Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Mysterious Ways!

(Chloe in the POD while Travis loaded it.)
We finally have some good news to share on the house homefront! God works in mysterious ways. Monday morning we got a call from our realtor, Pat. First he told Travis the usual, that he hadn't heard from anyone about the "buyers" qualifying for this third loan. Then he proceeded to blow Travis's socks off by telling him that he and his wife are going to buy the townhome! Travis needed a repeat of this information to be sure he heard it correctly. Apparently, Pat and his wife were planning on buying an investment property beginning of the year, but decided to make their purchase a little early. We definitely didn't see this coming and are completely blown away with how God is working in this situation. Just the night before recieving this news, Trav and I were praying together and really just asking the Lord to give us peace and contentment whichever way things worked out. We acknowleged together that getting this new house was not going to make or break us. God is good, ALL the time, and working His best in our lives, even when things don't seem to be going our way. Some might call this good news the following morning a fluke, but we choose to give our awesome God more credit, amen! Now, if all things go as they should, we should be in our new house the first of the year. We are so humbled and grateful for this undeserved blessing! Thank you all SOO much for your faithful and powerful prayer for this situation. We have learned and continue to learn so much about God's purposes and character through this time of faith and transition. As a Rick Warren devotional put it, "God cares much more about our character than our comfort". Thank you Father, for asking us to step out in faith and then asking us to wait. We praise you for always bringing us to a place where we can't possibly be prideful and think we are the captains of our ship. It is when we are weak that you are strong, when we are powerless that You show us Your power, when we find contentment in the present that You give us blessings for the future, when we surrender that You conquer! Thank you for asking us to take the focus off ourselves, so that we can be used in the lives of others. Amen.
To close this post, I'd like to share an idea I learned this morning from a dear friend and mentor who spoke at our MOPS meeting. The point of her talk was reclaiming Christmas for Christ by diminishing the materialism and busyness and increasing the ways we celebrate the birth of our precious Savior. One of her ideas was advent ornaments. The idea is, each day of December leading up to Christmas, as a family you hang an ornament on the tree that has an attribute of Jesus painted on it. With each attribute, there is a correlating scripture that you read as a family. I thought this was a great idea because it's a daily thing that brings your focus back to Christ during this season of distractions. I'd love to hear any of your ideas too! Talk to you soon!
Love, Sarah

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Our Little Artist!

Sorry it's been awhile since I've made a post. We've been a bit distracted and busy lately with all the happenings, or lack thereof, with the house(s). We are currently staying with Travis's parents while we await the closing of our Utah house so that we can finally close on the new house and get settled. But if the Utah house doesn't close withing the next 30 days, we could lose the new house, so needless to say we're a bit stressed out. But thanks to many of our prayers and encouragement, I'm really developing a peace about the whole thing and am nurturing an attitude of gratitude to ward off the self pity and depression. As soon as I have anything new to share about the whole situation, I'll let you all know, but for now, consider no news just that. On to some much overdue pictures and a little bragging. First for some bragging. My little, not even two and a half year old, Emma Grace is already drawing stick people on her magna doodle! Not only that, but she hold the pen just like I do! Her fine motor skills are amazing, it's not even something we've worked on with her, she just started doing it, we can't take any credit. This picture is what she drew today.This next rundown of pictures are a variety of pictures we've taken over the past several weeks. Some from our visit to Pump It Up with cousin Tayden in the Springs, some of Thanksgiving day, and some other random shots. If they need explaining I'll give some.Chloe taking a bath in Nana's new BIG kitchen sink. A five year old could take a comfortable in this thing. Dan's remodel of their kitchen is just beautiful! He made all the cabinets himself, he did the whole thing himself, he's just amazing!At Pump it Up, we had a great time jumping and slidding with cousin Tayden, Aunt Amber, and Uncle TommyWho's big idea was it to put this chunky bow on my head?Emma and Pappa making a play house out of a big cardboard box on Thanksgiving day. Pappa made it complete with three little windows, a door, and even a sunroof she can peek out of, she loves it! Now it's covered in snow and ice, but there will be plenty of warmer days ahead.Eating her Thanksgiving meal with her naked dolly.Sitting up like a big girl! As you can see, Chloe already has a love affair going on with her daddy.
Okay, I could do a bunch more pictures, but the computer is in Emma's room here at Grammy and Pappa's and it's time for her to go to bed. Signing off for now.
Love, Sarah

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Trick or Treat!

This first picture was taken last night when Uncle Tyler came over for dinner. It doesn't have anything to do with Halloween or Trick or Treating, but I thought it was a cute one of he and miss Chloe, so I had to include it.
Our little angel was in pure heaven on Halloween! We went trick or treating at Travis's work, which is basically a huge warehouse filled with little cubicles. Nearly every cubicle had candy, it was quite the sugar fest. She would enter each cube and exclaim with glee, "Oh, there's some!" We caped her off at two little pumkins full. We've been doling out the candy ever since at the appropriate times.We had a blast carving pumkins the night before two. Emma helped pull out some seeds and then poked holes in the chunks of pumpkin we poped out while carving. I made her pumpkin with her name carved out, Travis made a little jack o lantern.
Her wings and halo kept falling off, so I guess you could call her an angel/princess/bride, whatever suites your fancy. Either way, she felt pretty and had a great time.

Monday, October 30, 2006


(This picture was taken in our honeymoon bungalow in 2003)
Thanks to my dear friend Jenn Travis and I were able to have a much needed, long overdue date afternoon this weekend. It came after me sharing my heart with her about my feeling that I just don't have time for myself or my marriage anymore. She graciously, and just like a good friend does, sensed my need and insisted that Travis and I take a date afternoon. It was the best day I've had in a long time. Complete with a peaceful and delicious meal at HuHot Asian Grill, we strolled old town Fort Collins, hand in hand, flirting and kissing at random intervals the whole time. We daydreamed about our future, the things we want to do, places we want to go and the type of home we want to create for our family. We meandered in and out of our favorite stores and got all excited about the holiday season, it was just wonderful. I titled this post, "Buddies" for a reason. Throughout the afternoon, Travis kept putting his arm around me, looking at me intently and saying, "I love you buddy!" That may sound corny to some, but it means a lot to me. Travis and I have been together since junior high, and to say that he is my very best friend is an understatement. We have grown up together in a sense. But it's amazing how the demands of life, the roles we have come into as mother and father, provider and homemaker, have tried to get in the way of our friendship. We realized this weekend that we have to MAKE time to nurture ourselves and our relationship. Relationships don't maintain themselves, WE have to feed and water them. We need to be in the habit of offering date afternoons to our friends, because we ALL need them. Jenn reminded me that instead of complaining about this hard time in life with young children, I needed to do something about it! Thank you Jenn. Let's keep scratching each other's backs. We can make it through these years of self sacrifice if we will just take and make the time to fill our tanks on a regular basis. In reply to Travis's sentiment, I love you too "Buddy", and I promise to never let our buddy status die!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Emma's Post

I've just noticed that the past few posts have been pictures of just Chloe. Even though miss Emma Grace isn't changing as rapidly, I must brag on her just the same as every day with my little peanut is such a blessing. She's quite the little girl now, it's hard to still call her a "toddler" since she hasn't "toddled" in quite some time and her vocabulary might have her in first grade! She's heavy into make believe these days. She loves cooking us things in her kitchen and having faux conversations on her play cell phone. She's been developing some night time fears, it's our routine now to turn on her night light and close the closet door before naps and bedtime. She's adjusting better and better to her little sister, she's very affectionate and nurturing most of the time. It makes my heart smile to hear her mothering Chloe with the same words I use with her. She's a born mommy! I took these pictures during a candid moment of Emma trying to curl up in Chloe's (her old) papasan seat like a baby. Doesn't it just capture what most of us wish we could do from time to time? When we are kids, we long to be older, but when we are adults, we miss our childhood. Potty training is sort of on hold right now. When she's in the buff, Emma will use the potty, but not for number two yet. She's a bit "anal retentive" ha, ha! I'm waiting for her desire to catch up with her ability. No use forcing the issue if she's not wanting to, at least that's my take. I have no fears that she'll be entering kindergarten in diapers! Well, that's the latest with my eldest little sweetheart. Don't forget to check out the post just below this one. It's new as well.
Love, Sarah


To all of you who haven't read about it on Amber's website (password Tayden) yet, I am happy to announce that I'm going to be an Auntie again! That's right, Amber and Tommy are expecting their second child due June 24th, 2007! As many of you know, Amber and Tommy's first son Tayden was born at 24 weeks, VERY early. Considered a micro-preemie, the odds were stacked against him. But praise be to the Lord, he is a normal, healthy two year old now with little to no major effects from the whole experience. As you can guess, Amber and Tommy are very nervous along with the excitment going into this pregnancy, and we all covet your prayers. Please pray that Amber is able to carry this precious baby to full term and that she gets to enjoy being HUGE in her third trimester, letting that baby stay in the ideal environment for as long as possible. I wanted to wait to announce this to give Amber the chance to do all her announcing first, but I've now been given the go ahead. They have their first big two hour appointment with the high-risk doctors on November 9th, so pray that all looks well and that these doctors are as proactive and thorough as can be for them. Thanks! And congrats again Seed and Tomeed!
Love, Sarah

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

2 months old!

I'm two months old!
We can hardly believe it, but yes, our little baby is already two months old! She went to the doctor for her two month visit on her actual two month birthday. Brace yourselves, our little "Biddle" as we call her is is a whooping 12 pounds, 12 ounces and 24 inches long! That puts her in the 80th percentile for weight and the 97th percentile for height! Breastmilk is doing her well, we've got a tall one on our hands I think.
She's doing really well, such a smily little girl, so content to watch the antics of me chasing her big sister around and doing various chores. Emma and I do a lot of singing to her, which she loves, she has no doubt that "Jesus loves me" at this point!Believe it or not, Emma's jealousy has subsided and she truely has fallen in love with her little sister. When we drop Travis off at work in the mornings, he always gives her a kiss good-bye, and then goes to Chloe's side to give her one. Emma is now in the habit of reminding him, "now give Chloe a kiss". When she hasn't seen her in awhile, she get's so excited to see her again and tells everyone who will listen that it's her little sister Coee and then makes little goos at her the way I do. She's a little mommy in the making, no doubt.
On another note, some big things are happening in our lives in the near future, some of which we're not sure the direction on. We finally have our townhome in Utah under a solid contract, praise the Lord! If all goes well there, we will close by the end of the month. We are continuing in the process of building the house over by Travis's parents, but we've not yet been able to get our current house rented out to someone else for the rest of the lease. So... one of two things will happen, either we get this place rented and close on the new house November 30th or we don't get this place rented out and have to back out of the house we're building, which would make us sad. But, the one lesson that keeps getting pounded into our heads is that we are not in control, God has good things in store for us if we will only trust Him and that being good stewards of what He's entrusted us with is all we can do, the rest is in His hands.
Please do continue to pray that we get renters for this place, but more importantly, pray for God's will in all of it, that we would have peace that even if things don't work out the way we hope they do, God is in control and He loves us. "No one can snatch us out of His hand!" Amen!
We love you all, and please let us know how we can be praying for you too.
Always, Sarah

Friday, October 13, 2006

Please Pray

I come to you all with a request for prayer. As many of you know, we are in the process of building a new home. It will be finished and we will be closing on November 30th, if all goes according to plan. The last order of buisness that needs to happen, however, is that we need to get our current rental subleased to someone else for the remaining 7 months of the lease. We have a couple coming to view it for the second time tomorrow afternoon at 2:00pm. The prayer request is that we might somehow come out on the top of their top three list after they see it again tomorrow. We know that God has this all worked out and that we can trust Him to take care of the details, but we also know that prayer is effective, amen! I'll keep you posted. And if you know anyone looking for a house to rent in the Fort Collins area, let us know. The home will be available December 1st. Thank you all in advance!
Love, Sarah

Monday, October 02, 2006

Hodge Podge of Chloe Pictures

Here's another rundown of Chloe pictures for your viewing pleasure. I'm trying to make sure we take just as many pictures of her as we did of Emma and gush about her just as much. It's really not taking much effort though, Chloe definitely won't need to do the typical second born complaining of not having as many pictures of her as Emma does. The heart truely does expand with each new child!She has my eyes, don't you think? Not big saucers like Emma, but definitely not small either.Learning to snap her fingers already, hee, hee! My two girls keep me on my toes, that's for sure!"Emma, she's my Grammy too!"
Practicing her driving already!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Melting our hearts!

I just had to share this picture of Chloe that Travis took tonight while I was holding her. She's been smiling for weeks, but we've had a hard time getting her to look right at the camera while she's doing it and getting the picture at just the right moment. Good job daddy! Chloe is doing really well, I just scheduled her two month doctor's appointment for October 13th. We can't believe we're getting so close to the two month marker! We've got her on a great routine. She sleeps peaceably in her swing for naps during the day and is getting used to sleeping on her back and side at night in her bassinet. She wakes up only to eat one or two times a night, but I think she'll be sleeping through the night before we know it since she's such a good self soother. Emma still has some jealousy of her sister from time to time that we have to deal with, but can also be very sweet with her and is very helpful much of the time. Parenting these two little girls is such a joy, despite the challenging moments. We are so blessed!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Home

Now first, let me be surface with you. The excitment of building a new house is upon us. Every time we go over there, something new has been started or finished, and it's so fun to see the progress. Every time I wander through the framing I picture where furniture will go and what colors I might paint the walls. But even more exciting to me is the thought of "settling down" there. Finally, we will own a home that we actually get to live in for an indefinite amount of time. When I think of all the memories that will be created there, meals cooked and enjoyed, the laughter that will fill the halls, as well as the tears at times I'm sure. The holidays, the friends, the brothers and sisters in Christ that will come and go leaving the sweet fragrence of their love and life each time. It makes me sigh with an unstopable grin just to think about it. But down a little deeper, will this house really be my home? As the old saying goes, "the home is where the heart is" right? Well, if my heart is wrapped up in this house, this physical place I will call home, then it's in the wrong place. Some of you are probably confused by this statement I'm sure, but let me venture a little deeper. As a woman, and maybe just as a part of the make up of my personality too, I am a "homemaker" by nature. I feel that my house and the feeling it gives off when others are there is an expression of myself. I want to create an environment of peace and warmth, good smells, soft cushons and fabrics, good things for the eyes to look at, all the things that make a person want to be there. Now I don't always succeed at creating this environment, especially these days as I adjust to being the mother of two needy children. But the desire is always there, as well as the feeling of failure when I haven't prepared a creatively tasty hot meal or kept the house as clean and neat as I want it to be. But when I look at this list, I realize there is something missing. I may get to spend a mere 70-80 years on this earth, but there is an eternity after that to be lived in heaven. So all logic tells you, 70 years compared to eternity is not what you would call home. It's like calling a hotel room home. So if I truely want to make my house a home, others need to feel like they are in the presence of the Lord when they are there. They need to feel as I do when I visit with friends who are walking closely with Him, like they have breathed a breath of fresh air that makes the air in the outside world seem suddenly stale. They need to feel challenged and inspired and refreshed and loved beyond measure. So while sweet smells and cleanliness and comfort are all important in the efforts of "homemaking", each of them is worth nothing if I am not living my faith in such a way that those around me are feeling blessed and built up. This is a heavy challenge, one I humbly admidt I fail miserably at all the time. But in my own conviction, I am sharing these thoughts and insights with you so that you may be encouraged and challenged as well. If Jesus is our home, let His love and light be the warmth and flame of our homefires. Let us not get trapped in the Martha Stewart mentality of impressing others while hiding our clutter under the beds. Let's be real with each other, share our struggles, and walk alongside each other as we demonstrate the Body of Christ to the world. This is what I'm learning, please share your insights with me as well. Here are some pictures of the progress of our house.
Love, Sarah

Friday, September 15, 2006

More Chloe Pictures

Napping, Erkle style! This picture was taken today.

Sleeping like a baby, ahh... If only the adults in our house were getting great sleep. But we'll get there right! Chloe is already sleeping some 4-5 hour stretches at night, which was better than Emma was doing at this stage in the game. We're not sure if it's Chloe's "easier" temprament or the fact that we are becoming more "Baby Wise", but I'm guessing it's a combination of both.
Checking out her world, Chloe Paige is awake a little more now during the day, which is so much fun. I haven't been able to capture it on camera yet, but she does this adorable little face when she's focusing on something where she puckers her lips to form an "O" and flares her nostrils with eyes intently on her object of interest. She's even graced us with her first smiles, talk about heart melting! I remember when Emma gave us her first gummy grin, there just aren't words for moments like those.Chloe's favorite spot, mommy's arms. Although she doesn't get to be in them nearly as much as her big sister did unfortunately. Oh the plight of the second born, subject to big siblings agressive hugs and kisses, nursing sessions interupted by big sister needing discipline. I guess each one in line has it a bit harder, but hopefully it will make her more resilient.
Okay, so maybe there are some things that are harder about being number two, but you also get more love coming your way! Emma really does love her baby sister, she's always so excited to see her when she wakes up from a nap. In her baby talk, she coos, "oh Co-ee", or "look at her lil feet", or "can I hogeher mommy?"Chloe with Grammy and Papa. When she's lucky enough to beat her sister for the attention, Chloe loves time with her grandparents. In just a week we'll be heading down to the Springs so she can meet her great grandparents and great Aunts, Uncles, and second cousins.
Deep thoughts during a diaper change.

Friday, September 08, 2006

One month old

We can hardly believe that four weeks have passed since our little Chloe Paige was born. Time sure flies faster with the second baby. I hit the ground running every morning and am never for lack of something to do. In fact, for the first time in awhile I'm finding it hard to get even the basics done. Whoever thinks that motherhood and homemaking isn't a fulltime job, please try a day in my shoes and your thinking will change. It's more than a fulltime job, it's a 24/7 job! But I'm loving it, I really truely am. I know these years of having very young children will go way too fast and I will miss it, so I'm trying to treasure every moment and not get so stressed about all the things I'm not able to accomplish in a day. I'm finding that keeping my goals for each day small and realistic, I'm having success and that always feels good. About these pictures, what a difference a month makes eh?! Here's some more fun comparison for you. The last picture is of Emma, also at one month old. They do look like sisters, but very different too. Two beautiful daughters, how blessed I feel! On a side note, we had lots of fun picking interior options for the new house yesterday. We still have lighting and faucets to choose, it's all so much fun! Framing is pretty much completed, I'll post some more pictures after I take some tonight. They are telling us we'll close mid November to early December, right before the holidays. Now we need to find renters to take over our lease for our current home, prayers for that to go smoothly would be greatly appreciated. Have a wonderful weekend.
Love, Sarah

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Good news! We are under contract for our townhome in Salt Lake! We'd like to give our friend and realtor Pat a HUGE thank you for all his hard work for us. This is a huge burden lifted off our shoulders, thank you all for your diligent prayers and encouragement. We didn't make quite what we hoped on it, but what we did make is a huge blessing from the Lord and will definitely help us as we move towards the purchase of our next home. Speaking of our next home, something exciting is in the works. We're under contract with a builder literally down the street from Travis's parents. The homes are unique and the builder has a great reputation. It's not 100% for sure yet, we have to close on our townhome before we will say that, and luckily the builder has let us write that in as a contingency. We also need to meet with the lender to make sure we can afford the payments and get the financial end of things squared away. It's the kind of home that we could see ourselves staying in for years to come and growing into. It's a beautiful ranch style home with an unfinished basement that we can finish down the road. It's on the side of town we want, has huge old trees in the surrounding area, and is right next to a farmers feild that is technically a flood plane, so we don't forsee it being developed. It feels like we are out in the country a bit, which we love! Here are some pictures of the floor plan and a rough sketch of what the outside will look like from the front. I've also included some pictures of where we're at in the framing stage. We go to the design center this week to pick cabinets and interior options and upgrades. It will be so much fun this time to actually get to live in the home we build! We should close in early December, right before the Christmas season. We are counting our blessings daily and praising the Lord for them. I'll keep you posted, and more pictures of the girls will be coming soon.
Love, Sarah

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

To be or not to be...a parent

A question from a dear friend prompted this post. As I sit, in the thick of motherhood, sleepless nights, household chores left undone and beckoning, I thought what better time to answer the question, "is it worth it to have children?" You must know from the get go that I will answer this question in all honesty. I do, after all, pride myself on being real and vulnerable. I actually have three friends who are about to embark on this journey of parenthood, two of which have a healthy dose of doubt as they enter this phase in their lives due to their nannying background. Travis and I were driving home the other evening and we noticed some college girls going for a walk together. I noted, "ah the days when I was at the center of my universe and I determined all the activities of my day". I remember when bedtime was a time of my choosing, when I got to sleep a full eight hours without interuption and often wake up when my body felt it was ready to. I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss those days. But to answer the question, "is it worth it to have children?" I can answer it simply by rephrasing the question, "Is it worth it to offer ourselves as vessels and stewards of God's most glorious creation, human life?" The answer? A resounding YES! Don't get me wrong my friends, I'm not saying that life will be easy when you become a parent, in fact, it can and most likely will be the most challenging role of your life. But I also know that anything worth anything often treads the most challenging path. Life becomes much richer, much deeper, much more of what life was meant to be when we are challenged. When you become a parent, you are forced to look into the clearest, cleanest mirror and take a good look at who you are without the masks we become so accustomed to wearing. You are forced, not only to decide what's really important, but to make daily life decisions based on those beliefs. Suddenly, being genuine in your walk has more consequences than it did before, little eyes are watching and little ears are listening. And your need for the Lord's provision and wisdom and strength becomes blazingly apparent, not that it was any less before you were a parent, but parenthood tends to humble us in such a way that we see our need more clearly. Yes, after reading all kinds of books and listening to all kinds of advice, you will have to make hard decisions about discipline and raising and you will constantly doubt yourself, wondering if you are doing what is best. Your children will be born sinners, just as you were, and it will be no easy task to tame and guide that sinful nature and hopefully point them towards the saving grace of Christ. No, you will not be able to take off on a whim to travel the world and no, you will not be able to sleep in for many years to come. Yes, you will have to work at nurturing yourself and all your relationships, especially you marriage, more than you did before children and no, your stomach won't ever be the same ladies. All this said, if you choose not to have children, you will never know the beauty of beholding a precious little person who is an intricate blend of you and your mate and yet completely their own person. You will never know the joy of hearing "I love you" come from the mouth of your child, and knowing that it's still true even when they're giving you their worst behavior. You will miss out on the closest you will ever come to understanding God's love for us. Nope, their are no guarantees they will "turn out" the way you hope, they are not yours after all, they are the Lord's and they must choose Him just as you did. Your heart will break when you see them struggle or make bad decisions and it will leap with joy over their triumphs. My friends, I can't make the decision for you, nor can I predict the future of what your parenting experience will be. All I can do is speak from personal experience and my heart when I say that I would never trade a minute of the challenge and blessing of parenthood for a lifetime of living only for myself. Don't lose yourself or become child centered, that won't serve you, your children or your spouse at all. You need to nurture your spirit, make time for the things that bring you joy and stimulate your mind, body and soul regularly, and put your marriage and your spouse before your children. But, don't miss out on one of the greatest of human experiences. Whether you become a parent by blood, adoption, or through your love of the body of Christ, don't miss out! That's my opinion, take it for what it's worth.
All my love,