Monday, August 30, 2010

Uncle Joel (Long post warning)

So once upon a time this guy

and this guy

were roommates. Through the course of living together and a Bible study group a great friendship was sparked. Then one day, Joel was walking with Jonathan when (according to Jon) the key event that unite Jonathan and I back together happened. Joel was there from the second beginning of our relationship. He even captured (literally and figuratively) our most angelic picture together...

and our not so angelic picture...

To make a long story short, we all became like family:

Joel has been apart of so many of our milestones. He was playing the guitar when Jonathan proposed to me. I still remember looking at him like 'is this fo' real?' when I walked up the stairs to meet Jonathan. He even put together a video of our proposal. The program crashed after we had seen it, so it's lost (said Sandlot style) RIP proposal video!

Then of course he was apart of the wedding:

Then Jon and Joel graduated together:

Then he was there to share in the joy of the birth of our firstborn, Elizabeth Grace or 'EG' as he called her:

Then the time came where we discovered our paths were taking us to opposite ends of the world. Literally. He was headed to Asia and we were headed to Minneapolis. So along with our 7 month Elizabeth, we told Uncle Joel goodbye.

and 'EG' didn't like the whole goodbye thing:

But we knew, Lord willing, we'd see each other again in 2 years. And just this past Tuesday, Joel flew in to MSP and we reunited with him. It was a sweet thing to see him in person and to officially introduce him to Hannah.

One of the highlights of the trip for me was Uncle Joel reading Hudson Taylor to Elizabeth:

I had dreamed of it for awhile since every time we read the book Uncle Joel and 'Asia' came up. It was great to pray for Uncle Joel as he kneeled in the floor of the girls bedroom where we had offered up many prayers for him and the "Hilltoppers" with our daughters over the past 2 years. And it was great seeing Elizabeth treating him like a Hero and how sweetly and swiftly Hannah would crawl to Joel when she spotted him. Joel was great with the girls offering to help with them any chance he got and playing with them non stop if they were up. It was incredibly sweet to me. (Thanks Joel!)

It was great for us to hang out and have grown-up time too. Joel is seriously one of the funniest people I know.

Last but not least, here is a picture of the guys the last time they were in Minneapolis together:

2006 DG National Conference

Then in 2010:

Joel, we are so thankful to Jesus for His sweet providence in knitting all our hearts together. We realize our friendship with you is a tangible expression of God's grace lavished on us in Christ. Thank you for your example of giving up comforts to help further the Gospel to the nations. We are thankful our children have heroes like Hudson Taylor and Uncle Joel; and we are so grateful how God has used you to stirred our own hearts to think about and love the nations more. We love you and look forward to seeing you soon!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Culbreth's visit

My cousin Susan, Mac (her husband), Caleb and Katee Grace (their children) came up to visit us. We were so humbled because they could have gone anywhere and they choose to spend their vacation with us! The kids had such a great time (like they always do!) and picked up like they hadn't left off. Sadly, I was trying to soak it all in and didn't get a hardly any pictures, but these are ones I did get. Elizabeth still thinks that 'Max' is trying to get her and randomly wants to know if Katee Grace and Cay-wub is coming to play.

Thanks again for coming you guys! We love you!

We went to the Zoo on Saturday. It was a lot of fun! Here is Jonathan and Elizabeth:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy 10 Months baby girl!


(...ok, maybe if Mommy doesn't make us have impromptu photo sessions...)

10 months!

Hannah still has blue eyes and pretty straight hair. She gave up sucking her thumb for her index finger. She laughs a lot. Smiles a lot. Is sometimes pretty serious. She can clap and wave. She randomly signs please and all done. She can say Da-da and ma-ma. Recently (like the last 2 days ago) she has repeated bye and hi. She has 6 teeth. (yep, 6!) and looks like she is cutting another one up top. She is super happy. Does a high pitch squeal when she doesn't get what she wants. Likes to play. Still army crawls. Loves to stand. Adores big sister and all her princess dolls. Laughs at all of daddy's joke. She's a mama's girl, though. And we've been smitten with her since we discovered she was in the womb. She has added to the richness of our lives in so many ways. She is such a joy. A gift. A pure delight. We are so thankful to Jesus for our blessing in Hannah Katherine. We are reminded of His grace in every smile, tooth, tear, and milestone we encounter with her, knowing each day is a sweet gift to us.

We love you, sweet baby girl, and we are so thankful for the past 10 months we've gotten to spend with you in our arms.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I love that.. I love when... I even love... I love how... I love the way... I just plum love you.

  1. I love that God has redeemed you.
  2. I love the many evidences of grace that He is working in you.
  3. I love being your wife.
  4. I love that you are the father of our children.
  5. I love the way you love our girls.
  6. I love the way you seek to serve me.
  7. I love the way you encourage me to be a better mom/wife.
  8. I love the way you encourage and compliment our daughters.
  9. I love that Elizabeth is a complete daddy’s girl.
  10. I love that you can be goofy.
  11. I love that you can be serious.
  12. I love that you like to grocery shop.
  13. I love how you desire to be a better husband/father
  14. I love how you pray for me.
  15. I love how you pray for our daughters.
  16. I love how you lead us well in the Gospel.
  17. I love how you are leading us to live the Gospel with joy and not as burdensome.
  18. I love how you seek to serve others at Desiring God.
  19. I love that you are sensitive to my needs, and do so with joy.
  20. I love settling into bed with you each night--even if you are a crazy sleeper.
  21. I love that you are a morning person.
  22. I love that you are beginning to accept that I’m NOT a morning person. :)
  23. I love that you like to cook.
  24. I love that you don’t mind doing house work.
  25. I love that you don’t mind watching our girls anytime I need some ‘me’ time.
  26. I love that as I write 25 things that I love about you, my eyes well up with tears thinking about my deep affection I have for you.
  27. I even love the way you give a terrible 2 minute back rub.
  28. I love how excited Elizabeth is when daddy is home.
  29. I love that Elizabeth calls you ‘Handsome Daddy.’
  30. I love how big Hannah Kate smiles when you talk to her.
  31. I love that you aren’t afraid to do our girls hair.
  32. I love how you leave me love notes.
  33. I love how handsome you are.
  34. I love how protective you are over your time in the Word and prayer.
  35. I love that Jesus emanates through you in all areas of your life.
  36. I love how patient you are with me.
  37. I love how you desire to love me as Christ loves me.
  38. I love that you like to tickle me.
  39. I love how you compliment me.
  40. I love the way our girls smell like you after you snuggle with them.
  41. I love (most of the time) that Elizabeth is fearless with you because she trusts you so.
  42. I love how you protect me from things/people that hurt me.
  43. I love how good your hug feels.
  44. I love the way you work hard to provide for us.
  45. I love how diligent and disciplined you are with your schedule so you can spend quality time with us.
  46. I love how safe I feel with you.
  47. I love that you are my best friend.
  48. I even love how you steal the covers at night.
  49. I love that you don’t dwell on my many imperfections, and that most of the time you hardly even notice them.
  50. I love how beautiful you write.
  51. I love that you are a tangible way of seeing Christ’s grace lavished on me.
  52. I love how you encourage me in my weaknesses.
  53. I love how soft and gentle you point out my sin.
  54. I love how God shows you sweet things in the Word.
  55. I love that you like to make up fun games.
  56. I love how well you can draw.
  57. I love that you are a book worm.
  58. I love how wide eyed you get when you are excited about something.
  59. I love how particular you are about your books, Bible, desk, computer and other things.
  60. I love how sensitive you are to the Spirit.
  61. I love how passionate you are.
  62. I love how often you speak words of grace to me.
  63. I love your love for other people.
  64. I love how shepherd-like your heart is towards others.
  65. I love how your head has to rest just right on your pillow and how your arms have to lay perfectly flat when you go to sleep.
  66. I even love how terrible you are with time.
  67. I love that you like to have cereal dates with me.
  68. I love how you respect me.
  69. I love how you encourage my walk with the Lord.
  70. I love that you like to hold my hand even when it’s sweaty.
  71. I love your smile.
  72. I love that you say a blessing over our girls every night and each morning you are home with them.
  73. I love how Jesus has radical changed your life. I love how God has graciously allowed me to watch your transformation and that I'm able to continue to watch you conform to His likeness.
  74. I love that you have been my boyfriend since 16.
  75. I love that you’ve been my husband for 3 1/2 years and counting...
  76. I love how tender you are towards our daughters.
  77. I love that you're passionate about things that I’m passionate about.
  78. I love that you don’t mind eating cereal or sandwiches for dinner sometimes.
  79. I love how much I feel your love.
  80. I love that you like to have fun.
  81. I love how bummed you are when the Cardinals lose.
  82. I love that you like to learn.
  83. I love how you want to go get our girls after they’ve been in bed only an hour.
  84. I love that you can be spontaneous and adventurous.
  85. I love when you write sweet blog post about our daughters.
  86. I love how available you are to us.
  87. I love that you like to do 15 push-ups when you think you’ve eaten bad.
  88. I even love how you criticize every chick flick.
  89. I love how you give me charitable judgement, even when I’m not as quick to show it to you.
  90. I love when you try to impress me.
  91. I love how you desire to be above reproach.
  92. I love how forthright you are.
  93. I love how crazy you are over our girls.
  94. I love that you point me to Jesus.
  95. I love how quick you are to reconcile after a fight.
  96. I love how close I feel to you.
  97. I love how I can read you like a book.
  98. I love that you can complete my sentences.
  99. I love how effortlessly this list was to create and how many more reasons I could come up with.
  100. I love that I will love you forever and that one day my love for you will be perfected.

  101. and I love that all of this is because of His immeasurable grace.

I love you, Jonathan!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010