Thursday, July 25, 2013

LA Update

So here is what we've been doing lately:
 We had our 9th Anniversary last week and a friend from church babysat so we could go on a date. We went to dinner and drove around downtown LA:
(That's a blood orange margarita you see there! Mmm!)
(We managed to accidentally drive by the ESPN studio where the Espy's were going on. That sure has never happened in Greenwood! You can't really see it in this photo, but on the other side of those barricades was a red carpet.)

Over the weekend we did a few LA things, including driving on Mulholland drive (pretty and curvy, with good views of downtown)
And also Rodeo drive (lots of expensive stores) and Sunset Drive (classic LA). We also checked out a very cool playground in Griffith Park that Judah loved so much he has been begging to go back. Today we actually made it back there.
Then we headed to the La Brea Tar Pits, which are interesting to see, a little smelly, and also a bit creepy. Here is the model of the wooly mammoth drowning in tar while her baby and mate look on:
We will definitely head back there, though, because we didn't go into the museum this time but still want to check it out. I think during the week you can also see the paleontologists actually digging up fossils.

And here is proof that Naomi is suddenly a rather quick scooter, as evidenced by this photo I snapped after leaving her alone for a minute while I tried to get the breakfast dishes put away:
I'm thinking I need to do a little more mopping in that bathroom if she's going to be crawling around like that...

Friday, July 19, 2013

7 months old.

We did a little 7 month photo shoot yesterday with Naomi. I'm having a hard time picking a favorite.

 
 
Today we had her first visit with a California doctor for her 6 month well visit. (Only a month late!) The doctor was nice, but it made me really miss our office in Greenwood.
 
 
Naomi weighed 16 or so pounds and was 26" long. This office doesn't give you percentages, but looking online it seems she is right about the 50th percentile for everything.
 
She is doing some impressive scooting these days and really starting to get into eating solid foods. Her favorite so far seems to be butternut squash. It's hard to believe she's over half way to being a year!
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Our Lemon tree.

As you may recall, the decision to move to California was not really an easy one. The thought of being so far from family, friends, and familiar territory was occasionally overwhelming. But as soon as we decided to come and started looking at housing, I had this sort of secret prayer. I knew that we would definitely be moving somewhere smaller since housing prices were significantly higher. I was hoping to rent a house and I prayed that it would have a citrus tree in the yard.

I know it is sort of a silly thing, but since I felt like we were giving up so many things to come here - a big yard with a garden, a job I loved, closeness to family, a citrus tree, something not possible to have in SC, seemed like a small thing to ask for in return. I had visions of being able to pick the fruit and make citrus-flavored desserts and have fresh lemon slices to put in our tea.

As we started looking though, it became quickly apparent that renting a house was not going to be in the budget. I made peace with renting a condo and having even less yard, and quickly saw my dreams of fresh lemons or limes float away. And it was okay.

The day after we moved in here, I took the dog on a walk, feeling lonely and a little overwhelmed from the piles of boxes. When I got back to the house and walked into our garage, something yellow caught my eye. There, hanging in a tree right by our little patio, was a lemon.

I honestly could not believe it. God had heard that tiny, silly little prayer in my heart and answered it. In the midst of my loneliness, that yellow orb was a reminder that God was with me and had lead us here and would bless our decision.
I was immediately encouraged and felt a little less lonely. I know that there will still be hard days and lonely days. But God was reminding me that I can take all of that to him. Looking at my children is a constant reminder that God answers big prayers. And now every time I pull out of the driveway or go on a walk I am reminded that he can handle all the small things, too.

Monday, July 15, 2013

America, The Beautiful

O Beautiful,

for spacious skies.

For amber waves of grain

For purple mountain majesties,
above the fruited plains.
America, America, God shed his grace on thee. And crown thy good, with brotherhood,
from sea to shining sea.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

End of the Year Program

I've been looking back at this year's photos as I work on Naomi's baby book. I came across these shots and realized they never made the blog. The end of the year program at Judah's preschool was really adorable. Judah again did well standing on stage. Because of our weekend in Charleston he missed the final practice and so didn't do much singing. But he sure did love banging the sticks together. And Naomi was as cute as ever.

 
 
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Baptism.

Sweet Naomi was baptized this weekend. By her own Daddy. What a great, great day. Before the baptism, during the worship service, she wore a sweet little dress that I wore as a baby. She looked adorable.


For the actual baptism, she wore a gown that was made from my mother's wedding dress -  the wedding dress that was sewn by my grandmother. As I put it on her and admired some of the hand stitching my grandmother had done, I wonder if she ever thought about her own great granchildren. If she knew that the love and prayers she poured into my mother would still be evident two generations later as her great granddaughter was baptized as a member of God's covenant family.
 

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Monday, July 08, 2013

Ordination.

It is almost hard to believe this weekend has already come and gone. I'm sure that when Jeff graduated from seminary 10 years ago he had no idea it would take this long for this to happen. When we got married almost 9 years ago, I certainly had no idea it would take this long.

But God is good and never late. We celebrated a wonderful ordination service that both our parents came to as well as my Aunt Ruth Ellen. A former member of our church who is now an ordained pastor asked Jeff his ordination vows.

 

Jeff looked rather dashing in his suit.

 
I have always loved this part of the ordination service - where the other elders lay hands on the pastor and pray for him. This time, it made me cry. I am so thankful for this man I married and that he has been given this opportunity he has waited for such a long time.
 
Of course, the fact that his own father was one of the elders who was doing the praying made it even more special.
 
Jeff's dad also got to give Jeff the charge.
 

I was one proud wife today, seeing this dream and passion of Jeff's finally become a reality, in spite of several years of trials and disappointments. God is good.
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Saturday, July 06, 2013

Road Trip bookends.


 
Here we are, at the beginning and end of the road trip.

Total miles: ~3000
Total days: 19
Number of States driven through: 12
Number of license plates seen: 48 (Darn you, Hawaii and Delaware!)
Number of national parks visited: 1
Number of forest fires evacuated from: 1 (Though we were actually evacuated twice by the same fire.)
Number of questions asked by a certain three-year-old: ~1,000,000

 
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Friday, July 05, 2013

Fourth of July photo shoot.

Here is how the photo shoot goes with kids. First, Naomi is reasonably easy to photograph in as much as she isn't quickly mobile yet.

 
Then, we try to wrangle Judah next to Naomi, AND have him look at the camera. This is tricky. First, he will only look at Naomi. This is sweet, but not exactly right.
 
Then, he flops down and Naomi sticks her tongue out at me. Typical.
 
"Judah, put your arm around Naomi." Hmm. Apparently "Put your arm around Naomi" = "tackle Naomi" 
Finally, we have a photo!
 
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What we've been up to...

I've been on a few runs here and am trying to nail down a standard route to do. I was able to catch this vista from my run yesterday. It is crazy to me that I can run a short ways and see this.
We have unpacked almost every box and are now hanging more things up. Judah's room is probably the most finished. I'm really pleased with how it looks. All we lack are curtains. He now has two windows, and I don't think the other curtain I made will fit either one. Even if it did, I don't have enough of those fabrics to make another one, so I guess it's new curtains for Judah at some point.
We got to watch an awesome fireworks show from our front yard. It was actually kind of crazy to me that I could look across the valley and see several other fireworks shows at the same time. It seemed like our entire neighborhood was camped out to watch them. I haven't met many of our neighbors yet, so it was good to see how many kids are here.
Lots of pool time. I'm hoping to get Judah some swim lessons very soon.
My parents arrived today to Judah's great delight and Jeff's parents will get here Saturday. This is a big weekend for us with both Jeff's ordination and Naomi's baptism going on. We have a lot to look forward to.