Sunday, November 27, 2011

Oh Happy Day

Akil, Mexico. 2001.
It all began in Mexico on a mission trip to Akil when we became friends and had no clue that our journey through this life would intertwine and become one. Before marriage, before children, before even knowing we would ever be more than we were at that moment; two kids on a trip to strengthen our faith and find our way.

It’s all so vivid in my mind - journaling with Abbie on the cement slab outside of the church as the roosters were crowing, the sun rising and most of the group still sleeping in hammocks outside. It was day three and I had already fallen in love with your family, or 4/7 of it anyway. I remember all the talks we had, sweaty and unshowered, sitting on the stone wall overlooking the small village where we stayed. It was so primitive and yet so rich in faith, in love and community. And we vowed then to strive for simplicity in our own lives. Let everything be as uncomplicated as our days there: morning prayer, build a church, set off a few bombs, siesta and soccer in the afternoon, then end the day with praise and worship. We decided we would only want for what money we needed to get by, vowed to strive not to cling to possessions or popular opinion, never to cease in prayer and always keep family above all else. And here we are, 10 years later, 7 years married, with a family of our own and two amazing children that fill our days with laughter and discovery. I am so very happy we met. And even happier we married.

And here’s where I was supposed to introduce a wedding highlight video that I wanted to surprise Toby with on our anniversary. But after months of trying in vain to figure out how to put all of our wedding footage on the computer and then edit it into one short and meaningful little video I gave up. There is a reason Toby handles all of the technical devices in our house. So, I confessed I had no anniversary gift for him because I was more technologically impaired than I first thought and voila -he made a video. Just like that. In ONE day (two hours to be exact). Thank you, sweetie, for stepping up where I fall short. You do it every day in so many ways. Happy anniversary. I love you.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pumpkin Patch Pictures

I know we're a little out of order on this but we wanted to post some pictures from our annual trip to Berry Patch Farms to get our pumpkins. Here are a few of our favorites...

Daddy and the kids carved the pumpkins the weekend before Halloween. They all had a fun time taking the "gook" out of the pumpkins. This year, Madelyn's pumpkin was Kitty Bat and Patrick's pumpkin was Two Spookies...

Toby got a few cute pictures of the kids hanging out with the pumpkins on the porch later that week...

Having a very involved conversation with Kitty Bat

Here's a slideshow (gallery here) with some more pictures from the pumpkin patch and carving!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Halloween 2011

It's probably hard to guess what this post will be about with a vague and ambiguous title like that. If you missed it, we're talkin' Halloween. Halloween 2011 to be exact.

This year's Halloween was super fun. We spent almost two hours trick-or-treating with the kids and it flew by like it was only five minutes. I think Angie and I were more upset than the kids were when it was finally time to go in. Costumes this year were really fun because Madelyn is old enough to wear a real costume and get excited about it and Patrick has all kinds of ideas about what he wanted to be (luckily, none were as crazy as last year's ideas).

We had actually gotten Patrick a couple costumes this year because Angie spotted some awesome dinosaur costumes at consignment for $5 and couldn't pass 'em up. We figured, if nothing else, Patrick can just use them as fun everyday dress up clothes for playing around the house. He was excited about them and does use them when he's pretending he's a dinosaur sometimes but he wasn't sold on them being his Halloween costume. For his real costume, he kept asking to be a rocket ship and we kept hoping he meant an astronaut since we had never even seen a rocket ship costume before. But lo and behold, one day while wandering the aisles of Target with the kids, Patrick's head almost exploded as he spotted a rocket ship costume. The search was over. The costume was decided.

This is the face you get when you say "Patrick, make a blast off face!" and he has to think about it.
Patrick spent the rest of the night blasting off from house to house and looking up longingly at the moon.

For Madelyn, we had lots of ideas but as soon as we thought of Wonder Woman we couldn't picture her as anything else. It just seemed to fit. Lucky for us, she thought so too and loved the costume. She even kept the head band on for a good 3 minutes.

Meme and Papa also stopped by for a bit which was great fun. Patrick and Madelyn loved showing off their costumes and pumpkins and telling them over and over again about how Halloween works...just in case they forgot. Meme and Papa also stayed back at the house handing out candy so Angie and I could both take the kids door to door which was awesome. (Sadly, Grandma and Grandpa were in Florida for a medical conference. Who holds a medical conference on Halloween?!)

Papa counting down to Patrick's blast off to the moon.
Meme helping the kids sort through their loot.
Of course, the most fun part of the night was just watching the kids. Our usually shy-at-first Patrick had no problem coming out of his shell and talking to everyone at the door and other kids on the street. He was excited to see all the decorations in the yards and what costumes all the other kids had on. As for Madelyn, this holiday really was made for her. A night of wandering the neighborhood, meeting and talking to all our neighbors and their kids and every time she smiled somebody gave her candy? That's like heaven to our little social butterfly with a sweet tooth. In fact, if we stood at someone's house too long talking to them, Madelyn would start walking away saying "C'mon! Eeeeaaaat!

Here are a few more of our favorite pictures from the night...

And here's a slideshow with the rest of the pictures since putting a couple dozen directly in the post would probably annoy people. (Full gallery here.)