Friday, November 28, 2008

A Joshua Update

Hey all.  So, it has been a while, and especially from me.  I typically drive by with a picture or two of Ainsley, but not much in the form of coherent thought.  Thusly, it must be time for some information from me.  

First, an update about photography.  I just shot my fourth wedding, which involved me  flying back to Massachusetts for the better part of four days.  It was a wonderful and terrible trip all at once.  It was so great to see friends, our MA Family, really, and to see all the places where we had once tread.  And church...oh, church was so good.  I got to be in a place where things made sense to me.  Its hard to move away from that.  It was also terrible too, because of everyone I saw, and all the places that I love (mostly pubs and church).  Its hard to know that this was such a wonderful life, and yet it is no longer our reality.  The Northshore is a crazy place, and an intellectual place, and a spiritual place, and many of our peeps are there, but it is no longer home.  I looked around the Logan airport while waiting for my bag at the luggage claim and had the interesting thought that though I knew this place, and had waited here before, and had walked this particular area many times, they had all been with that feeling you get when you have come back from a long journey (especially after the red-eye) and you long for home and your own bed.  Well, our bed is here in Washington now.  It was strange being just a visitor.  
I got to go to choir practice, and Dan, the "Master of music" graciously invited me to sing with the choir during the Sunday morning service.  How cool is that!!?  So I did.  It was in choir practice that I teared up a bit, because the choir were singing two particular pieces for the wedding that I love with all my heart.  The first is a version of the Ave Maria, I don't even know who it's by, but I loved singing it.  The second was my all time favorite hymn 'I want to walk as a child of the light.'  Here is the chorus:

In him there is, no darkness at all, the night and the day are both alike, the lamb is the light of the city of God...Shine in my heart Lord Jesus.  

The tenor part, I feel, makes it, and I think this is one of the reasons why I love it so much.  Here is a link to a decent version of it, though with no words.  

So anyway...back to photography...
The wedding went very well, and was gorgeous.  Marc and Katie looked great, and, more importantly, Jesus was indeed glorified in their union.  The photo side of it went well too, and I finished their images in record time.  Even though this was the fastest that I had edited before, if this were my full time it would have been even quicker.  
I now have a real web page.  It's up and functional, though my designer and I will be going back through it to move some photos around and add more.  You can find it here.  This is really exciting, because I can now start effectively advertising, which is a huge deal.  One hopes that this would bring in more work, which in turn will bring in more.  I have high hopes.  I also got new business cards.  
Speaking high hopes, I will be doing a wedding in july here in Seattle.  This is a huge deal because hopefully it will provide some momentum for work here.  Also, the couple are friends, and so the event should be quite exciting.  

As far as Starbucks is concerned, its getting a little easier.  For those of you who haven't heard me whine about work in the last two months, the short story is that I retained my position as a shift supervisor with Sbux, but the job description is a little different out in the shadow of Corporate, than it is out in Massachusetts.  Needless to say, I felt like I was running around like head-severed chicken.  I was learning a new store, with different rhythms.  I was learning a different time of day, because I switched from closing (2pm-10:30pm) to opening (4am-12:30pm), and I was learning many new elements to a job that I thought I knew how to do.  It was rough.  Things have settled in for the moment, and it also appears that most of my coworkers can stand me moderately well, which is also good.  We'll see how the holiday season goes.  But...at least I am employed.  Seriously...that's awesome.  

Home life is good, though weird.  With these new hours for work, my days are off, mostly because I go to bed around 7:30pm.  I'm getting used to it though, and its not really that bad.  I also have weekends off...that's huge.  We have settled into life with Jerry and Linda and Alex well too, and by and large, I think they like us here...you will let us know right guys?  
There has been a lot of co-prep of dinner, me mostly rocking the grill, which has been a blast.  
All in all things are good, though its hard to feel fully settled when everything seems to be a temporary fix: Sarah's job with REI is seasonal, our living situation will need to change soon-ish, and even my work will hopefully transform this upcoming year.  The goal is to be down to real part time again because I have enough photography work.  Pray for us in all of this.  

Church is also something we are "working on."  We have been to three different churches now, which doesn't seem like many, but we are trying to go to them at least twice, unless it is really obvious from the first visit that we're not going to fit there.  We visited a church up north, much farther than we were hoping to go, and it seemed like a good place, but the commute made this a non-option.  In thought about this, and a lot of prayer, we concluded that it wasn't going to work to spend Advent bouncing around from church to church.  For that matter, what about Lent, and Easter?  So, we decided to make a commitment to Christ Episcopal Chruch of Puyallup, which seems to be pretty solid, for the seasons of Advent (now-ish) through Pentecost (early May).  This will (we hope) give us a really good read on the congregation here, and hopefully allow for us to share common life with these folks.  Also, if I am going to do any church work at all (and I'd like to, since I have two expensive MAs to use here) it would be good to forge a relationship with a rector somewhere.  So...here goes.  We might also sing in the choir.  

Well, enough of this - I took too long writing this anyway, since I started it a while ago, and now its late November.  

I hope Thanksgiving was great for you all.  

May the Lord bless you with his grace and mercy, and may his peace be that which characterized your lives.  
Cheers






What's New?!?


Ains now enjoys her baths (as long as they are lukewarm). She also enjoys chewing on her washcloths. It's pretty funny.


Alex & Mandy bought Ains some cute Disney apparel. Here she is in her little dress onesie. It's darn cute. Let's face it...she's darn cute!
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Okay, so life has not been boring around here since Ainsley started crawling. She keeps us all on our toes even more so now that she's mobile. She is curious about everything. Right now she especially likes shoelaces. It's hilarious--she sees your shoelaces and promptly beelines right for them. She is also enjoying the electric keyboard that my mom put out for her. She can press buttons, pound on keys, and make all sorts of noise. What more can a baby ask for?!? She now also can get from being on her back, side or tummy up into sitting position. It's crazy how fast she masters new skills! Her top teeth are coming in--much to her agitation--so she is drooly all over again.

Oh--and we finally bought Ains her cloth diapers! Thanks to an awesome Black Friday deal, we got Fuzzi Bunz at an awesome price and decided to suck it up and make the plunge. I'm really excited about diapers that I won't have to throw away. Once we've gotten them and used them, I'll let all of you curious people know how she does with them. Everyone I know who uses Fuzzi Bunz thinks they are amazing, and I have no doubt that we will think the same thing.

Joshua and I have decided to make the commitment to attend our local Episcopal church through Pentecost. I'll let him post the details on how we came to this decision. It's not perfect, but we feel good about the decision. It doesn't hurt that it's also named Christ Church. :) I like to have a church to call home now. And even though we will always long for our original Christ Church home, it will do us good to have a place here too.

I think that's it for now! Hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

The latest...

So, I know that it's been a while since I last posted anything about how life is going for us. I guess it's a testimony to how busy we've been (and how much of a slacker I am). Anyway, things are going really well right now. Ains is just over seven months old. She's still as big and adorable as ever. At her six month checkup she was 20 pounds and 27 inches long. Right now, we think she's just under 22 pounds--and growing! She's already mostly in 12 month clothes, which I'm sure she'll outgrow in the next few minutes (or so it seems!). She loves cups, water bottles, and pretty much anything that she can get in her mouth to chew on. She has two teeth with more on the way. Her sense of humor is definitely developing and she finds some things (like Grandma) quite hilarious. While she isn't quite crawling, she is rather mobile. She does this inch-wormy thing where she pulls herself up on all fours, moves her knees up, and then drops on her belly reaching her arms out to do it all over again. She's pretty quick when she wants to get to something. I have no doubt that she'll be crawling before we know it.

We are still living with my parents (who are so wonderful!) So far, it's going amazingly well! Ains loves being with all of these people who adore her! Can't imagine why... :) It's also been really cool for me to spend a lot of time with my mom. We three girls have a good time. The housing situation will hopefully change after the New Year. Part of the reason that we're still here (and not looking for our own place) is because of my job situation.

I am currently working at REI in their Direct Sales office (customer service call center). It's a part time job that currently keeps me busy for 20 hours a week. I'll start picking up more hours here soon as the Christmas shopping season gets fully under way. My position is seasonal, and we will find out if they'd like to hire me on permanently some time in mid-December. Because of the potentially temporary nature of my job, it seems to make the most sense to stay with my parents until we know what the job/money situation will be.

Joshua is working at Starbucks full time, while trying to cram in as much time as possible for photography. He just flew back to MA at the end of October to shoot a wedding for some friends. That was his last officially booked wedding, but there is potentially another on the horizon with more to follow (hopefully!). The lull in wedding gigs will perhaps give him some time to work on personal projects, as well as get more of the business-y side of things tended to.

We still have not found a new church home which is sad for us because we really are ready to settle in somewhere and connect. Unfortunately, we were ruined by the amazingness of Christ Church, and it will be difficult to find anything even remotely as wonderful. If we could have packed it up and brought it with us, we surely would have. We have visited a few nice parishes that show potential, but nothing has shouted HOME to us yet. Hopefully we will find that place sooner as opposed to later.

Well, that's the latest in a nutshell. I promise to TRY to post more often, even if it's just a little tidbit of Ains info.

Play time

Ains has quite a few toys that live downstairs and they were overflowing her previous toy container, so we decided to get her a new one. This new cube is 14" x 14". She likes to tip it over and pull toys out. She also enjoys climbing in to get to said toys. I think it's hilarious.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Avocados...?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Save the North Shore Birth Center!

I just received an email from Jennie at Crunchy Granola Baby (Salem, MA). Apparently there is a proposal to close down the North Shore Birth Center at Beverly Hospital. While I didn't give birth there, I know how valuable the Birth Center is. It would be a tragedy to lose such an important place. Here is the body of the email that I received (you can also join the cause on Facebook):

Immediate Action is Needed Dear Friends,
The North Shore Birth Center has provided all of my birthing care, including pre and post natal, and they continue to provide me with superb care. It is the perfect place to plan for a natural, unmedicated birth, in the care of compassionate, capable midwives. It is a safe place to have a "home like" birth. That may change, the Birth Center is in danger and needs our help.Please advocate for our right to choose where we would like to birth. I am asking you to share your Birth stories and experiences about the North Shore Birth Center with the Northeast Health System's Board of Trustees. They need to know how much the center means to so many of us and how having the center allowed so many of us the opportunity to have the birth we desire. Lets let the Board know how important the Birth Center is to all of us by sharing with them our own Birth experiences.

Thank you,Jennie and Tommie
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Save the Birth Center!!!
There is a very serious move to stop all births at the North Shore Birth Center. It is being recommended to the Board of Trustees of Northeast Health Corporation that all birth center patients be required to labor and birth at Beverly Hospital. NSBC would continue to provide Gyn and prenatal care at their current site. On November 18th there will be a proposal to the Board of Trustees of Northeast Health Corporation to no longer allow women to labor or birth at the North Shore Birth Center. The North Shore Birth Center was established in 1980 to meet the needs of 'low risk women' wanting an alternative to home and hospital births. Since then the North Shore Birth Center has birthed over 6,494 babies, providing quality, low cost, compassionate care in an alternative setting. Letters in support of the North Shore Birth Center can be sent to your local paper and to:
Northeast Health System's Board of Trustees
c/o Mary Ellen Lear, Secretary
Beverly Hospital
85 Herrick Street
Beverly, MA 01915
For more information contact Pav Kneedler at Kneedlerpd@comcast.net