Dear family and friends,
Quite some time has passed since we’ve had the joy of connecting with so many of you, and even more time has passed since I blogged regularly. *face palm* I’d love to pretend like I’m on top of things and promise that I’ll be more consistent, but the reality is that I have trouble being consistent with anything that isn’t life-pressing, so I apologize. I will say that since we bought a house, we’ve been taking lots of progress photos, so maybe some of the DIY action will make it up here over time.
We’ve had lots of changes and growth in 2017, and we’d love to share these joys with you as we reflect on this year!
Last January we celebrated #judebug’s first birthday! It’s funny how time works when you look back and feel like something was ages ago, and at the same time, just last week. I am so glad I did document Jude’s first year month by month, because it feels so hard to remember the in-the-moment details now. His second year of life has been so much fun and filled with so many milestones. He’s such a joy and hilarious (and sometimes a little stinker) and we are so blessed to be his parents! The day we moved to Colorado Jude decided he was finally ready to walk. What can we say, he has a pretty laid back personality and isn’t very internally motivated, haha. It was a sweet moment though, as we were starting a brand new season for our family, that Jude would take his first steps on his own in our new rent house. Since then we’ve watched him grow in every aspect, and his preferences and personality develop. He is SO very much into monster trucks, and could play with them, read books, and watch videos on trucks all day long. Which is mostly what our days consist of. We try to do lots of things throughout the day, like toddler time at our local library where we sing songs and read books, BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) which has an incredible children’s program and is where Jude officially stopped crying when I dropped him off anywhere, and our amazing gym where I teach classes, and also happens to have fantastic child care. Of course, we also make sure to squeeze in trips to our favorite store, Target, and look at all the new trucks they have.
Jude’s First Birthday
At the time of Jude’s birthday we knew Colorado was a possibility, but hadn’t made a concrete decision yet. You may have read our letter about our move back in April. God made it evidently clear to us at that time, and so many times since then that this is where He wants us to be.
Ryan is working IT with Compassion International, and though challenging at times, has been one of the best work environments we’ve ever experienced. Everything is done excellently, and Ryan loves his boss and coworkers. It’s a gift to work in a place where you respect your people and they respect you, and that is exactly what CI is like.
Ryan has been completely immersed in house work since we bought our first home in October(!), and I feel kind of bad that all of our hobbies have gone out the window. But it’s a season, right? He’s done a stellar job researching and taking on majority of our home renovations himself. He single handedly removed a wall, ripped up all of the flooring in our house, and is now laying our new flooring room by room. We were sleeping in our living room for the first month of living here (hahahaaaa), but are now officially in our bedroom and no longer living out of a suitcase. Hallelujah!
I’ve been the primary painter of the house, and am pretty over it. I could win the slowest painter in the world award due to my perfectionism, but I just keep telling myself it will be over one day. Right?
In July I applied and auditioned for a Group Exercise Instructor position at an amazing gym here in the Springs. I’m now teaching primarily cycling classes with a little yoga and Athletic Conditioning (bootcamp/agility style) sprinkled in there. Just a few weekends ago I participated in my first LesMills training for a new program they’re launching in January. I’m super pumped to keep expanding my fitness knowledge and abilities while still maintaining a fantastic very-part-time-mostly-stay-at-home-mom schedule. This has been my favorite season of life maybe ever, and I am so thankful for God’s grace and gifts in our lives.
I didn’t officially start teaching until September, because Jude and I spent the entire month of August in Houston! Our best friends had a baby in July, and Ryan’s sister gave birth to hers in August… on my birthday! That’s two nieces now that have been born on my birthday. Shout out to the sisters. Thanks, y’all.
We had such an amazing time getting to know these new cutie faces and spending time with all our Houston friends. We unfortunately were there when Harvey hit (thankfully Ryan flew in a day before and was with us), and got stranded for a bit as our flight back was delayed a few times. However, we had the opportunity to volunteer and help the city we love so much. It’s such a sad thing to see the destruction and morn with those who lost so much of what they had. But it is also a joy to watch people come together and serve each other. Most families impacted are still trying to piece their lives back together. If you have a desire to give, I encourage you to reach out to a local organization and do so. I’ve even seen families “adopt” other families impacted by Harvey for Christmas. Let me know if you need any help with finding out what you can do, and I’d love to get you connected.
This summer was full of traveling for the bug and me. Before we went to Houston, we had the opportunity to go to AR in June and stay with my sister’s four youngest kids while she, our brother-in-law, and their oldest daughter went to Haiti with their church. They had an amazing, life-changing time, and I had a blast with the kids. We called it Camp Tia, and made the most of every single day. Laser tag, ropes course, water balloon fights, library events, trampoline park, roller skating, ice cream and more. A BLAST. My younger brother was able to join us for a few days too, which was even more fun!
This fall we had some visitors! Ryan’s parents flew in for a long weekend and treated us to a ride on the cog-rail up Pike’s Peak. It was freezing cold, but such a cool experience. (Yes, we did get the donuts.) Such a fun time having them in!
Seeing how this year was one for traveling, we road-tripped over Thanksgiving back to AR and enjoyed the holiday with the whole family together. This only happens once a year now, so we truly cherish these times when we all get to be there. My older brother and sister-in-law had their baby in April of this year, which made this trip especially sweet. The amount of joy when the cousins are all together and playing is almost more than I can handle. So sweet and so much fun!
The day of and day after we rolled back into Colorado Springs, we moved into our new house. Yes, insane. We couldn’t have done it without our new friends who helped us move, and friends who watched Jude so many times so we could get things done. Community is such a gift. We found a church we can call home and dig roots into, and being here even in this at times overwhelming season just reminds us of God’s faithfulness to us, and His grace in providing rest in the midst of it all.
So, as we walk (read: sprint) toward Christmas, we pray that over you, our loved ones. That you would find rest in Christ regardless of what may surround you currently, and that peace would fill your hearts. That you would be flooded with memories of God’s goodness to you in 2017, and that you might be a reflection of that source of goodness to your immediate circle today and this coming year. And that you would reflect on the gift that is Christ, God with us, Immanuel. May the anticipation of this day make your heart burst with the anticipation of our King and Savior. He is good!
With love always,