Friday, May 23, 2008

Fun in Austin...

We had a great trip to Austin to visit the Clements family. We enjoyed Julie's yummy cooking, Josh's crazy driving and Abby & Luke's cute entertainment! We drove around the city quite a bit (thanks to our personal policeman tour guide), saw some of the parks around Lake Austin, ate great Mexican food & Texas BBQ, watched the new Narnia movie & P.S. I Love You (both were great), shopped at the outlet mall when it was 98 degrees out and even checked out some model homes! Your money goes much further in Texas than it does here in Virginia! We found a huge beautiful new home that we loved for the same price as our condo! Too bad Texas is so far away! But anyway, it was a really fun trip and we enjoyed getting to spend time with such great friends.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Beautiful Day at the Park

Here are some pictures from Tuesday night. It was a beautiful day so we went down to our favorite park and had a picnic and a photo shoot :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Rainy Day...

A couple of weeks ago, Mike and I were headed with my parents to the baby dedication of my cousin's little boy, John. It was looking like a nasty day for a 3 hour drive as it was dark and rainy. But then we spotted a rainbow. At first we just saw half of it, but then, as we were driving over the high-rise bridge on I-64, we drove right under the arch! It was awesome. We could see the entire thing, including the bottom of BOTH sides of the rainbow (and for those who are wondering...sadly, there was no pot of gold and no little green leprechauns). But it was a beautiful moment and a great reminder of the Lord's promise and His faithfulness.

No rainbow sightings yet today... just rain, rain, and more rain!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Justine & I have always said our poor children will surely inherit red hair, since my dad was one of 4 redheaded siblings and on my mom's side, there are lots of strawberry-blondes. It may have skipped our generation, but we've always known it'll surely surface again in our children. Justine is so afraid, she's determined to marry someone latino or dark-skinned in hopes to trump the redhead gene! Well sometime last year, we were looking into it, and thought we discovered that a blonde and a brown-haired couple had zero chance of producing redheads.... yipee! Mike & I would be in the clear! But then I was looking at my little cousin John... whose blonde hair is quickly turning red (or at least strawberry blonde) and I realized: his mom is a blonde and his dad has brown hair. Crap! There goes that theory! Oh well... I still think he's cute! And while normally I'm not a big fan of redheaded boys... so far the ones that have been born to my cousins have been super cute. :)
(This is my cousin in Florida's little boy, Sean.)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Last weekend...

Here is Shelby in our backyard...
And a few of the many plants we planted...
A beautiful day at the beach:
And... my cousin Amy's little boy, John (the one who was almost 12 lbs at birth!). He's 4 months old now and a very happy baby:

Monday, May 5, 2008

What does FAITH really look like?

The Lord has taught me a lot about faith and dependence on Him through our finances. I know that God provides in many different ways. Sometimes He shows us a way we can cut wasteful spending, sometimes He gives extra income or an unexpected gift from family or friends. I believe He even provides coupons & sales where we can save money on groceries or other needed expenses. I have heard the idea from so many people that "God's math is not always like ours. Sometimes the numbers may not work out on paper, but God is faithful to provide." I can testify to that myself. I know I had some months a few years ago when I was sure I wouldn't have enough to pay all of my bills and yet I did.

But I am trying to understand what exactly it means to walk by faith in the area of your finances. For example: If I have looked at my budget and reduced expenses in every way I can and I come up with say, $5000 in monthly expenses, and my income after tithing and taxes is exactly $5000, can I even consider another expense, or even more generous giving? Do you go ahead and give maybe an extra $100 a month to the poor (or a missionary, or building fund, etc.) knowing that you will be $100 short for your bills, trusting that somehow God will provide, but not having a plan yourself for where that $100 will come from? Is that what faith looks like? Is that how you learn to depend on God more? Even when the math DOES work, I know it is God who provided my job and who gave me wisdom to cut my wasteful spending or to resist impulse buys or to sacrifice some of my wants in order to avoid debts. But am I limiting my faith to what is logical?

Does "trusting God to provide" mean that He will give you new insight and wisdom in where you could earn extra $ or reduce your expenses? Or does it mean you take a step of faith not having any idea how it will work out, and you don't necessarily DO anything, you just trust that when the bills are due, you'll have what you need, even though the math doesn't work? I really am trying to get a handle on this, so I'd love some wise insight...

More to come soon...

This picture is off of my cellphone. I have better ones on the camera at home... We took Shelby (now 5 1/2 months old) to the beach this weekend and walked on the Boardwalk. She loved it... she let little kids come pet her, but when big kids or adults got near, she got a little scared and let out a ferocious growl that we're trying to work on stopping. She's all bark - she loves people once she knows them but gets scared of strangers easily.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I love Spring!

This time of year is absolutely beautiful. I can't help but smile when I step outside and feel the cool breeze and the warm sun and the colors are just fresh and vibrant. I love it! And then I step into my building each morning for work and begin the long trek to my office, each step taking me farther and farther away from the spring day I wish I was able to enjoy... sadly, I have no window in my office, or anywhere near my office. Each day that I leave for lunch presents me with a great temptation... "what kind of excuse could I come up with for why I need to work from home or take the rest of the afternoon off?" But I have yet to give in. Sigh. That's okay... I just have to pray that the weekends won't be filled with rain!

So... do I really have anything to say today? Hmmm... I guess not much. :) I'll post more when life gets more exciting!