look momma, i can play catch!

our love story, part 4

in honor of our 3 year anniversary... check out part 1, part 2, and part 3

and it's been 3 years of marriage. 
3 years of learning each other. 
3 years of staying up too late. 
3 years of family gatherings & fun with friends. 

{in salida, co for our 1 year anniversary}
3 years of lessons learned. 
3 years of great vacations. 
3 years of laughing. 
3 years of figuring it all out. 

{celebrating our 2 year anniversary in san francisco, ca}

3 years of ministry. 
3 years of serving one another. 
3 years of trying our best to be selfless. 
3 years of many different cars. 
3 years of bills and chores.

{our 3 year anniversary in joplin, mo} 

3 years of dreaming and planning. 
3 years of trusting God, for He knows far better. 
3 years of praying for our family. 
{18 months of loving our baby boy}
3 years of loving one another.

Manny,  you are beyond the greatness.
i love you too much. 

Happy 3 Years !!!

our love story, part 3

to celebrate our 3 year anniversary... see part 1 & part 2 

so we dated. we had lots of fun. 
we quickly talked about spending our forever together. 

I'll be alright
Have no worries
I'm just a bit over anxious
And maybe a little impatient
At the end of the night next time after we look at the star filled night
Can we escape to a far away land where we will forever remain...
Living as one and walking hand in hand

song- here's looking at you kid by corey crowder

august 13, 2008
we got engaged!!!
after 9 hours of volleyball practice. 
in the middle of pre-season. 
in a church parking lot.
dropped the ring on the asphalt. 
came home to my best friend's birthday party & all our closest friends. 

 totally suprised.
totally awesome.

august 2008-july 2009:
we were engaged. and doing a lot of other things...
planning a wedding. volleyball. college. church. ministry. 
we had a long engagement so that my best friend could be home for the wedding after being gone the whole year away in Africa on a mission.
i enjoyed every.single.moment. of wedding planning. seriously.
{i would do it over again in a heart beat!}
copyright jonathan betz photography 2008 

july 18, 2009: 
we got married!!!
there are really no words to describe our wedding day. 
it was just such an incredible celebration of us, our all mighty God who brought us together, and our wonderful friends and family.
i really loved everything that our wedding day represented. 
from the worship and feet washing during the ceremony. to all the people in the wedding party. to the almost 400 people in attendance. it really was just a celebration. 
a celebration of our love and our God. 
{the ceremony}





our love story, part 2

all of the sudden, something was different. 
i really have no idea what it was or where it came from. 
but God changed our hearts & we were seeing each other differently. 
only issue: i was going back to new york in a week. and because of his recent past, the idea of "us" to the rest of the world would have been a little too much... 

the next seven days were crazy. 
doing everything we could to see each other. crazy emotions. trying to figure out what this means.
what does God have planned for this?
{camping trip right before i left for NY}

fall 2007: 
manny was back in the springs going to school & living at his parents. with Jason. they had bunk beds. 
i was in new york. playing volleyball. pretty much miserable. trying to decide if i should come back home. 
and we talked. we wrote. every tuesday i sent him a letter. 
something incredible was happening. 
{just some of our love letters}

by the time i came home for thanksgiving, there was something no one could deny. 

Thanksgiving 2007: 
he told me he loved me. 

then i went back to school for a few weeks. 
he asked my dad if he could date me. 
my dad told him if we got married before i finished school he wasn't going to pay my student loans. 
{dad, he was just asking about dating me!} 

december 2007: i moved back home
we dated. it was wonderful.
{at a friends wedding, spring 2008}

our love story, part 1

in honor of our 3 year anniversary i've written our love story... 

may 19th, 2006
i actually don't specifically remember meeting manny. but he tells me it was this day. 
it was my last day of high school. 
his first day at the intern for my youth group. 
the youth group was doing an all-nighter. 
sometime during the event manny & kim met. 

fast forward through the summer of 2006: 
manny had a girlfriend. kim was getting ready for college. 
we went on a mission trip to Biloxi, Mississippi together. 
on the trip my sister gave him a terrible, beyond terrible haircut. 
we were friends. 

fall/spring 2006/07: 
manny goes to school at UNC. kim heads off for her first year at Iona. 
during spring break Manny comes to New York to see his friend Tim. 
i meet him in the city for lunch. we ate and talked at Penelope for hours, as friends. 
manny had just broken up with his girlfriend. 
i had a "thing" with this guy at school. 
we were friends. 

summer of  2007: 
manny was still the intern at our youth group. i was a leader too. 
we were going on another missions trip to Peru. 
we were doing a ton of ministry. and always said, "someday I'll be your Jodi & you'll be my Sam."
{funny how things turn out}
went to Peru. i did construction. manny was a cat. 
we were friends. 
got back from Peru. 
Jason came to visit manny, so our group of friends were hanging out all the time. 
camping, elitches, hiking, etc. 
we were friends. 

July 31, 2007: the night poker was cancelled
poker got cancelled & we hung out. 
all of the sudden... 
we were more than friends. 

Joshua Manuel: 8 months

I keep saying, "in just 4 months you'll be 1 year old!" It seems absolutely absurd that the all elusive one year mark is so close... I am constantly amazed at your development and intelligence. It's crazy to think that not to long ago you couldn't hold your head up. Now you sit up, crawl, try to walk, laugh, yell, coo, sing, pretend to clap, and know exactly what you want and how to get it.

For example, right now I'm sitting on the floor in the kitchen. Daddy is outside and you seem to think it would be fun to crawl outside onto the wet deck to be with Daddy...

At 8 months old, you are sweet and funny. If I fake laugh you repeat it. We go back and forth, back and forth with these fake laughs. You are vocal. You talk to everyone and have no problem expressing your likes and dislikes. But you are my thinker boy. If you get into an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people you keep very quiet and very serious. You are also friendly. You have no problem being held by other people and when with friends your own age you want to go say hi and touch them.

This month we could just call you Mr. Explorer. You're crawling all over and getting into everything. Not to mention everything goes into your mouth! You like playing in your excersaucer. You can play by yourself but only if no one is in the room. As soon as you see someone they have to come play with you & pay attention to you. Anything that is not supposed to be a toy, is the best toy. Particularly keys, anything plastic or paper, and cords of any type. We really have to keep an eye on you all the time now. Or at least make sure you are no where near trouble. Because you'll find it. 
We took you swimming for the very first time! The first time it was Momma, Daddy, Joshua and Jackson at the YMCA. You had lots of fun swimming and kicking. Every time you  splashed you were very surprised! The second time Momma & Kma took you with Uncle Johnny at the hotel pool on our way home from MN. You were much more apprehensive and it took you a good 10 minutes to warm up to the idea of being in the water. I think it was the colder water & you just being more aware of your surroundings. And maybe you felt a little less secure without Daddy there.

 We are still on just about the same schedule. You are eating more and more "real people" food each day. I haven't given you a whole lot more options yet, but you are yet to "dislike" something new. You're still in size 3 diapers & mostly the same clothes (6-9mos). Except, you'd been wearing the same 3-6month onesies for a very long time. I finally went to get you new ones, in the next size up and within 2 weeks you'd outgrown them! Thankfully it's summer & you don't wear them too often.

I think my favorite part of this age is seeing you discover all these new things. You are curious and adventurous, certainly not afraid of anything! I love that you just light up when people you know enter the room, especially Daddy, Kma, and Auntie Karla. Uncle Johnny is still a bit of a mystery to you, but you always laugh at him!

This month we went on 2 trips! One to Montrose to see Gram and one to Minnesota to see Grandpa Huntley and Grandma Chris. You went on your very first plane ride! Momma was kind of freaking out about your ears exploding, but you did pretty great and everyone around us was very gracious. And we drove home. 16 hours. You were a champ :)

They were both really great trips & I'm so thankful for the time we got to spend with your great-great Gram and

This has been a great, busy month. You keep us on our toes & make us laugh every.single.day. 

Little man, you are so great.
we love you more and more everyday!
love, your momma & daddy

God be praised.

Because I'm alive, 
I'll give You my life

Because I am free, 
I'll bow at Your feet 

Because I am loved, 
I'm able to love 

Because I am Yours, 
my worth is secure


lyrics by Elevation Worship

his great-great gram

there are few people i love more than my gram. 
she's amazing. 
she has been a very special part of my entire life. 
and seeing her play with my baby boy brings joy that i have rarely known. 

they sat all squished in the back. 
my mom, gram in the middle, and joshie right next to her. 
she tickled him & kissed him & made him giggle. 
she also fed him ice cream. lots of ice cream. 
and i just smiled.
 only my 94 year old gram can give my baby ice cream. 

it was a short trip. 
but so great. 
love my gram. 
joshie loves his great-great gram. 

back to normal... for now.

june has been a crazy month.
i can hardly believe it's actually july 2nd.

we traveled.
to montrose & minnesota. 

we prepared.
for Joplin Mission Trip. fundraisers & bike rides.

we prayed.
for the Waldo Canyon Fire.
all pictures from facebook

i feel like that pretty actually sums up the month.

our little trips were great. such a blessing to spend time with joshua's great-great Gram & his great-Grandpa Huntley & Grandma Chris.
he was an excellent traveler. airplanes. and hotels. and naps all over. and long car rides.
he is a champ.

we're so close to Joplin. less than 2 weeks now. most of the funds have been raised.
now it's just preparing. and not forgetting. and keeping tabs on everything.
and praying that God will prepare my heart to leave my little boy for 6 days. in a million years, i never thought it would be this hard. i already miss him.... seriously. just pray for me.

and the fires. my goodness. one week ago today, was really one of the most surreal nights of my life. driving down woodmen rd. seeing the mountainside lit up in flames. chills and tears. knowing families who have lost everything. but confident that this was all part of God's plan. but lives were lost. and firefighters keep waging war against this monster... an end is in sight. Praise God!
but it makes you think. if i knew i would never see any of this "stuff" ever again... what would i take? what's important? even our wedding album could be replaced... just interesting and terrifying to think of....
God's in control. He's got a plan for this city. for this firestorm. He knew all along.

in other news. my boy is 8 months old. in just 4 months, he will be one year old. i just don't think i can handle it.
8 month post will be coming late...
as i... left my camera in kearney, ne. i'm so lame. bah.

so today. it's so nice to be home. settle back into our normal routine.
for 13 days at least.
leaving for Joplin july 15th.
i'm going to enjoy this normal life... for now.