Monday, February 28, 2011

Change Is In The Air

There have been so many exciting changes taking place in my little little family of three lately. For those of you who are close friends, and certainly family members, we are so thankful for your support and encouragement -many of you have been riding passenger on this ride with us and we feel so lucky to have you in our little world.

Trusting God is not always easy. Sometimes God asks things of us we don't feel we can commit to Him. Sometimes God requires us to exercise our faith in actions, not just by our spoken words. God requires full dependence on Him- to grow, to trust, to develop spiritual gifts. As I have grown in our marriage- 10 years next month!- and have grown as a mother and Christian, I find I am less fearful in general when it comes to new experiences and opportunities. When you face trials, you tend to grow from them in such a way that you develop inner strength. I know this is true for me. When faced with hard decisions, anxiety ridden situations, or worries, I always feel stronger when I lean on the Word and His promises. I have stopped waiting on God to fail me- I know that He won't. When you can come to that place in your life- to truly profess that your life is meant to praise Him, it is amazing how quickly your priorities shift. Life is sweet, for me, when it is simple. Simple life is taking Jesus Christ at His word- to become child like in faith and to believe that He really, really is in control.

We have been faced with many tough decisions as of late- knowing that the creator has a unique plan turns hard decisions into exciting opportunities. We have happily embraced all God has bestowed upon us and look forward to the blessings we know He will provide.

For those of you who follow my blog, you will remember David recently traveling to many different places for business. What I wasn't able to share with anyone, other than friends and family, was that David had job interviews in those cities.

I really need to back up almost a year to really share God's goodness- and I want to remember this story for myself .

After building a large custom home on over an acre of land four years ago, we felt ready to expand our family. We had been married 7 years and we both had degrees in stable careers. We had already bought and sold two different homes before building. It was a natural next step for us. After having Harbor William, the commute for David -two hours a day roundtrip- just became less desirable. We decided to put the house for sale by owner and test the waters. When the house sold in only 8 weeks to the first family to view it, we were so thankful. As most of you know, the economy is quite disconcerning right now. We could literally feel the hand of God ushering us into a new season, but weren't quite sure where we were headed.

Our plan was to house hunt and find a home in close proximity of David's workplace. We enjoyed a summer off and began looking around Christmas. We saw many great homes, but nothing felt just right. We even made an offer, but were unable to seal the deal and after negotiations, decided to back out of that offer. Again, there wasn't a feeling of peace. It was a very uncertain and stressful time. Having a young child, I felt the need to rush into a home. I knew, though, that God would have me to sit, be still, and listen.

After a time, David too, began to feel that God may have other plans in our future. When two phone calls translated to two out of state interviews, we kept an open mind. Things began to move very quickly, smoothly, seamlessly.. even easily! Doors were opened and opportunities presented themselves. We found ourselves in a unique position. And we took it.

I have been cautious to blog openly, but today was David's first day of work. I know it is real and I feel very confident- and excited to share a new season we are beginning. God is faithful- He is a master planner!

We will be living in a very big city-

We will be living 5 hours from here:

And only 3 hours from here:

If we felt really adventurous, New York, New York is a day drive away as well.

David has accepted a position as a Quality Engineer- only one of two- for a million dollar manufacturing corporation in Detroit, Michigan.

Though it is far from home, as I have told my students at school, Detroit is an amazing city. Known as the Motor City, it is the heart of the manufacturing world. It is a great promotion for David with a better salary, benefits, and the opportunity to be trained in Six Sigma, which is the Engineer's equivalent to management courses. I will not have to work and am looking forward to exploring our new city with Harbor William (alright, exploring the library and the grocery store!) Ha!

With the Benchmark testing fast approaching in April, we have made a difficult decision to be a long distance family for 10 weeks. As a teacher, I feel the need to stay true to my teaching commitment to finish through the Benchmark testing and be there to celebrate with my students after it is over. David left last week to house hunt and get settled into his apartment. He is working with a realtor and is making all of the "home" decisions solo. I trust him fully and will be happy no matter where we live. Homes are different up north- lofts, flats, condos, cape cod type homes... everything is very different than in the south. I'm sure it will be a bit of a cultural shock for a bit once Harbor and I join David at the end of April. At that time, the company is paying to relocate our belongings with a moving company, which makes the actual move much easier on us. We are so thankful for these small blessings!

While it has been hard to be apart for this week, David has been able to get settled and start work without the extra worry of Harbor and I adjusting. I'm glad he can work long, hard hours and crash at night without feeling the need to entertain us. We have learned to use Skype (Sooo fun!) and Harbor officially thinks his daddy is now living in the "Puter", as he puts it.

We are right on Lake Erie, in the heart of Detroit, 5 hours from Niagara Falls, 3 hours from Chicago, and only 10 minutes from Windsor, Canada. In fact, many people that work at David's company live on the island community of Grosse Ile. Islands are numerous as the Great Lakes and river systems divide much of the mainland. The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel to Canada is just a 10 minute drive from David's desk, so we hope to take full advantage of the area and explore and make long lasting family memories. This may be home for only 5 years.. but maybe 10. We are willing to be used of God and are confident that life ahead holds many exciting opportunities.

We will miss our families and friends terribly. Our parents, especially. We hope to come home to visit as often as possible and look forward to showing our Southern friends what life up north is like- once we figure it out ourselves! Ha, ha!

Please pray for us, specifically that David will handle the responsibilities of such a large corporation smoothly and with as little stress as possible and that Harbor and I will make the needed adjustments and remain encouraging and supportive of David's work. We look forward to finding a home church and exploring the many bike paths in the area (Yippee!!)

We love you, friends and family! Thanks for all the phone calls, emails, and well wishes! We have already had a few "going away dinners" and are just soaking up our last weeks here.

Telling Daddy goodbye

And leaving with just enough to set up a one bedroom studio apartment.

I hope you will continue to tune into my blog. It will become so much more to me as I find ways to stay in touch and document new adventures. I think the best of blogging is yet to come!

We love you all!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Almost Famous

Greetings! Hasn't this weather been glorious? I have even noticed my mom's flowers budding and starting to poke through the wood chips. Though I long for spring, I have a feeling winter weather is still making itself at home here. It is nice, however, to feel the sun on your face.

We have been so busy with family dinners, baby showers, and just daily life. Blogging is so therapeutic for me- I enjoy sitting down to look over my pictures and recap the important happenings in our little section of the world.

Valentine's Day was very low key and simple. We exchanged small gifts and stayed home to eat. We did watch a movie in bed, which for me, was just as much fun as going out. Hmmmm... am I an old, married maid? Ha, ha! David bought me a cute new pair of summer flats and hand wrote a sweet love poem. It was beautiful and very sentimental. Harbor also enjoyed some new trinkets. My mom took me shopping as my gift, which is always nice. Really, just spending time with my loved ones is a blessing. I might not remember what we bought, but I always recall the laughs we shared.

Harbor received a nice hardback picture book from my Aunt Cathy, Uncle Tim, and Rachel. I love, love, love book inscriptions. They are so personable and mean so much as the years pass. I enjoy knowing what year we received the book and smile to see we are still reading it. I'm sure this book will be loved for many years. When I was pregnant with Harbor, my mom hosted a "book" baby shower and instead of receiving clothing or diapers, everyone brought an inscripted book. It was so nice to fill Harbor's library and read everyone's kind words. To this day, when David and I travel on vacation, we always buy one book from that area and bring it home for Harbor, whether it be the zoo, Colorado, Kansas City, or Tulsa. It is fun to relive those memories through the printed word.

Harbor loves to see Rachel. Her name is difficult for him to pronounce and we just giggle at him to hear all the ways he says it. Every visit, he seems to have a new grasp on her name and will say it differently. They are very good buddies, indeed!

Harbor has quite a social schedule- too much in fact. Sometimes we worry that he doesn't have enough time at home to play alone in the floor. He goes to Mother's Day Out at a local church Mondays and Wednesdays. He also goes to Thursday School at a different church. On Tuesdays, David mom, Joann, hosts a weekly play group with all of his cousins. She puts on different activities for the kids. This last week, she made homemade finger paint on the stove and the week before she made a wonderful batch of salt-play dough in the oven and colored and flavored it with lemon and maple scents. Needless to say, all the kids ate a tiny bit! Ha, ha! My mom helped Harbor make some homemade Valentine's Day goodies for his Thursday school class- thanks, Gigi!

After a busy day at work, there is nothing sweeter than seeing my little ragamuffin! He is usually worn out from playing, but full of sweet kisses for mama!

My Granny recently bought Harbor a new set of pajamas- Nick & Nora's. They are so cute! Harbor has a sock monkey and has associated the pajamas with his "baby doll." My mom also bought these little blocks for him. They are so much fun- even David and I like to get in on the fun of playing with them. They have the ability to stack in such creative ways.

Before we donned our pajamas, we went out to eat at one of favorite Japanese eateries, Kobe, in Fayetteville. They grill your food in front of you and Harbor was so well behaved. I think seeing the fire and hearing all of the chopping noises really kept him mesmerized!

Sunday morning, we braved some cooler weather and met up as a riding team of five to do an 8.5 mile circuit on the Fayetteville Bike Path around Lake Fayetteville. We packed a picnic lunch and enjoyed spending time outside. Those who know us IRL know that we are happiest riding our bikes. There is just something about getting "back to nature" and getting outdoors and moving that just extinguishes stress, anxiety, depression, and worry. Breathing fresh air and breaking a sweat is a great way to clear your mind.

After our bike ride, my mom and I attended a baby shower for a good friend of mine, Amanda. She and I have a long history- in fact, we dated brothers back in Jr. High (ha!) and neither of us lasted very long with that set of brothers, but we have remained friends ever since- going on 16 years.
She has such a neat story. With two children already, a boy and a girl, they decided they were done having kids. While on birth control, she found herself expecting anyway... TWINS!!!!! Natural and with no fertility drugs! How crazy is that? After almost fainting, I know they are super excited. She asked me to write down her gifts as she opened them for thank you cards later, so it was fun to see first hand what the newest and greatest baby inventions are these days. Don't they come out with new things all the time?  : )

For those of you from my area, she is the Mayor of Fayetteville, Lioneld Jordan's, oldest daughter.

 She is sooo tiny to be only 4 weeks away from her due date with twins! She has actually only gained 11 lbs. The way they are lying, she is just not able to eat much at one setting.

And, today, Monday, I noticed we weren't the only ones taking pictures of Harbor enjoying his bike ride! What a fun page for his scrapbook! I laughed and said Rachel and I would loved to have been in the picture, but unfortunately, we were a good 1/2 mile behind the boys! Ha, ha!


I joked that I was almost famous! Ha!

We are heading out the door to Olive Garden to celebrate a few wonderful things happening in our lives. I have been cautious with blogging about our latest and greatest, but I'm guessing in a week or so, I will be able to disclose a little more fully some new exciting endeavors in our lives. For those of you who know us in real life, I appreciate you being so patient with me and have been so thankful for all the warm wishes. I tend to be a very private person and sharing news on the blog can sometimes be tough- especially when the timing is not right. No need to worry- we are fine, but just have some changes heading our way.

I hope you have a happy week- and that it flies by right to the weekend!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Oh Baby Oh!

This week has been busy- going back to work and getting back into the swing of things hasn't been easy with all that time off! The good news is that the weather has been wonderful and warm and i'm thinking of wearing flats with no socks on Friday if I can get away with it. I'm ready for my piggies to feel some sunshine!

Harbor's new favorite words are, "build," and "play." He loves to stack blocks and can sit for hours in the floor and build zoos and houses, as he calls them. Animals, little dolls, and even Rumplestilskien take up residence in his creations. When he wakes up in the mornings, he always answers, "Play," when you ask him what he is going to do that day.

We have such a nice library in our town. It is a new construction in the heart of downtown and is a "green" library. They collect rainwater from the roof to water the landscaping and are doing all they can to reduce their carbon footprint. The building is so modern and calming... we could spend all day there, and we practically do every Saturday morning.

Lyndsey is one of my best friends from high school. We danced together on Pom Squad and were bridesmaids in each other's weddings. I am so happy for her and her new little blessing on the way. She already has a little boy, Hudson Grey, but is anxious to welcome her little Emmary Grace in just a few weeks.

We had a great Valentine's Day full of gifts and cards.. and we even stayed up late and watched a movie in bed, Knight and Day. It was simple, but perfect. I much prefer an easy night at home these days. I hope your day was full of love- enough to last way past Valentine's Day!  : )