Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Season of Transition

A friend of mine from college is an amazing writer... she has a blog and her last post really hit home with me.  She is going through a transition of welcoming her 4th baby and we are in transition of living in a new geographical area and transitioning from our old support system and finding a new one.  She has a way with words so I have copied some from her last blog post.

 I find myself in a season of adjustment and change, at times on full display for all to see and other moments, behind the scenes.  A natural piece to little girls (and a little boy) with the sass and ugliness they can just tap into whenever they want, because it's there.  And a piece learned, watching their mama when the same ugliness is chosen over kindness and grace in her response. I am learning to embrace the rawness that seems so prevalent in this season.

 I think my love for behind the scenes, secrets revealed, and creativity unleashed, is the very thing I wrestle with of wanting it polished and perfected yet loving the messes and unforeseen created beauty He can make of it.  Behind the scenes is messy.  In between the meetings and gatherings, the house is grimy, and who needs a bath is measured by looking at finger nails because I can't remember when the last soaking was.

I love it.  I love it because it's us, it's real, and it's the perfect chance to even more embrace and boast of our weaknesses because in those, His power is made perfect.  Because our behind the scenes failures are surrounded by the Lord's grace and affection.

We are learning.  We are growing.  We are transitioning. 

After my parents left, I was on a mission to find a gym.  I toured every single gym in our area and we decided on the Ocean City Recreation Center.  It is a brand new facility which was important to me... I also wanted to find a gym that offered good classes and great childcare.  One gym had better classes but the child care facility was awful.  I am very happy with our decision as it is very close to where we live and the library is in the same building. After I work out, Katelyn and I typically go to the library to play on the computers, read books, do puzzles, etc.  I have to say that I really miss Fitness Works in Chandler... it was a great gym but this has all of the essentials and it meets our necessities.

Brendon was asked to speak at Elementary School chapel at Daniel's school.  Katelyn and I took this opportunity to come hang out too... of course, baby had to go to school too:)

 Daniel's teacher plays the guitar and sings so this chapel, Kindergarten led worship for chapel:)

I also met a girl named Heather that has two little boys and we met up for a park playdate

That Friday night was the "Back to School" BBQ... we had a great time meeting new people and spending time with friends
The next day Daniel had his 1st day of soccer... it was actually a soccer clinic taught by the pro team here.... I will say Ocean City Soccer is a lot more serious than Chandler Soccer

He also got invited to his 1st birthday party already... Jake from his Kindergarten class at a bowling place

Oh... I forgot to mention that I went to the Beth Moore Simulcast this day so Brendon had Mr. Mom duty   the whole day but he is AMAZING!  He can take the kids for a whole day and it is completely seamless.

When I got home, we walked to the grocery store to grab something for dinner.  Yeah, I love that... we can walk almost anywhere:)

I think he did a little "crabbing" that night too... when I tell you this boy is OBSESSED with "crabbing" I am not kidding!

After church on Sunday we came home and did a speed cleaning on the house as we had the ReDefine leaders over for dinner... fun group... Re:Define is for ages 25 - 35 so this is a rowdy group...LOL!

The following week I took advantage of Mrs. Connie's offer to watch the kiddos for us.  Tuesday she watched Katelyn and I got to work with Brendon at the office.

Thursday... we did a park playdate with Heather again then at night was Back to School night and I loved hearing his teacher talk about her plan for the year... I am so excited for all he is going to learn.  She started the meeting by having us take a quiz about our children... like what they want to be when they grow up, their favorite memory, favorite food, etc.  Then she handed us a book they made for us that was titled "All About Me" and the answers were in the book... yeah, I almost burst into tears:)

Friday nights Daniel has Soccer Clinic then Ruben and Ili invited us for dinner along with the DeNick's... these two families have been such good friends to us.  One of those nights, you throw bed times out the window because the kids are playing so well together and the adults are laughing until their bellies hurt!

Saturday morning = soccer game!

And Katelyn had her 1st dentist appointment:) Let's just say that I went into this appointment nervous... I talked to her about it a lot and she walked into that appointment completely confident.  I was so proud of her!

 She definitely has a "Diva/ Princess" side... an example would be the light was shining in her eyes and she asked that it be moved.... so this sweet man put his hand up to block the light from her eyes...LOL!
 All done!
 Point to your teeth!  
Saturday night, we had our first official date night!  YEAH!  Bob and Barbara Gilmour came over and we got to enjoy a fun night out:)

This past Sunday the Philadelphia Eagles played the Arizona Cardinals!  We went over to Tammy and John's house for a football party.... there was lots of food, but my favorite were the Philly pretzel bites platter with various dipping sauces.  Let's just say that we were the only Cardinal fans in the room and if you watched the game then you know that it was a very embarrassing game for Eagle fans:(  Probably not the best game for us to be present at people's 1st time inviting us over:)

We also bought another car...we only came with 1 car here to NJ.  So, we bought a Jeep Commander... love it!  We really wanted something with a 3rd row... I really tried to think about minivan.  They are very practical when it comes to kids but we just couldn't bring ourselves to it:)

Tonight was soccer pictures.  Daniel really doesn't do good if I plan too much stuff after school as he is so exhausted from school and he just wants to come home and eat and play:)  Once again, he asked if he could take tomorrow off from school... LOL!  So funny as he just told me a few days ago that he likes being at school more than being at home.  Emotions... they are fickle!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Labor Day Weekend 2012

September is the month that I will consider our month to EXHALE!

To find our rhythm to life again.... to process our new life and start to enjoy our new surroundings.

So, our month started off with my parents and brother coming to visit us!

Friday Night... we hit the boardwalk!

Pizza... REAL PIZZA!  There is a HUGE difference!  NY Style.... so yummy!
Daniel is also showing off his tank that he brought to purchase his hermit crab from the souvenir stores on the boardwalk:)

There are two amusement parks that are right on the boardwalk and the kids wanted to ride some rides:)

We also went to Johnson's Popcorn... let me tell you this is the BEST Caramel Popcorn you have EVER ate in your life... especially when it is hot and melts in your mouth!

Saturday was BEACH day!  My dad was craving fresh seafood so he ran up to the boardwalk and we had a DELICIOUS lunch right on the beach!  Brendon went to Chickie and Pete's to get some crab fries and chicken tenders!

Then we rented a boat for the rest of the afternoon!

That evening... we grilled out at our house and my parents stayed with the kids while we went to our church to hear Jeff Bethke.  You know this guy... his You Tube video went VIRAL

Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus

Well you can imagine HOW PACKED OUT the church was to hear this guy!  What a night!  When we pulled in the parking lot, there was a line wrapping around the building.

Daniel convinced my dad to do what he LOVES best since we have moved here... go crabbing!  He has two crab traps and he loves catching all kinds of things in these things:)

Sunday was so special!  My dad spoke at New Covenant Community Church and it was our official "Installation Service."

Our friends Paul and Deborah Smith flew all the way from Phoenix to be there for this special service!

That afternoon we got to rest briefly before going to the Gilmour's for appetizers/ desert with the elders... a time for them to get to know my parents and vic versa:)

Monday - LABOR DAY!

We went to breakfast at Varsity Inn

Then we headed to see LUCY!  She is a national historic landmark!
Lucy the Elephant is a six-story elephant-shaped example of novelty architecture, constructed of wood and tin sheeting in 1881 by James V. Lafferty in Margate City, New Jersey, two miles (3.2 km) south of Atlantic City, in an effort to sell real estate and attract tourism.

We got to go inside Lucy for a guided tour... I believe she was a residence for a while and possibly a hotel???  It was pretty cool and here we are on top of LUCY... beautiful views!

Then we took our family to Atlantic City and went to the new outlet mall they have... this is the biggest mall I have been to in a long time.  You cannot think of a store that they don't have!!!!  

After that, my dad was craving seafood again... so, we headed to the Clam Bar!  

 Katelyn was exhausted and while you wait, they give the kids sidewalk chalk!  What a brilliant idea!!!!!

Tuesday!  The day I thought would never come... it has always seemed so far away.... then, just like that!  It showed up at my doorstep - My 1st born's 1st day of Kindergarten!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Trust me.... this school knew what they were doing when they made the 1st day of school a half day!  I feel SOOOO blessed to have our son at this school!  I never did dream of having him in all day Kindergarten but I know this is God's will because for him to even be at this school is a complete miracle!  

Greg knew that my dad loved jet skis and he had a hook up to these practically new jet skis that were AMAZING!

When we got back from school, we put on swim suits and had some fun!

 So, this was her 1st Jet Ski ride.... she is completely fearless!  However, I wasn't sure what she would think of this.  Let's just say when we were going over 50MPH that she was trying to rip Brendon's hands off of the handle bars because she wanted to drive!  The other "Diva" side to this girl did not like to get wet or splashed... LOL!

Then it was time to pick up Daniel from school and let him know we had a surprise waiting for him when he got home!  HE WAS THRILLED!  He has rode a jet ski before and he LOVES them!

This one is in complete heaven in her new "backyard."  

That night we went back to the Clam Bar... it was so good from the night before.  In fact, the guys drove their jet skis there to have lunch but they were only open for dinner after Labor Day so they ate at another place on the water.

Wednesday... Daniel's 1st FULL day of Kindergarten.

The guys went to the church and the ladies went to the nail salon for some pedis, manis and waxing:)  This was Katelyn's 1st professional mani/ pedi... finally old enough to sit still through it and sit still long enough to let her nails/ toes dry:)  She LOVED it... as my mom said, she enjoyed it a little too much and I think she thinks this needs to be added to her weekly activity list... LOL!

She was SO MUCH FUN to watch!  This girl's personality lights up a room!  You just can't help but fall in love with her!

After that, it was lunch with the guys at CJ's Deli.... then what I was dreading most... GOOD BYE to my parents!

We will probably not see them again until December when we all meet up in Florida:(

When they left, I realized I was also really missing Daniel and I just wanted to drive to that school and pick him up... but it wasn't time.  My heart had too many holes in it and so it was an emotional day.

That night as I was putting Daniel to bed, we always ask what was the best part of your day and what was the worse part of your day.  So, he told me that there was nothing bad about his day, it was a great day!  Then he told me it was my turn... I told him that I didn't like saying Good Bye to Grandma, Poppy and Phillip and that I missed them.  Then he said, "Oh yeah, that was the worse part of my day too... I really missed you at school today!"  In the dark of his room, I almost lost it but I held it together and told him that I missed him too.  He then said, "I think I want to stay home tomorrow."  I said, "Why?"  He said, "I have already gone to school for 2 days so I think I am going to take a break."  I told him that is not how it works anymore.  He asked if the next day was a half day and I told him no then he said, "Mom, it is a really long day at school."  Inside I was thinking, "I KNOW!" but we we are going to get through this!   Everyday around lunch time, my heart starts sinking because I start really missing him and wonder who he is eating with and what they are doing... we have had lunch together almost everyday for 5 years... it feels so weird for Katelyn and I to look at each other with no brother around.

Hope you had a wonderful Labor Day too!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

August - New Jersey, we are here!!!!

We got in super late on Monday night.... we stayed with the Gilmour's until our moving truck arrived with our stuff!

Tuesday night, the DeNick's came over to tell us it looked like Daniel was a very good candidate to get a scholarship to attend Atlantic Christian School for Kindergarten!  Kindergarten is a little over $7,000/ year and all we would have to pay is $1,000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Also, they heard that someone was getting rid of their practically brand new bike and so they got it for me!  What?  Within 24 hours of us arriving, major things were starting to fall in place!

Also, we got an offer on our house and on our business!

So, we walked the kids around their new neighborhood, took them to the park, showed them their house then we got to work on the new house.  Cleaning, Painting, Cleaning Carpets.... stuff that you do when you move into a new house.

Our kids were EXHAUSTED!

 And they were getting desperate for their toys... Mr. Greg had given Daniel a Phillies Bobblehead and I caught her holding the bobble head like a little newborn baby.  Poor Girl!  She was getting desperate!
But... Friday came and the moving truck arrived with my favorite movers!  I LOVED these guys!

Even with all of the stuff that we got rid of, we knew not everything was going to fit into our little bay view cottage... a family in the church owns a storage unit facility and they offered us a unit while we were staying in bay view cottage.  WHAT A BLESSING!

So, as stuff was coming off of the truck, some boxes were going in the house and some were going straight onto a box truck that Greg let us borrow to take everything to storage.... talk about chaos!  I didn't want to be left alone at the house with the movers so the elders moved everything into storage for us... they were AMAZING!

Friday night we were not ready to stay in the house yet so the Gilmour's graciously let us stay with them again... Saturday night, we still didn't want to stay in our new house so they told us to take our time!

The kids did not sleep with us but they crashed in our bed every morning:)

However, Sunday night we decided that we should probably leave the comfy "Gilmour" nest and stay in our house... LOL!

Our 1st Sunday at New Covenant Community Church!

At the end, they had a nice cake reception welcoming us...we felt right at home!

The next week was Brendon's 1st week back in the office so we were trying to unpack, etc as quick as possible but honestly we were so tired of packing and unpacking that we decided Monday night to hit the beach!

On our walk to the beach, we saw a church that was doing a VBS that week... I thought that would be GREAT for Daniel as that would give him something to do while we are trying to unpack!

That week I spent a lot of time in the car trying to find where everything was... getting lost... LOL!
Shopping... buying those things that you need when you move into a new house like Bath and Body Works Wall flowers.... smell soooo good!

The kids enjoyed eating outside:)  Good thing because our dining room table was not accessible!  LOL!

Thursday... well Ruben who works for the FAA but we have NO IDEA what he does... we are finally starting to understand that it is confidential:)  invited Brendon and Daniel to his job to get a behind the scenes of the BIG airshow that was going to happen that weekend.  They had a blast!

Us girls stayed at home and unpacked...
Friday was Daniel's VBS end of the week program... all the pictures I took of him were horrible:(

That night we went on a double family date night with The DeNick Family... so fun!

That Saturday, we had Debbie's house warming party to go to... we had a nice, lazy Saturday morning breakfast and I LOVE how Katelyn prays for her food now...

Then off to the party.... 

Besides un-packing, we didn't do much!

My mom sent the kids a super cute gift:)

Daniel "Facetiming" with his bestie Zander:)
 The kids have made our fireplace a music stage!

I checked out the local library here which is REALLY nice and they have an amazing Storytime with a puppet show... it is so cute!  Went to a ladies breakfast on Saturday morning then Barbara took me to this really cool place called "Produce Junction!"  They have tons of fruits, vegetables and plants/ flowers for SUPER CHEAP!

I also checked out lots of gyms to see which one was going to fit us best...

Monday, Ili took me out while Brendon watched the kids and we went to a nice mall and hit up some fun stores, had lunch and tea at Teavanna:)

Wednesday was our Family Interview with the school... they approved us:)

Then Thursday and Friday, we worked our tails off because my parents and brother were coming in for Labor Day weekend!

We made it...we got completely unpacked and every box out of our house!  Now our storage unit is another story...we have a lot of organizing in there to do!

New Covenant truly spoiled us rotten! Sue Damask DeNick not only took my 2 kids for an afternoon but whipped up a delicious meal for us, Jodi brought AMAZING chicken and veggies pizzas for us one night, Greg brought amazing hoagies for lunch, Barbara Cummings made an INCREDIBLE roast, Beth made us BBQ chicken, Barbara G. made us COUNTLESS breakfasts, lunches and dinners....