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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Departure = Arrival


Leaving one place implies reaching the next part of the journey.  So we're here.  In Georgia.

I wanted to jot a few things down (or type them on here, I guess) to help keep me grounded.  I will get some pictures up very soon of Miles' first plane ride and meeting his fam on this side of the U.S. - but there are some important items I want to reflect upon as this adventure continues to unfold.

I absolutely hate leaving.  As a kid, I hated going to bed before everyone else.  I relished family parties, which were the only exception to the rule of bedtime before all those older than me, when I was allowed to stay up as late as I possibly could, which was usually until the last guests left late into the night.  Goodbyes are never easy, and I have formed some of the most meaningful relationships in the last year of my life.

But when I'm spiritually honest, I know that

  1. My most important relationships traveled with me (God, James, Miles, Peanut)
  2. My lovely family and friends will always be with me because our love for each other is deeper than location
  3. Goodbyes suck
However, as the Beatles put it, you say goodbye, and I say hello.  There are so many new experiences awaiting our family here.  Miles is already in love with his cousins, Naomi and Olivia.  They've already spent time fighting over who gets to play with him next.  These girls are so sweet, and they're so good with him that I can just sit back and crochet because they are his li'l mommies.  He loves to make everyone laugh, them especially.

I could go on (and I will in an upcoming post with pictures), but I need to get back to the main reason I started this post...

Our Prayer Requests
  • That both James and I would be intentional in our continued study of God's word daily, spending time in prayer, and seeking His will for how we can serve this community at this time
  • Praise God that He provided a new compy for us - this one is on its last legs, and God used dear friends of ours to provide a new one
  • Praise God for Miles' first experience on two airplane rides.  He was so well behaved, and such a doll, toting his own rolling luggage
  • To stay attuned to the Holy Spirit, seeking His movements, and falling in step with Him, being filled daily by His word
  • This transitory time: adjusting to the time change, Miles' sleep schedule with company, practical items such as work/car/schedule/etc.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

We're Leavin' (Leavin')...

... on a 12:30 plane to Georgia...

It doesn't have quite the same ring to it as 'midnight train,' but I would not be taking a train from Riverside to Atlanta!  I mean seriously, could you imagine taking a midnight train while you're six months pregnant, along with your hubby and two-year-old kid on a 2,193 mile ride?!


I don't even want to pretend to imagine that.  It's already making me feel crazy!  The 32 estimated hours are by car, too - not by train, with frequent stops...  I mean look at that map!  It's way over there!

Therefore, we are taking an airplane in one week.

Boxes have been labeled and stacked up neatly, while the closets and home decor are clearing out.  The movers will actually be here this Friday.  James and I set a goal of being completely done with packing by tomorrow night.  I think it will happen.  That way, we can just relax on Thursday before the moving company peeps show up the next day.  We'll have some time to spend with family and friends this weekend, and come next Tuesday, we will be heading out to Ontario in order to fly into ATL.

God has really been gracious in that He has tarried for over a month with our move.  It all felt so sudden when everything was set for April 8th.  I was talking with James about that this afternoon, and just praising God for how good He is.  If we had to move then, I don't think I would've had time to process the emotion in the rush of packing and preparing.  There are so many lovely blessings we've received by staying here for one and a half months longer than we had anticipated:

  • Continued confirmation that God will provide for our family
  • Extra time spent with family & friends, especially the tasty meals we've shared!
  • I got to complete my entire first year at Bible Study Fellowship (today was the last day!)
  • Miles completed an entire year in the BSF children's program studying Genesis along with me
  • We finished the Crazy Love study at the Green's home fellowship
  • Getting to serve in Children's Church & nursery for a few more weeks
  • Meeting baby Hunter!!  AND finishing his baby blanket
  • Getting to celebrate Richard's 30th birthday
  • Getting to see Matt when he gets back from ND
There have been so many more that I can't even think of right now - so many ways in which the Lord has blessed us.  The best thing that I have experienced throughout this entire process is God's presence in my life.  He has never been more real, and He has come alongside me every step of the way.  When I have questions, He answers them, and I am amazed at how much Jesus truly cares for me and my family.

*  *  *  *  *
"Stick 'em up!"

Some Miles Fun Facts:
  • Toy Story 3 is his current fave
    • He pronounces Woody "Wheedy"
  • The boy is obsessed with singing "Yo Ho, a Pirate's Life for Me"
  • He loves to shoot guns, even if that gun is his right hand or a piece of bread
  • He's ice cream crazy
  • He is so good with babies - he talks about Hunter all the time
    • In nursery this Sunday, he took a baby doll out of a stroller, laid it on the floor and said, "Oh, baby Hunter?  Change diapah."  I think he's gonna be a great big brother.
As I'm sitting on my couch right now, Peanut is kicking away!  We are 28 weeks along, entering into the third trimester already.  This little one is so different than Miles.  Miles got the hiccups a lot, while this one has very regular awake/asleep times.  Bebe likes to get up around 7AM, dance at 11AM, then chill until dinner time, and finally another dance sesh around 9 or 10PM.  

I've been busy working on a side-project when I'm not helping James pack, or hanging out with Bubs:  altering my maternity pants.  I absolutely hate the full-panel maternity bands that are connected to my pants/shorts, you know, the ones that cover my entire belly.  There's something about having that panel over my ever-expanding tummy that just irritates me!  I think it's especially unnecessary on a pair of maternity shorts.  I mean, really?  Who designed these?  Certainly not a pregnant woman - and most definitely not one that has ever been six months pregnant (or more) in the summer time!  What's the point of having shorts if I'm going to sweat all over myself because of the spandex squeezing my belly?  Besides, I just get uncomfortable after a few hours of wearing them because of the pressure.

All that being said, I have been altering all of my mommy-wear to have under the belly maternity elastic, which has been a fun project.  I found ZERO tutorials on pinterest for this idea, so I may have to create one myself, and then pin it myself.  Boom.  (I even went back to Forever 21 to see if they still carried maternity clothes because the only pair of pants I own that have an under-the-belly panel were from that store - but unfortunately/thankfully, they discontinued their maternity line.  As much as I like the items I bought there two years ago, I felt pretty weird shopping at Forever 21 for mommyhood clothing.)  I just had to use my jeans as a guide in fixing the rest of my pants/shorts.  It took some trial & error, but I finally got a result I was pleased with.

*  *  *  *  *

Dearests, keep us in your thoughts this week, and in the weeks to come, as we venture into a new chapter of our lives.  God is so good, and He is the Author of new beginnings.  Our love to you, and thanks in advance for your prayers.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Santa Catalina is the Island of Romance

And everything there is overpriced.

Island living, though, right?  James and I celebrated four years of marriage on May 2, and we got to use the Christmas present James' Dad got for us.  It turns out all of the complications of our escrow being extended worked out for us because we thought we'd be out of California long before we could get to Catalina Island.  But since we're still here, we decided it was prudent to utilize our gift certificate for the Old Turner Inn.  We booked our stay, and headed off on our ferry!

Nautical stripes are everywhere!

We're off!

Chris Farley's younger brother was on the boat.
He has curly hair, but the same schtick

Calm waters the whole way


We checked in right away - the inn is walking distance from the pier where we arrived.  We got there a lot more quickly than if we had waited for a cab.  Once there, our innkeeper, Kathleen, upgraded us to a larger room at no charge - so awesome!  We also met the other couple that was staying there on Friday night, Brad & Jen.  They were super sweet, and gave us a good dinner recommendation for Saturday.

I tackled the puzzle that was out on the table

She's got a hot pizza from Antonio's!

Kiddos splashing in the ocean

James, conquering a tree stump

I found a lovely sun hat - and I needed it -
it was over 90 on Friday!

This man was trying to hang himself with a snake
(not really)

Pay phones?  What?

We walked all around the main parts of town, getting our bearings, and after a rest, went for an evening walk.  We checked out the exterior of the Casino (which, incidentally isn't a casino - it's a museum & theater) and the Descanso Beach Resort.

The next morning, we woke up for a delicious home made breakfast, including a fluffy egg bake with salsa and sour cream, yogurt & home made granola, bacon, and fresh fruit.  We chatted with Brad & Jen about snorkeling, and their dinner at M the night before.  It was a little overcast when we set out for the Botanical Gardens and Wrigley Memorial.  But it cleared up by the time we got up the hill.

James spotted a ton of Western Tussock Moth
fuzzy caterpillars that were hatching!!

Wrigley (as in the chewing gum) Memorial

Hi 6 month belly!
Pretty brass doors, too

We're going nowhere

Buffness

Oh, hello again 6 month preggo belly.

A short hike up from the memorial

We happened upon some information while checking out the activities of Catalina Island on Cinco de Mayo weekend - that the Annual Rugby Festival was going on that Saturday!  Teams of men, 40 years old and over, play 3 matches, and all the proceeds go to the The Wellness Community/South Bay.  It was fun to watch.  JB and I checked out the basics of rugby online before we left the mainland, so we could have a rough idea of game play.

Sweet socks & a scrum in the background

Players rucking

Helmet heads

We lunched on fish & chips at the end of the long pier
after walking down the hill...

James rented a golf cart and picked me up from the inn

We drove up Wrigley Ave and looked out onto Avalon

Cheese!

Down by the water

Pictures of the art deco frescos of the Casino

Lovely chandeliers and archways

Out in front of the Casino

That night we went to M for dinner, a hot spot that's usually only open to locals, unless it's a special occasion.  Luckily for us, it was Cinco de Mayo weekend, so they had an especial menu of gourmet Mexican fare.  It was also our special dinner - we got dressed up (but failed to take any pictures!  Oh well...)  James ordered the top round chimichanga, and I got the baja shrimp tacos.  So tasty!!  We had churros for dessert, and they were lovely!  The cold front started moving in, so we headed straight home after we ate.

That morning, Kathleen made us baked eggs with parmesean cheese, croissants, breakfast sausage, and set out poppy seed muffins, fruit preserves, and home made granola.  I had granola and milk, with fresh strawberries - delicious!  After packing up, we were about to head out to the pier to line up for our departure, but I decided to play some piano with the little girl whose family stayed at the B&B on Saturday night.  She had just started taking piano lessons on Thursday, and I taught her how to play chopsticks.  It was fun!  I miss having a piano at home...

She caught on so quickly!

All weekend long, James and I had a lovely time away, but I have to admit we found ourselves missing Bubbas.  One of us would turn to the other and say some random thing that Miles says to us all the time, like:
"Slowly, slowly, verrrrry slowly, creeps the garden snail..."
 Only it would sound more like:
"Syyowly syyowly, vehey syylowly... da arr snay-yul..."
Miles was off having fun with Tita Michelle, Uncle Phil, Sophia, Phillip, Nona, Austin, and Tito Matthew.  When we dropped him off at Michelle's Friday morning, he was playing with legos, and didn't even look up to say good bye!  And when we got there on Sunday, he kept running away from me!  He loves his 'Zhoveeia' (Sophia).  It was the perfect weekend getaway, and it was great to come home to our boy.

"Don't worry about me Momma, I'm a tough guy."