Friday, September 25, 2009

Life is Crazy...

Life is just absolutely crazy but wonderful right now. Just an update, I am well on my way as a college student again. :) I'm loving being back but it is kinda weird being there with people younger than me. I definitely feel like I made the right decision in taking a break from school. Some people don't agree with that, and that's ok. But I am so much more focused and ready to get it done than I was before! Personally, I feel like you shouldn't start college until you have taken a year or two off. The age/maturity difference makes a HUGE difference! But, it is very hard being a full time student, working 2 days a week, and singing on the weekend. I pretty much study during any free time I have, so it has been hard not having as much "hubby/wife" time as before, and the pay cut has hurt a little bit, but I could not have a more supportive husband to be going through this with me. He is such a blessing.
Speaking of David, our first anniversary is coming up in a week!! I cannot believe it! This past year has flown by and we are so excited to celebrate our first year together! We are leaving next Thursday night to go to San Antonio for a great 4 days on the River Walk and Sea World! This break is very will be great to get away from the stresses of life! Even though I have a midterm the day after we get back!! Ha, I tried...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back to School..

Well I am halfway through my first day of classes. I must say it has been exciting and strange all at the same time. I am so ready to be back to school and get my degree finished, but I never thought I would be one of those returning adults. Honestly, I probably look younger than my fellow students, but I was quickly reminded that I am indeed older AND more mature after a few comments were made by new freshman in my first two classes. This semester I am taking 4 classes, 12 hours. After getting an overview, I really think I will enjoy my first two, especially my psychology class. I am waiting in the hall outside my biology classroom but I can assure you I will NOT enjoy this class. Then I have Christianity. I am very curious to see what that class is like. Overall it has been a very good first day. Keep praying for me and David though, because going back to school will add more stress and busyness to our life. David has been nothing but supportive though, and I am extremely grateful for that.
On another note, we started our scuba training last night! We go this week monday through thursday from 6-10 and then have our open water tests Saturday and Sunday. We are so excited about it! I will be sure to post how it all goes at the end of the week...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Back in the swing of things

As wonderful as it is to be back home, it has been very difficult trying to get back into a normal routine. Being in Latvia for 20 days, we got extremely used to their time. We will be doing fine, but then at certain times we hit a wall. The problem is when it's afternoon here, it is late at night there and when it is early morning here, it is afternoon there. Our bodies are still on Riga time so when it hits about 4/5 am, we are awake and really struggling to fall back asleep.
I loved being over there for so long, but now that we are back, I feel so out of the loop and very behind on things here. That has been the most frustrating thing. And I know me and David miss everyone there so much!! We really got close to all the youth. Plus our team got extremely close so it has been weird to spend 24/7 with these people then come back and not see them. But with as crazy as things have been since getting home, David and I still feel truly blessed that we had the opportunity to go to Riga and serve together. We learned so much about each other.
On another note, we have a very exciting couple weeks coming up. The week of the 24th, I will be going back to school to get a degree in psychology. I am so excited about this next step. I am very ready to get back to school and over the last year, I have felt very strongly that I am called to do some sort of counseling for girl's. It is going to be a challenge trying to juggle school work, a job, and hubby/wife time, but I am up for the challenge. But we would both appreciate your prayers as it is going to be an adjustment. We are used to pretty much being together all day since we work together, so it will be weird to be two different places on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Also during the week of the 24th, we are finally going to do our scuba certification! I am an even mix of terrified and excited. But knowing that we will be able to see so many things excites me. I am looking forward to being able to share this with David.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Last night in Latvia

Well, it is our last night here in Latvia and I have to say this has been an amazing trip. And getting to do it along side my best friend has made it that much more wonderful.

I had wanted to update some while at camp but it didn’t happen, so…this last week we went out to Camp Norkalni and helped run youth camp. The days were very long and very busy but at the end of the day it felt like it flew by. I had the privilege of leading worship every other night. Last year I led every night which was great, but it was also nice to take a break every other day and just enjoy what the Latvian’s had planned. Leading worship over here is so amazing. I love leading at home but there is something different about being over here. I think I just can’t get over how cool it is to be praising the same God through the same songs but just in different languages. There were several times I would just back away from the mic and the room was just filled with voices singing. It is so humbling to be a part of that. To see what I mean, check out all our videos on Youtube under Latvia2009. Today (Sunday), we also got the opportunity to lead a couple songs at Petr’s church, which was just as incredible. I didn’t get a chance to do that last year so that was pretty exciting.

David had the opportunity to speak one night at camp this week and he was given the topic “friends”. It sounds cheesy, but the camp theme was Survivor: Becoming Stronger and so he was supposed to talk about becoming stronger with your friends. He did an amazing job and God definitely spoke through him. So many of these kids, especially the orphans, have had a hard time finding true friends and many of them came up to David afterwards talking about how much his talk meant to them. I was so proud of him.

It is going to be hard to leave. Being here for two weeks gave us a great opportunity to really get to know the kids, especially the youth at Petr’s church. I don’t think I have every met a group of teens with a bigger heart. We will miss them so much and can’t wait to see them again next year!

I could go on and on, we have so many stories to tell. But honestly, the best way to see what we have been up to is to check out the videos on Youtube. We recording a lot of stuff during the week and should have some more videos up soon.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Week 1 over...

Well, today was the last day of VBS, which means week 1 is over. Our team is definitely exhausted. In America, VBS usually only lasts 3-4 hours, but in Latvia, they like to make them 7 hours long. I absolutely loved the time we spent with the kids; it’s amazing to me how the majority of them know only 1 or 2 words in English, yet they still love just being around you. It made me want to pour into them even more. There were definitely those few that my heart just went out to. Throughout the week, we had a total of 115 kids come to VBS, which is GREAT for this part of town! Petr said that a kid’s mom came up to him and told him that she had told her son that she just couldn’t take him one day because she had too much to do and he insisted because he just had to be there! It meant so much to her that she changed her plans so she could take him! But David and I were both upset today because we missed the goodbyes because we had to leave to pick up team 2 at the airport. We were very excited to see team 2, but a lot of those kids we might never see again so that was hard.

It has also been great to see the soup kitchen StoneBridge helped furnish. I’ll admit I’m not a huge fan of Latvian cuisine, but what Petr’s church is doing with the kitchen is amazing. More and more I just love the relationship our two churches have. It makes me proud to be from StoneBridge to go in their kitchen and know that we have been a part of that.

It has also been really great getting to know Petr’s son David more. Last night, a few of us went to Alfa Mall and got dessert and we just started talking about Latvia’s history. It is so fascinating, the country is so young and already has SO much history!

Team 2 arrived safely and I must say it was quite humorous to see how tired they were. For a lot of them, this is their first year, so the traveling hit them hard. But nothing like some good guitar hero at Pastor Petr’s house to wake you up! I am really looking forward to camp next week! It is going to be so great to experience everything with a new group this year!

Tomorrow we are heading to Old Town Riga again to do some more shopping and sight seeing. It will be great to unwind and just have a good time as a team before heading to camp.

Please pray for our stamina, especially team 1, that we can keep our endurance up and pour even more into the youth this next week. We appreciate your prayers and miss all of you! 8 days down, 10 more to go!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Latvia Update...

Greetings from Riga, Latvia!  We are currently hanging out at Petr's house.  So far things have been great!  We arrived in Riga around 6 pm on Friday after a LONG day of traveling.  We were extremely exhausted so we did not do a whole lot that night.  Yesterday, we slept in then went into Old Town Riga and did some shopping a sightseeing.  I absolutely love Old Town, the buildings are so old and there are cobblestone roads and street vendors...I find it romantic :).  We had lunch at a place called Malibu Pizza which was delicious!  We ate there last year so I was really excited to go back.  There were 8 of us and in about 5-10 minutes we had eaten 5 large pizzas!  We were very hungry!  That evening we had a meeting with the youth leaders from Petr's church to discuss the VBS week and then we split up in groups and went around to hand out flyers in the neighborhood for the VBS.  I am very anxious/excited to see how many kids come.  The neighborhood around the church is a little rougher with a lot of drugs and broken families.  It's so cool to know that God already has planned who will be there.  It's very comforting actually.
VBS begins tomorrow.  We still don't really know exactly what's going on, a lot of stuff gets lost in translation.  But I will try to update sometime tomorrow and let you know how it went.  Please pray that the hearts of the kids will be open.  The youth staff is expecting a lot of them to come strictly for the free meal and not really want to be there, so I just pray that something they see or hear will make them wonder more about Christ.  This is a very humbling position to be in.  I know our team and the Latvian team would really appreciate all your prayers!
I will update again tomorrow, but also check out our youtube page!  We have been/will be posting some videos of what's been going on.  To get to it, go to then go to the student page.  There is a link on there that will take you to our youtube account!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Latvia Bound

I am officially a horrible blogger since it's been about two months since I last blogged! But, I wanted to be sure to write before we leave tomorrow.
For those of you that don't know, David and I will be heading over to Riga, Latvia with a group of students from our church. We leave tomorrow afternoon and will be gone until August 10th! We are so excited to see what God is going to do in the lives of the kids in Latvia, and also in the lives of our team. I had the privilege of going last year and know the impact it had on my life, so I am ten times more excited to get to go over there with David. It will be a challenge, but one that will have great rewards.
While we are there, we will spend our first week leading a VBS for the kids of Riga at Pastor Petr's church. I am really excited about this. Last year, we did not do a VBS in the city so I am looking forward to something new. Lift David up in your prayers as he will be speaking every day at the VBS. Pray that God uses him in a huge way.
Our second week, we will be going to Camp Norkalni and leading a youth camp. The layout is pretty similar to camps here, there are different rotations each day. I am extremely excited because in addition to helping with the craft rotation and just hanging out with the kids, I am in charge of leading worship at night. I was able to do this last year as well and it impacted me so much. I will never forget leading one night and singing Open the Eyes of my Heart in both English and Latvian. Hearing two languages praising God at the same time is unlike anything else. With as amazing as last year was, I am looking forward to what God has in store for this year. Pray that we can break past any language barriers and worship one God with one voice.
I hope that we can keep you updated while over there, but it will all depend on time. If not, we will have MANY stories to share when we get back!

Things to pray for:
  • Safety for both teams as we travel to and from Riga, Latvia
  • Unity as a team
  • God to be lifted high above all things
  • Good weather
  • All luggage to arrive
  • Health
  • Open hearts of VBS kids and campers
  • that God will grant David the words to say as he speaks during VBS week
  • that the worship team will glorify God through the songs we sing

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

David and I had a busy, yet great weekend. It started out Saturday morning with us working in our front yard. We had landscaped our yard a few months ago, but sadly it all died and looked pretty awful again. So, we had to start over. What made this interesting was our friends Brian and Whitney needed someone to watch their kids while they went to a wedding. David and I both love their kids, so I said they were more than welcome to come hang out while we worked in the yard. It definitely added some humor to the morning. Emily immediately fell in love with my little maltese Lulu and did not want to leave her side. She kept calling her lilo, which was adorable. I was very proud of Lulu, she had never really been around small children so I didn't know how it would go, but she did great! Our other two dogs had their polite moments which were quickly ruined by their disobedience. So they stayed outside most of the day. When we went out to work in the yard, Josh and Emily were playing with several bubble toys, which IMMEDIATELY attracted the other neighborhood kids. We got about half of our yard done then spent the rest of the time playing with the kids.
Saturday night, we went to the Marriott to see my little brother take prom pictures. It was so funny to see him in a tux with his precious girlfriend. If you know Josh at all, you know this side of him is very different. But, it was good to see all of them dressed up excited about their Prom.
Since both of us work at the church, Monday is our day off. We started out the day going to see my sweet Prince William, my horse I have had since 5th grade. Between get trampled by some horses in the pasture and david electricuting both himself and William, it is safe to say it was quite an adventurous trip! But it is always good to go out to the barn. That used to be my home away from home, so I love spending some time out there. After the barn, we finished up the front yard and it looks beautiful! We then went and got a phone plan together and both got the Samsung Instinct, so we spent a good part of the day learning our new phones. I think I'm really going to like it! I can't afford an iPhone so this is great!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Perfect Birthday Weekend

This last weekend, David took me to San Antonio for a birthday getaway. We left Saturday morning and on the way out of town, we decided to stop at a donut shop. We walked in and David was grabbing some drinks out of the fridge while I was holding our place in line. I guess I wasn't standing close enough to the counter because this man behind me very impatiently said "are you going to get in line or what??" Well, I was trying very hard to bite my tongue because I don't do well with comments like that, so I just walked up to the counter and tried to let it go. While we were still waiting in line, the same man starts to walk in front of us. When the lady was ready to help us she asked who was next and the man looked at us and said "are ya'll ready to order or what?!" We went ahead and ordered, but the man continued to talk very harshly to the lady who was helping us. In the end it really made us feel sorry for the man. How miserable must his life be that he could so carelessly talk to strangers that way? We hit the road and both probably said a little prayer for the man.

Once we got to San Antonio, we had a quick bite of lunch before my 1:00 massage appointment at the DASA spa at our hotel. It was wonderful! David got me a 1-hour river stone massage. It was the perfect way to start off the weekend! I have to say, I was dragging the rest of the day though. After a little relaxing in the room, we walked right out our hotel doors onto the river walk. We did a little shopping at the River Center with my birthday money then got ready for dinner at the new Rainforest Cafe on the river walk. It has kind of become a tradition of ours to eat at these wherever there is one and collect their souveneir cups. We really liked this one because it was 3 floors and each floor was full of decoration so there really wasn't any bad table to sit at.
Later that night, we went and saw Wolverine, which was pretty good. However, for some reason David and I always end up sitting right next to the people that think we want to hear their commentary on everything. It's so annoying! Oh well, not much you can do about it.

On Sunday we went to my favorite place, Sea World!! I love everything about this place. It's just incredible to me the connection that we can have with such magnificent animals. I love it! I could go on and on about our trip to Sea World, but to keep it short, I will just put up some pictures. Overall, it was a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

So...yesterday was my birthday and being the wonderful husband he is, David finished the deck! It looks so great. We now have a 3 level patio with a huge pond that runs underneath it. You see, one of our favorite things to do at home is watch HGTV. We have gotten so many ideas from that channel and I have a feeling there will always be some little project we will be working on. Our next one is framing the bathroom mirrors and tiling the kitchen and bathrooms. Home ownership is so fun! :)

Yesterday for my birthday we went to Outback Steakhouse for dinner. Both sides of the family were there along with some of my closest friends. I love times like this because it really is hard to deny how blessed you are when you look around at all the people who care about you and support you. God has blessed me with 23 years of being loved by family and friends. But I couldn't help but think last night how much better it is going to be when I get to spend ETERNITY with Him. Knowing how incredible it is going to be should make us want to tell everyone about it! Why is it that it's too often the opposite? I really want to do a much better job of that this year.

This weekend, David is going to be taking me to San Antonio for a birthday weekend celebration. I cannot wait! San Antonio is one of my favorite cities. I love just strolling down the River Walk, but my favorite part of all is Sea World! I get like a little kid when I go to Sea World, it is truly one of my favorite places! One day, I wouldnt mind putting the music thing to the side and becoming a trainer! :) Ha, that would be awesome!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Backyards, Birthdays, and Africa

So...just a quick update on our backyard oasis. We finally got the pump for the waterfall and David is still in the process of getting the deck finished. Being the smart woman I am, I reminded David that my birthday is next Wednesday and I would love nothing more than to have a finished backyard to celebrate and eat cake in. He caught on and realized what I was doing but he will still feel guilty if it is not finished! We women are so smart! :) So, I have complete faith that our backyard will be finished by next Wednesday.

On another note, both David and I have been reading this great book called "In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day". It is an awesome book and I highly recommend it for everyone. The main purpose of the book is talking about how as Christians, we are called to "chase lions" and live a bold and daring life. Christ never called us to be boring believers whose faith is only lived out in a church service every now and then. We are called to go out and live like Christ, who definitely did not lead a boring life! I know most of my huge setbacks in life are my fears. I let fear and uncertainty hold me back from living the life God has called me to. Recently, I have a felt a huge desire for missions. I just want to go out and help the needy and bring them Christ. I get so comfortable here in our nice little house with our nice little jobs in our nice little town. I don't ever want to get "comfortable". I want to enjoy where God leads me and embrace uncertainty. With that being said, a dear friend of mine shared with me Family Legacies, a group that travels to Zambia each summer and works at a camp with orphans. After looking it over, I knew David and I had to do this. With summer right around the corner, we are planning on taking this trip summer 2010, but I do want to ask you to pray for us. Pray that we follow God's will in this. Also, we will need to raise a very large amount of money in order to go. I have full faith that God will provide, but pray that we don't get discouraged with finances. We have over a year to get there, but too often we let a number frighten us and hold us back.
Here are a few pictures of where we would be going. I know this will be an amazing trip that will bring us closer together as husband and wife and also closer to our Creator.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Still Learning!

So I have not been good at keeping up with our blog at all. I will try to do better. I am still learning how to do all the fun stuff like post pictures and videos and stuff. I'm not nearly as technological as I would like to be. But in the mean time, I will write!
So much has happened since our last post! It would take me forever to try and catch you up on everything so I will try and hit the fun stuff. One of our biggest adventures has been our new dog, Phoenix. He is quite the handful! With him being our 3rd dog, it can at times feel like they are our children!! That might sound crazy to some of you, so let me explain. Phoenix has to be crated so alot of times our schedule revolves around when he needs to be let out. And, any time he is out we have to watch him to make sure he doesn't grab something he is not supposed to have. Last Saturday, David was working in the backyard with his friend Brad. They had to make a Home Depot run and when they got back, one of the dogs had jumped onto the stove and turned the gas on high. They had to open up all the windows and wait outside until it had cleared out. I have no doubt that there were major angels around our house protecting it. That could have been so much worse! But needless to say, there is always some kind of adventure happening with those dogs!!

Speaking of the backyard, David has been having so much fun with his project. Originally, we just had a concrete slab as our "patio", so my husband decides to take a sledgehammer to it. In it's place, he is putting in a pond and bigger deck. I have no doubt it is going to be wonderful! The only thing that has been frustrating is the fact that David and I both have pretty hectic schedules, so it is taking a little longer to finish it than expected. Any time it rains, our pond hole fills up with water and then creates a nice mud pit for the dogs to trample through. We then have to stand at the door and wipe their feet off one at a time before they come in. Thankfully, David now has the pond filled so we are well on our way!

A couple weeks ago, we took a trip to Delray Beach, FL to visit my best friend Laura and her husband. We had such a great week with them! That Wednesday, the 4 of us took a roadtrip to Charleston, SC. I know we all fell in love with the city! Even though we didn't have the greatest weather, there was still so much to do including visiting an aquarium, doing a ghost tour, dolphin watching, and seeing lighthouses! Plus they have some great little shops all around. I could not have had a better week. It was so great to get away with David and get to spend time with my best friend and her husband! Thank you guys for letting us come stay with you!! Here are some pictures from the trip...

This weekend, we have the senior retreat for the high schoolers. We are heading to one of the student's lakehouses for the night. It should be fun! We are supposed to have rain but I'm sure we will still find some stuff to do!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Catching up continued..

Lindsey did a great job catching up on our new life together. Now i will fill you in on the rest of the exciting events that have taken place in our first 3 months together. WE HAVE A HOUSE! It was an unexpected blessing from God. We knew that moving into something bigger was a must. Even though I'm sure Lindsey didn't mind me invading her one sink bathroom. Going over our budget and seeing how much it would cost to own a house we were pretty much set on continuing on with apartment living, maybe moving into a spacious two bedroom apartment. But then God had a special wedding present just for us. After many neighborhood searches with many a sad "that costs what!" remarks with all the houses in the Woodlands, we ran across a house that was unbelievably cheap for the surroundings. During Ike God conveniently placed a tree on this already empty house for sale. So after a completely new roof and carpet the lady selling the house was worried that no one would buy the house because of the words "Ike damage" so she bumped the price way down. So needless to say, we bought it!
The last few weeks we have enjoyed making this house our home. We painted a lot of the rooms and bought a cool new sectional couch. But we definitely didn't do all this home renovating by our selves. We have had a lot of professional painters and movers helping us. By professional i mean family and friends who were payed with fast food and kind words.
Another exciting thing about having a house is now we have our dogs! Yep, Lindsey, Lulu, Flic and I are one big happy family. It has been really fun watching them get use to each other. Both our dogs have really funny personalities that always make the house entertaining. The only problem is Flic is about 4 times as big Lulu and play time can get a little hazardous for little Lulu. So my beautiful persuasive wife is ready to get Flic a bigger play mate. But that is another blog in its self. Come visit us in our hew home, we might even have a fun project for you. Hopefully you like taco bell.

A quick catch up...

Well, I set this blog up shortly after David and I got married but did not do a very good job actually doing something with it. So I am going to attempt to share the first three months of our marriage with you now...
Our wedding was October 3, 2008, and being one of those girly girls who always dreamed of what her wedding would be like, I have to say ours surpassed anything I could have every dreamed up. David convinced me to have an outdoor wedding, so we married under a fairytale gazeebo with a horse pasture behind us (perfect for my alter ego, a farm girl...yes, I am a farm girl). We had about 300 guests and the best thing was, we knew them all! There was none of that awkward I don't know you stuff going on. Everyone knew everyone and we all had a blast. The night could not have been more perfect.
For our honeymoon, we went down to the Mayan Riviera in Mexico and stayed at the fabulous Iberostar Grand. Words cannot describe the beauty at this place. I truly don't understand how you can deny there is a God when you see places like this. Crystal clear waters combined with white sand truly earned this place the name "paradise". While we were there, we did alot of kayaking, got to swim with dolphins, manatees, and seals, snorkled, and did alot of laying on the beach enjoying the scenery. It was extremely hard to leave.
When we got home, things hit us hard. We had many things to adjust to. David moved into my little one bedroom apartment, so we didnt have much room to use while we tried to adjust to living together. David also accepted a new job as the youth pastor at StoneBridge Church. While this is a very exciting opportunity, it is also a little scary starting a new job and a new marriage at the same time. While often we (as in I) don't do well at this, we are going to try and continue trusting that God has a plan and He is going to bless our marriage and we will continue to give Him glory.
That is a quick fill in on what the first couple months of our marriage looked like. We are both so excited to see what will come next...