Monday, November 26, 2018

Long Overdue Update

Oh. My. Stars.

What a crazy, emotional, exhausting few weeks. So much has happened that I didn't know what to write. And then more happened, and I kept putting it off. But this is my diary of sorts, and I don't want to completely let this blog fall apart, so here I am. And I still don't know where to start...

Back in late October, Kevin accepted a position at a church in my hometown. We are excited and looking forward to being back in a smaller town. We are praying God will use our family as only He can do, and can't wait to get all settled in. But with big, exciting changes come some of the more difficult changes, like moving away from people and places that you love.

Two weeks ago we said goodbye to our church family for the past 14 years. It was one of the hardest things we have ever done. The following are two pictures from our last small group meeting. I've said this quite a few times, but it is just so true - if you go to a church but aren't in some kind of group (whether that is a small group, a life group, a home group or a Sunday school class), you're missing out! These people became our family and we will miss them (and others) so much. Our kids grew up with their kids. We found accountability and real connection. It was more than just meeting together for a Bible study. True fellowship.

When we started this small group, there were 3 kids and all were under the age of 3. Now look at them! There are lots more, and they are so grown up! 

So on Sunday November 11th, Kevin preached his last message, we gave lots of hugs, there were lots of tears and as tradition, a ton of us went out to eat together afterward.

On Monday, Kevin's dad was discharged from the hospital and sent home with Hospice. So what was supposed to be a week of us moving and settling in, ended up being a week spent with family and trying to soak in every remaining minute with his dad and with the girls Papa. Thankfully our new church family was gracious to allow us to delay Kevin's start date an additional week, and we were able to be at home with family when Kevin's dad passed away the following Monday morning (November 19th).

Daddy/Papa was one of the kindest, most generous people you would ever meet. He raised 4 boys, loved his family and his grandkids (and even claimed a few as grandkids that weren't related to us). He always greeted you with a hug. He loved us well and we all loved him. He will be missed. 

On Wednesday we said goodbye and Kevin was able to do his dad's funeral service. He wasn't sure he would be able to actually do it, so a fellow pastor led the service, but somehow Kevin made it almost all the way through. It was truly a celebration of life, knowing that Don loved his Lord and while we were grieving, was already celebrating in eternity with Jesus.

Thursday, Thanksgiving day, we packed up the rest of our house and spent Thursday/Friday/Saturday moving. We ate Thanksgiving lunch at McDonalds because it was the only thing open. Ha! But we did get a good meal on Thursday evening (thanks Mom and Dad!).

On Saturday we loaded the last boxes into our car and drove away from our very first home. Kevin and I were emotional but the girls were all ready for the next adventure. If only we could be a little more like kids sometimes, right?  This is the only home that Kevin and I have lived in together. It's the home we went to after we got married. It's the home that we put so much work into - we cut down trees, graded the yard, spent YEARS trying to get grass to grow, planted shrubs and flowers and landscaping, and put in hours of work mulching ever year. It's the home where we got a puppy together (Max) and then 7 month later got another puppy (Cooper).  It's the home that we welcomed both of our girls into, where we watched them take their first steps, try their first foods, and say their first words.  It was the home that hosted a few Thanksgivings, where we woke up to 12 Christmas mornings. It's where our girls had egg hunts each Easter.  It was home to so many "firsts" for us, and so many great memories. And on Thursday we will list it for sale so a new family can love it as much as we did. Cue the tears. Again.

Yesterday (Sunday), we woke up in our new town and attended our first service at our new church. The girls had a blast and made themselves at home immediately, like we were pretty sure they would. They are good at things like that. We were welcomed by lots of new friends and shook hands with more people than I could count. We all had a great day and are excited for the future.

But boy, are we tired. I told someone that after the last 7 days, I think I could go to sleep for about 3 weeks!

And so here we are and now I'm all caught up in blog land. We are here and even though our boxes are still everywhere waiting to be unpacked, we are home. And we are thankful.

OH YEAH - I almost forgot. The girls started their new schools today. Kate is in 2nd grade and Karsten started daycare, which is a new adventure for her! If this doesn't show excited faces, then I don't know what does.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Halloween 2018

Halloween 2018 did not disappoint. It was, however, one of the first years where we did not have a Disney Princess in tow. This year's theme was super heroes and what could be more fun? Kate had determined that she was going to be Violet (from The Incredibles) and Karsten wanted to be Buzz Lightyear. 

Kristi and Davis brought Rylynn over for a few pictures and to eat dinner with us before we headed out for trick or treating. Here is the sweet little lamb with our two super heroes.

We ended up going to a local church's trunk-or-treat with friends and had so much fun. It was great to be in one centralized place to let the kids run around from trunk to trunk, play games and eat candy.


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