aren’t they cute?

I love my boys.

State Fair

Natalie and I shared an adventure on Saturday:  we went to our first State Fair!

We set out seeking funnel cakes, ferris wheels, and kettle corn.  We found the first right away…

There were waaaayyy more people there than we had anticipated, and at times, we came to a standstill just trying to walk places!  It took us forever to even try to get close to the ferris wheel, and the whole thing was a little bit overwhelming, so we skipped the ferris wheel and tilt-a-whirl.  Next time!  Luckily, I still got to enjoy Natalie’s cuteness and great company!

They didn’t actually have kettle corn, but our funnel cake was yummy enough for us!  Thanks, Natalie, for a really fun afternoon!

sermon…oh my.

This past Sunday, I had the honor of preaching my first sermon at Christ Church.  Everyone there was so supportive, as I was a bit nervous. (My forte is singing, not speaking!)

We’re doing this series on Finding Your Way Home: Family, Friends, and Fellowship.  Last Sunday was the Family one, and I really enjoyed getting to dig into the Adam & Eve texts as well as the account in Acts where Paul and Silas share the Gospel with the jailer and his whole house believes in Jesus.

Here’s the audio file for my sermon, if you are brave enough to listen!!

Finding Your Way Home: Family

Speaking of preaching…

I had the GREAT honor/pleasure to hear my friend, Kimmi, preach at Duke today!  She did such an amazing job.  Here’s a little sneaky paparazzi photo of her:

Happy Tuesday, all!

photos…finally!

Check out our living room!

Thanks to some awesome folks in the church, we have FURNITURE in our living room… hooray!

Here is my office… complete with fancy nameplate:

To tag on an unrelated thing, Mike and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary August 8.  We were moving that week, so we didn’t actually get to eat our cake until a few days later in Missouri, but it was SO yummy!!  Gotta love that funfetti!

things are looking up

…not that they were down, but after our crazy first week, it is so nice to have a house alllllmost put together.  Christ Church has really blown us away with their generosity in helping us acquire some furniture, and now our empty living room has become a (hopefully) welcoming place you want to be.  We are still working on putting on the finishing touches, hanging pictures, etc, but I will try and get some photos of the place as it is now!  My job is WONDERFUL, and I will take some pics of the office to show you all, too!

Mike had his first day, and it was great!  He started with Hebrew, and already has homework (although who is surprised at this?).  Following that he had Church History, which apparently is an intense class, but he seems to be excited about it.  I am already enjoying him coming home and talking about class– I have a feeling I will get to learn from his education a little bit!

Sorry if we’ve been remiss in calling/emailing some folks.  It is taking longer than I had anticipated to get my feet on the ground, and we are only just now starting to fall into a routine.  Thank you all for being understanding and for your patience!

a quick walk-through

so our apartment is FAR from being done, or even fully furnished… but here are a few photos I’ve taken (with the point and shoot, don’t hate) this week.

the truck:

our apartment

Here’s wes and finn drinking water together… how cute

Wesley helping mike put together the bookshelves:

and this is the staff at Christ UMC, my new church/workplace!

They have ALL been AMAZING to me, so welcoming and helpful.  My first day leading worship was Sunday, at the 8:30am and 5:30pm services.  It was a little intense to meet the band and then lead them/play together immediately, but they were wonderful, worshipful services.  They have asked me to be full-time (yay!!) so I will also take on their Young Adult ministries and help with a few other things here and there.  I am excited for what more is in store for me at Christ Church!

Speaking of young adults… a group from the church went to a Durham Bulls game last night!  It was great!

There is a bull there that breathes smoke and its eyes light up when they score a home run or win the game!

I will definitely keep y’all posted on how things come along here.  Mike had his first day of orientation today at Duke, so he may have some stories for his blog soon, too!

the move

This week has been a whirlwind of sorts, but YES, we are in North Carolina!

(Actually, I’m on a staff retreat in South Carolina for my new job, but I’ll get there.  Hold on.)

A week ago today, Mike and I left the Bahamas with Wesley on a very small plane.  Wes was SO good on the flight!  We got to West Palm with no problems.  Mike’s mom met us, and we even got to have dinner with Don and Carrie before her knee surgery the next day!  We spent the night in the Best Western that folks from Hope Town have deemed the “Abaco Inn,” since so many Abaconians stay there.

The next day, we fly to Kansas City and arrive around dinnertime.  My brother and his whole family picked us up and we had a great time at dinner, and ended up spending the night at their house.  Friday morning, super early, we drive to my parents’ house in Boonville to organize and move all our stuff to the garage for pre-loading (my dad is such a great mover/planner!).  Saturday, with the help of my brother and a neighbor and his friends, we got the truck loaded up to the brim in less than 2 hours!  Also, our awesome friend Dane flew in from Durham to drive us east.

We drove on Sunday morning as far as Nashville, where we got to see my friend Amanda from high school and meet her PRECIOUS daughter, Penelope!  Monday, we finished the trip to Durham and spent the night with Dane and Natalie, since our move-in date wasn’t until Tuesday.  I went to bed that night thinking about how wonderful the trip had been, and how I should write in my journal about all these changes.

Ok, here’s where the story gets a little more interesting.

Tuesday morning, Natalie was taking her dog Finnegan for a walk and saw that the back of our Penske truck was unlocked and wide open.  She comes and tells us this, and we instantly called the police.  We run out there and find that none of our stuff was stolen– crazy, right?!  As I’m walking back to her apartment, the complex calls me and tells me that our carpets have not yet been cleaned, but they’re probably coming this morning, but we can’t move in yet.  I’m thinking, this is not how I planned this morning, but it’s going to be ok.

THEN about 2 hours later, we get a call about our electricity account not being set up.  You know, the one that I sent 2 faxes for the week before from the BAHAMAS despite power outages and everything else.  Yup– apparently we needed to re-fax.  This is important, as we don’t get the keys to our apartment until we have an energy account.  Later, we need to re-re-fax since the notary’s stamp couldn’t be seen.  By the end of the day, Mike and I are in our car, hunting for the payment center office to get this thing all straightened out.  We spend two hours fruitlessly driving in search of this place, and are encouraged by Dane to just come back to their place.

“SURPRISE!!”  We walk in the door, surrounded by our friends who live in the area, and I am blown away.  At this point, I was pretty much ready to give up.  Thankfully, the day turned completely around!  I got to talk to some people who I haven’t seen in a long time, and felt so welcomed and loved.  Apparently, Dane and Natalie had arranged for this surprise party long before we knew this would be such a tough day.  Who knew that we would need it then more than ever?

The good news is, Mike fixed up our energy plan and got the keys to our apartment today.  Several people from the church helped and unloaded our truck in less than an hour, and sound like they’re doing great.  Meanwhile, I left at 8:00 this morning to come on my first staff retreat with the folks at Christ UMC, where I now work!  It’s a little bit crazy to jump in straightaway like this, but I am so thankful for the position and this community.  Everyone has been so kind and encouraging, and I am still in a bit of a daze.

I have moments where the Hope Town youth will come into my mind, or I’ll long for my coffee house coffee, and I will think “how did I end up back in the states?”  But the timing is right, and it’s ok to miss friends.  After all, no one can stay away from Hope Town for long!