Friday, January 15, 2016

Everyday Happy: January 8th-14th, 2016



It's been a good week around here!  And, although I have yet to pack a box, I have thrown a lot of stuff away, so that's always a plus, right?  I feel like Gracie and I will be able to pack up some games and rarely used kitchen items today, though!


January 8


Enjoying scones and Downton Abbey with my favorite person!


January 9


We had a super fun Saturday in Madison!  We met some friends for lunch, hung out at the Children's Museum, looked around inside the capitol and stopped at Trader Joe's!  The girls were so impressed with how fancy the capitol was!


January 10


Yeah, that's the Vikings game we are subjecting our children to watching.  I always feel bad for the kicker, especially when he misses an easy one!


January 11


This is what after school is like at our house!  At the beginning of the school year, I've had the girls bring their folders and papers to the table where we have a snack together.  I look through the papers right away and get rid of whatever I'm not saving.  I enter dates on the calendar right away, too.  I feel like it's really helped me keep on top of things!


January 12


I started reading the girls The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe!  We're really enjoying it!  I've never read any of the Chronicles of Narnia, so it's been fun for me, too.  I find that the girls do better listening to a chapter book if they are doing something with their hands, although Gracie did wander off (thankfully not into a wardrobe)...


January 13


We went to Menards to look at some flooring and found these fine Darth Vader shower heads.  I'm sure we can all agree that we would get much cleaner using one ;)


January 14


Maggie got 3rd place in the fire prevention poster contest, but it was for the Kindergarten category.  There was some sort of mix up, and her poster got in the wrong pile, but she handled it well!


Have a great weekend!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Update Time!

I think that I blog in dog years.  

For example, way back on September 13th, I said, "Later this week, I'll share more about this truly amazing group of people that God has put together."

Yeah, that was a long time ago!

But, I've decided to rev the ol' blog back up.  I really do feel like this is going to be a big year for our family, and it's important to me that I capture all of that.


So, at long last, here are the people in our church plant's core group.  I could really go on and on about them all, but I'll keep it brief :)  Be sure to stick around to the end; I'll update you on when we are moving and all of those fun details!

Our partners are Brandon and Hannah:


Brandon is going to be the preacher.  He's compelling to listen to and his love for Jesus and the Gospel oozes out when he speaks.  He's also really good at techie things like computers and sound equipment...you know, things with lots of knobs that are intimidating to the rest of us.  Aaron and Brandon work really well together and their skills compliment the other very well.  They share a high level of trust and unity.

Hannah can organize and administrate anything.  She is hospitable, anticipates the needs of others, incredibly helpful, intentional, and a great mom and friend. Hannah helps me understand Maggie and offers a lot of wisdom to how I can mother Maggie well.  She is also super pregnant with baby #2 (a boy).  She is facing a lot of big life changes this year and is doing so like a champ!

Their daughter, Emma, is almost two and is obviously adorable.  She is super friendly and always brings a smile.  Gracie is one of her favorite people :)

Ryan and Becca:


Ryan has one of those smart guy analyst jobs that I don't really understand, but, he's not nerdy...for real! He's great at putting together small group Bible studies and leads them well.  He consistently works at building relationships with others even if it takes him out of his comfort zone.  He's very well thought out AND loves the NBA, so you can see how both of those things make him good friends with Aaron :)

Becca is a gather.  She is the quintessential girls' night hostess and loves having people in their home.  Becca has a lot of interpersonal energy and is so friendly and welcoming.  She is super fun and caring and has a game for any situation.  She loves Jesus and those around her so well.  She teaches 5th grade and is well loved by her students and co-workers...and pretty much everyone who knows her!  

Andy and Steph:



Andy is a phenomenal graphic designer.  He designed our church's website (which I will post when everyone on the core team has announced that they are moving), and it's incredible.  Andy is fun and funny.  He is a reader and is well informed on things that are going on around him.  Andy always sees the good people and is adored by our girls...particularly Gracie.  He's also a Vikings fan which Aaron enjoys :)

Steph is a great question asker and listener.  She has a soft heart towards Jesus and the people around her.  Steph is really creative and crafty and has happily organized areas of my home that are prone to disaster (hall closet, I'm looking at you).  Steph sees things that need to be done or people who need to be cared for and she just steps in and quietly takes care of it...task or person.  

We have another couple who are a part of our core team, but haven't told their employers that they are moving yet, so I won't spoil that online :)

Plus, BONUS, our friends Mike and Jen are joining us!



Mike and Jen have been married for a little over a year, and Mike just got an engineer-y job in Dubuque.  Jen works at a cupcake shop which is pretty much the most fun job I can imagine!  Mike and Jen are fun and hospitable and generous.  They love building community with those around them and are great at taking initiative.  Plus, they are wonderful with the girls!  We were so excited when they moved to Dubuque!

Soooooooooooo, what's going on with us?  We sold our house to our friends, Drew and Sam.  We didn't even need a realtor!  Shortly after we announced we were moving to Dubuque, Sam facebook messaged me and asked about talking about buying our house.  She and Drew looked at it a couple of times, and we worked out a deal.  We closed at the end of October.

We are currently renting the house from Drew and Sam.  They have been so generous to allow us to do that!  There's a mortgage rule that the owners have to occupy the house 60 days after closing, so we need to move out at the end of January.

Enter our neighbors, John and Margaret.  They are retired and go to Florida for 2 months in the winter.  They offered to let us live in their house while they are gone!  We will move into their house for the next month.

We close on our house in Dubuque on February 22nd.  We had an accepted offer at the beginning of October!  The couple we are buying the house from is buying a house from people who are going through an acrimonious divorce and they were pretty inflexible with their closing date, so it pushed things back for all of us.

Aaron and my dad are putting in new floors, plus we are getting a wall out and doing a lot of painting before we move in.  We will move the big stuff on February 27th and the girls will start school on February 29th.

We are excited about where we are going to live!  It's about a 3 block walk to the elementary school and middle school (they share property with each other).  It's also about a 3 minute drive to Aldi, so that's a win in my book :)  We love that it's totally in a neighborhood and we've heard that there are lots of kids around.  

Needless to say, we really see God going before us and making a way!

And THAT'S what's new with us!  Hopefully it won't be several dog years before another update :)

Friday, January 8, 2016

Everyday Happy: January 1-7, 2016


I'm jumping back into taking a picture every day!  I decided to call it Everyday Happy, purposely using "everyday" as one word.  Everyday basically means regular.  And, while I certainly don't think that everything in life makes us happy all the time, I do think that the happy little bits of the everyday in our every day are worth noticing!

January 1


We celebrated New Year's Eve the afternoon of New Year's Day.  Gracie was really feeling the party :)


January 2


Gracie loves grapefruit without sugar sprinkled on top.  Pretty impressive for a 5 year old in my book!


January 3


Singing songs for Sunday School (say that 5 times fast :))


January 4


Such a sunshiney day definitely called for some matching shades :)


January 5


I started going through Maggie and Gracie's room...some pre-packing organization, if you will :)  It always looks worse before it looks better!


January 6


Gracie and Emma hanging out in a box, like friends do.


January 7


Some fun imaginative play on a Thursday night!


Have a great weekend!