Thursday, March 31, 2011

Signs of Spring in the Northland

-Snow melting and seeing grass for the first time in 5 months


-Longer days (eating dinner by daylight instead of artificial light)

-Appearance of deer

-Neighbors grilling out when it's only 36 degrees outside

-People walking around in short sleeve shirts or shorts

-Being able to take walks without slipping on ice

-Skin not as dry as it was 2 months ago

That's all that I can think of right now.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Iceberg, Right Ahead!

Yesterday, my husband and I went down to our local beach off Lake Superior. Yes, northern Minnesota has a beach! I told you there was an island feel to the area. Last summer, we enjoyed going there to watch the sunset. We would sit in the sand and watch the waves ever so gently come in as the sky and water changed magnificent shades of blue, purple, pink, and orange. It was so beautiful and peaceful.

However, yesterday was different. Some friends of ours told us we had to check out the iceberg, at least that’s what we are calling it, at the beach. We have never seen anything like it. And according to our friends, this was a rare sighting. It was amazing. You could see where the waves came in and froze from some of the windy days we have had recently. I particularly thought it was interesting how the sand and ice/snow mixed. Once again, the photos are taken with our phones’ cameras, so they do not do the sight justice. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Surprise Shower for Baby C

I have amazing friends. On a recent trip back to Missouri, what I thought was just the girls hanging out ended up being a surprise baby shower. I was blown away by the kindness of my grad school friends. One friend commented that the host’s decorations looked like they came straight out of a Real Simple magazine. She always has been a wonderful and creative host for the various events we have celebrated together. It was a sweet time to be with my friends, but I missed those that could not be there.

Sorry the pictures aren’t the best. They were taken with my phone’s camera.

Wonderful food and decorations!

(28 weeks pregnant)

Hooded towel!

Onesies and washclothes!

Hand-made burp cloth!


Incredible friends!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Our First Winter

We are nearing the end of our first winter here in the Northland, or so we are told. Even though we are from Georgia, spending the last five years in Missouri somewhat prepared us for cold and snow. But I will say that we have never been in a place where one of the first snowfalls of the season doesn’t melt until spring. We have learned to drive in the snow, especially on the hilly roads. And we have learned when not to go out because of the amount of snow. We got excited every time it snowed. We admired the beauty of the snow every time it fell. From my seat on our living room couch I have a view of a hill of massive rocks. I loved to watch them cover up slowly with each snowfall. It was interesting to see parts of Lake Superior freeze over.

We loved to wear our new snow boots.

Disclaimer: we did not build this snowman, just took a picture as we were driving around one day. It had to be at least 10 ft tall.

I would even say that we acclimated to the arctic temps. We consider it warm when the high reaches the 30s! For the most part, we loved our first winter in the Northland.

However, it is the end of March and we are longing for spring and all that comes with it – no snow, warmer weather, flowers, etc. We have seen glimpses of spring and with that comes hope. The snow is beginning to melt and we can see grass for the first time since November. There came a point where I looked out the window to see how quickly I could see the hill of rocks again. The days are getting longer and we are seeing more sunshine. In addition, we have hope because we survived our first winter, quite well I might add!

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Beginning of Our New Journey

My husband is a pastor. That means you move out of your comfort zone and into the unknown. This is what happened to us at the beginning of June 2010. However, the process started the previous October when my husband sent out applications to nearly 15 churches to be their next senior pastor. There was a common thread between all but one – they were in locations we would feel comfortable moving to. The remaining one was in northern Minnesota. A place we had never been, and, honestly, I had never heard of. A short couple of months later, my husband was contacted by that church in Minnesota. Within a month, we were flying up there to do the formal interview and for my husband to preach to them. A week later, he received the call, a unanimous decision by the congregation, to be the next senior pastor of this church in the north that is out of our comfort zone. Funny how God works like that! We were very excited, though. Thus started the journey of two southerners to the Northland.

However, it wasn't that easy. I was starting my final semester in grad school all about the same time. The church graciously allowed us to push back my husband's start date until after I graduated that May. It was a grueling final semester, but I finished and with honors!

Then, our new journey began. We boxed up a three bedroom house in one week and had it loaded onto the biggest moving truck you can rent. It was truly a bittersweet time. We had spent the first five years of our marriage in Missouri where we both attended grad school (I should note that we are both originally from Georgia). We left behind many wonderful memories, family members, and friends. I probably cried for the first two hours of our trip to our new home. But, we were starting the next phase of our lives and that was exciting.

To make the journey even more out of our comfort zone, move-in day was cold and wet. It was June, and we were used to warmth and sunshine. Supposedly, we had a great view of Lake Superior from our new townhouse, but for three weeks straight we could not see it due to the dense fog. Also, my husband jumped right into work. In fact, his first Sunday leading worship and preaching was two days after move-in. Those first few weeks were rough and lonely. I missed my old way of life that was familiar – familiar faces, familiar places, familiar weather, etc. But, then the fog cleared, the sun came out, and it started to warm up. The view of the lake was spectacular. I got out and explore our new, unfamiliar city, which is beautiful. We frequently commented that there was an island feel because of the expanse of the lake. I got to know the members of the congregation better. Life was getting a little easier for this southerner.

A lot has happened since we moved. Most importantly, we will be celebrating a year of living in the Northland this June with the birth of our first child, a son. Once again, funny how God works things out! We couldn't be more thrilled, but with that comes fears and anxiety as we continue on our new journey.