Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Got Coffee?

These are our fabulous friends, Erik and Jessa Anderson.  
And their little pup, Bella.

And Erik and Jessa just started the adoption process to bring a little one from Ethiopia back to become a part of their family.  How exciting is that!  And I'm so excited to wait and see who God brings into their life in the coming year.  I admire them so much for their courage and the leap of faith they are willing to take to start their family.  The way things went for us,  once we knew we were having a baby we knew it would be in exactly 9 months - give or take a day or two.  And while there are many unknowns with being preggo, you know how long it is going to take for that little one to be in your arms.  But Jessa and Erik are jumping out there, not knowing how long it will be until they hold their son or daughter.  I would imagine that is kinda tough, or at least I imagine it would be for me.  

So, let's help them out!  It's going to cost them a pretty penny to land that little one in their home and they are doing some things to fundraise along the way.

Are you a coffee drinker?  Buy some coffee here to help support them.

Love Etsy and all of the cuteness it has to offer?  Check out Jessa's Etsy site, Ascend For The View.

Are you in the Modesto, CA area?  Book a photo session with Jessa Anderson Photography.  She's amazing!

And check out their blog to find out more about the Andersons and hear more of their story.

We are SOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited for you, Erik and Jessa!  You are going to be amazing parents!  So glad to have you guys on the road of this crazy adventure called parenting with us.

Monday, 23 January 2012

La Fiesta!

So on Friday we had just a little party for our little birthday girl.  Those in attendance were our family, Auntie Ju (one of my best friends and roomies from college) and our upstairs neighbors, The Whites.  The greatest part of the whole thing was having Breck help me prepare everything and just watch how excited he was to celebrate his sister!  So here are a few pics from the event.

B making a cake.

And a "Happy Birthday" banner.

The Birthday Girl!  Eating her birthday lunch of beans...yum, yum.

Party Central

Getting a little help blowing out the candles from Breck and Kayla


She loved it!  But this girl is a total eater.  I don't think I have offered her anything that she didn't love.

After cake and ice cream, we then had the "balloon party"- as Breck now affectionately calls the events that unfolded.  It pretty much consisted of Breck, Kayla and BJ running the entire length of our apartment with balloons in hand and nothing but joyous screams could be heard for miles.  Elsa stood with a hand one hand on the couch and other clutching a balloon and you could tell that she was just dying to be running with them - at least she had the joyous scream part down.  So the photo is a little blurry, but it accurately captures the chaos that went on.

Friday, 20 January 2012


One year ago today, I found myself very large with child and in a room with this man:

Thankfully, he was not in charge of anything but immense moral support as we welcomed Elsa Kristin into the world.  It's hard to believe that our beautiful baby girl is already a year old!  Many miles (both literal and figurative) have been logged this year and I can't imagine this year without her.  Of course I found myself thinking a lot today about what we were doing at this time last year and where we were and it already seems sometimes that our life in Ecuador was forever ago.  And as much as we were missing having lifelong friends and family close for the arrival of Elsa, I have to say that it was an amazing experience to have her in Quito and experience such a huge part of our family life there.  

Elsa is such a joy and a blessing.  Breck was always a very content baby, but Elsa is such an overwhelmingly happy one!  Always smiling, often laughing and so curious about her world around her.  I feel like her personality is poking through more and more everyday and it's so fun to watch her become more and more of who she is.  

So here is to our little Ecuadorian on her first birthday!  And a little photo montage to take you through her first year.

meeting her big brother

with Dr. Lopez who delivered her

And perhaps this is part of the reason why I am also having a hard time believing that Elsa is one:

Here is Breck at a year old.  That's a whole lotta baby.
Elsa right now weighs about as much as he did at 6 weeks.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

First Report

I have completed my first week of graduate school.  It is always a little strange walking back into a classroom at a new school, especially coming in at the middle of the year.  One might have flashbacks to grade school and the stresses of making new friends and trying not to upset the teacher, and feeling lost in a place that will be your home for the next few years.  I have had some experience in going to new schools, and going to new schools in the middle of the year.

 In middle school I arrived at Northville Christian Academy after Easter break.  Coming into a new school in 7th grade always sounds worse than it is.  I was welcomed very graciously at NCA and it really was not a traumatic experience at all...though I do milk it for all its worth with my Mom.  The same can be said about North Park.  I am not sure how other seminaries are, but here the professors are very friendly and the classmates are NOT bullying each other intellectually for position in the classroom, or any of the other frightening Divinity school horror stories people deem appropriate to tell me before I  started.

There were plenty of familiar faces.  I am also proud to report that the January orientation was the first January orientation that received 100% attendance of the new students.  Usually not everyone makes it to the one day orientation for the spring term starters.  That being said I know the 6 other students who are beginning this term and it is always reassuring to know someone is in the same boat as yourself.   It is strange for me to have a different life experience than many of my classmates and having sometimes more to relate to with my older classmates than the younger as far as having a family goes.  I suppose that is called growing up.

Finally I have decided this New Year to embrace my inner-nerd.  Now this might ruin my chances of getting a reality TV show wrangling squirrels in Chicago or driving a truck through the crowded dangerous roads to be put on the History Channel.    It seems being a book worm does not make great TV anymore, even for the History Channel.  I think embracing the nerd inside will help in accepting all the reading and writing I am to do..  I am very excited about many of the books and lectures this term.  It is also very helpful to have Breck join me in studies (see picture in earlier post.)  It is a bit of work to adjust to life here in Chicago and to figure out school as a family, but so far we are enjoying it and hope that it will be a great time for us.  My current mission is to get Jenny to start school too, but it isn't taking.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

The Dawn of a New Era

Today was Chris' first day of class as a grad student at North Park Theological Seminary.  So of course I insisted on taking a picture of him headed to class on the first day and my fabulous husband kindly agreed.  I kinda wanted to follow him to campus and take his picture in front of Nyvall Hall, but I thought that might be taking it a step too far.  

Sending Daddy off to his first class.  And Elsa has totally been hamming it up lately and now smiles in cue, as shown here.

Study buddies.  
I'm sure there will be many hours logged between the two of them in this chair with their books.

All I have to say is that I'm glad it's him and not me.  The thought of having to write a paper or read something that I don't want to right now makes my skin crawl a little.  But it seems like Chris is really excited to start this new chapter and I'm so excited for him.  He's going to do awesome.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Let it snow!

As Chris said, the weather was beyond perfect for our move into our new little life here in the big city.  I had visions of us having to drive across Iowa in white-out conditions in our huge Penske truck and then having to unload that big truck in the snow and cold.  I can't tell you how happy we all were about the 40 degree January day it was.  However, just days ago the snow dumped on us and it's starting to look much more like a normal Chicago winter around here.  We headed out for a little family walk and the inaugural use of Breck's first pair of snow pants! 

Not so sure about the snow in the face.

That is our new apt!

First snow ball

Now making the best of the flakes in the face.

North Park Campus

Quito has eternal spring-like weather.  And while it was nice at times, I am truly a midwestern girl at heart and had a really hard time living without seasons. So bring on the snow!

Friday, 13 January 2012

New Blog Page

For those of you who followed and read our previous blog, you will find that it is now longer up.  We have recently left Ecuador for sunny Chicago, where we are currently under a 5 inch blanket of snow.  Why leave the beautiful country of Ecuador for cold Chicago in the winter months you ask?  Well, because Jenny and I always like to make major life changes in the most difficult of circumstances.  Those of you who have known us for a few years will recall our move from Colorado to Omaha was made more enjoyable by the flooding of our apartment, Jenny's pregnancy, and on the eve of moving day a visit to the hospital so that I could have my appendix removed.  That move also took place in the merry month of January.  Our next move, from Omaha to Ecuador, became very exciting by the summer embargo on luggage in August of 2009, which limited our baggage from 9 pieces to 6.  Having to cram and rearrange our belongings, and making major decisions on what items were to be left behind and what was to come with while at the ticket counter made that move feel like a game show.

So now you probably feel that we have an exciting story about our current move from Omaha to Chicago.  Well, the night we moved in, January 5, it was about 45 degrees out, dry, and we had help from our friends, Will, Joe, and Erin.  The only thing that happened was a key mix up.  Security came and let us into our apartment and we picked up the correct keys the next morning.  Sorry to disappoint, but I will be honest and say it made our life a little less entertaining, but much more enjoyable.

This new blog really has no direction or goal.  We thought a few people would like to keep tabs on us as we start Grad school as a family of four here in Chicago.  If there aren't any who would like to read, that is OK as well, because it is just a good habit for us to reflect on our little life occasionally.