Friday, May 9, 2014

18 months

Oh Hopers, how are you already 18 months?! You are such a fun, animated, joyful little girl. And you are in such a fun stage. It seems like you are learning so much, so fast. Slow down little lady! Just today we are in the store and you saw a book with Elmo on the cover, pointed it and casually said 'Elmo"! What the heck?! When did my kid learn about Elmo?! Here are a few fun facts are your life right now:

1. Shoes. "Shoooooooeeeesssss!" That's how your pronounce them every time you see a pair. It doesn't matter if they're yours, mamas, dadas, or even on a rack at the store. You are elated to see them, match them, and wear them. You usually have a preference on which ones you want, which changes by the day (dear God help me when you get to high school). Today you also had a preference on which shoes I wear...luckily mine had some bling on them, so you were a-okay with the ones I picked out for the day.

2. Your new favorite word is "bubye" and you love to say it. A few months ago you had a hard time when I left the house, but now you get excited when I leave because you get to practice your new favorite word. "Bubye! Bubye! Bubye!" Until I am out the door. It's cute, but I sometimes miss my sentimental little girl.

3. When your food comes out of the oven/microwave I blow on it and say "hot", so you've gotten in the habit of blowing on it too. The other day we were outside and you wanted to sit on your chair but I told you it was hot, so you blew on it a while and then sat down. You are always making us laugh!

4. You recently started going to Mother's Day Out two mornings a week at a local church while mom goes to the church to work. You LOVE it there. Some of your friends are in your class and you get to play with them all day. I mean, heaven on earth. Just today we spotted Ellie outside coming into class at the same time and you wanted to hold her hand all the way into class. Precious.

5. Your new "thing" is animals. You read about them, make all the noises, and play with them. Your favorite is Mr. Elephant, who sleeps loyally by your side each night. Now you never want to go to bed without him. And whenever you're looking for him you just make an elephant trunk with your hand so I know what you're asking for. Smart little cookie.

6. Here are some of the words you can currently say: mama, dada, nana, jojo, teeth, shoes, eat (more like a groaning: eaaaaatttt!), no (don't we all love that word - not!), josh, ball, bag, wawa (water), and so much more.

Oh Hope, we love you so much. Life just wouldn't be the same without you spunk, joy and pure sweetness. Stop growing so fast!

Kansas City!

A few weeks ago we (somewhat spontaneously) decided to road trip up to Kansas City with the Parks for a Jonathan David & Melissa Helser worship night. We had low expectations for this weekend but man oh man it was so fun and refreshing! There were several other friends from our church who came up as well and we had a blast checking out KC and eating at all the local spots. The concert was absolutely incredible. One of the most amazing worship nights I have ever been a part of. If you don't have the Helsers stuff - buy it! 

Best part of the trip was spending the weekend with some of our best friends - the Parks! It's hard to describe these two: radically generous, more servant-hearted than you can imagine, hilariously fun, loyal to the core, and love Jesus and people beyond words day in and day out. We are so excited to church plant with them in the future!

Thanks God for an amazing weekend and thanks nana and papa for loving on Hope while we were away - she didn't miss us at all. :)

Hope & Ellie

Oh man, these two. There are no words to describe how much they LOVE each other. Almost every morning Hope asks if we can go to Ellie's house. She will grab her "purse", kiss me and say goodbye and go to the door, pretending to go to Ellie's house. They are just three weeks apart and have been around each other since literally the day they were born. They love playing together, eating together, bathing together, getting dirty together, and watching Frozen together. 

It also works out awesomely because Ellie's mom is one of my best friends, so we enjoy hanging out and chatting just as much as the girls do! 

These are just a few of the endless pictures of these two loving on each other and playing together (minus the occasion fight over a toy). :)

We love you Miss Ellie!

2 Years Old! The Party.

Wow - time flies. I can't believe our little girl is two! We rung in the celebration with a Winnie the Pooh themed party. At the time (writing this a few months late) she was OBSESSED with Winnie the Pooh (and all his friends), so she was so excited about every aspect of this party. It was complete with a Pooh pancake house, Tigger's bounce house, Piglet's playroom, and Owl's reading nook. All of her favorites came over to play, color and eat pancakes and it was a blast. So thankful she gets to grow up with such fun friends that she adores.

Later that day, our beloved housemate and amazing friends Kevin & Kelsey got engaged! What a fun day!

Hopie you are more of a delight to us than words can express. We love your sweet yet fiery personality and see God's hand on your life in an amazing way. We can't wait to see your life unfold! The best is yet to be!

Thursday, September 5, 2013


The last trip of Summer 2013 was to Salt Lake City, Utah for Antioch's US Church Planters conference that happens every other year. Josh's brother lives in Utah, so we planned to stay after the Yellowstone trip and drive down to spend a few days with him, his wife, and our niece before the conference started. Sadly, he was deployed on very short notice to Afghanistan a few weeks before we arrived. We were still thankful to crash in their house for a few days in between vacation and the conference and Hope loved playing with her cousin's toys!

The conference was a blast. Some of our very best friends who are now church planting in Houston were there, so it was fun to reconnect with them along with many old friends from college. There were 300 people at the conferences, representing 30 Antioch church plants all over the US. It was so encouraging to hear what God is doing across our nation through this movement and hear fresh vision for where God is taking us as a people. We were stirred, challenged, and re-envisioned for the road ahead.

The conference was "no kids allowed" but our childcare fell through after we had purchased tickets, etc., so the conference staff was gracious enough to let Hope crash the party. She enjoyed getting to hang with all the adults and was pretty well-behaved throughout it. Either way, by the time it was over we were more than thrilled to be home for good - sayonara suitcases!

Summer 2013, you were good to us. Can't wait to see all that the Lord will do this fall!

We go wayyyyy back. 

Love getting time with my bestie!

Hope enjoying the mountains.

Love these two.

Hearing from Jimmy is always a highlight! So thankful for this man!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


On the way to Thailand we made a pit stop in Dubai to see my parents. We were so grateful to have found a ticket to Thailand through Dubai for the same price as flying directly! When my parents moved to the region a few years ago, we never expected to see them as often as we do. It has literally been the kindness of God! Hope loves spending time with her grandparents and enjoying all special toys at their house. It was a memorable week and we were thankful to spend some special time together as a family.

One fun aspect of our time there was that a team of young adults from our church came to work with the long-term team here and it overlapped with our time. It was crazy seeing two worlds colliding but fun to spend time with them and share in what God was doing in and through them!

Unfortunately I never seemed to have my camera during this trip (I blame jet-lag...) but here are a few pics from our time.

So fun to spend time with one of my best friends on the other side of the world!

Hope had quite an obsession with this bucket. 

Loving time with grammy!

Banging the table with Granddad was one of her favorite pastimes.

She loveeeeeddddd this car!

Catching Up: Yellowstone Part 2

The last 3 days of the trip we stayed actually in Yellowstone National Park. Did you know that Yellowstone is BIGGER than the state of Delaware? That is quite an important detail when planning a trip to Yellowstone because everything you see is 1-2 hours drive away - even when you stay in the park! Although we had a lot of quality time in the car, we definitely cannot complain as literally every mile you drive is filled with amazing sights: mountains, canyons, rivers, waterfalls, geysers, buffalo, elk, deer, etc. Every picture you looks like it could be on the cover of a coffee table book on Yellowstone. Ridiculous.

Funny story: On the way home (driving back to Salt Lake) Josh had to leave early in the morning with his cousin (who had to catch an flight), so I drove our car back with Josh's 2 sisters and Hope. About 30 minutes into our trek out of the park we got a flat tire. Have I mentioned Yellowstone has horrible cell phone reception?! We had no service and were literally stranded. After fifteen minutes of 2 girls fumbling with the tire and a feeble attempt to use the tire jack, a few kind-hearted 60 year-old men stopped to help us. Needless to say we were VERY thankful! 

Either way, it was a memorable trip and we were thankful for a fun week in the midst of a crazy summer. Until next time, Yellowstone!

Old Faithful 

Vacation with kids....always a crazy adventure! 

Love my little girl. 

This is a very common occurence 

Hope got a little sick halfway through the trip...needless to say this was not her best moment. :) 

Josh's dad, his brothers, and their sons (minus a few!)