Thursday, January 25, 2007

Since Then

Two weeks ago, my cousin and his girlfriend came to visit us. Sam and Karen are lovely people to be around. They are a lot of fun. Unfortunately the weekend they came was very rainy and cold here in Austin, so we weren't able to do as much as they wanted to outside. I did get to cook for them, however, and that was fun for me.

I have begun my internship for school with my current employer, Fine Home Dining. It has kept me busy, but I really enjoy what I do. Hopefully this is just a stepping stone for owning my own business someday.

Last Monday with Chris's 27th birthday. We celebrated by going to a movie and out to dinner. Thanks to everyone who emailed him a birthday wish. I made his cake and we brought ice cream to our community group that we shepherd from our church. It was fun to celebrate it with them.

We are excited for this weekend because my sister-in-law, Laura and her husband, Josh are coming to visit. They haven't seen our house yet, so it will be fun to host them. And of course, I am excited to cook. When we have company, it's an extra excuse to buy great products and cook really well. And people always feel special when they get to eat well.

And Chris will be going to Minneapolis for a few days next week, teaching AMD folks up there about the latest and greatest.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Goodnight and Good Luck

Whew....okay, I'm done now with posting all those pictures. Let me know how you like them. Goodnight and good luck.

Last Few

#13: Chicago folks...soo good to see them, too. We went to eat downtown right on Michigan Ave. one night and had a ball. can tell we had fun. :)
#14: Aaron Brunner was Chris's Best Man in our wedding. Stacey was pregnant at the time, so we got to meet Ben for the first time on our way home in Oklahoma City. They moved there from L.A. in August, so we are hoping to see them more often.
#15: The Nemkos...short for Nemkoviches. Madison is the one up on the shoulders and she's as cute as can be. Bonnie, her mom and my cousin, and Tim are expecting baby #2!

A Bit More

#9: Back on campus. We hadn't been back since our wedding day. We spent last Tuesday just walking around, reminiscing about good memories. We even bought a Purdue license plate frame and tee shirts. :)
#10: The 10House hosted such an awesome get-together for us so that we could see as many people as possible in one short evening. It was so good to see familiar faces and people who love us. We are very blessed.
...In all their masculinity, guys will be guys.
#11: Roger and Lana officiated our wedding and they were gracious enough to house us for a couple nights while we visited West Lafayette. They speak such wisdom into our lives.#12: These are Chris's paternal grandparents, Bob and Vivian. They are sweet and funny and very hospitable to us every time we visit. We had an enjoyable stay with them and some great food!


#5: The Gordons! I hadn't seen them in 5 years, but we managed to snag a couple minutes together, meeting at a store. We went to the same church, then they moved to NC. I used to babysit these boys when they were little guys...sniff, sniff. Keith and Heather look just the same. Miss you lots.
#6: Time with Aaron. Nuff said. Love that boy.
#7: How adorable is this?! Abby, my sweet little cousin, just set the stage for all the fun that was had with Billy Bob teeth on New Year's Day at my parents' house. I enjoyed getting to see my mom's extended side of the family. It had been since Thanksgiving of 2005.
#8: Home. This picture captured the "home" feeling for me. As new people are added to our family, my mom and dad just make way for more stockings and pound more nails into the mantel. I soaked up the time I had with my parents and siblings. They are just wonderful and I am very blessed.

Some Highlights From Our Trip (in order of appearance)

#1: Spending time with my cousin, Carrie! I can't believe how big she is. She was a Junior Bridesmaid in our wedding a year and a half ago, but I remember her looking like a little girl then. She's definitely a pre-teen out, world!
#2: Singing with the Singers--well, not really. They are our dear friends from Purdue. They both work at Purdue Christian Campus House, where Chris and I worked. They met us for lunch one day while we were in Anderson. We love you guys!
#3: Undoubtedly, I had a blast with my best friends from high school. They make the trip home worth it and super-fun! Everytime we get together I always manage to get all emotional on them, telling them how beautiful they are, how much they mean to me, and talking about Jesus's amazing grace. How thankful I am for Stephanie, Jenny, Michelle, and Susan.
#4: I got to go to Aaron's (my twin brother) girlfriend's graduation open house. Allison is second from the left. This is her family. She's very sweet and we love her!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

2006 Xmas Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

As an engineer in charge of this year’s letter, here is the year as concise as possible… school, murder, community group, home, Singapore, loneliness. Okay just kidding, here are some details…

In January, Carey started classes at a culinary school here in Austin. She has done amazingly well – top of her class! December 21st, she finishes her last class and will officially graduate this spring after her internship. It has gone so fast and it has been a blessing to see her grow and discover something at which she excels and loves. Plus, I’ve been eating good!

Our first tragedy as a married couple happened at the end of April. In short, we witnessed the accidental shooting that resulted in the death of our next door neighbor. Even eight months after the event we still feel some emotion in writing about it.

Partially in response to what we witnessed, but mostly tired of renting, we got serious about buying a house. In May, we found a place we liked and walked through the scary, yet exciting steps of buying our first home. I don’t think either of us slept a wink the night we put an offer on the house.

The new home has been great. We have been remodeling the guest bathroom, eating breakfast with our squirrel friend in our backyard, and hosting a community group from our church. Carey’s computer is still sitting on the floor in the study, but we are getting there.

Not five days after we moved in, I left my wife to a box of houses for Singapore. AMD sent me over for three weeks of long hours of problem solving and training the Singapore team. It was a productive trip for work and also for ministry. While there I was able to visit Chinese, Malaysian, and Filipino churches with co-workers. I had no idea they were believers and it was mutually encouraging to discover each others’ faiths in Christ. Truly the Church of Christ is without boarders and crosses all cultures.

It’s been an eventful and stretching year for us. We’ve both learned a lot about personal discipline and the value of faithfulness in the small things. In some ways it has been a lonely year as our friendships here are young, but it has also been a very fulfilling year. We have both overcome obstacles that have left us with truer understandings of ourselves.

We look forward to another year of life and marriage. Our prayer for you this Christmas is that you would gain a genuine understanding of the transforming love of Christ.
May your life never be the same.

Merry Christmas, Chris and Carey