12.20.2008

December Happenings

How did Greg and I celebrate our snow day, you ask?  Well, we rented Prince Caspian from redbox, took a nap, scrounged around in our cupboards to find something decent (barely) to throw together for dinner, and almost solved another cryptic crossword puzzle.  So to celebrate the Narnia series, I took this picture on our patio a few minutes ago.  Our own little winter wonderland (excluding the white witch).
And it's still snowing quite a bit!

A couple weeks ago I went with a friend from church to see Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas!  She & I decided to get all dressed up, so here I am in my fancy shirt.  I even wore a skirt out in the crazy cold!  We had a fun time and enjoyed the musical even though our seats were in the nosebleed section.

Greg and I hosted my office's holiday party this week.  It was fun to have all my co-workers in our home.  I made meatballs (which were a hit) and rolls and some delicious cinnamon honey butter.  And everyone brought tons of food and drink in addition.  We had a wonderful time together celebrating another semester (and year) completed together, and as always, it was special to connect with a few spouses again.  This was my third holiday party with this office; I really am blessed by such an incredible group of people with which to work!

We also had our last community group of the semester on Thursday.  I'm thankful for these men and women who have opened their lives and been willing to share great joys and struggles together.  I will miss having these dear brothers and sisters in our home every week but look forward to having many back in February.  How thankful I am that God created us to need community and to know Him more through each other!

12.16.2008

Photo Fun

A couple friends from church did this, and I thought it was a cute idea.

Here are the rules:
1) Choose the 4th folder where you store your pictures on your computer.
2) Select the 4th picture in the folder.
3) Explain the picture.
4) Tag 4 people to do the same - NO CHEATING! (cropping, editing etc.)

This is my mom last year around this time when we celebrated Christmas as a family in Erie.  I'm guessing she was laughing at the shenanigans of Drew & Carrie's two labs, but she might have just been smiling about the family being together.  How appropriate that this was picture 4-4 since we're heading to Emporia in a few days!  Love you, Mom!

If you want to be tagged, consider yourself tagged.

12.11.2008

Skee Ball Celebration

Greg and I played Skee Ball at Chuck E Cheese's tonight. It was fun. We gave our measly nine tickets to a family as we left which made it all the better.

Greg finished another class today! Yea! AND he submitted his paperwork for May graduation! Bigger YEA!

12.10.2008

Tree and more

I thought I'd upload a couple random pictures.  This one's after community group last week.  Three of our group weren't able to make it, and one had already left.  So the picture is minus five (including me).  See how tall our tree is in the back?!

Greg was the privileged tree-topper this year.  We had fun decorating with Andrew and Angie and the King parents while they were in Boston for Thanksgiving.


11.26.2008

More of Our Story

I cannot thank everyone enough for your comments and emails over the last two days. Your support brought (and continues to bring) needed encouragement to my potentially difficult uneventful day.

Since we’re sharing, may I tell you a couple stories from this journey we’ve been on over the past few months? Maybe it will be encouraging to some of you who have or are walking a similar journey as us. There are so many of us…

My fight to hope (excerpts from my journal…)

“Today was the day. The pregnancy test gave us the exciting news. The question running through our hearts and minds now is whether or not we'll make it past the first few weeks. Two months ago, I miscarried at the end of week four (or five depending on how you count it). I know this is common (1 in 3 pregnancies?), but it was extremely difficult to swallow. I know I am high risk; I've been charting for ten months. Still, it doesn't lessen the sadness. Yet God was amazingly gracious in providing us with comfort and peace and even joy (rooted in faith in Him) through the mourning. Now we simply pray and wait again...and wonder whether this is His timing...or not.”

A couple days later… “With my first pregnancy, I miscarried the evening of the day I had a positive pregnancy test. It was one of the most difficult days of my life. Quite the rollercoaster of emotions. (I had "known" I was pregnant for about a week before the positive test and suspected it the entire time.) I was thankful for Greg, a couple friends, and my parents who loved on me while I cried and tried to take in everything that had happened. It's amazing to go through an entire day and now TWO entire days knowing that God is forming our little one inside of me. I am immensely thankful for these two days. I plead with my Father to let this little one survive through the next 8 months and live to open its eyes and see its parents one day, but I trust God's timing. His plan is perfect. It cannot be thwarted. I rejoice in His constancy and find great joy and peace in resting in His will.”

A few more days later… “I recognize that we still have a high risk of miscarriage at this point. I have gone back and forth about how to handle it, and in the end, I've decided to live with hope instead of dread or anxiety or fear. I have faith in God's provision, and I have faith in His plan. And I am hoping that it includes our little one making it into my arms one day. If not, well then, our Father will walk with us through that time. Now is a time of rejoicing and taking care of this little one.”

A few more days later… “My beloved son or daughter, You left me today. This is a reality of which I am consciously aware, yet my heart stubbornly refuses to accept. I had a week longer to dream about you than our first little one. Your daddy and I made our first prenatal appointments; we found out at which hospital you would have been delivered. We began talking about possible names for you… You were such a delight to us for the past couple of weeks. I am thankful to have been your home for these few weeks... How do I go on, Lord? How can I endure this again? How can I continue to hope after a second loss so great? What did my hope gain other than greater heartache? I know what it gained...greater joy. And peace. And faith. And love. Even through this short amount of time being a mother, you allowed me to know You more and You conformed me ever more to Your image. I imagine, Lord, that much is yet to come as I process and begin a new page… I don't know how to take the next step… Father, be my Light, my Guide, my Strength, my Path, my Joy, my Shepherd, my Shield, my Life. Please teach me how, once again, to mourn the death of another little child of mine.”

A few days after our miscarriage, Greg offered to have a little memorial and symbolic burial in our nearby reservation. I cannot express how healing this was for me, I think for both of us actually. We found a secluded place, dug a little hole, and buried two little symbols of the children we have lost this year. Greg said some words about our journey, prayed for us, and we said goodbye to our unborn little ones.

What a testimony of the Lord’s faithfulness that just two and a half weeks later I find myself at a place where I can say (or at least try to say) to God: “Thank You that I can move into the future non-defensively, with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead, for You hold the future and You will always be with me.”

Thanks for walking with us.

11.24.2008

With hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead

Greg and I were scheduled to have our first prenatal visit this morning -- meet our doctor and nurses, be overwhelmed with information about pregnancy and childbirth, and hear our baby's heartbeat for the first time. We were so excited to share with everyone at Thanksgiving that we were going to be parents. But then two weeks ago, we miscarried. It's been an interesting journey for us to walk, one we've been privileged to invite a few people into over the past two weeks, including our families and our church community group. We're thankful for their support and presence as it has not been easy.

I was not originally planning to share this with our blogging community until I read something this morning that made me realize that I simply had to share this with you all. I’ve mentioned previously that I am in a Bible study with two other ladies from my church. We recently completed our Beth Moore study on the tabernacle, and we started a month-long study walking through the book “31 Days of Praise” by Ruth Myers. I was so blessed to begin this study a few days after Greg and I received our sad news; it is exactly where God needs me to focus my heart for this month.

So here were some of the words from Ruth’s prayer this morning (pulled and compiled from various Bible verses): “…I praise You for Your sovereignty over the broad events of my life and over the details. With You, nothing is accidental, nothing is incidental, and no experience is wasted. You hold in Your own power my breath of life and all my destiny. And every trial that You allow to happen is a platform on which You reveal Yourself, showing Your love and power, both to me and to others looking on. Thank You that I can move into the future non-defensively, with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead, for You hold the future and You will always be with me, even to my old age…and through all eternity.”

That is how I desire my life to be positioned – with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead, seeing every trial as an opportunity to know and show God’s love and power in my life.

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.” 2 Thessalonians 2:17

11.19.2008

Istanbul, Turkey...March 2009

Over three and a half years later... It looks like Greg & I will be making a trip to my beloved Istanbul in March, and I can hardly wait! I pulled together some pictures to use to motivate some friends to come along with us. I simply had to share it with our blogging community as well...
video

11.05.2008

So this is what patriotism feels like. (updated comments)

I was thinking a lot last night and this morning how I would put into words my feelings about the incredible statement our nation made yesterday. I just read a post from a friend from community group and loved how she put it. So instead of stumbling over how to say how I'm feeling, I'll just refer you to my friend.

Two of my favorite quotes from Obama's victory speech in Chicago's Grant Park:

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer."

“The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there."

So this is what patriotism feels like.

11.01.2008

Our Neighborhood Reservation

We're amazingly blessed to have the west portion of the Middlesex Fells Reservation near out back doorstep (about a five minute walk).  We walked over to hike a little bit Friday evening before we lost sunlight, and we had such a great time that we headed back over there this afternoon.  Here are some pictures we took, probably some of the last autumn pictures we'll capture this year.  (Once again, the colors are much more brilliant if you click on the photo to view a larger version of the image in your browser.)


The view of Boston from the top of one of the hills was incredible.
We live about in the middle of this picture below.
Another view of our city (Medford)





10.27.2008

An autumn walk

Greg and I packed a lunch and grabbed the T to Harvard Square late Saturday morning. We walked along the Charles River, grabbed coffee in Kendall, and then headed over the bridge into Boston to stroll Charles Street, grab slices from the Upper Crust, and walk around the Public Garden. It was such an amazing fall day. The sun wasn't out much, but we were still able to take some decent pictures. (Click on the pictures to see a larger size. The colors look much more spectacular in the bigger pictures!)








10.24.2008

Winter is looming

I couldn't help but mention that the footbridge I cross every day walking to and from work had a thin layer of frost/ice on it today. Greg and I pulled out our heating blanket last night, and I even wore my ear muffs to work today. Yikes! Can I really deal with another New England winter? In all honesty, all of these changes made me quite excited as I really do love the onset of new seasons!

(A disclaimer: if you look at our weather right now you would think I am a complete wimp. And it is true that I am, BUT the temperature this morning at 8:15 when I left the house was just below freezing, so don't judge me by our high today!)

10.19.2008

Clam Chowder anyone?

I experienced my first Clam Chowder Festival today.  I grabbed the train up to Ipswich to meet Jessie, and we headed over to the festivities with Eliot and Chris.  (Sadly, Greg missed it all because of a class.)  You would all be proud of me.  I decided that even though the smell of Greg's canned clam chowder usually makes me want to throw up, I would give it a try today and see if I could at least stomach a bowl or two.  (You may wonder WHY I went to this festival being a non-clam chowder gal; it was all for the company.)  Well, I made it through all of the entries, and I even liked a couple!  In fact, I might would even order clam chowder at a restaurant after my experience today.  (Key word: might)

10.18.2008

Beautiful Piles of Leaves

Walking home from work today, I tried to rustle through every pile of leaves near my path. I couldn't help myself! The crisp crunch under my shoes, the scent of the dry golden and crimson floating about me - I tried to capture the moment in my mind to recall on those oh-so-bitter days just around the corner.

Today was one of refreshment for me despite a drowsy beginning. For the first day in many I actually felt mostly well. My heart is greatly encouraged, this due to an evening of meaningful fellowship with our community group last night, a much needed lunch date with my husband, and the promise of more sweet fellowship with a friend tomorrow. My Savior knows my needs, and He is abundant to meet and exceed them. I am thankful.

Our church and our community groups are studying prayer together. I am so encouraged by this, though all the more I wish I could devote my life to prayer, as I was able to do quite freely while in Istanbul. I wonder how I could adjust my life to recapture even a portion of what I had there. I do not know how to do it while working as I am. How do you devote your thoughts to prayer while also diligently turning your mind to producing excellence while at work? After having experienced these being one in the same for a couple years, this has been my constant struggle and reason for discontentment and frustration since returning to the States. If only my vocation could be to intercede on behalf of others! I could not think of a greater delight...

I do wonder though, how I might make changes in my life currently to open up time for more prayer. The question I have is - am I willing to make the sacrifices? Am I able?

"...And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying aloud, "Have mercy on us, Son of David." When He entered the house, the blind men came to Him, and Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They said to Him, "Yes, Lord." Then He touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith be it done to you." And their eyes were opened..." Matthew 9:27-30

10.11.2008

Post October 3rd

Friday, October 3rd has finally passed, and though I am more relieved than anything else, I think I'm also experiencing a little post-event sadness. Last Friday was my office's biggest annual event - our fall career fair. This year we had just over 100 organizations registered (a few less than last year), and we beat our past student attendance record by over 100 students -- 845 students checked in during the three and a half hour period! For an undergraduate student population under 5,000, that's doing really well!

While employers are setting up, before the students arrive
Some action at Honda's booth
I really enjoyed planning the event this year. I had participated quite a bit in helping plan the last two years, but this year it was mine to run and change and improve. We upped our marketing quite a bit, created a logo to use for branding which we plastered everywhere -- we even made coffee sleeves with the logo for the campus cafes to use! (Though we actually found that to be the least productive of all of our marketing pushes.) I had a great team working with me, and I've been even more thankful for them this past week as they've taken over the follow-up while I've been sick.

Did I mention that I've been sick? Ugh! I actually caught the cold four days before the fair and -- thanks to Carrie's wonderful advice and our sovereign God's grace in answering my pleas -- I was able to ward off the inevitable sickness just long enough to make it through the fair. But come Sunday night I was out sick.
If you've been following this blog long enough, you realize that I get sick frequently. And it's depressing to me. I try to do everything right to avoid sickness, but it's always right there knocking on my door. It's amazing how sickness upsets everything in life -- can't get work done, can't take care of things at home (finances, groceries & meals, laundry, cleaning....all go undone), can't spend time with people, can't even keep up with my Bible study!  Greg said to me the other day as I was frustrated about all of this, "Kim, this is something you cannot control. You just need to give your body time to heal." Ouch. Something I cannot control. There's the rub.

"And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Colossians 3:17

9.18.2008

God's faithfulness in my relationships

One of my biggest prayers for myself the past couple of months has been that I would be able to continue building into relationships throughout this crazy season at work (mid August - early November). God has been abundantly faithful in providing me with the motivation and energy to do this, and I want to share some of the ways He's been answering those prayers.
  • A Tuesday evening off from band practice so we could meet Eliot and Jessie for dinner at Chick-Fil-A. We hadn't gotten together since MAY! Our long-term passions are quite aligned, and it's always fun to share and dream together.
  • Dinner with Lindsey in Beacon Hill. A sweet time of sharing our joys and struggles with careers and marriage and many other things.
  • A four hour hike with Ryan & Janine last Saturday. Great conversation, much needed exercise, and an awesome place to hike nearby - Blue Hills Reservation. Greg & I are thrilled to get to lead a community group this fall with this special couple.
  • Bible study with Katie and Connie. What a blessing to share life so deeply with two amazing women!
  • Women's September book study at church - We're discussing Noel Piper's book on women of extraordinary faith. God has opened a little door for me to lead the ladies in worship through a song or two now and then, and I've LOVED being able to serve in that way again. It's also been fun to get to know a few newer women at the church.
  • Dinner with Nick & Deborah, our newlywed friends. They're so adorable; we love that we live so close to them!
  • Connecting a little more and a little more deeply with some gals serving in the church band.
  • Breakfast with Dan & Ann. Good times catching up, getting excited about community groups beginning and serving the church band together this week.
  • And then of course with work being so crazy, it means more time with co-workers. I've been having fun getting to know some colleagues more these past two weeks. And I love the lunch breaks and Dunkin Donuts runs that keep us going!
I feel overwhelmingly thankful for how God has sustained me through the past month and enabled me to live a thriving life instead of barely surviving. It's only through Him.

9.11.2008

Where I have been the last few weeks...

O LORD, You have searched me and known me!  You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You discern my thoughts from afar.  You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.  Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.

You hem me in, behind and before, and lay Your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.  Where shall I go from Your Spirit?  Or where shall I Flee from Your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, You are there!  If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there!  If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.  If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night," even the darkness is not dark to You, the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with You.

For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother's womb.  I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.

How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God!  How vast is the sum of them!  If I would count them, they are more than the sand.  I awake, and I am still with You...

Oh that You would slay the wicked, O God!  O men of blood, depart from me!  They speak against You with malicious intent; Your enemies take Your Name in vain!  Do I not hate those who hate You, O LORD?  And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?  I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart!  Try me and know my thoughts!  And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

From Psalm 139 and deep within my heart...

8.23.2008

Congratulations, Nick & Deborah

Yea for Deborah & Nick!  They're married!  Greg and I were so honored to participate in their wedding this afternoon.  It was a marvelous celebration and sincere covenantal ceremony.  I tried to get a good picture of the bride and groom, but nothing seemed to come out well.  So here's a cute picture of them at one of their showers.
And here we are all dressed up for the wedding.  I can't believe I still fit into this dress!  I bought it in Turkey when I was NINETEEN!  LOL!
Cool cake.  Those are cannolis in case you were wondering.

8.18.2008

Mandalinalar

I was going to write some deep thoughts from today, but I'm too distracted by the oh-so-delicious clementines Greg and I are enjoying right now!  They're the closest thing I've discovered in the US to mandalinalar in Turkey.  It's so amazing how the moment I pop a slice in my mouth, I am right back in Istanbul. Most of my mandalina memories are tied to the Tummons, so I often close my eyes and remember sitting in their salon (living room) with dear friends for a morning study of Acts.  I LOVED stopping by a fruit stand on my walk to their house and picking up a huge bagful of these incredible fruits to share around the circle.  Thanks, Creator God, for these amazing fruits - clementines and mandalinalar!

8.11.2008

A First

Yesterday was an exciting day for the Kings. Greg had his first opportunity to lead our church through God's Word during our Sunday services. I was so proud of his diligence in preparing the material and seeking to share God's message with our community. It was a long day of teaching as our church has two morning services and then an identical service in the evening at another location in Boston. But it was wonderful to watch God supply Greg with His strength. I was personally blessed to connect with God through Greg's message on Acts 25 & 26 all six(?) times I got to hear it!

One of the things I've always admired about Greg is how he faithfully digs deeply into the background, meaning, and application of scripture. I remember going to him in Turkey once before we were even dating and asking if he could help me better understand the necessity of blood for sanctification in the Bible. (One of my dear friends in Turkey was asking about this.) Greg expertly walked me through the Old and New Testament, pulling out the significance of bloodshed. I remember walking away thinking, "Wow, God. You have given him a gift of teaching Your Word with depth and accuracy."

Yesterday was a great opportunity for Greg to teach our community. He'll be the first to admit he has a lot to learn about teaching in that context, but I know many were blessed by how he faithfully handled the Word and relied on the Spirit yesterday. I'm personally excited to watch him grow as he has more opportunities to teach in the future.

Bringing the Old Testament to life

As you see in the picture below, Ayse's been particularly into the Psalms lately.
Greg & I are proud of her commitment to God's Word. I think I caught her deep in prayer in this picture.

Unlike our kitten, Greg and I have been into Genesis and Exodus recently, partly because I'm doing a Bible study on the tabernacle and Greg's studying Hebrew. But Greg's also been checking out some really interesting documentaries from the library on the land of the Pentateuch. I admit I was skeptical of finding them worth my time, but after watching a few minutes, I was hooked!

8.04.2008

A week off

Drew & Carrie visited us last weekend. It was wonderful to have them with us in Boston! I don't have any great pictures, so you should see Carrie's wonderful post from last week. Miss you guys already! (Why did you have to post a morning picture of me?!)

In other news, I took most of last week off of work to prepare myself for the schoolyear ahead (ah). And it happened to be our anniversary last Wednesday as well. We celebrated by going out to dinner, and Greg gave me a gorgeous bouquet of my favorite flowers! They still look perfect this evening! We also went to the beach that day (a sandy one that is).
Here's my hubbie of three years chillin' at a rocky beach in Rockport.
Oh, doesn't this just make you want to come visit?
I love New England's rocky shorelines...
One of my favorite "new" spots in Boston. This used to be where the expressway went before they finished the "big dig" tunnels under the city. Now it's a long park with tons of benches, tables, fountains, and grass! I wish I had a picture of Carrie and me walking in the fountain with all the little kiddies! (I think our husbands were a tad bit embarrassed.)

7.23.2008

Baby Zek

Our friends John & Elisa had their baby boy a couple weeks ago, and I just realized I didn't blog about it! So you must check out their new blog dedicated to Ezekiel. I got to hold him a little tonight, and I fell in love all over again! Look how cute his little chin is!

Did you receive our newsletter?

I tried to figure out a way to post our newsletter in blogger, and I kept running into roadblocks with publishing a pdf. So if you have not received our letter and would like it, shoot me an email at kimber.king@gmail.com and I'll send it your way. I had a lot of fun creating it (and making Greg read and edit it).

Let me know what you think! I wouldn't be surprised if it takes us another three years to do this again! Ugh!

In other news, Drew & Carrie arrive in less than 48 hours!!!

7.19.2008

Oh Texas, my Texas

I did not expect to be ambushed by memories and sentimentality as my plane landed in Austin on Wednesday. But that is what happened. I actually teared up on the plane as a flood of wonderful memories filled my mind and heart. What a pleasant surprise, especially when my greatest expectation of Texas was experiencing heat misery (which definitely occurred at times).

I spent two days in Austin, Texas for a work conference this past week. It was a great conference with the highest value being the people I met, conference attendees and organizers as well as friends from "prior lives." Unfortunately I forgot to bring the camera! Ugh! So I'll steal some pictures from people's blogs for this post. I want to tell you about the people I got to see from my "prior lives."

First, my Baylor classmate, Jaime, generously went to work a little late and met me for an hour Thursday morning. Talk about an hilarious exchange as we tried to catch up on over six years of life after Baylor in about an hour! We tried to describe our significant others (which was quite a task—really, how do I sum up Greg in a few minutes?!), talked about our career paths, life in Austin and Boston, and of course we reminisced to Baylor and some of our strange professors and classes. Thanks for reconnecting, Jaime (and for the caramel machiatto)!

(This is stolen from his Flickr account. Maybe family?)

Thursday evening after a fun hotel happy hour and getting to know some of the conference organizers (who are also my account reps for our office's recruiting software) a little better, I took a walk over to meet Amy and baby Audrey at Chuy's. Even though the walk was definitely one of those "heat misery" moments, it was a beautiful little hike along the Colorado River and a very popular hiking/biking path. (I think I was the only one NOT in work-out clothes.) Amy and Audrey were as beautiful as ever, and I think I'm a better person after spending a couple hours with the two of them. I especially enjoyed our conversation about storing up treasures in heaven, finding and connecting with community, and of course being a mom. Thanks for sharing life with me, Amy! Those of you who know Audrey just wouldn’t believe how big she is; what a happy, talkative little girl!

(Stolen from the Douglas' blog -
See more pictures of Amy & Audrey here.)

My conference ended at noon on Friday, and I scurried to meet Baylor and First Woodway friend Sarah for lunch near the Capitol where she works. Again, it was a crazy hour of playing six-years catch-up. I was thrilled to hear about Sarah and Jon’s preparation to be part of a church plant in Austin, and it was special to reconnect with another Baylor/Woodway sister. I can’t wait to see pictures of your home, Sarah! I’ll continue to stalk you on Facebook.

(Stolen from Facebook - Sarah & her hubby Jon)

Wow! What a blessed two days God gave me in Austin! It was fun to see how He multiplied my time as I wasn’t even sure how I’d fit meeting one person into the 48 hours in Austin!

If you’ve made it this far, I just have to share a couple pictures of the Hyatt Regency in Austin because it was wonderful!
And the famous bats which come out at sunset and make their daily flight south(?) from the bridge by the patio above.
Oh Texas, my Texas…I really do miss you. I’m a changed person from the years I called you home, and you will always hold a special place in my heart.

7.03.2008

Thunder, Bells, Books, & Babies

A few things have happened or been on my mind this week that I wanted to blog about so here goes.
  1. Summer Thunderstorms.  To my amazement, the last 2+ weeks have had almost daily thunderstorms.  I even had to find shelter walking home from work once last week due to hail!  And it hailed again today.  I admittedly love these summer thunderstorms though I do lament the problems the excess rainfall causes to many basements, gardens, etc.  Over my lunch break today, I sat by a window and simply marveled at our creator God who not only designs these majestic displays but is so much more magnificent Himself than even the most glorious thunderstorm!
  2. Kettlebells.  Among the random things I saw on television while staying at the Providence Biltmore a couple weeks ago was a brief clip on the benefits of kettlebell workouts.  It's effective; it looked fun; I was sold.  So I randomly found time to purchase my 15 lb (the approx. recommended weight for non-athletic woman) kettlebell last week, and it truly is a ton of fun (and a ton of work).  Youtube has been my friend in finding new ways to use this weight.  Now I just need to work on adjusting my eating habits.  Why is it that I felt less guilty eating a big bowl of ice cream a few hours after I used the kettlebell?  Shouldn't it be the other way around?
  3. Two great books.  A few weeks back I picked up a good book at B&N which I have almost finished -- Too Busy Not to Pray by Bill Hybels.  It is quite introductory, but as I was just looking to infuse some additional encouragement, accountability, and tidbits of advice from a seasoned and respected brother, I have found it wonderfully beneficial.  My greatest take-away thus far is the encouragement to make time for solitude and stillness to actively listen to and speak with the Lord.  The second book is one I picked up tonight at B&N by John Stott -- The Living Church.  I'm about a third of the way through, and I love his word picture of a biblical church in a culture moving from modernism to post-modernism.  Living in Boston and working at Tufts, I find Stott's reminders of the Church's mission refreshing and much-needed.  Relativism and tolerance are preached excessively in my world, and I struggle with knowing how to live the life of Christ authentically here.
  4. Babies.  Some of you know how deeply I long to start a family with Greg.  It's funny how that desire seems overwhelmingly strong and urgent at times and at other times I'm able to live with it somewhat passively.  Well, the past week has been exclusively the former.  I'm sure that's been somewhat influenced by baby Eden's recent arrival, but it's also surfaced much as Greg and I have been seeking God's leadership for life post-graduation.  I find it sad how I sense my need to be listening to the Spirit so much more when major life decisions are looming...but if this will help me grow more in my commitment to deepening my relationship with God, then I'm thankful.

6.22.2008

We love our city!

Yesterday we finally walked around South Boston for a few hours.  It was wonderful to be on the water.  Last weekend, we finally walked a part of the Charles on the Boston side, but I forgot the camera!  The sun was setting, and the sailboats were all out on the water...you'll just have to imagine it.  We realized at the beginning of this summer that we hadn't been able to take advantage of Boston summers our first two summers here, so we've been trying to fit as much in this summer as possible!


6.21.2008

Providence, Rhode Island

Greg & I had a great time in Providence these past few days.  I met a lot of people at my work conference and learned some interesting things.  We stayed at the Providence Biltmore which was amazing!  Wednesday evening we had steak and seafood at McCormick & Schmicks and then took a walk around downtown to burn off some of the calories.  A few pictures...

The capitol building
Downtown as they were setting up for the waterfire (our hotel is in the back right)
As soon as it started getting dark, people began to collect along this river awaiting the famous Providence waterfire.  Here are a couple videos from the evening.  It started raining as they were lighting the fires, so we didn't get the best video of all the flames.  It was a neat idea.  The music was interesting, a strange mix of eclectic and classical.  Providence has done a great job making their downtown a special place to hang out in the evenings.

Waiting, waiting, waiting for the fire
The flame twirler man...


Fire, water, and rain...


And here's what I found on the desk in our hotel room one afternoon.  Do you think he was tired of studying Hebrew?
Pretty good self-portrait though
Last but not least, we completely enjoyed listening to the new Coldplay album while on the road!  I would definitely recommend it!

6.18.2008

Eden and Providence

Eden is incredible...  It was fun to watch Greg hold her and fall in love with her.  He'll be a great daddy whenever that day comes.  Until then, we're happy to love on baby Eden and soon-to-come baby Ezekiel!
Greg and I are off to Providence for the rest of the week.  I'll be at a work conference, and Greg will be studying studying studying Hebrew.  We'll TRY to take some pictures in Providence.

6.09.2008

Passing time

I finally uploaded some pictures from the past month or so. I am completely unmotivated to do anything productive right now, so I figured this would take up a little time.

Most random and oldest picture first. This is what I did while Greg wrote papers. I never knew how long it would take to make 6 dozen deviled eggs...and I think it's safe to say I'll never make that many again on my own. My thumb was actually bleeding by the end! BUT I made them for a friend's baby shower, so it was a worthy sacrifice.

The next couple pictures are from our perfect day. Our condo building puts a tremendous amount of effort into the landscaping, so I took a couple pictures of flowers that day. They're not as novel now, but they had just started to bloom that day.
The next four pictures are from Memorial Day. We went to one of our favorite reserves to hike and then ended up at the ocean lawn for a picnic. When we first moved to Mass, we lived really close to both of these reservations.
And I took this picture in the Public Garden yesterday. For the second weekend in a row, we hopped on the T with books and blanket and went into the city to enjoy the beauty of nature, the sounds of happy children, and the delicious taste of The Upper Crust pizza.