update in pictures

so obviously I'm not very good at keeping up with this blog. (notice the husband had to fill in for my lack of presence... isn't he great!?!) however, I really really want that to change. So, here's to a new start. We all need those every once in awhile right!?

So here's my attempt to update all 10 of you who read this, and to document this past fall.


Here are the promised pictures from April's wonderful World Race Dinner. She leaves in a just few short days. Would you pray for her? I love her dearly and I'm so excited about what the next 11 months hold for her. Check out her story and follow her on her journey to 11 countries in 11 months!

Yummy food made by April! 

Sorry for the poor quality pictures, it was super dark outside- 
but I loved that we dined by candlelight!

We had a wonderful time with out goofy friend, Eli. 

And it became the game of the night to take a good picture of our sweet friends the Fogles. 
As you can see, Ken had a hard time keeping his eye's open! 

We tried everything: counting, delayed flashes, bug eyes....

and finally a great one! Love you Fogles!

yummy dessert. the dinner was a success and April raised tons for her trip. 
The Lord provided in really cool ways!
(the month of weddings)
Will was a groomsmen for our good friends James and Angie Schumacher. 

ComChurch friends Josh and Merinda Marion got hitched!

Old ComGroupies Kristen and Andy/Carlos Guerra got married too! 

Sweet Kiva turned 1! I still can't believe how quickly she is growing up!

Amidst all the weddings, Megan and I snuck in some crafty time! We made ruffle wreaths to decorate our doors for the fall. 
our supplies...

it MAY or may not have been late when we decided to do this. 

our finished products!

This month seemed to whiz by. It was crazy! School really picked up for Will and I and it seemed like we had few spare moments. We were certainly grateful to celebrate our first Thanksgiving together and for the blessings that all the events and things we participated in brought us! 
took a trip to Houston for a painting excursion with Ash, Steph and Mimi for Shannon's birthday. I'll spare you the end result. :)

danced with Talitha at Masterpiece 2010 (isn't Jenn beautiful?)

empty bowls in downtown Bryan.

we threw a World Race Party for April complete with World Race game- thanks to husband. 


December also seemed to fly by. I can't believe we are already almost to the end of the month! Will and I finished the semester- which was crazy, but made us even more thankful for a break!

Rhett and Krista got married! We love you guys!

 We spent Christmas with my parents in Orlando. Will drove the entire way- straight through. It was an experience to say the least.

Will felt pretty accomplished after the 18 hour drive. 

It was a fun trip to get out of town. Our days were filled with pjs, board games, snacking, sleeping in, movies and reading. We even took a day out of our busy schedule to visit Universal Studios- along with the rest of the United States (so my dad said.)

Even though we celebrated Christmas out of state, I just couldn't let this season pass without celebrating it at home- especially since this was our first Christmas together! 

So first things first- we had to get our tree! 

I think we got quite a few looks for this... 

really grateful for a sweet husband this Christmas!

thanks to all those who thought of us for Christmas cards! We loved receiving them!

W.O.W. that was long. and I'm pretty sure I left out tons of things in between. I have lots of thoughts and things I would like to share.... but I'll spare you for now. I'll just wrap up by saying: 

This past fall has been full- filled with friends, life, joy, growing, learning, discovering, new things! I want to just stop here to just soak it all in. I think too many times we rush ahead, plan ahead, run ahead of the moment and we simply... well... miss it. I don't want to move forward without looking back, appreciating all that has happened- so many relationships, so many new things, and revisiting older things. thanks for being apart of this past season- each in your own unique ways. Thanks for joining us on this journey. I'm really grateful... really. 



(will) so i know this is cheesy to have a blog post right before thanksgiving entitled "Thanksgiving." lame. be creative, will. but it's really crazy that it takes a holiday for me to look at my life and reflect on the things that i'm thankful for - to really look at my life a little more than a year ago and to see how different it is now. so, i'm about to unload just a little bit of the things that come to mind. i'm mostly hesitant to share everything, just because it's the internet and its open and its vulnerable and it's my life - but there is reality in thinking who really reads this anyway. so here it is :)

i'm thankful. so i have a wife that i didn't have last year. she is amazing and she ridiculously complements my weaknesses. i have no doubt in my mind that we are meant for each other, and my only regret so far is not leading her better towards the Lord. she loves to love me. she knows whats best for me when i can't see past my selfishness or my pride or my laziness. she depicts Jesus to me every day, and i look up to her. i'm thankful. i can't believe last year i had taken a semester off from school. i moved back home to save up money and was working two jobs. life seems to have changed so much since then. not only did it allow for me to find a major that i enjoy, go to a school that i like, and succeed because i am interested in what i am learning, it also allowed for me to be more involved with my job. i have found myself in a room with a handful of godly men, including the two owners, discussing the future of our business and structuring it in a way not only for success as a business, but also in a way to be a huge venue to lead others towards Christ. i was broken and redeemed. i'm thankful. last week my grandmother had to have surgery because she had two arteries that were 100% and 80% clogged. she had the double bypass, which ended up being a triple once they actually got in, last thursday, and not a week later, she is being released from the hospital tomorrow morning (wednesday). ? i don't know either. i'm thankful. i have a brother who has bravely joined with other men to defend our country. i would like to think that somehow i could muster up the courage to leave my wife for an entire year to go to a really really sandy, hot place and have my life threatened. but because he's there, i don't have to be. i'm thankful. i have a family who is close, but could be closer. amidst my lack of communication, they still love and support me and aub. regardless of how i may appear to be or act, they think highly of me and assume the best. i'm thankful. i have no idea how i wound up face first into the Grace of God. i don't know what my life would be like without Jesus. i don't understand that amidst my continued sin, Your Love still grips me tight. You set me free. every day i find myself humbled by Your creation and Your desperate pursuit of me. so intimately close and real. You build a fire in me that makes me want to burst into dance in a classroom full of students falling asleep. You have surrounded me with Your people who open my eyes to see who You are. You love me, You love me, You love me. why? how? i can't wait... i'm thankful.


In the Splendor of His Holiness

(will) so this is my first blog ever. i am currently with aubrey and we're both seeking the Lord together, but separately, and i thought this would be a good time for me to blog. it's not really a normal 'mode of worship' for me, but that's almost what spurred me on to do it. 

my comfort in worship is to sing
my norm is to shout Your name
but when will i step out into the rain
to feel broken and naked, yet unashamed

i only seek the Lord in one place: through singing and playing my guitar. but what does that mean for every other aspect of my life? if i don't spend time to know Him and worship Him outside of the ways that i already do, i am limiting who He is to me, what He can do for me. it's all contingent on what i feel and what i want and what i need and when i have time. it seems so selfish. so is this really worship? am i true to myself or to the Lord when i sing 'all to you i surrender' or 'from the inside out my soul cries out?' 

there is no place that i can hide
no room for dark, no shade inside
why do i shield my eyes from the light
when it's You, Lord

i often talk about how worship should be my life, and not just a designated time to seek after the Lord in song or in reading the bible. but i admit that i don't do that. I don't understand the Splendor of Your Holiness. the concept is vivid in my head. i understand what my life is supposed to look like, but i can't and don't actively do that. so where does my discipline meet the Lord's power and grace in my life? i am insufficient in meeting my own expectations and the Lord knows that. so how much is expected of me? i know that i can only meet the standards that i uphold to myself through God's grace, but how much of it is a reflection of truly understanding His glory? 

i don't want this to become a i'm-good-christian-if-i-act-a-certain-way type of thing in my life. i also don't want to be hard on myself for not seeking the Lord in every aspect of my life. and i think that it comes down to desiring the pursuit of righteousness rather than obtaining righteousness. and that should be read loosely. i know that righteousness comes with certain connotations that i don't want to touch on, but the reality of it is that we are made righteous in Christ; i should desire to be Holy as You are Holy.

this is where i struggle. this is where my mind goes - finding the lines between legalism and discipline, laziness and understanding my imperfections, freedom from sin and righteousness found in You. Lord, fine-tune me to understand true worship. let my desire not be to obtain actions, thoughts, or a certain posture, but that i would desire You. i don't deserve what i have been given. i don't understand your Grace. i don't understand how you can be so beautiful and glorious and powerful and perfect, and still care about me. and because of all of this, i am drawn to worship. i am drawn to throw up my hands and say 'You are Lord' and to smile and to cry and to laugh and to shout and to strum and to dance and to get out of breath and to yearn and to suffer and to be broken and to grow - You are worthy of this and more.

my intention with this post was not to shed light on me; yes, i do want you to know where i struggle and where i am at with worship. but i really want to share what worship means to me - and even what i still don't get or do or understand. i hope that in some way it helps you meet with the Lord. after all, shouldn't that also be an intention of our worship?


joy costs pain

I should be studying for a midterm I have tomorrow, but I couldn't pass up sharing this with you...
If you have time... please read this whole post here, or start following this blog (link "the Journey" at the right of this page.) it will change you... I promise.
I NEED this perspective in my life, this constant reminder of things happening in the nations, around the globe, down the street... outside of my own little world.

from Katie:
        "I would like to tell you that as I become more and more surrounded with sorrow and squalor, it gets easier or less painful. But it doesn’t. The brokenness of this world does not become any less sad. Each and every time, it is overwhelmingly devastating that people have to live, and die, like this. While it does not get easier, I have found that I am able to face each one with a little more hope. I always hope that my friends will live here on earth with me, but I tell them all with a new sense of urgency about Jesus because mostly, I want them to live with HIM, whether here or in heaven. I see the sadness, but I also see the redemption.
         If we are really following Jesus, we will go to the hard places. Being a Christ follower means being acquainted with sorrow. Because we must know sorrow to be able to fully appreciate Joy. Joy costs pain, but the pain is worth it.
        So we go. This is where our family is today and where I hope to stay – loving, because He first loved us. Going into the pit, entering into the sorrow because He entered for us first and because by His grace, redemption is on the other side - again, and again, and again."



no this is not a post about condiments.

this was my attempt to play off the fact that I haven't posted in a while. So heres some quick ketchup for you.

Will's brother, Ben and his wife, Jordan came into town 2 weekends ago to hang out with the family. It was a really great time to spend with them before Ben deployed for Iraq and Jordan headed back to New York.

It was also Will's dad's birthday. So of course, we had to celebrate with a family golf outing!
happy birthday!

the cute couple

my golf-pro husband (he really is getting good!)
I was probably teasing Ben

isn't he cute?

speaking of birthdays...

I feel as thought I need to do another huge b-day shout out!! (told you this was catch up!)

such an old picture! back in the day!
The Peters & Agnors at Christmas

sweet friend!!

beautiful bridesmaids: jenn, ash, april, megan, michelle

at Jada's 1st dance recital in May

jada the butterfly- at her 4th birthday party

Chester & his hot wife at the wedding... sweet dance moves!

Happy Belated Birthday friends!

Biggest loser started on Tuesday.

so great. so excited. tuesday nights. watch it.

onto other news....

I went garage sale shopping with my wonderful Grandma Smith. she is garage sale queen. I have so much to learn from her. She walked away from the morning with a stash of wonderful treasures. The first sale of the morning, I picked out 2 good books I found and walked to the check out to pay for them. The sweet lady told me they were free because they were "jesus books." saweet.

Later, I found this classic:

do you remember reading this? anyone? I picked it up and laughed out loud. How could I forget about "Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo"??? When my teacher read this to us, I would say the name aloud as fast as I could with her. So I bought it, (actually dad gave me the quarter) and proceeded to take it home to read to Will.

We laughed at how racist this book is. really. it's a folklore tale about why the Chinese name their kids with short names. how did I miss that as a kid?

and it's got some weird stuff in it that I'm not sure I will ever want me kids to read... like the idea that the mom values the firstborn way more than the second child, and references to evil spirits bewitching tongues and an old man "finding his youth again" in a dream. weird.

anyways, it was worth a good laugh and a glance down memory lane.

at the last stop I found this:

yummy! I've been debating on getting a tea maker or not. you can make tea without one... but its easy with this contraption. its about $20 at target and I bought it for $5, brand new, in the box, complete with card from the wedding! can't beat that!

ok, I've officially made the most random blog post...

tonight: date night with my wonderful husband. we are going to a dinner that my sweet friend, April, is hosting to raise money for her journey on the world race. The food is going to be AWESOME and the fellowship: even better. To find out more about her story and how to support her, here. and for your viewing pleasure:

Pictures from tonight to come...

hope everyone is having a great weekend!