Thursday, January 12, 2012


Or, possibly just some asked questions:

Q:  Where did you get the name Dean?  (OR, why didn't you use another M name?)
A:  Dean Mark was the name we had chosen if Mia had been a boy.  And if Micah had been a boy.  So, it's been around for awhile.  The middle name is obvious.  Dean came from a good friend of the family that passed away a few years ago.  You see, Mark's grandfathers both passed away when he was quite young and he doesn't remember them.  Dean was the guy that filled in those roles.  He was the guy that was with Mark when he shot his first deer.  He was the one that liked to tease and have fun with him.  He was a fantastically wonderful man.  We miss him.

Q:  How is it having a boy?
A:  It's great.  We feel more than blessed.  So far, other than the obvious fast diaper changes, it hasn't been too different.  Dean is quite the flexible, happy baby, but I think that's more to do with his third child status than being a boy.

Q:  How is Austin?  What are you doing there?
A:  Austin is wonderful.  We are so thankful God has brought us here.  We are working on God's team to bring God's name to Austin.  Starting in our neighborhoods first.  We are trying to meet all our neighbors and form  relationships as well as enjoy our missional community.  A missional community is a group of people intentionally living life together in order to know Jesus and make him known.  It's loving each other as Jesus would have us so that others will see His love.  We feel blessed to be partnered with God in this.

Q:  What does M(4) + D equal?
A:  I pray that it equals a family seeking to make God's name great.  I pray it equals love, obedience, service, and determination.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


August 1st started out in a rush.  I woke up early and quickly realized something felt really weird.  In my groggy state, I stumbled to the kitchen, made coffee and started a roast in the crockpot before I realized what was different:

I was having contractions.  Coming 5 minutes apart. 

They weren't very strong.  They didn't last very long.  But because I wanted a vbac, I knew my doctor wanted me at the hospital when my contractions reached 5 minutes apart.  So, I timed.  And they remained.  I took a shower.  And they remained.  I called the doctor and he said to come in.  And they remained.  I called our sweet friend, Hope.  And they remained.

We headed to the hospital and... well, they spaced out.  About 15 minutes apart.  We checked in to the hospital anyway since they were expecting us and for the next few hours they remained at 15 minutes apart. 

Wherein I cried and asked to be sent home, since I was barrelling toward another c-section.

My sweet sister and niece were almost to our house anyway, so they decided to come for a visit.  So they played with and watched the girls while I tried to rest and nap -- all the while contracting every 15 minutes.  We played.  We ate.  We laughed.  We went to Amy's Ice Cream.  And watched Food Network.  It was a fantastic time with some of my favorite people.  It would have been even better if those annoying contractions wouldn't have kept coming, especially since they kept getting stronger. 

We went to bed much too late, but we didn't want to leave the fun.  Mark joked that my water would break around midnight.  I told him he was mean and fell asleep.

Until 11:50pm. When I leapt from the bed as fast as a 9-months pregnant lady can leap. 

My water broke. 

Mark is some kind of prophet. 

Doctors were called.  Sisters were informed.  And the road to the hospital was driven again.  Where this time I would check in to stay and finally meet my little man.

I met the absolute best labor and delivery nurse in the entire world.  And saw the on-call doctor again (my doc had the night off).  They were both very encouraging when it came to the vbac.  And the natural birth I hoped to have.  They let me roam the halls and walk and move around as much as possible.  They completely made the experience.  After praying for months for a great L&D nurse, it was amazing to see God's answered prayers. 

The labor experience was tough.  But God is good.  Mark was amazing.  We prayed together and he read scripture over me.  He encouraged me and didn't let me quit even when things got hard.  It was such a sweet time of proclaiming that I needed God to get through the pain.  And I needed Mark, my God-given husband, to support, protect, and love me.  For such an independent and self-sufficient person like me, it was humbling and a huge learning experience.  I wouldn't trade it.

My mom came in around 9.5 centimeters.  She jumped right in and helped me through the last bit.  She was amazing.  And then it was time...

The doctors and nurses let me take control.  It was the coolest experience to feel my son being born.  And then he was there.  And he was healthy.  And he was ours. And my first words were "Thank you, Jesus."

Dean Mark born 8/2/11 at 6:26am.  He was 7lbs 9oz and 21inches.

He got to hang out on my chest for almost an hour. It was easily one of the best experiences of my life.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Micah funnies and more

At night we let the girls have a turn with praying. For at least about a month now Micah's prayer has gone something like this:

"People eat people eat people eat. Red blue people eat people. Amens"

Which (I'm hoping) is loosely translated to:

Dearest Heavenly Father,

Please let all the people of the world, no matter their color or creed, have enough food to eat.

In Your Son's precious name, Amen.

Either that she's into cannibalism. Let's hope for the translation.


Lately, Mia has been making up her own praise songs. Which is possibly one of the cutest and sweetest things in the history of cute and sweet things. Here's her song from today:

"Lord, you are everything,
and you are so good,
and you are so healthy
that you can get us up
and bring us to Heaven.
Lord, you are so good."

Right after I wrote that down, this funny exchange happened:

Mia: Hey Micah! Did you know you can pray to God and ask him to come into your heart and wash away your sins?
Mia: Would you like to do that now?
Mia: Okay, let's pray.
**both girls fold their hands and close their eyes**
Mia: Okay, say what I say. Dear God, please come into my heart...
Micah: Dear God... a heart
Mia: And wash away my sins. Amen
Micah: AMENS! (Pats her tummy) God in my heart!
Mia: No silly! Your heart is here in your chest.
Micah: Yeah. That's my belly button!

(I'm thinking she didn't quite understand the gravity of the situation.)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mia Funnies

So, a bit of a back story to this Mia Funny:

Back when Mia was potty training we started calling her underwear "Big Girls". For several reasons really: 1.) Neither of us liked the term "panties" and 2.) It made her even more excited about being a big girl (and, thus, play along with going in the potty).

Anyway, the term stuck.

SO! The other day, we are sitting around the table at breakfast and Mia is thinking really, really hard about something. Finally, she says...

"So, Mommy, if Micah and I are big girls.... [dramatic pause] Does that mean people WEAR US?!"

She immediately busts out laughing. She's a silly girl. I think we'll keep her.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Go West, Young Man

Closing day at the old house (I just realized Mia isn't too happy)

I think it all started about a year ago. There was this vague feeling of uncomfortableness. We couldn't quite place our finger on it, but both Mark and I couldn't get comfortable where we were. We talked so many nights until midnight or later trying to figure it out ourselves -- and praying over it -- but we would come away often more confused than we started. It was a general feeling of unease that followed us around and crept into our day to day lives. It was distracting. It was tiring. We thought at first it was related to our own crappy attitudes, but even after a concerted effort to change that... it remained.

Then God began slowly moving our friends away. One family at a time were called to other places to do other things. I felt called to leave the dance studio which was gut wrenching. We began to feel like an island. So in addition to this uneasy, uncomfortable, discontented feeling, we began to add the feeling of loneliness.

It was during this time that we also lost Pumpernickel.

There was really no doubt that God was calling us to grow closer to Him.

Sometime around summer of last year, we began to feel called somewhere else. Where that "else" was, we weren't quite sure. But we were certain it was something God wanted. We believed it was Pearland, TX -- a city about 30 minutes from where we lived and 30 minutes from where Mark worked in Houston. It made so much logical sense -- Mark's hour-long drive would be cut in half. There would be greater opportunities for me and the girls if we chose to dive into homeschooling (that's a whole other post!) and everything was just so close and convenient without moving too far from family. Brilliant! Sign us up! Let's sell this house!

But, no. It wasn't right. It felt awkward. Like we were trying to force ourselves into a round hole when we were clearly square pegs. We took a break from pursuing Pearland and began praying. And that's when a seed began being planted in my mind...

That seed grew sometime in the fall. We came to visit friends in Austin and take in a Longhorn football game (Hook Em!). And for the first time in a very long time I breathed a sigh. It felt comfortable. And right. But, made absolutely NO sense, whatsoever. The feeling continued to grow when we visited The Austin Stone to see a friend play in the worship band. Strangely... he wasn't playing that day. But at some point during the worship my heart did a flip-flop.

We were being called here. I was sure.

We began podcasting. And praying. And praying some more. Nothing made sense to be moving here. There weren't jobs in Mark's line of work. It was more expensive -- too expensive. Our family wasn't there. By this time I was also pregnant. But it remained a thought and desire in my mind and began to grow in Mark's as well.

At the end of 2010 a friend of ours posted a list of questions to consider as the new year was starting. Questions about being obedient. About who we were earnestly praying to accept the Gospel message. About truly being stretched and grown. And about praying for God to do something "impossible."

We started praying through these. And decided to take a praying trip to Austin to see where God was directing us.

The rest, as they say, is history. While we were in Austin, Matt Carter, the main preacher at The Stone, was talking about Heaven and Hell. He mentioned that we have a choice to make -- are we going to live full-out for Christ, being radically obedient... or feel content to sit around and play church. Truly, we have no idea how many more days we have left on this earth... why not make in impression for the Gospel today?

It hit us. Realistically, if we live to be 70, we have 40ish years left. As fast as these 30 have gone... I imagine the next 40 will be just as fast. Or faster. What were we doing wasting our time when we knew what God wanted?

So. That was the where. But the how? That was the problem.

But Mark's amazing company said he could work from home in Austin. And continue in the same job. With the same amount of money... including just enough of a bump that made living in Austin possible. God paved the way.

And so we got our house ready to sell. And did it ever sell. Now, we lived in a market that was slow. 6-12 months was about average for a house to be on the market. We put ours up on Monday, February 21. We had our first showing Wednesday, February 23. An offer on Thursday, February 24. And all negotiations were done on Monday, February 28.

You read that right. Our house sold in a week. Our God is the God of impossible.

God was gracious and gave us a long period before out closing date (especially because sweet Micah was having surgery to have her tonsils removed!). And so, April 16th was our moving date. We were headed west.

We had a pretty specific list of things we needed in a house here in Austin and a smaller budget for their very busy rental market. And God provided it amazingly. The house we ended up renting was one that had been on our list from the beginning, but included absolutely no pictures. Until the day we were on our way to find a house. And it was exactly what we needed. And even includes several things we wanted. God is good.

So we're here. We love our house. We're getting plugged in with old friends and meeting new ones. We're starting to see where God is leading us in the mission of reaching Austin -- one of the most unreached cities in America. And it's exciting. Scary, yes. Daunting at times. But that uneasy feeling that had plagued us...

Has been replaced by a peace. We can't wait to see what He'll do next.

News... well, sort of

So, so much has happened since I last wrote. Ridiculous amounts... but I guess that's pretty much what happens when it's been, oh, almost 6 months? Yeah. Sorry about that.

First, foremost, and most excitedly -- We are adding a third child to the family. Yes, most people who would even read this blog would already know this. And I'm insanely late in reporting this news as he is already 3/4 of the way cooked. We're due in early August and are thrilled and so are the girls. Poor third child. I'm sorry, baby.

Oh, you caught that? Yes, HE. We decided to find out this time and the girl we were both totally expecting to have turned out to be a boy. A boy! We are calling him Manna right now, to continue our theme of bread names in utero. He has a name. It shall be revealed at birth.

(I'm actually still in a wee bit of denial that it is actually a boy. I saw the ultrasound, but am afraid it was wrong! Hopefully not, as there is a lot of blue around here right now...)

So far, little man has been very healthy. And head-down. Praying this stays the same.

Mia totally called it from the moment we found out we were pregnant -- she knew the baby was her brother. She did the same with Micah. It's a wee bit freaky, actually. Micah is thoroughly freaked out by the baby moving in my tummy, but likes the idea of the baby.

Secondly, we moved. Across the state. To Austin. There is a long story surrounding this that will be typed out momentarily and hopefully published tomorrow. I want to make sure I get it right. But let's just say that God has been totally rocking our world and blessing us in ways we couldn't have imagined. And stretching us in ways we couldn't have imagined. And... well, just basically calling us to be radically obedient. Good stuff. Good stuff all around.

Thirdly, I still haven't thought of a better blog name. I'm awful guys. I threw a bunch around with Mark and got nuthin'. Please help. I like to think I'm creative, but honestly... I'm just not.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Creativity Escapes Me

I need help, people. Much help...

We are wanting to change the name of our blog. We want to take our last name out of the title.

One problem, though:

I have no creativity left. None.

Do you have any suggestions? Help?