Monday, June 26, 2006

Our last week!

Hello everyone! Sorry it's taken me awhile to make a new post. I've been crazy busy getting ready for our move. I can't believe we're down to the wire of our last week here in Utah. I'm scrambling through my big "to-do" list and hoping to have everything done by Wednesday when my wonderful friend Carla will be coming over to help me clean the apartment, bless her heart! I decided to humble myself and ask for some help so I don't have to breath so many nasty fumes being pregnant and all. Today and Thursday, Emma has playdates with her best friend Kylie, which will help a ton. Then friday, Emma and I are off in a plane heading for Colorado. Travis and his dad will drive the moving truck on Saturday, so please be praying for safe, smooth travel for all of us and a good move with no major hic-ups. Here are a few pictures for your enjoyment.
This is Emma running circles around the island in the kitchen of our townhome. We spent so much time trying to get her used to the fact that we were going to be moving there that she would go around and saying, "Emma's house, Emma's room, Chloe's room, etc..." I guess we'll just have to hope she forgets about it and happily moves on to our rental in Fort Collins.
This is Emma and Daddy having a moment in, what would have been, our master bedroom looking at the sunset over, what would have been, our great view of the valley. I still can't get over how much Emma looks like her daddy at times! But her smile is all mommy I think, you be the judge.
This next one is me and my peanut all ready for church on our last sunday here in Utah. My love for this little girl is just indescribable. I'm going to have one overflowing heart when Chloe arrives, I'll probably just be a barrel of emotions as I learn to share myself with two little princesses that I love so much! It was kind of an eventful last Sunday, we didn't even make it through half of Sunday school due to a fire on a powerline just outside the church. We had to evacuate due to no power and second service was cancelled. Luckily, we had lunch plans with our Sunday school class for a last social outing before we move. Blogger isn't letting me load any more pictures to this post, so I'll do another post with some more pictures below this one.

More pictures

Our Utah family, ah..., what a great family you've all been. We're going to miss you more than you know. This picture was taken yesterday at Chili's for lunch. We were missing a few family members, but you can see how much love and support we've had here. God is so good and we will look back on our three years in Utah as some of the best years of our lives. We love you guys! Stay in touch!
Here's me and the girl once again, relaxing at home one evening. She's quite affectionate these days and innitiates cuddles and kisses all day long. I must say, for someone who loves affection, this is pure heaven for me, and certainly helps offset the tantrums and misbehaving. Plus, I'm sure there will come a day when she's "too cool" for cuddling, so I'll relish in it while I can.
Here's Emma with one of her favorite Utah aunties, Jen, at Jen's pool one morning. She had a short dip in the hot tub before the clouds parted, and then we had a glorious day of swimming with Daddy and Jen. Our little fish didn't want much to do with her dolphin pool toy, she wanted to have more freedom with just her wings and loved it when we let go and let her bob and kick. I think she'll thoroughly enjoy swimming lessons this fall with her friend Devyn in Fort Collins.
Well, this will be the last post I make from dear, sweet Utah. So I guess some gathered thoughts and a formal farewell are in order. When we first arrived here three years ago, knowing no one, and a little depressed about our little basement, cinderblock apartment with the small kitchen and tacky light on the wall, who would have known what rich blessing lay ahead. In those first few months, we were on our knees daily asking for God's provision for a job for me so I could support Travis in school. He provided as he promised and the blessings just kept on coming. Travis was hired as a paid intern with full benefits and tuition reembursement at L-3, which allowed us to consider starting our family. Here we sit, three years later, with a beautiful little girl and another one on the way, a church family that has become our life blood, and now, instead of being depressed about this little apartment, we are sad to leave it and all of the moments and memories it holds. What have I learned in a nut shell? God is working in our lives and through our lives even when we can't see it or what the big picture looks like. He is growing us through times of doubt and hardship, strengthening us through times of blessing and understanding, and moving us forward on this journey of life towards our eternal home with Him in a beautiful and loving way. I know the road ahead will not always be easy, in fact, it's the one thing I know for sure. But seeing how we are refined by fire, I look forward to experiencing how the Lord will carry me through all the peaks and valley's that lie ahead. So good bye sweet Utah, good bye precious friends. If our pathes don't cross again in this life time, we look forward to meeting those of you who have been saved by God's amazing grace in our eternal home, and rejoicing with you as we praise our Savior all day long, for the rest of eternity together!
Love, Sarah

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged with this little questionnaire by Jennifer

What is your favorite word?
Hmmm, I'm such a verbal person that finding just one word that is my favorite is really hard. I guess I'll pick "vulnerability". This word means a willingness to share your heart, your struggles, your true self with others. You are opening yourself up to challenge, inspiration, and yes, even hurt. But, you are allowing the Lord to shape you because you have security in who you are in Him.

What is your least favorite word?
I would have to say curse words, especially when they come from my own mouth. They are so ugly and there are so many other words that can be used to express emotion. I'm reminded of the verse (I can't remember exactly where it is) that says, "out of the same mouth comes praises and cursing, this should not be..." Something to to that effect.

What turns you on spiritually, emotionally, creatively?
Spiritually Three things really. 1. Authentic worship through singing. I know that worship is not just singing, it's living a lifestyle that honors God, but being that music speaks to my soul, I love to pour my heart and praise out to the Lord in song. 2. Reading the Word. I am amazed that every time I open my Bible and open my heart to what I am reading, the Spirit never fails to speak to me and challenge and encourage me. 3. Prayer. When I am talking to my Savior, He always answers me by pouring His peace and perspective on me. Also, when I pray for others, He gives me a new love and compassion for them, which kills any bad attitudes or bitterness I may be harboring.
Emotionally A deep conversation with a friend or family member. To me, there's nothing more emotionally satisfying that growing my relationships, and the best and only way to do that goes back to my favorite word, vulnerability.
Creatively I am a writter by nature. I have always been able to convey my heart and mind with words easily. Writting helps me to see myself more clearly as well, it's theraputic, I'm a journaler, what can I say. I also LOVE artistic crafts, like scrapbooking and home decorating. I glean great satisfaction in seeing my creative juices come to fruition on a scrapbook page with my babie's pictures and I feel that my home is an expression of myself. I can't wait to have a home of my own in a year so that I will truely be able to create that expression of self in my decorating.

What turns you off Spiritually, Emotionally, Creatively?
Spiritually My own lack of discipline in doing those three things I mentioned above that nurture my spirit.
Emotionally Insensitive, shallow, or arrogant people. And of course, those who don't value vulnerability or being real.
Creatively Lack of opportunity to write or do my crafts.

What is your favorite curse word?
In keeping with being vulnerable, I hate them all and really hate it when I find myself slipping and using one in the heat of frustration. I'm really working on eliminating them from my vocabulary completely, they're so ugly and unnessessary.

What sounds or noises do you love to hear?
I'm with Jennifer, I love the sounds of summer, whether it be crickets in the evening or rain and thunder, or lawn mowers and weed wackers. Those sounds just make me feel alive. And sorry to copy you again Jenn, but my daughters laugh is one of the best sounds I've ever heard.

What noise do you hate?
tantrums from my daughter. I also don't care for heavy metal music or speedy talking commercials on the radio.

What profession, other than your own, would you like to try?
I'd love to try being a marriage and family therapist, or maybe an OB/GYN or midwife.

What profession would you not like?
Computer programming, sorry Babe! I guess that's why we're married, our differences compliment each other.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Fort Collins, here we come!

Well, for those of you who haven't heard or figured it out by now, Travis officially accepted the offer at HP in Fort Collins! We will be moving in to our rental house in Fort Collins on July 1st. Emma and I will fly out on the 30th of June and Travis and his dad will drive the moving truck out on July 1st. Between now and then, I need to finish up packing and organizing and then once we're moved in, it will be a whirlwind of unpacking, settling in and getting ready for Chloe's arrival. We plan to have a little homecoming open house to reconnect with old friends in the Fort Collins area, so I'll keep you posted on that. We're very excited for this move and what God has in store for us in this next chapter of our lives. Please pray for a smooth move and transition, especially for Emma as she's very sensitive to changes. I will send out a private email with our new contact information soon.
Love, Sarah

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Three years!

We can hardly believe it! Yes, today is our 3 year wedding anniversary and WOW, so much has happened in our lives in those three years. This morning when we woke up, after a not so restful night's sleep due to a bad dream of Emma's, my snoring (a lovely pregnancy symptom I get, sorry Travis!), and tossing and turning all night with sore hips, Travis and I looked at each other with sleepy eyes and tossled hair and gave a boisterous (yea right!) "Happy Anniversaray!" As I sit here with a active, ornery, full of life toddler and a miraculous little creation growing, and kicking inside me, I can hardly believe all of this has happened in just three years!
I look at these wedding photos, our rested, blissful faces and trim bodies and think, if this young couple only knew the richness of growth and blessing, trial and triumph ahead of them. The romance has ebbed and flowed, but the love has only grown and grown. We learn that love is more than candle lit dinners and nights of passion, it's about teamwork and friendship in this game of life. It's about putting the other's needs above your own, even when selfishness is tugging at you full force. It's Travis looking at me intently, and with all sincerity, saying, "you are so beautiful" after a long stressful day when I'm feeling anything but. It's me cooking dinner for him because I know how much he loves a good meal, even when I'm so tired I fall asleep face down in the frying pan.
It's honoring one another and appologizing quickly in humility when we need to. It's seeing the best in each other even when the best isn't all we see. And parenthood puts a whole new ball of wax into the picture. It's knowing when the other is at the end of their rope and needs a break. It's giving each other encouragement that we're doing a good job with these little ones even when all we can focus on is our shortcomings. Travis, I love you so much that my heart just aches to think about it. We've come a long way from kissing behind the school haven't we! You are my hero in more ways than you'll ever know. I'm so proud of the man you are and so blessed to call you my husband and friend. Lord, thank you for my marriage, for the beautiful union only you can make it, and for molding us more into the people you want us to be through it. Amen
"Travis- Sarah, I vow to cherish, respect, and love you as my best friend and life companion. I need you and I will honor you. In commitment to Christ, I promise to lead you with integrity, grace, and gentle love, and to take the responsibility of leadership in our marriage. I promise to place you above all things as a precious jewel, always seeking your highest good above my own. I promise to encourage and help you to become all that God has called you to be, for all the days of my life. From this day forth, with love defined by Christ, I commit myself to you, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, for as long as we both shall live.

Sarah- I Sarah, as a testimony of Christ’s love, vow to love, honor and respect you, and to submit to you in all things, as an act of obedience to and worship of the Lord, all the days of my life. As your best friend, sister in Christ, and companion for life, I promise to always encourage you to become all that God has called you to be. I vow to live my life in such a way that I am a blessing to you. From this day forward, fueled by God’s love for me, I commit myself to you, for better or for worse, for richer or for poor, in sickness and in health, for as long as we both shall live."

Monday, June 05, 2006

28 weeks and counting!

Can you believe this belly! I look at it sometimes and still can't believe how out front I carry and how BIG I carry. But I'll take it if it means a healthy little girl is growing inside me. I have a feeling these next few months of this last trimester are going to fly. I have so much to do for our move, I'm not going to have much time to think. Emma and I just bought our plane tickets last night to fly to Denver on June 30th. My mom will pick us up at the airport and take us up to Fort Collins. On July 1st, Travis will be driving the moving truck with his dad and we'll meet him at our house. Between now and then, I have more packing and organizing to do, plus all the steps for closing on our townhome on June 20th. I'd appreciate prayer for a smooth transition and smooth travel for Emma and I on the 30th.
These are some random, but priceless pictures of Emma getting her feet washed in the sink by daddy after a long evening of playing outside. It's so funny, as much as we have bemoaned this small apartment, we have some of the most wonderful memories here. I've often heard people say their best memories are when they had the least money. I never quite understood that concept until now. When family time is your primary source of entertainment, you have the richest kind of entertainment on earth!

It really is a bittersweet feeling as we think about leaving Utah. We have absoluted loved our time here and we absolutely love this state. God's glory and beauty is all around us in nature, and the body of Christ we found at Southeast Baptist has been the most close knit, exemplary definition of the body of Christ we have ever found. We are changed and we are grown as a result of living here for the past three years and Utah will always hold a large peice of our hearts. I can't possibly thing of saying good-bye right now, I'll save that for another post.
Love, Sarah

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Grammy and Papa's visit

We had such a nice visit with Grammy and Papa L. this past Memorial Day weekend. We definitely had a more secure and peaceful feeling when they left, knowing we will most likely be living back in Fort Collins in just a month. These first pictures were taken up at a french restaurant here in Salt Lake with some beautiful gardens and vinyards. The restaurant is much to expensive for us, but the garden provided an afternoon of entertainment and good pictures.
Emma zonked out on Papa's shoulder on the way home, so we decided to take a detour to get some sonic shakes, yum! I blammed it on a pregnacy craving. She really took to Papa this visit, they had lots of fun together playing outside and jumping around on Papa's mattress on the floor. She LOVES to give kisses to those she loves, so she had plenty to plant on Grammy and Papa.

Their last day here, we went to the zoo, Emma was just facinated with all the animals. She especially loved the monkeys and the giraffs. We also took a fun little train ride with Papa when we first arrived, Emma was on cloud nine! It was a wonderful time, and it's just so fun to watch Emma developing stronger relationships with her grandparents as she gets older. On a different note, we finally got an offer from HP, and as it stands, we are pretty sure we will take it. After looking at a salary wizard online, the offer is competitive for the area and what Travis does.
They will also give us a relocation package, meaning they will pay for our moving expenses. He signs the papers tomorrow and then sends them back. We've been talking about it all evening and will be praying about it some more tonight, but we just can't see not taking it at this point, it seems like such an answer to prayer. Thank you all for your encouragement and prayer along the way. We will continue to need it as we prepare to move the first of July. We will need to find a home to rent in Fort Collins, decide whether to rent out or sell the townhome we just bought here, and get all set up with insurance and a doctor before Chloe is born. It will be a busy summer for us, that's for sure, but we're relying on the Lord to carry and direct us through it, just as He has always done. This will be a bittersweet move for us. Our three years here in Salt Lake have been some of the best years of our lives. We have grown and been challenged in ways we never would have been had we not come here. It is so evident to us that God had a plan for us here and we are very sad to be saying good-bye to this chapter in our lives. The friends we have made here have become our family and we will miss you all more than you can ever know. But as you always reminded us when we were missing our families, CO is only six hours away, and we plan to return to this place that has taken up permanent residence in our hearts often! Our home will also ALWAYS be open to you as well, so please come and see us! I'll keep you posted as this next month unfolds.
All our love,
Sarah and Travis