Here are some (much-delayed) photos from our anniversary trip to New York. Due to a couple conferences, dinners with friends, networking events, and church stuff, I have not had the time to post anything until now. And even now, I must keep this brief since I need to get to bed to get ready for a full week of work, which I haven’t had in awhile.
We kept very busy during our visit — we left our lodging (studio apartment in the heart of Little Italy) in the morning only to return at night to go to sleep. To sum of our trip, we ate a lot and a lot of different foods, walked a ton and my feet cursed me, and got to see as much of NY as we possibly could. We had a blast!
I hated the month of July this year. About 3 weeks were spent with Jason away from home, and our communication was pretty minimal. But, one of the things that got me going was the thought of us spending time together in September. I’ve always loved September; it’s one of my favorite months of the year. The first reason why I started liking September is that it has the perfect weather — not too hot and not too cold (“all you need is a light jacket”). Then later on, I got married in September, which not only makes it a special month, but we always do something special and fun to celebrate our anniversary.
This September, we have some funness planned. Particularly, we are headed for New York to celebrate our five year anniversary later this week! It’s exciting on multiple levels because we are celebrating the big Five, we’re traveling together — with the heavier emphasis on ‘together’, AND, we’re going to New York, which neither of us have been to before. ‘Never?!’, you say?? Yes, I know, I’m a country mouse…
There’s so much to see, so much to do, and so much to eat, though those are pleasant dilemmas I don’t mind worrying about Thanks to Jason’s organizational abilities, we have our tentative itinerary down of where to go and what to do for each day, including where to eat, but we’re open to suggestions, if you’ve got some. What are some of your favorite places? restaurants? things to see?
This is the third year I attended the Women of Faith conference. Last year, I mostly wrote about my excitement of how awesome it was. This year I went in with a high expectation, and I was not disappointed. As expected, I was inspired and rejuvenated, which I really needed. I experienced all sorts of emotions during the conference. I laughed so hard that made me cough, and I cried and wiped the tears flowing down my chin and down my neck. I heard so many messages and felt that God was speaking directly to me, and I wanted to remember them all but couldn’t take notes fast enough. I almost wish I had some time afterwards, maybe even days, to process some of those things. Some of those things, I need to keep figuring out, so the purpose of this post is not to explain some of those ideas. I don’t think I could do justice trying to explain right now anyway. I did want to highlight some of the cool parts, which is much easier to explain.
On day 1, we had a couple hours of down time between the sessions, so some of us went to the Centennial Park. We had a lot of extra lunches we didn’t eat, so we gave away the food to some homeless guys. We then went to the fountain area and took some pics of ourselves being silly and debriefed about what we got out of the messages. We also had some deep conversations during our drive to and fro, which I appreciated. Then we headed back for the evening session and heard some more great messages and it was time for the concert.
Well, music is always a part I enjoy very much at these sort of events. The musical guest were Steven Curtis Chapman and Mandisa. SCC’s story is beautiful, too, but I want to talk about Mandisa because I didn’t know the story behind the voice. Wow! She really blew me away! I liked her songs but wasn’t a huge fan until I got to know her story. Her testimony was so powerful. She talked about how she had been a victim of rape and began to use food to cover her pain. But, God rescued her from that which kept her captive and enabled her to use her experience to speak into other people’s lives. It was evident that she has a joyful spirit and is living a victorious life! I love that. AND most importantly, I saw her leaving the lobby area surrounded by bodyguards and I said hi to her and she said hi back!
When I process some of those things that I think God is trying to speak into my life, I will try to write about it. For now, here are some pictures from the weekend.
I can’t believe it’s finally day 16! One more night until I get to see Jason again. It feels almost surreal. Had it really been 16 days, because some parts of it are a blur, and I’d even been counting the number of nights every single day (must be due to my aging memory)!
So, I’m going to the airport tomorrow, and I am stoked! It’s actually kinda strange because there was never a moment of doubt that I loved him, but honestly, especially being married, you don’t realize this intense longing until they are out of your grasp everyday (See previous blog about absence making the heart grow fonder (Day 8). Okay, I will stop sapping you out.
As hard as it was, I am thankful for the time we had apart. I got to spend quality time with my family and some old friends that I had not seen in awhile. I was able to experience my friends meet their child for the first time through adoption. And I learned about myself, other people, emotions, faith, and grace, among many other things. Well, I wish I had more time to explain about those things, but the sooner I go to sleep, the sooner it’ll be tomorrow so I shall wonderfully drift off to sleep…
It has been over a week since Jason left for Cambodia. Time is on my side and the days are moving faster than I had thought. yay~ Though it could go faster, I think it’s more important that I use this time to really seek out the things God wants me to learn.
I woke up to his email yesterday which was wonderful and couldn’t wait to see him online later on in the evening. Work was rather emotionally draining. With great reward of seeing children be joined with their forever families comes the emotional work of bringing families to that point, sometimes having to jump through the hurdles on demand. Yesterday was one of those days. I wish I could just bring and place the child in the family’s arms.. But I digress.
After work yesterday, I headed over to Jason’s brother’s house to watch my nieces and nephew b/c Kelli needed to attend a meeting. Had my first homemade pot roast for dinner (yum~). I did see and talk to Jason online but only for a few short minutes. That was a bit disappointing and I found myself wanting to reach out and hold him. Absence does make the heart grow fonder..
I had a good time talking with my sister-in-law when she got back. One of the thoughts I had last evening on my drive back. I saw a nurturing side of Kait when she helped me (attempt to) put Felicity to bed. I saw the love of an older sibling and thought about what my oldest sister did to take care of me and Sora while my parents worked. Bora was about Kait’s age but she went above and beyond what even older siblings typically do. She took care of us, fed us, washed us, cooked, cleaned… This wasn’t new information, but realizing that Bora was as young as Kait when she did all that and how hard Bora must’ve had it brought me to tears and gratitude. It made me dwell on this thought for awhile and realized that being the youngest, I never really had to be responsible for anyone but myself. I think God was showing me just how very selfish I still am and have so much to learn about love and sacrifice (and a bonus lesson on parenting). It’s awesome, nevertheless, because I know that He is preparing me for something great to come.
Jason left for Cambodia today. It is awesome that God’s going to teach him and use him in great ways, but I am really going to miss him. It’s going to be a long, but hopefully not dreary, time without him with me. My primary love language is quality time, so I like spending (you guessed it) quality time as a way for me to express and receive love. Because of this, I know there are some of you that are concerned about me while J is gone, so I will attempt to fill you in some of my day’s highlights.
Got to spend time with a client family who received their referral of their baby, which was awesome! I think this was part of the reason why I didn’t get to go to Cambodia, so I can share this experience with this particular family. It was a special time for this family, as well as for myself.
The rest of the work day was typical. Dealt with traffic, stopped by Target to buy some presents for upcoming weekend events
Some of the youth group kids came over to hang out, and they bought me some beautiful yellow flowers and a card. So sweet! Thanks 3 husbands and 1 wife!
Played Settlers of Catan, and I won! (happily settlers after, indeed!) Then watched ‘The Fast and The Furious’
Oscar bit me rather hard today because he was bored and wanted to play, and he finally broke skin on my big toe It didn’t bleed but stung when I showered.
The students left and then walked Oscar
Looked everywhere for the Roomba remote control to halt tomorrow’s vacuum schedule — since I didn’t want Oscar to freak out while I was out and for the puppy training pads to get caught in the vacuum — but couldn’t find the remote. So I had to tilt the vacuum on its side to keep it from running (oh the things you do for your baby..)
All in all, I had a pretty full day which was filled with various pleasantries.. but so much for going to bed early.
Ok, going to sleep now. Please pray for our missions team, as they’re still in flight. Thanks for reading and good night!