Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tyler: The Three Week Update

We've been in Tyler three weeks now!  It's so hard to believe... Living in New England feels like it was a dream, although we spent three awesome years there.  So far, Tyler has been a mix of things.  I read back over this post recently, and it's interesting to see how things are both the same and completely different than I thought they'd be when we first made our decision to move here.

First, we are still looking and praying for community but, surprisingly, it feels like we've already met a lot of great people.  I have had some lonely moments, and I had a day last week where the loneliness really overshadowed the whole day.  Nick and I have also had many moments where we usually would have called someone up to hang out, but just didn't have that option... so we hung out by ourselves.  In other words, we have a long way to go before we really have community.  But through random connections, we have gotten to hang out a handful of different couples/families here that we really like.  Because they've been here a while, they are understandably already established with friends and church and life and aren't necessarily looking for new friends.  But still, just meeting warm, godly people that we could see ourselves having a relationship with has been encouraging.  We also recently decided to attend this church and we're excited to get more involved.     

I have discovered that there are mercies hidden within loneliness and lack of community.  I feel God wanting to pull me closer to Him when I feel lonely.  There is a lot of silence throughout the day as Ellie naps and I'm housebound.  Although its tempting to fill the silence with getting things done or just staring at my computer, I just can't use the "too busy" excuse to avoid reading my Bible, thinking, or praying.  Nick and I have had lots of time alone together because we just don't have the option of busying ourselves, and that has also been a very good thing.  We've had some good conversations and I'm reminded of when we were dating :).

I won't act like its been the easiest transition in the world, but I do see the good in it - that much is true.  I do feel hopeful that community is something God will provide in time and that we will have some great friends here eventually :).  Who knows?  Maybe one day I'll have some pictures on the blog to prove it!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Swimming, Smiling, and Eating My Feet

Here are a few recent pictures of Ellie.  She is pretty fun these days!  

She's already been swimming three times since we've been in Texas, and her new things are chewing (read: slobbering) on her hands, playing with her feet, and rolling over.  The rolling over thing is causing problems with falling asleep for her naps and waking up in the middle of the night because she can't get back over... literally just days after we had almost fixed those problems.  Dang it!

I have gotten her to laugh a couple of times too, but those are pretty rare right now and Nick is not totally convinced that she's laughing.  But I'm telling you, she definitely is. :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Sister's Cool Project

My sister Marlo is an awesome artist, culture buff, world traveler, sister, daughter, wife, mom, and so much more!  She did an amazing thing for our family recently and had a lot of mom and dad's old family pictures and documents made into high quality digital files.  Here are some of my favorites...

My maternal grandparents were part of a triple wedding!  
Here are the three brides throwing their bouquets :).  

My mom's dad, Papa.  I love the picture of my grandmother on his desk.

My dad and his three sisters.  I think he kind of looks like Abran here, Marlo!

Another fun one of my dad, this time looking just like Ridgeroo!

My pretty mom with Marlo, and the newly married mom and dad.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to our favorite dads, Bill and Joe!  We love you both so much and appreciate all that you do and have done in the past to care for us.  Now that we have Ellie, we understand all the more all that you did in raising us!  We respect you and are grateful for you both. 

Bill Cobb, 1965.  Looking sharp, dad!

Joe Smith, with Michael and cowboy Nick, sometime in the 80's.

And a special shout out to Nick on his first Father's Day!  We had a really great Father's Day today which included some blueberry muffins, "sleeping in" (as much as you can do that with a baby!), church, hanging pictures on our empty walls, and dinner with some new friends.  It's so fun to watch Nick be a dad to Ellie.  He is loving and patient, so helpful and competent with all the feedings and the diapers, and - most importantly - he just really enjoys and delights in Ellie.  I'm very blessed.

Happy 1st Father's Day, Nick!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Captionate!

I got this idea from my friend Mandy's blog (she is a very good blogger indeed!)... and suddenly I have an awesome picture to do it for! 

Step 1) Make sure you look carefully at the picture...
Step 2) Make your comment a caption for the aforementioned picture.

 It's fun.  You know you want to.

  

Ellie meeting the Texas friends and family

Before arriving in Texas, Ellie hadn't met many of our friends or family members in Texas!  She still needs to meet some very important people, but I decided to post a few pictures of who she's met so far.  It's been a joy to watch our friends and family enjoy Ellie and to see their excitement when they meet her for the first time.

With Rachel and Jeff in Houston!
 

With cousins Abran and James and 2nd cousin Jack.  This was right before Ellie had let out a big, rumbly you-know-what in her diaper.  Abran was cracking up because he heard it and definitely felt it too!  Ellie also her Aunt Marlo and Uncle Alex, a couple of my cousins and her 2nd cousins, and my Aunt Sue and Uncle Mike!  It was a fun night.

With my friend Meredith and her cute kiddos Olivia and Jake.

Ja and Russel!  Ellie not so happy.  This is how we left her with babysitters Mimi and Papeaux :)

Meeting Nick's brother, Ellie's Uncle Michael!

Meeting Cousin Austin.  Ellie also met her Aunt Melissa!

Meeting cousins Will and Keely in Dallas!  She also met Uncle Brand and Aunt Monica.

Nick's Aunt Toni in Tyler.  She also met Uncle Greg and a couple of Nick's cousins!

Poor girl... she looks kind of dazed or upset in all of these pics!  
But she told me later that she was super happy to meet all of these people. :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

We Moved! To Texas!

Just thought I'd post some pictures from our move!  Again, a big thank you to our burly man friends that helped carry our big, heavy furniture and load our truck when Nick and I couldn't.  Jonathan, Jeff, Paul, David, Parker, Alex, Blake, and Jeremiah - thank you!

Great minds at work

Couldn't resist putting her in a box and on the moving truck.

"Oh please don't take me from Boston!"

On the plane...2 hotties.
 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Boston Bucket List: The Cow, Burritos, and the Woods

 The Boston Bucket List is complete and we are in Texas!  I can't believe it.  I'll post more about our move later, but let me just say really quickly that we are very thankful for our awesome friends who loaded up the whole truck for us and for Nick's parents who have really helped us get settled.  

But back to the Boston Bucket List... 

Last Monday night, we went to The Black Cow with the Morgans, the Hicks, the Pages, and some friends of the Morgans who were in town (we missed you Catlins!).  We really love and will miss The Cow... such a great place to sit back, talk and relax with good friends.  

Last Tuesday was my last day of work in the Admissions Office at GCTS, which obviously meant that we had to go to Chipotle for big, fat burritos :).  My job at Gordon-Conwell was definitely a highlight for me during our time up in Boston.  I'll miss interacting with prospective students and with my awesome team.  We even dressed alike, almost to the point of having a dress code - long necklaces, jean jackets, and hopefully coordinating colors.  Nerds.


Ok, honorable mention Bucket List time... Chik fil A!!!  Every Tuesday night.  Buy one get one free.  
So we were there.  Yes, every Tuesday night.  We will miss you manager Brian and Chik fil A faithful.


And finally, the woods.  The beautiful Chebacco Woods.  Miles and miles of trails just a quick one minute jog from our front door.  When we first moved to New England, I'd go running and kind of get lost and see no one for miles, and it felt great.  I kept running (and then walking when my big prego self could no longer run) throughout our whole time at GCTS.  Being surrounded by nature and quiet, being completely alone, and feeling like I was "exploring" something was calming and exciting and cathartic for me.  On Wednesday before we left, Ellie and I headed to the woods for one last walk with Erin (a.k.a. Flare) and it was great!  Good conversation with a best friend in a beautiful place.  

Here are some pictures from another walk in the woods back in the winter.  I was like 8 months pregnant and it was a little slippery on the ice... but never fear, I stayed upright. :)  Side note: during another winter walk at a non-prego time I walked out to the middle of a frozen pond.  What an awesome experience especially for a Texan!  Standing on ice!!! I later excitedly told Nick all about it... but I got into trouble.  I see his point now... if I had fallen in that would have been quite the pickle.  :)


The Boston Bucket List?  Check!!!  Woo hoo!!!