Rain in the forecast?

The week started a bit slow…Jon left Monday for Atlanta, and he thankfully was able to return on Wednesday. We spent the evening chilling at home and watching a movie together. The real adventure was the last part of the week. Thursday, I was scheduled to watch my niece and nephew. If you aren’t around kids much, it’s SO fun to watch them grow and learn new things. I picked them up from the sitter, and we headed to our favorite place…Chick-fil-A. Madelyn was SO proud of herself because she learned how to climb the jungle gym all by herself. I don’t know what was more incredible seeing her so proud or watching Ethan teach her how to do it. He is such a good big brother. We rounded out the night by playing soccer in the backyard, bowling in the playroom, and enjoying our time together.

Friday started bright and early…like I arrived at work at 6:30AM! I went in early so that I could leave early because Jon and I were headed camping again, and I needed to pack everything. There is something to be said for sleeping under the stars and experiencing God’s creation first-hand…including the 15-20mph winds and the severe thunderstorms. Yes, it happened. 

Jon and I headed to Sadlers Creek State Park in Anderson, SC with some great friends of ours. I had stalked the forecast, because we have had severe thunderstorms every night for the past two weeks. The forecast looked incredible, absolutely no rain. Well, we drove through some crazy rain and were afraid it was following us. When we arrived, we saw a huge storm cloud but thought for sure it was passing us. Just to be safe, we waited to set up our tent until it passed (which it did). We started putting up the tent and the 15-20 mph winds started. No lie our tent was pretty much laying down even though it was standing up (trying to picture that just boggles the mind, but it happened). We tied it down as tight as we could and got the rain fly tied down just in time. Jon and Mocha pretty much dove into the tent before the sky opened up. We were hunkered down in our tent for a little over an hour which turned out great because I got a short little nap which was much needed. I was really surprised that Mocha and Lexi slept through the storm even the loud thunder and the bright lightning. It was Mocha’s first time ever camping, so I am sure she was trying to figure out what happened to her comfortable home. Thankfully, our tent didn’t let too much water in for the unusual setup, and the canopy out front even proved helpful in providing shelter between the showers.

I think the highlight…besides getting to spend the extra time with Jon was watching the girls swim for the first time. They were so funny to watch. Mocha didn’t like the getting in, but once she was in, she was very chill, yes I just said chill. I mean check her out in the pictures…there is no other way to describe it. Lexi, on the other hand loved the jumping around at the bank, but wasn’t so certain about the swimming when her feet couldn’t touch. Jon would take them out and then I would call them to swim to me. Lexi’s face looked like she was smiling when she was swimming, but I’m not delusional it was just her way of not dying. 🙂 They are so EXHAUSTED…which is every parent’s dream. Hoping that they sleep through the night!

Got some fun stuff on the schedule for this week…here’s to hoping that work isn’t too boring, but if it is…I’ll just look back at last weekend’s pictures and rejoice that God gives me the weekends to enjoy His awesome creation.

Living the Life

Jon’s brother says that we are “living the life.” I tend to disagree with him. Here was “the life” this week. Jon left for Atlanta Monday morning expecting to stay the entire week. Surprisingly, he was able to come home early at six on Wednesday. I left for Charleston on Thursday (our anniversary) and returned on Friday at five. Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike the drive to Charleston especially when it’s on back-to-back days? So rough. My eyes get so heavy while driving.

Since we were travelling nothing really exciting happened. We did have Bible Study this week which is always refreshing. I think I have mentioned that we are doing a Beth Moore study called Living Beyond Yourself. The Lord has definitely been teaching me a lot through the homework and the bi-weekly video sessions. When I started this Bible Study a year ago, I prayed that the Lord would help me with my pride to make sure it was never about me. I told the ladies that I didn’t have it all together and that I didn’t know all of the answers. There have definitely been some proof of those remarks, and this week was no different. Usually, Jon keeps the “kids” for me upstairs so that they won’t be sniffing, licking, or doing any other generally embarrassing things during Bible Study. Since he was away, they were with the ladies in the living room. Go figure, they were obnoxious, and of course, they went to sleep the moment everyone left.

This week we learned about the faithfulness of God in the good and the bad times. It was such a rebuke to me, because it’s SO easy to praise him when you get that raise at work, see an answered prayer, or some similar thing, but it’s a lot harder when things don’t go as planned. This week my work denied my education reimbursement because I didn’t ask permission to take my summer school course. I didn’t realize I had to ask for permission, especially since I knew the course would definitely meet the requirements of enhancing my abilities as an auditor. It was a costly mistake. My initial reaction when I received the first e-mail (hinting that it might be denied) was anger and frustration. I took a few moments and prayed for calmness, and the Lord answered that prayer. When I got the actual denial e-mail, I requested to speak with my boss who would not budge on the matter. He did tell me that he would have approved the course had I asked before I took it. Thankfully, I still wasn’t angry, VERY sad, yes, but not angry. Jon and I did not plan for this additional expense, but I truly believe it’s an opportunity for God to show Himself faithful even in what seems to be bad situations. No, I don’t believe that a check will be taped to my front door (and please, don’t mail us one), but I have asked God to continue to show me His faithfulness and require me to rely on Him for my sustenance. Who knows how He will show Himself, but I am waiting with my eyes wide open.

When I returned from my work trip, we were in prep mode for a shower that I was throwing at our house for a girl from our Bible Study. Our Bible Study has been blessed with a group of woman that knew of each other, but little about each other until we started this endeavor last year. Jon was a great help to me and helped make the event so much fun. Faith (the bride) is getting married next week, and we have seen over the past couple of weeks God’s faithfulness to her, and we can’t wait to see the same in their marriage.

We finished Saturday with an anniversary celebration at Devereaux’s. It’s a very fancy restaurant in downtown Greenville. We have wanted to go for some time, but it is very pricey. Thankfully, we got a discount, and we had received a gift certificate for referring a lot of people to our mortgage broker (she’s amazing btw…in case you are buying our re-financing). Pretty awesome. The rest of the weekend was just relaxing with each other and preparing for another week of traveling…or as Joey would say…living the life. Until next time…..

My love – Happy Fourth Anniversary!

 

Have you ever felt blessed beyond your imagination?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I feel that way every day. My husband is faithful, patient, kind, educated, handy around the house (have you seen my patio?), funny (makes me cry with laughter), and the list could go on. I’m so incredibly blessed to be married to him. I love you Jon. Thank you for all of the amazing memories over the last seven years. You are my best friend!

Four years ago today, I walked down the aisle into the arms of an amazing man. Sadly, this is our first anniversary apart. Since some of you may not know how I met Jon, I thought this was an amazing time to tell you our on-going love story.

I met Jon my freshman year of college. The summer before college, I worked at a camp in Pennsylvania where my counselor suggested that we make a list of all of the qualities that we hoped to see in the man that we would marry. She encouraged us to pray over that list often with a humble heart. At this same time, I was praying begging my dad to let me travel with the ministry team that was associated with the camp where I worked. To my devastation, he said no. I went home that summer ready to start my college career.

In high school, I had competed on a mock trial team. Basically, we studied a case and prepared the case as if we were going to present it before a real jury. I was an attorney most of the time, and I truly enjoyed it. Our team won the National Championship my senior year of high school, so I did not plan to compete on the collegiate level since it was a young program and because there was nowhere to go but down. Somehow, the captain of the team who was a friend of mine convinced me and my witness (I had the same witness for three years in high school) to be on the team. Both of us were a little fed up with the workload required by mock trial. Well, long story short, my witness decided she was not going to compete after all. The Captain decided he should bring on a new person to replace her. I was ADAMENTLY opposed. We did not have time to train a new person, and I did not want a new witness. He assured me that it would be fine. He would train him personally, and he had speaking experience by working on Student Legislature. Begrudgingly, I agreed.

Jon was everything my friend promised. He learned very quickly, and I began to call him Dr. Dehnert (which was his charcter). He was a doctor of some sorts. All I remember is that he had to know a lot of technical terms, and that his cheeks would get a precious red when on the stand. He later became known as the “dashing Dr. Dehnert.” The Captain and Jon did not make the first tournament, but it was the second tournament where I realized how special Jon was. We spent the whole ride up and ride back, and really, any free time there was talking and getting to know each other. Would you believe that he met every item on my list AND SOME? Jon was so special that I thought it was too good to be true, and I refused to pursue him. I desperately wanted someone to pursue me, and that he did….

It wasn’t until we were getting ready to board the vans to head to the University of Pennsylvania that I realized I had a chance to date him. We had an artist series the night before (a play which I can’t remember). Jon mentioned that he had seen me which I did not believe him because we would have been in an auditorium with thousands of people, and I definitely did not see him (and we all know, I was looking). He quickly responded with what I was wearing, the color of my flowers, and how my hair was fixed. Talk about giving me some hope!

It would be a few months from that trip that Jon would ask me on our first official date. On February 1st, Jon asked me to date him. I could sit here and write all day about some great memories that Jon and I made over the years, but they are probably not as sentimental to you as they are to me, so I will spare you. He waited a year and a half to propose (which is a whole other exciting story which I might share on our engagement anniversary), and we were married on June 16, 2007. I love you Jon, and I can’t wait to experience the rest of our lives together!

Beach Bums!

This last week Jon and I got the privilege of spending a week with my family in Corolla, NC which is a portion of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Our family shared a beach house that was close to the sound and only three blocks from the ocean. We had such a great time. I got to see many animals that I do not see often (if ever). We saw a sea otter and his little family, turtles, foxes (multiple times while running), crabs, fish, and snake skins and/or dead snakes. Thankfully, I did not see any living snakes. We also celebrated Jon’s birthday!

I had been praying that the week would go well and that Jon would have a fun time. The Lord definitely answered our prayers. The weather was absolutely perfect, and one of our very close friends happened to be vacationing in Corolla with his family as well. Jon Fortney, our friend from NYC, spent a lot of our beach time with us. Due to our trip this fall, we were not going to get to see Jon in Destin, FL as we have in the past few years, so it was such a blessing to get to spend so much time with him this week. He and Jon even got to go kayaking. I went to take a picture of them, but they finished earlier than they were supposed to, so you can just see them after they finished. It also wouldn’t be a visit with Jon F. if a sand fight didn’t ensue.  

Jon taught Ethan how to go crabbing which was a lot of fun, and I wish I could have bottled Ethan’s excitement when they caught “a keeper.” Uncle Jon cooked the two keeper crabs that he caught (caught a total of 12 in one night), and he ate them all himself. While he didn’t share those, he did share some amazing shrimp and Mahi Mahi that he made for us…no he didn’t catch those. J The kids loved hanging out with Uncle Jon in the pool too! It’s so funny seeing how much Madelyn adores Jon.

Madelyn also really enjoyed getting to take two swimming lessons. It’s funny to see a little three year old flirt, but Becki and Dallas will have their hands full when she gets older. She was flirting with her swim instructor. The picture on the second row second one in from the right is when her swim instructor talked to her…when he walked away, she said, “He talked to me!” Seeing Madelyn swim without her float after her lessons was so exciting. She will be on her own before we know it. The picture of her on the couch is what happened after both of her swimming lessons. She was exhausted! 

I spent a lot of time laying out on the beach and reading. I only finished one book. It was What Do I Know about My God by Mardi Collier. I was given the book back in 2006, but I just now got around to starting it and finishing it. It was a really great book teaching a new system of studying the Bible so that I can learn specific attributes about my God which will make me a more effective believer, and if I know my God better, it’s likely that I will be able to give better advice to those seeking help in various situations. I didn’t finish my other book which was Decision Points by George W. Bush, but it has been an interesting read so far. Well, off to relax. I am not sure what to do with all of my free time with no homework and no laundry (did it all before I even got home). See you next week….

Finally, the finale is here!

Finished. Complete. Done. Over. Kaput. Those are just a few words that I can think of in relation to my graduate career. So thankful it is done. On Friday, I gave a presentation on the Going Concern assumption and how it is currently changing the auditor’s responsibilities. I know…it sounds like loads of fun.

This week we also had Bible Study. We had two new ladies. I am always so excited and encouraged when new ladies join our group because I believe it is God’s way of telling me that we are following His will. We are still working through Beth Moore’s study called Living Beyond Yourself which is a study about the Fruit of the Spirit. This week we saw how Christ exhibited kindness and goodness and how we need to replicate Him. Our group is eagerly anticipating the culmination of this study. We are planning a trip to Charlotte,NC to see Beth Moore in person in about four weeks.

We celebrated Jon’s birthday this week with my family. I attempted to make a cake to replicate his favorite childhood cake. Here are some pictures documenting the process and the final product. It was not exactly the same, but it was very close. For example, I used blueberries where the original cake had bananas. Enjoy, and there will be more pics and info next week. 

Here is attached a picture of what I was trying to replicate.

 P.S. Just checking if Ethan is reading as promised. 🙂