Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Avery is 1!

My sweet teeny tiny infant is teeny tiny no more. She's a big one year old! This year has been quite the whirlwind to say the least. A big move, leaving a job, getting used to a completely new life and lifestyle all while learning to mother my new baby?!? Crazy. But oh so fun it has been (-: Let me tell ya a little bit about my girl:

1. She is SO happy! Almost all the time. She loves to laugh at her doggy Sadie; and mommy and daddy too! She's such a smiley girl.
2. She loves kids! She literally goes crazy around big kids and I know we are in lots of trouble when he figures out the walking thing. She will be chasing them everywhere!
3. She loves to play and can entertain herself quite well! Most of the time she just wants to be in the floor with her toys and books and just explores on her own! 
4. She will eat anything! I am blessed with a great eater for now at least. It has been fun to give her new foods and watch her reaction as she tries them!
5. She talks all. day. long. In her own secret language.

She likes Mickey Mouse Club and Sofia the First on Disney. She says mama, dada, sissy (for Sadie), man man (for my mom), bye bye (which sometimes comes out as dye dye), uh oh, yeah, ow, hey, nana (she has a Texas and a Georgia nana) and a few more I'm sure I'm leaving out. She loves to give everything "love" right now and will cuddle anything. Even a pot holder she likes to play with. She goes right to bed with no fuss. We put her down wide awake and she cuddles her babydoll and goes right to sleep. She has been waking up lately to play in her bed here recently. She just talks and plays! But it's pretty loud.. (-: 

She loves to tell everyone "Hey!" in the grocery store or out shopping. I can hardly shop for people wanting to stop and continue the conversation with her. She loves it! She is a busy bee. Constantly on the move and getting into everything. She hasn't mastered walking yet, but is starting to try a little. She hasn't been interested at all until here just recently. 

The best thing about Avery is that she is ours! Never could I have imagined such a precious gift from God. I could write out a million more things about her. Avery Caroline you are an angel and everyone loves you so much! Happy first birthday sweet girl! Can't wait for year number two and all the fun we are going to have!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Wait..what?! TEXAS??

So it's almost been a year ago that our lives were turned upside down. I started back to work 31 weeks pregnant and was feeling every minute of that! Nick was working at Mattress Firm and there ALL the time. The days he had off were days that I worked so we were literally just passing ships. We were thankful for his job though and obviously sometimes you gotta do whatcha gotta do. I can remember laying in bed one night and Nick coming in around midnight or later and waking me up to tell me he needed me to start praying about something. And that something was a youth ministry position in Bogata, Texas! I didn't say much at that time; I mean all I could think about at that moment was in about a months time I was going to have a baby. I told my sweet friend Liz at work the next morning about our conversation and how overwhelming it all was, but the one thing I could not do was shut that door. I wanted to shut the door at first...I mean my whole family, Nick's parents and sister and her family, my friends, and everything I know was within 2 hours of where I was living in Marietta! Did I really have any busy leaving that? Is that really what God wanted with a new baby on the way that EVERYBODY in my life and even people I didn't know had been praying for us to have for so long?? Ugh. It was confusing, it made us so sad at times, but we knew that the Lord had some sort of plan for us to make a big change and we could not push His plans for us aside and keep living this very comfortable life we were living.

So the prayers continued. Nick talked with several people in the church over the phone and via skype and the ball began to roll. I broke down and told my other sweet friends and teammates at work that I there was a possibility that I might not return after my maternity leave. They were all so supportive as I knew they would be. As my due date approached and I was being seen by a specialist twice a week, trying to just survive teaching while being so uncomfortable, and getting ready for Avery to come at any moment, we had to take a break for a minute to focus on that huge life change that was about to happen. She came into the world on October 23, 2013 and we were quickly swept into parenthood and all that comes with having a newborn at home. After a couple of weeks, we knew that we had to talk with our families. Nick had spoken with the church and we were asked to come out for a visit the first week of December. We knew we needed to tell them soon so that we could prepare for our trip.

The conversations were tough. People were upset. And all we could do was trust the Lord and hold tight to His promises and know that we weren't crazy. Or were we?? You really start to doubt yourself some when the people that matter the most are telling you what you are doing may not be right. We continued on though and went to visit FBC Bogata when Avery was just shy of five weeks old! Yes, we crossed the country by car with that little one and she did just fine (-: The church was so welcoming and we knew right away that we would be moving soon...and we were excited!! God was calling us back to the ministry and that is exactly where we were supposed to be. On the way back home we shed some tears of sadness even though we were truly excited! We knew that we would be telling our families and friends that we would be moving to Texas and taking that new grand baby with us )-: It wasn't easy ya'll.

After we got home, things became real pretty quick. We had jobs to quit, families that wanted to have multiple conversations about us going that were never easy, a house to pack, and a newborn baby to take care of. We explained as much as we could that this was God's will for us and we had to go and follow Him, but it's a hard concept to swallow sometimes. And it was for many people around us. How can you leave your job in the middle of the year? Don't you know it will hurt your chances of getting one in the future? What about your retirement? Nick is doing so well with his job, don't you think its crazy for him to leave? What about Avery? How will you survive financially? Don't you know you will never make it? I could obviously keep going, but you get the point. And understand I hope! These were all very valid questions. But the one thing still remained true. The Lord was calling us to go, and we had to go.

As time creeped closer to Christmas, everyone calmed down some and we enjoyed some much needed family time. It was a hard time for sure, because we had nailed down a date to move (January 10th) and it was getting very close. I was trying to pack up a house with a newborn while Nick worked long holiday hours and it was tough. LOTS of time to think about the questions everyone had for us and part of me was really scared. I resigned from my job and it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I loved my school, teaching, my teammates... When it came time to pack it up I had a very hard time. I didn't really talk to anyone about it either. I just wanted to be strong, get it done, and move on. I mean I didn't have a choice. Telling my sweet little fifth graders Mrs. Richie wouldn't be coming back was pretty tough too. Lots of hugs and tears. It broke my heart. Leaving my classroom broke. my. heart. I poured all of me into that classroom for 6 years and I had to leave.

Well, we got everything all packed up and the church sent us a crew of wonderful men from the church body that drove all the way from Texas to Georgia to pack us up and take us with them! What a blessing it was! Leaving our families was super tough and many tears were shed of course. But we got in our car and left Marietta, Georgia. A place that proved very comfortable for us, that provided very good jobs, let us be close to both of our families, all of our friends, and was home to us. The drive was long and this time we had Sadie with us (our dog) and our good friend David to make it more interesting. We made it just fine and arrived to half the town of Bogata (literally) waiting with open arms to cook us a meal and unpack our moving truck! Our house was full of furniture and boxes in no time and people were unpacking things and asking where it needed to was crazy! So a new life began. We arrived on a Friday and our first Sunday at the church was my 30th birthday!

Honestly, we haven't looked back really. We miss our family and friends back home (and yes I say home because I was born and raised in Georgia for 30 years.. I mean it is home) SO MUCH! It's just when you are in the center of God's will, you have a peace that is unexplainable. I am able to stay at home with Avery right now, financially God is providing in every way, and we have people here that love us like we are their own. The church is growing and thriving, Nick's youth ministry is exploding spiritually, and God makes it clear to us that we are right where we are supposed to be. Some days are tough. And some days I question things. I mean who wouldn't? We are love our small little town of Bogata, Texas and are loving watching God move and work in our church and community. Big things are happening ya'll.

Thank you Lord for revealing your plan so clearly and giving us the boldness to accomplish Your will and GO!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

I have SO much to tell you..

Let me just start out by saying how ridiculous it is that I haven't blogged in almost a YEAR! I really wanted to be that mom that blogged every minute of my baby girl's life, but obviously that did not happen (-; I do have so much to say, but for now I am just going to give you a little snippet of my life in the now so far and we will go from there. Sound good? 

* I had Avery in October of last year and a few weeks before she entered into the world, we were feeling a call to move to TEXAS! Crazy. We visited the church the first week of December when Avery was about 5 weeks old and loved it. I resigned from my teaching position, Nick quit Mattress Firm, we packed up our life in Marietta and headed to Bogata, Texas on January 10th, 2013. It has been quite the adventure so far and we are loving it! I am staying home with Avery right now and doing a little subbing on the side.

*Avery is over 10 months old and I am planning her first birthday party!!! What is happening?? She is growing like a little weed. This child is the sweetest. She is so good natured and hardly ever gets upset. Right now she is working on the walking thing, but momma is not pushing it (-; I don't want my baby to grow up.

* Being a stay at home mommy brings its challenges for me. I love being the one with my baby girl all day long, but sometimes I feel like am a terrible SAHM! Lol! Oh well...I know that's a normal feeling and I am working on it.

* We have made wonderful friends and family (our family away from family) here. It would have been SUPER hard for us being so far from everyone we love if the people here weren't so amazing. I thank the Lord for them daily. Actually I'm going to stop right now and thank Him again. Yep, they are that wonderful. The way people love on Avery just makes my heart very happy! Just thankful.

* Being away from family and friends. Well I'm not gonna's hard! Harder for me than Nick. Not that he doesn't miss people, he just stays a lot busier than I do. We all know the busier we get the more we can just adapt, adjust and keep on going! I have a good bit of time to just sit and think... Not good sometimes.

* Not being in a classroom is WEIRD! I will be honest. I was wanting some sort of change before God picked us up and moved us here. I just didn't know what that was?? I still don't know. Right now I am straightening out certification issues with Texas. They would issue me a certificate if I wanted to go teach tomorrow, but I would have to take and pass two different tests within a year. I do NOT want to take any tests!!! So that makes me re-evaluate which direction I want to go.. I miss teaching for sure...the actual in the classroom, teaching lessons, building relationships, making it fun and exciting for the kids and so on. You know the fun stuff (-:

* More babies?? That hasn't been too much of a conversation as of yet. It comes up every now and then, especially with Avery nearing a year old. Questions like should we start trying now? What if it takes as long as it did before? What if I miscarry again?? Will we keep trying then? I think we are pretty clear that one more will be plenty. Especially if things are difficult. Now the Lord could totally have other plans, but for now that's what we feel like should happen. If He says Avery is it..then we will be perfectly content with that too. His will not ours. Always.

I think what I will do is just take each of these "topics" and give you much more detail on each. That way I can get back in my groove. I miss this for sure and I am glad some of you have mentioned it and missed it too! Thanks for that! If and when the baby process starts again, you will be the first to know. It's just how I have to deal with all of it!

Now off to bed I go! We have an awesome Sunday lined up as our church has been in renovation mode for the past few months and it is our first Sunday back to normal and the big reveal! Exciting!