck a major chord with me.  He had definitely lived a life of significance, pastoring people and founding an organization that has seen and funded hundreds of new church plants across the country.  This man was making sure Jesus was being introduced to these hungry communities.  And he reminded us that when there is a call on your life, you really need to listen.  There will never be a good time, so what are we waiting for?  Obedience truly is a learned behavior.  Later that night I told Josh that the time was near... God was definitely calling him to do this, I knew he had the gifts and talents, and I was ready to go wherever He was leading us.  It was truly a turning point in this adventure.

Over the next month, we thought and prayed about what this would look like and where this might be.  We knew God had big plans and it was only a matter of time before He revealed them to us.  Josh started feeling like Kentucky was our next move, and although I had similar feelings of my own, I was hesitant to consider them too closely.  My sister and her family lives in Kentucky and I did not want to feel like maybe I was feeling like that was the right place because I would love to be closer to them.  I wanted to make sure I was listening to Him and not to my own selfish desires.  I think I mentioned every place around Kentucky without mentioning Kentucky itself.  Josh continued to feel strongly about it, however, so we decided to go visit and just get our eyes on the place.  We spent three days there, met some people from my sister's school, and drove around Lexington, Georgetown, and Paris.  We spent the majority of our time on the north fringes of the city and found that there was definitely a void.  Hundreds of new homes were everywhere, but very few churches.  Hundreds of families, but not many places to go.  When we met my sister's teachers friends and just mentioned that we were considering a church plant in that area, I saw that same desperate look- those same pleading eyes.  It brought me back to the moment when I knew our move to Illinois was what God was calling us to do.  I had the same tug on my spirit, like a hand gently pushing me in that direction.  Well, it was more like a shove, which is probably what a stubborn gal like me needs from time to time.  

As for my other doubts based around whether or not we were choosing this area for the right reasons, my sister cleared that up because of one sentence out of my sister's mouth.  When we told her about the potential of us moving there to start a church she said, "Oooh!  We're going to have a church!"  I had expected something to the effect of "You're going to live so close!" or "I get to see Jake all the time!" or something like that, but instead it was excitement that their search would be over.  Her family had given up on trying to find a church that worked for their family because they just couldn't find the right fit.  My heart broke.  The Bible tells us that our mission begins at home, but my sister and her husband had been unable to find the tools in their area to help their family grow spiritually and live that out.  By the time we packed up the car and headed back home, we knew this was the right place.  We had found our next ministry and our next home.

Over the couple of weeks Josh has been meeting with the leadership of our current church and helping them set up our current campus for success long after we're gone.  He and I both know that the pastors don't make people come to church, but having a good one sure does help.  We know that God is bigger than that and us leaving would not cause our church to stumble in the least as long as we leave it in a healthy state and a healthy way.  As an answer to our prayers, our current worship leader and youth pastor interviewed and fit the bill as our replacement.  He and his wife have become incredible friends of ours and they are two of the most kind-hearted, generous, loving, and prayerful individuals that I have ever met.  They truly taught me what it means to let yourself go and immerse yourself in the words of a song, and I will miss hearing his voice sing to the Lord every Sunday.  Our church family here is so blessed to have them, and although it doesn't make it easy to leave, it gives us an even greater sense of peace about it.  And today when we announced it to the congregation, there were a lot of tears built out of relationship, but also a lot of words of encouragement and excitement for the journey ahead for us.  We know that in this next year we will have more support, love, and prayer from people in Small Town, Illinois than we could have ever dreamed of.  God is really watching over us and I know His hand is all over this.

As for us, our last Sunday with Crossroads is on June 12th.  We will open the doors and have our very first services at TurningPoint Church in Lexington, Kentucky in February 2012.  We have a lot of work to do between now and then, as well as a lot of stuff to figure out personally, but we both could not be more excited.  I tell people that I am so confident that this is God's will for our lives because of the peace I have about all of the unknowns that lie ahead; the timing for our family could not be more inconvenient.  In the next nine months we will be trying to sell a house, find a new place in a new town, transporting all of our belongings, going down to one income, raising a one-year-old, and bringing a newborn into the mix.  My usual self would be so stressed out by now that my head would probably explode.  But I surprisingly have very little anxiety about it.  I know it won't be easy, and I know that there will be some difficult and very stressful times along the way, but I also know that we're being obedient and that our Father will provide for us.  I never understood the phrase "a peace that passes understanding" until now, and I am so very thankful.

For those of you here in Small Town, Illinois, please know that we leave here with such mixed emotions.  We are excited for what lies ahead, but will miss you all tremendously.  Our life as a married couple and as a family started here.  My first real role in ministry began here, and although I know I still need to grow by leaps and bounds to be the pastor's wife God made me to be, He definitely did some important work on me while we were here.  I truly have a love affair with the Midwest now... and it's not because the location itself is something spectacular but because of the hearts of the people who live here. I have never in my life met more warm, generous, friendly, and loving people anywhere else in the world and I have lived in a lot of places!  You just don't find folks better than this, and I know that our friends here have helped me grow into a better woman and a better friend.  I am forever grateful.  I also want you all to know that we're not just going to disappear from this place.  Over the summer we will be here from time to time as we take care of our personal business and will stay connected well beyond the move.  This place is so special to our family and I know that we can't leave without looking back.  So don't think you're getting rid of us so easily!

I know this has gotten long, and there is still so much that I probably could have shared, but our ask is that you please put our family on your prayer list.  Like I said, there are so many unknowns out there right now, but we know where the path is leading us.  And if any of you know folks in the Lexington area that have been without a church home for awhile, please try to connect them with us.  We'd love to share our vision and our passion for what God is calling us to do.

I look forward to the first weekend of February next year when I can look back at this post and remind myself of where this next part of our journey began.  What I do know for sure is that God is up to something big, and I am humbled to be a part of it.  We love you all so much... thank you for the love and support you show us every day.  I look forward to sharing this journey with you all over this next year.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Baby # 2 is a....





We are OVER THE MOON excited!  Well, excited is an understatement really.  I don't think I knew how much I wanted a girl until the ultrasound tech told us the news.  We've had her name picked out before Jake was even born so sometime at the end of September or beginning of October we will be introducing...

Lillian Joy

We'll call her Lilly I'm sure and Joy is my middle name which I am thrilled to get to pass down.

At the appointment this morning, I'm not sure if I was more excited to hear that I am carrying a little girl or if my excitement was based on confirmation of a mother's intuition.  You see, not long after Jake was born I was sitting in his room rocking him and Josh walked in.  I was looking at the letters on his wall that spell his name and said, "I think Lilly is coming next."  I don't know why or what at that moment made me think that.  We never really said much about it again.  Months later we found out I was pregnant with our second child and for some reason, I immediately thought it was a girl.  I couldn't help to refer to the baby as "she" or "her" even though I tried not to.  Then I had not one, but two, dreams that she was born, we named her Lilly, and in one dream she was even eight pounds, seven ounces (which I'd gladly take by the way considering that Jake was eight-ten).  Talk about specific!  My brother-in-law dreamt we had a girl, too, and then another friend of mine told me recently that she did also!  With Jake, I did have an inkling (and a dream before I even knew I was pregnant that we had a baby boy) but there was a part of me that had my doubts.  This time around, I was so absolutely certain that I think I would've called the technician a liar if she told me otherwise!  Yeah, it was probably a bit of an unhealthy attitude to walk in there with, but everything worked out thank goodness.

We spent the day calling family and had a date night to go out to dinner and buy some pink stuff.  It was nice to call my side of the family to let them know that the streak has been broken!  After four boys, we finally have a GIRL!  Let's just say that she's going to be one protected (and spoiled!) little girl!  

As for me?  I'm feeling great and feeling huge!  I told Josh before this appointment that I did hope that this was a girl since I'm carrying her all over the place!  Jake was such a little basketball, but she's more like an inner-tube.  The pictures don't do it justice (probably because I refuse to take comparison shots of Jake vs. Lilly from the rear)which is  but here is me with the two of them at 20 weeks:

Me & Jake @ 20 weeks (still in regular jeans)

Me & Lilly @ 20 weeks (totally rocking maternity pants!)
So that's it from here.  Have a great weekend... I'm off to go online shop for some pink cowboy boots!

Monday, May 9, 2011


Happy (day late... but hey, I'm a mom so it's okay!) Mother's Day to all of the lovely moms in my life!  We had a lovely couple of days here and the weather could not have been better!  It finally hit seventy degrees... wooo-hoooooo!  Hopefully it doesn't just jump straight into hot weather because I could take a few more weeks months of this!  Jake and his daddy took me out to dinner on Saturday night and gave me a picnic basket for our future park trips and a certificate for a mani/pedi (yes, please!).  They did GOOD!  I also got a nap for the second Mother's Day in a row, so I think that's becoming a bit of a tradition.  I'll take it!

As I was laying in bed last night (at 19 weeks I'm already starting to have insomnia... awesome) I thought about just how much motherhood has changed me.  How it changes us as women.  The most defining moment in my life by far was the moment that Jake was born and I became a mother- by far the best thing that has ever happened to me.  Becoming a wife is something that you do; becoming a mother is something that happens to you.  And with it, comes the highest of highs and at times, the lowest of lows, but the highs by far make it worth it.  So in honor of this occassion, I thought I would share just some of those highs, lows, and lessons learned from this adventure we call motherhood:

  • Sleep and showering are not as necessary as I used to think they were.  However, a long, hot shower is one of the sweetest pleasures in life these days.  It's truly the only "me-time" I get in a day.
  • There is no better feeling than when your child spots you in a crowded room and makes a beeline to give you a hug or be picked up.  Although, hearing him say "Mmmmm-mah" (his kiss sound) after I tell him I love him is pretty darn awesome, too.
  • Nobody ever told me that watching any movie where kids are in danger would affect me so deeply after having a child.  I have become so sensitive to movies, TV shows, and especially news stories involving children and am moved to tears on many occasions.
  • Even after a year, I still get tempted to wake my kid up in the middle of the night just to see him and squeeze those cheeks.  But every mom knows better after trying it once!
  • Nothing beats a freshly bathed child in pajamas... oh how I love that baby shampoo smell!
  • Knowing that my body can house, build, and deliver a child makes me so much more forgiving of myself.  Sure, I may never be bikini-ready again, but I have embraced my post-baby figure more than I ever did my pre-baby figure.  Although the second-pregnancy figure is something that I'm having a harder time coping with!
  • Trying to keep a little boy clean is an uphill-battle.  I've come to accept that no matter how cute his outfit was, he will inevitable be covered in either head-to-toe dirt or food by the end of the day.
  • Dressing a toddler (or changing a diaper) can be a full-on workout.
  • Kids understand humor at a very young age.  My son already thinks he's funny, which is something that we know might get annoying in the future if he ends up not actually being funny.  
  • It doesn't take as long as one might think to memorize a storybook.  I think my brain is up to about five now.
  • Going anywhere without your kid is a luxury, but it sure is weird.  It's like going out in public naked.
  • Baby's naptime equals mom running around frantically trying to get a whole day's worth of chores and to-do's done in an undetermined (but too short) amount of time.  Things we used to enjoy (like blogging) are the first things to go it seems!
  • A house doesn't need to stay nearly as clean as one might think.  The mess will just be back tomorrow.
  • True fear is turning around someplace and realizing that your child is no longer within your sight.  Even if you're in your very own house.  Hearing a crash or a thud in the next room only intensifies that awful feeling.
  • Kids heads are really made of steel.  And yes, their bodies are truly made of rubber.  It never fails to amaze me.
  • The art of the temper tantrum is learned far earlier in life than I would have ever imagined.
  • It doesn't matter if dad is closer... a kid with sticky, dirty hands will inevitably reach for mom.
  • Poop, snot, blood, and spit are not all that gross when they come from your own child.  Vomit, on the other hand, will always be disgusting.
  • When a grape goes through the drier, it really does become a raisin.  I feel like I should've figured that out on my own by now.
  • Motherhood brings on a whole new level of exhaustion that you didn't know even existed before kids.
  • "Before Kids" is that part of life that you really don't remember.  And thankfully, once you have a child, you don't really remember your life without him or her.  I feel like I've always known my Jake, and in my heart I always have.  My life would not be anything remotely close to what it is today without him, and I don't want to imagine life without him.
I could go on for days, as could any mom.  It sounds so cliche to tell someone that they won't understand it until they have a child of their own, but then you get here and it all becomes so very clear.  They were right all along.  And at every stage of life I think to myself, "this is my favorite," which is truly God's design.  I am so thankful to be a mom, to know what those other moms are talking about, and to truly understanding the meaning of unconditional love.  I know some people worry when having their second child that they won't love that child the same as their first, as it would be impossible.  For me, I haven't worried about that for a second.  My heart expanded in size the day Jake came along, and I know there's plenty of room left for it to happen again.  There is no greater blessing and no greater job on the planet, and that's enough of a mother's day present for me.

God bless all of you moms out there... I hope you're enjoying the journey as much as I am.  Even on the hard days.  :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sweet Baby Jake

I realized today that it's been far too long since I've done an update on our favorite little guy (even though I've been promising one for months) so here's what's been going on with our almost 13-month-old!

Jake's disposition is still as sweet as can be.  He's happy and laughing 95% of the time... but when he gets mad, he gets MAD!  When he doesn't get his way he can throw quite an impressive temper tantrum.  We've gotten pretty good at just ignoring him when he acts this way and that seems to work pretty well.  But like I said, most of the time, he is quite the happy dude.  He's also quite independent and can play by himself for close to an hour with no problem.  Sometimes he even gets Daddy's primo spot in the recliner to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Signing Time.  One time he even successfully picked up the remote, went to the DVR list, and selected an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse all on his own!  It was probably a fluke, but still impressed us nonetheless!

Now that the weather is finally getting warmer (welcome to Illinois!... it was 46 degrees and cloudy today!) we're spending lots of time outside.  Jake is ALL BOY.  He beelines straight for the dirt and digs his hands right in.  He often brings me his shoes and then runs to the backdoor... at least he lets me know what he wants!

Speaking of outside, he's become quite a big fan of the slide.  We can now set him up at the top and he'll wiggle his way down and slide to the bottom on his own!  Such a big boy!

When we are indoors, he loves his books!  I used to laugh at the moms that said their 1-year-old (or younger) loved books, but now I understand that it's possible.  He'll flip through his books on his own for 30 minutes or so and definitely has his favorites that he likes to read.  Sometimes he'll bring one, have you read it to him, and then go get the next one.  So far I have The Boss Baby, What Is Easter, and The Night You Were Born memorized, which is handy when I'm reading to him while changing his diaper or want the room dark before bedtime.  The only downside is sometimes he screams when the book is over, which inevitably happens every time!  He gets mad that they end!

As for his stats, he is quite the big boy!  He weighs about 25 pounds (75th percentile) and is 32 inches tall (93rd percentile!).  He can now reach doorknobs, but thankfully cannot turn them yet.  Tabletops are no longer safe though as he can get to just about anything these days.

As for words, his favorite is "Dog" and he says it every time he sees one (or any animal for that matter). He also knows the sign for it.  He also knows Mama, Dada (his most frequent word), Pawpaw, and he still says "ball" from time to time.  He can answer you when you ask him what the cow, sheep, or baby elephant says.  The elephant is the funniest and we do have video that I need to post.  We have a book of animal sounds and he also does the rooster, but only when we're reading the book.  He also does the signs for "more" and "all done" during mealtimes.

We've mastered walking (and running) by now and he gets faster and faster everyday!  We're trying to teach him to hold hands and walk with us since he likes to wander wherever he wants.  He's very social and will walk up to just about anyone and start babbling... at least he knows what he's saying!  He also blows kisses very freely these days to just about anyone he sees.  He's even quite chatty by himself at home and loves to "talk" on the phone- he'll hold it to his ear, walk around, and have an entire conversation.  Sometimes he even laughs which cracks us up!  He still loves music and really boogies down!  I also have video of that, so one of these days I'll get that up here (so I say).  He has a set of drumsticks now and he is quite the little drummer as well!  He'll sit in his high chair and play along to any song on the radio with a big grin on his face.  It's pretty awesome.

Hmmm... what else?  Like I said, it's been a LONG time since I did an update so there are several new things he's doing now.  The other day I turned my back and when I turned back around he had climbed up and was sitting on the coffee table!  He can also get onto the chair in his room and if he's sitting on the couch he will climb onto the end table.  Our little monkey scares his mama to death sometimes!

Jake is quite coordinated these days.  He throws the ball like a champ and can hit a ball off of his little tee- something Aunt Angie is proud of!  Like I said, he's ALL BOY!  I just can't get enough.

I could go on and on and on as I know there are about a million other things that Jake does that amazes me everyday.  I have just loved watching him grow, learn, explore, and develop into this silly little boy who loves to laugh (and make others laugh).  Everyday just gets more and more fun with a one-year-old!  And every time I get a bit sad that my baby is getting too big, I am reminded that there's another one on the way and we get to start all over again so very soon!  Let's just hope I can remember how to handle a newborn!