No Greater Love

 There is no greater feeling than knowing you are right where you belong. I see it in my husband's eyes and it brings such joy to my heart. The past week has been one of the craziest weeks of our lives! We packed up our entire house and moved 4 states and 600 miles to begin the amazing journey of being missionaries in Charlotte! We have waited for this moment for over a year now and now that it's here we are just in awe of God's goodness and faithfulness. We had no idea what to expect when we joined Missionary Athletes International but so far it has exceeded our wildest dreams! Let me take you back to Wednesday...

Moving day, truck is packed save for our mattress, toothbrush, and oh, us. The plan-wake up at 6:30 and get an early start. Plan failed. Woke up at 7:30! Ok, take a deep breath and GET GOING! However, we can't just leave Anderson that easy, we still have to go to the church to drop off our keys and computer and then go to Budget rental to hook the dolly to the back of the truck. Our initial plan: head out of Anderson around 8...new plan: head out around 10 and still meet up with James for one last Arnold Palmer.

We finally leave James around 11 am and have 10 + hours ahead of us!What could have been the worst day of our lives turned into one of the best. Yes, the drive was extremely long and the truck was scary to maneuver and we didn't have a CD player (our own made up songs and old renditions of Alanis Morrisette had to suffice), HOWEVER, we felt so loved on that trip! We had people from all over the country texting and calling us letting us know that they are praying for us and excited for our new journey. We definitely felt the love of Christ and His Body fulfilling its purpose. Every time we received a text or call we'd look at one another and just laugh because that was the only thing we could do to keep us from crying tears of joy! What topped the day off was getting to unexpectedly see one of our best friend's, Lindsey Marler for lunch in Lexington! :)

The next several days were a whirlwind to say the least. We met a ton of new and awesome people, we reacquainted with old friends, we saw 3 Charlotte Eagles soccer games, and we experienced God's community at work yet again - from the Auyer's who graciously opened their home to us, to the people in the organization who couldn't be more excited for us to join MAI, to the Lady Eagles soccer team who gave us one of the loudest and exuberant cheers I have ever received! God only knows what the future will bring but whatever it holds we are ready and willing with eager anticipation!

Where do we go from here: the goal is for Travis to get trained in the 4 existing at-risk neighborhoods (learning about each neighborhood, learning how to partner with surrounding churches, and learning the needs of each community) and potentially, after much thought, prayer, and patience, move into one of the 4 neighborhoods or begin a 5th neighborhood. Please be praying with us as we move forward from here. Words can't express how grateful we are for our friends and family who are supporting us through prayer and gifts! We love you all!

Charlotte or bust!


Tuesdays with... 4 Little Strawberries

During a youth leadership conference this past March one of the main speakers spoke on the subject that we all can get burnt out in ministry and we need to find something in our life away from ministry that keeps us going. He called this our strawberry. Well, I have 4 strawberries and their names are Emma, Charlotte, Anne-Claire, and Elise.

(from left) Anne Claire, Charlotte, Emma, Elise
 I met Michelle and the two youngest (Anne-Claire and Elise, now 2) during MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers--a bible study group for mothers). The twins came into the nursery at just 5 months old. Because they were born preemies they were the size of 3 month old babies. My sister, Stefanie and I gushed over how adorable they were, and luckily, since there were two of them and two of us we could each hold one! The twins became our favorites at MOPS and any Thursday they didn't show we were so sad. We even nicknamed them (Michelle, something I never told you LOL). We thought it would be funny if Anne-Claire's middle name was Anne so we called her Anne-Claire Anne and since Elise kind of sounds like Feliz we nicknamed her Elise Navidad. A little silly but it gave us a chuckle :) I didn't meet the older two until Michelle asked me to babysit for them while she took the twins to a doctors appointment. When I met Emma (now 5) and Charlotte (now 3) I knew right then if I could become their regular babysitter and watch them often I would jump at the opportunity! They are the epitome of what a little girl is: loves pink and purple, wants nails painted, has memorized every Disney princess movie, dress up clothes are everyday clothes, plays pretend beauty salon, sings and dances, loves chocolate but also climbs trees, gets dirty, tries to keep every bug found (Emma would bring lady bugs home for Charlotte from preschool). When Michelle asked if I could begin coming twice a week to help with the girls I was overjoyed! Even when our time together became only once a week I was still more than happy to help Michelle and spend my Tuesdays with these little girls. Out of the many things the girls and me loved to do together our favorites include: fishing with Travis, slumber parties, making rice krispie treats, playing dress up, brushing hair, painting nails, and of course tickling! I love these girls with all my heart and our favorite things to do together will always be in my memories.

Strawberries are one of my favorite fruits and it's fitting that 4 of my favorite little girls are my strawberries. Knowing that I would get to see them once a week and spend a few hours with them brought so much joy to my life. Since saying good-bye to them yesterday knowing it would be my last Tuesday with them I haven't stopped crying. My crying will soon turn to tears of joy as I reminisce and look back at all the giggles we've shared. And any time I'm eating strawberries on Tuesdays I'll have a vision of 4 little girls dressed in their princess costumes dancing and pretending to be Barbie Musketeers ("Don't mess with the dress!")

Fishing with Travis

Slumber Party Fort!

pool time!
Slumber Party!

50 piggies!


Married for 6 Years: the Iron (bat) Anniversary

What else would we rather be doing on our 6 year anniversary than spending it by helping move one of our best friends? It just adds to our list of memorable anniversaries beginning with our first spent not just eating at Cracker Barrel once, but twice (breakfast and dinner)!--and we worked there for crying out loud! We just couldn't stay away; or was it because we were married college students who had a 30% discount? We spent our 2nd and 4th much like our 6th...moving, and for the 2nd and 4th it was us doing the moving, first time to South Carolina and second time back up here to Indiana. It's only fitting that we'd spend this last anniversary moving yet again! and with such an amazing woman! I really wouldn't rather be anywhere else...well unless our annivesary consisted of a cruise, then maybe I would!

However, we still tried to make it special. Travis surprised me by taking me to the batting cages. Ok, ok, not so romantic for some, but for me it was! First of all I haven't been to one in like 5 years and second of all I told him a couple of weeks back it'd be a fun date! Since I hadn't been to one in a very long time I didn't dare try fast pitch softball even though I played all my life. I was too chicken and I didn't want to be embarrassed! Travis started off by hitting the fast pitch. After he wiffed almost all 16 balls, I thought to myself, "if he can't hit them, how the heck am I?!" I tried slow pitch and it was just too slow so I mustered up all the guts I had, put on the nasty, sweaty helmet the batting cages provide, and prayed for my life as I stepped into the fast pitch cage. A few zoomed right down the middle as I swung away but once I connected with that 5th one, oh boy, did I feel like I was back in high school or what!? It felt amazing, exhilirating, stupendous, and almost like I never stopped playing! I put in 4 more tokens that evening and it just kept getting better. I decided to call it quits when I looked down at my thumb and saw the biggest blister I've ever had--I felt it soon after! My adrenaline must have allowed me to ignore the pain while I was reliving my former days! While it wasn't an overnight stay in a bed and breakfast or a weekend away in Indy (our 3rd and 5th anniversaries), this anniversary meant so much to me because I was given the chance to take a walk down memory lane and reminisce on the feeling I so loved having of blasting one right between left and center!

Ready to go

Ready for the pitch

Swinging Away!
The Outcome :(


Travis did finally make a connection! :)