Friday, September 12, 2014

Blog News and Chelsea's Golden Thirty Party

I have made the jump to Wordpress for my personal blog, combining all the different places I write into one and adding in Robby's business venture Unfolded Designs. Our new site is (similar to this address, minus the blogspot addition). I'll be posting everything on that blog now, so if you have this blog bookmarked or follow it somehow, hop over to the new space and get the new link! You can also follow by e-mail (it's in the sidebar on the new site) and get something in your inbox whenever I post.

My first real post is all about Chelsea's Golden Thirty, so head over and check it out. Here's a teaser photo:

Monday, August 4, 2014


Last week we were at camp with our junior high and high school students from church. This makes my 4th time as a counselor at this particular camp, and (I think) my 13th time serving as a counselor in general for weekend and weeklong retreats and camps. Fun fact: If you add up the days, that's about two months of my life! :)

When we arrived at camp, one of the first things the speaker said is that for the six days at camp, our lives at home would be on pause. My first thought was Right. Pause? I can't go an hour without thinking about something we have to do or plan or fix. But quickly, I embraced the paused life. I became absorbed in camp life, in our hilarious students, in the loud music, in the energetic games, in what God wanted to tell me while away from home. I can't fully explain why, but this year seemed easy. I absolutely loved being around our youth group and found myself wanting to be more involved than I usually am. The lack of cell and Internet service felt strange at first...and then it was wonderful. No dings to announce that I had an email to respond to; no concern with what others were up to on Instagram or Facebook; no conversations that weren't held face-to-face. I was the most present I have been in a very long time.

And then Saturday came, and we packed ourselves up and drove back down to real life. All too soon, life was un-paused. My mind immediately shifted to work, to upcoming travels, to church ministries, to family concerns, to house and yard work, to our adoption plans. Once cell service kicked in, all of our phones woke up with the week's activity, and we scrambled to get caught up. For the first time in my many years of serving as a counselor, I wished I was back at camp. Me! An adult who normally is counting down the days to sleep in her own bed in her own home and have her own life back–I wanted a few more days. I wanted life to be paused again.

Of course, that simply cannot be. We are not made to live our lives on pause. Paul's words ring true today as they did when he wrote them: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God's heavenly call in Christ Jesus. We're made to run, to give everything we've got to reach the goal of Christ.

I think that's the key, though. Too often, I find myself just running, pouring out all my energy into  whatever challenge or task is in front of me. But that's not what Paul said. "My goal is to know Him," Paul writes. Our goal, our prize, our purpose is all the same, not simply to overcome the challenge in front of us but to get as close to Christ as we possibly can, running with all of our might to reach Him. The goal isn't to make it just beyond the obstacle, though I often live that way. The goal is Christ. And the amazing thing is that for those of us who love Him, our goal and prize are the same: Christ Himself.

I hope this truth stays close to my heart this year, and that I find myself closer to my prize than ever before.


Monday, July 14, 2014


A little over a week ago, our head pastor was in a serious bicycling accident while making his way back from a morning ride. As far as we know, he somehow lost control of his bike and crashed head-first into a boulder. His injuries are serious, and although he is making great progress for the type of trauma he experienced, he still has a long journey ahead.

Please pray for him and his family, specifically his wife who is at his side every moment she can be. Pray for our church and for my husband, Rob, who is the associate pastor of our church. A great burden is on his shoulders to keep everything up, and he needs wisdom and strength as he continues to lead the church.

We see God's hand in all of this. God spared our pastor's life and is already working mightily in his healing. He provided help quickly in spite of cell phones not having reception. He orchestrated people, including our pastor's children and some extended family, to be home and nearby when needed. He blessed us this past week at our VBS and youth event, and He even prepared Rob and me by allowing us to get the majority of our adoption work finished so we can be present with our pastor and church in this time.

It makes it all the easier to trust the Lord when He is already proving Himself faithful! If you are interested in keeping up with the progress of our pastor, you can follow the updates on this Facebook page.

Thank you for your prayers and support!


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Happy birthday, Steph!

Last Friday, Steph turned 31, so we ditched their kiddos and headed out for a birthday dinner at Bravo Farms. The meal started off fantastic: we love their cheese curds (basically fried mozzarella balls) and sweet potato fries, so we wasted no time ordering one of each. Or two ;)
Sadly, the dinner went downhill from there, though. Steph's steak–which was supposed to be well done–was grossly rare. My steak was the opposite: overcooked, when it should have been a perfect medium. After sending them back, they still weren't right! That, in addition to the awkward waitress who brought us the wrong ticket twice, will likely mean this will be the last dinner we have there. We won't rule them out for lunch, though–always good and a much better price.

The evening was still fun, though. How could it not be? I gave Steph a new necklace and top, we had time to catch up and laugh and celebrate, and we even managed a successful group photo, something we haven't done in years.

We think the above photo will work for the band we start someday. 

Steph, I'm so lucky to have you in my life! I hope this year is full of many blessings! Happy birthday!


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Development of a Photo

We've been working on our Adoption Profile (the large scrapbook-portfolio that birth parents view to get an idea of who we are) for the last week straight. I realized that my photos were lacking in a couple of areas, one big one being that I didn't have a recent and complete photo with my side of the family!

As luck would have it, Chels and Roger had planned to come into town for two days of fun this weekend! So before things got too crazy with the next level of our pool volleyball game, we attempted to take a photo.

It started with bossy pants. Pink bossy pants, actually.

After a few attempts, we got one!

Then began discussion time for the next pose. (I'm dying at all of our faces. Me, Chels, Robby with that serene smile. And of course Mom with her green-casted leg.)

Fake laughing photo, to show that we're a fun family.

It may have started off with fake laughter, but soon it became real...

 ...until Scott took it a little too far! Hand on the belly and everything.

Then I realized that my pink suit under my white cover-up looked no different than pink underwear under my white cover-up, so I borrowed a nearby dress.

Finally, Camille proposed we do something more natural, like sit by the pool. Brilliant! Almost there...

Got it!


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Visiting Sequoia National Park

Last weekend Robby and I decided to head up to Three Rivers and then Sequoia National Park for the day. It has been quite some time since I've been up to the giant trees. I'm sure it goes without saying that they were awesome! I forget how insanely humongous they are.

The weather was a bit all over the place, which we were not expecting. Luckily Robby had thrown in a couple of light sweatshirts as we headed out, and I'm so glad! Some people were there in their full on winter gear. I did good to have changed out of sandals for tennis shoes. The sun was in and out, but that made for some really awesome sights along the way.

Part of why we went last weekend was because the dogwoods are in bloom in the month of May. We saw blooming dogwoods last year in Yosemite, and last week when we were in Ohio (another post sometime), they were all abloom there! I love them so much. Totally worth a drive up to the park just to see their butterfly-like flowers everywhere.

The whole day was wonderful, and we hope this will be first of many trips this year!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Under the Lights

Can you believe it's May? May 10 to be exact. How did that happen? And how is it that the last time I posted was in March? I've been posting away at Citrus and Cream, but this blog (and other things...) have taken a backseat :( I hope to change that soon. School is out in just four weeks, so I'll have a summer to dive into some hobbies I love and miss.

This photo makes me smile. Yes it's posed. (Of course it is.) But it's a natural posed, if you know what I mean. Set the camera up, run out in the few seconds before it takes, then do something you want to do anyway, like wrap your arms around your hub and stick your leg up because you've always wanted to do that. :) We took this on our trip to Avila last summer, when we were still picking up the pieces from our IVF and wondering how in the world we would move on. A lot changes in a year. Now we're in the adoption process! I still can't believe that sometimes.

(By the way, we have a giveaway going on at C&C to win a canvas print. Of your own photo of choice, not one of this photo, ha! Only a few people have entered, so there's a good chance of winning.)

I look forward to writing more soon! There is so much to share!