Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Where Has 2011 Gone?!

I can't believe June 1st is tomorrow! Where has 2011 gone? This year is flying by. I realized this morning that we have lived in Moses Lake for 3 months already. Crazy.

As the summer swiftly approaches, Tyler and I are gearing up for a crazy busy summer of youth ministry. We have a short mission trip to Spokane, a week of service projects at George Fox university in Portland 5 days of VBS, and a camp all within the next two months. We also have a few pool parties and other activities planned for our youth throughout the summer. It's going to be busy! Although it's going to be jam-packed, we are excited about our first Washington summer!

Tyler just got back from the C&MA general council in Kansas City. He had a great time and enjoyed some Kansas City BBQ! He also got to eat at Chipotle and Chick Fil-A twice! Yes, I was and still am a jealous wife!;) He got to see old Simpson friends as well as friends from The Grove, so it was a refreshing week for him.:) Tyler is continuing to get settled into his new job and is loving it. He feels very blessed to be working with an incredible group of people at Moses Lake Alliance Church.

Over the past few months I have been feeling incredibly fatigued. I knew something wasn't right so I contacted my specialist in Redding and let her know what was going on. After some blood work, it was discovered that my thyroid is actually functioning too slowly. There's the answer to my fatigue! I have struggled with a lazy thyroid in the past (it's a pretty common effect of the syndrome I have) and have been on medicine for the past few years, however over the last couple months it's decided to slow down more. My doctor upped my dosage of thyroid medicine and also had me start on a high dosage of vitamin D as well since Vitamin D deficiency often occurs with a slow thyroid. I am thankful I have an answer and will hopefully start feeling better in the next couple of months. I get frustrated when I am not feeling 100%. I just have to be patient, take good care of myself, and get plenty of rest.

I have been blessed to be able to stay home and not work since we moved to Moses Lake. I know God knew exactly what I would need after moving. It would have been pretty stressful to make such a big life change, finish up my Masters, and find and start a new job all at the same time. I have been enjoying the stay at home wifey gig, and it's been wonderful to focus on supporting Tyler in his new ministry role. I am so thankful that I will be able to be at every summer event this upcoming summer. I am praying I get a teaching job for the Fall. I have a couple leads, so we'll see what happens.:) It feels wonderful to have my Masters done and to now look towards the future. I know God has a plan for me, and I am anxious to see where He leads me.

On July 17th Tyler and I will celebrate 2 years of marriage. I can't believe how fast these past 2 years have flown by. In some ways it feels like we just got married last week, but in other ways it feels like we have always been married. I love spending my life with Tyler and I am looking forward to celebrating our anniversary! Our actual anniversary falls in between two youth trips, so we will celebrate on our actual anniversary with a date night, but just a couple weeks later we will celebrate our anniversary and my completion of my Masters program with a trip to Orlando! We get to go to Disney World!! I can hardly contain myself! We are both very excited! The Disney World tickets are a gift from my parents for finishing my Masters. My parents found out we were thinking about going to Orlando and figured a perfect graduation gift would be Disney World tickets...yeah, they were right!:) We are actually blessed big time because we have free plane tickets to Orlando too! Over the past 2 years, Tyler and I have both flown enough to earn free plane tickets. We knew we were going to save them for our anniversary vacation this year and I am happy we did! We have booked a beautiful resort hotel in Orlando and are counting down the days until we are lounging by the pool and hanging out with Mickey Mouse. :)

God is good and we are blessed. We miss our family and friends terribly, but have never been more thankful for Facebook, Blogging, Email, and Skype. Technology is an amazing thing and helps up keep in touch with our friends and family no matter how many miles stand between us.:)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Little Notes

I love Tyler for so many reasons. One of the reasons I love him is that he always finds ways to remind me how much he loves me. One of the ways he does this is by leaving little notes for me to find sometimes. A few weeks back during the stressful time I was working on my thesis, I woke up to these:

A note in the bathroom...my first stop after I get out of bed:)

This one was on my computer:)

I found this one on top of the washer:)
This one was in the laundry basket:)

I am incredibly thankful for his love.:)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sacred Marriage

One of my favorite things that Tyler and I do together is our couple devotions. I love the time we spend together studying scripture, talking about our marriage, and praying together. A couple months ago I bought the book Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. I have heard so many positive things about the book, so I added it to my reading list. Tyler and I are currently going through The Love Dare 365 day devotional for couples, but Tyler proposed the other night that we also read Sacred Marriage together. I was really excited to start reading through it with him. We started the book last night and had some great discussion after reading. We can't wait to continue reading over the next few weeks.

This excerpt is from the back cover of Sacred Marriage:
"Your marriage is more than a sacred covenant with another person. It is a spiritual discipline designed to help you know God better, trust him more fully, and love him more deeply.

Scores of books have been written that offer guidance for building the marriage of your dreams. But what if God’s primary intent for your marriage isn’t to make you happy . . . but holy? And what if your relationship isn’t as much about you and your spouse as it is about you and God?

Everything about your marriage--everything--is filled with prophetic potential, with the capacity for discovering and revealing Christ’s character. The respect you accord your partner; the forgiveness you humbly seek and graciously extend; the ecstasy, awe, and sheer fun of lovemaking; the history you and your spouse build with one another--in these and other facets of your marriage, Sacred Marriage uncovers the mystery of God’s overarching purpose.

This book may very well alter profoundly the contours of your marriage. It will most certainly change you. Because whether it is delightful or difficult, your marriage can become a doorway to a closer walk with God, and to a spiritual integrity that, like salt, seasons the world around you with the savor of Christ."

There were a couple of things in the first part of the book which really stood out to Tyler and I. Thomas writes, "A wedding calls us to our highest and best-in fact, to almost impossible-ideals. It's the way we want to live. But marriage reminds us of the daily reality of living as sinful human beings in a radically broken world." I think this is such a powerful realization. Weddings are a beautiful thing, but I often think couples get so wrapped up in planning for their wedding, that they often neglect to plan and pray for their impending marriage; this is one thing that really stood out to Tyler and I when we were planning our wedding. Don't get me wrong, we were very excited about our wedding, but we were more excited about our marriage. Thomas writes about how we live in a world that thrives off of the idea of romanticism. I love what Thomas says, "Romantic love has no elasticity to it. It can never be stretched; it simply shatters. Mature love, the kind demanded of a good marriage must stretch, as the sinful condition is such that all of us bear conflicting emotions." Thomas goes on to talk about the importance of romance in a marriage and how romance helps to strengthen and preserve a marriage, but a marriage can only thrive on mature love. It is my fervent prayer that my marriage with Tyler would be one of mature love; a love that stretches. We have only been married a short 22 months, but I can already see how God is using my marriage to reveal more of his character to me. I can't wait to continue reading Sacred Marriage and to be challenged to know God better through my relationship with my husband.

Monday, May 2, 2011

I'm Done!!

I'm done with my Masters! Yes, it's true! I am done, done, done! After almost 3 years of hard work I am done!
After graduating from Simpson at the end of April 2008, I only took 1 month off before I started my teaching credential program, so I am ready for a break from school! I can't even begin to explain what an amazing feeling it is to be done. I never imagined I would get a Masters degree, but I am so glad I did. The whole process has been more work than I ever dreamed of. Once I decided I wanted to get a Masters, I knew I wanted to finish it before Tyler and I had a family. I am so happy I met that goal. I cannot imagine how much more challenging the process would be as a mother. It was hard enough just as a wife. There have been so many days when I have felt the pull between working on school work and spending time with my wonderful Husband. It has not been easy. Tyler has been an amazing support; I would not have been able to get through it without him. Since day 1 of starting the program he has been an awesome encourager. I think it's incredible how God gives us the strength to finish things we never think we can finish. He gives us strength we never knew we had and strategically places people in our lives that challenge us to keep going and never give up. The journey has been full of challenges, but so rewarding.

Me finishing called for a celebration! I was actually in the dark about when we would celebrate because we had a busy weekend planned which included babysitting some friends' kids, a junior high event, and church. Tyler of course had it all planned to celebrate on Friday night. He planned dinner at the Porterhouse, which was delicious. We also went and saw Water for Elephants. We ended the night with ice cream cake....my favorite! It was a fun celebration!
Here are some pictures!

Me with the fruit of my labor: my COMPLETED thesis!

Ellis Easter 2011

Tyler and I had a great Easter! It was our first holiday without family around. It was definitely a bit sad, but Tyler and I were both excited about continuing to establish some of our own traditions in our little family of two. Our new reality is that we won't always get to be with family on holidays. It's up to us to make sure we have our own traditions and make our own special memories.

Last year we started a tradition of dying Easter eggs. We had every intention of doing it this year; we even bought extra eggs and dye. Well, my life has been a bit consumed by school recently and Tyler is still settling into his new job. Life ended up getting crazy and we didn't get a chance to dye eggs. We were bummed, but there's always next year Lord willing!

Last year we also started a tradition of exchanging Easter baskets. We did again this year! I must confess that we both picked out some of the things for our own baskets though! We both needed some new clothes and so we picked some out as part of our Easter gift....so original I know.;) Once again, life has been so busy so this just worked for us! We also don't typically don't have a lot of candy around, so it doesn't make sense for us to fill up baskets with candy. Tyler did surprise me with some Forever 21 earrings and mini Cadbury eggs.... both my fave! We also were a little nontraditional and exchanged baskets on Saturday night instead of Sunday morning, since Tyler has to be at church at 7:30 on Sundays. We were both feeling extra tired and decided the extra sleep on Sunday morning would be worth exchanging our baskets a little early!:)

Ty's basket. Forgive me for my lack of creativity this year.:) Next year I won't be writing a thesis at Easter! This was Tyler's childhood Easter basket, his mom sent it to us. I love that she has saved special things from her boys' childhood.

My cute basket. :)

After church on Sunday we made a yummy meal! Tyler barbequed steaks with a delicious blue cheese topping. We also had deviled eggs, salad, and garlic bread. Side note: having bread with a meal is a treat for us! We really try to stay away from carbs as much as possible, so having garlic bread is very special!

Yummy meal:)

Tyler bought me these pretty spring roses! Perfect for Easter!

Another special new tradition: This year both Tyler and I read through the Easter story on our own each day of Holy Week. We both read it in various gospels. On good Friday Tyler suggested we read through it in Luke together. This was a very special time and a new special tradition. I love studying scripture with my Husband.

We had a wonderful Easter! He is risen!