Wednesday, 26 September 2012

one at a time

My best friend since I was about 5 years old just had her first baby 2 days ago.  I am OVERJOYED for her and her husband.  O.V.E.R.J.O.Y.E.D.  There is just nothing in this world quite like a baby bursting into your life and forever changing you.  I saw pictures of baby Parker yesterday morning for the first time.  He is perfect.  Just perfect.  And I was immediately flooded with memories and feelings of meeting my kids for the first time.  And I cried.  I cried because of the intense joy that those memories fill me with.  I cried because I was so happy for my best friend, whose heart was filling up in a way that she could have never possibly imagined before that moment. 


10 years ago I met Jessa.  She lived on my floor my freshman year.  I have this picture of her imprinted in my mind in her room from that year - sitting cross-legged on her bed, wearing a t-shirt and with a bandana in her hair, guitar on her lap. We both had less than desirable roommate situations our first semester of school.  Without really knowing one another, we decided that our living situations couldn't get much worse and decided to become roommates.  One of my best decisions ever.  She not only turned out to be a fantastic roommate, but became a lifelong friend.  You know, one of those friends that knows your core and loves you anyway.  One of those friends that you can spend all day talking about really real, deep things of life with but could also just spend all day being silly, laughing and getting into trouble (the good kind).  One of those friends that you know will be your friend no matter what.  One of those friends that you pray you will live close to again someday because everyday life with her in it is just that great.  I also remember vividly the first time that I met the man that would one day become her husband, Erik.  Myself along with about 20 other friends were packed into a room in the boys dorm listening to him tell one hilarious story and life experience after another.  We sat and sat and sat and laughed and listened and laughed...FOR HOURS.  He is just that hilarious and full of life.  They are great people.  

Erik and Jessa are having a baby too!  SO EXCITED.  And I am also OVERJOYED for them.  They are adopting a little one from Ethiopia.  Their story is a good one and you can read all about it on their blog.  And the coolest part...YOU can be a part of their story too!  They are being featured on this awesome blog, Give1Save1, this week.  So if you go to this link, you can watch a super cute video about them and you can be a part of their story too.  They are just asking for a dollar.  One dollar.  Four quarters.  Ten dimes.  20 nickels.  100 pennies.  That's it!

We know good and well how much each little bit helps after living off of the support and pledges from others while we were doing ministry overseas.  Each dollar helps.  And that is how life is.  We do things one thing at a time.  We learn to walk one step and a time.  We cross things off of our daily to-do lists one thing at a time.  We have to take hard seasons of our life one day, one hour, one minute at a time.  We finish our dinner one bite at a time.  One at a time.  

Life is so rich when we do it together.  I feel like that is the theme and thought that has been playing on repeat in my mind lately.  So let's do this together.  Let's be a part of their story.  Let's help their family have their "meeting Baby Parker" moment.  

Who doesn't want to be a part of that kind of story?

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


This past weekend we got out of the city and headed to the great outdoors of Starved Rock State Park for our family's first camping trip.  Overall, I would say it was a success.  Elsa, however, had her moments when she would disagree.  She was either loving life or hating it...there was no in between.  Although Breck has been a boy of the big cities, he fell into life in the woods as though he had been living there all his life.  

Doesn't he look like such a boy!?!?!  What happened to my baby?

We started things out with a picnic and exploring before being able to check into our campsite.

And then we got to set up camp.

And then headed out for some lovely afternoon hiking.
We could not have asked for more perfect camping weather.  The days were sunny and just barely warm and the night was just cold enough to enjoy a hoodie and a campfire.  So perfect.

Breck did an awesome job hiking which was so fun and made the hiking extremely enjoyable.  We knew he would either be really into or be a small body of repeated complaining.  I'm so glad he loved it.  Elsa did some of her own hiking as well and kept up for the most part.

We did encounter a small obstacle at this portion of the trail that was covered in wooden boards.  She got it into her head that she either had to have one foot on each board...

....or both feet on one board.  The lines could not be touched and she was getting really upset and freaked out by the whole ordeal.  Maybe last week she heard that little rhyme that we said as kids, "Don't step on a crack or you'll break your mama's back" and it struck fear into her soul?  Who knows?

But it resulted in the aforementioned hating of her life.

But all was made right in the world once again when she discovered the wonders of spinach-artichoke dip back at camp.  

Once the dip had been devoured, she decided she had had enough, and spent about an hour screaming after throwing her hot dog onto the ground.  Finally, we put her in her pack n play (thanking the good Lord that we had brought it) and she wore herself out and slept all night long.  

B was a trooper though and loved camping life.

And I think he takes to it quite well. 

And we ended the evening with a look under the hood of the car and a small car lesson.  Random, I know.  But it was very sweet to watch.

And then kicked off the next morning the Ecuadorian way!

Elsa wanted to pack up and go right after breakfast.  After she ate 4 scrambled eggs (I kid you not), she just hung out by the car whining.  We knew that if we got her back on the trail, she would perk up.  So we headed out again for more adventuring.

Love my boys in flannel!

There is nothing quite like sunlight flittered through a sea of small patches of green.  It does my soul well, especially with all of this big city living we have been doing the past few years.  

An adventure it was.