Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hello Atticus

Anyone who knows me well knows I'm an animal person. As in, Rene doesn't let me go for long walks alone because I will likely bring home stray animals as pets, sort of love. You also may or may not know our kitty, Snuggles...

I got snuggles when I was six years old. She fell asleep in my lap on the drive home from the pet store. That's how she got her name, though I'll admit she never lived up to it after that. But she was the best cat. Loyal, adorable, vocal, hilarious. She's family. We wanted her to move with us, but as she's sixteen going on seventeen (which is like a hundred in cat years) and couldn't make the trip, she's now living happily back with family in California. 

So, being the now pet deprived animal lover I am, I convinced Rene to add another member to our family. Because you know, working from home and all, I needed a friend :)

Enter Atticus...

High five...

DOUBLE high five...

Yeah, he's pretty cute. 

He's a big fan of following us around the house, cuddling on the couch, and pouncing on our feet while we're trying to sleep at night. He was chillin' on our porch, excitedly playing with dry leaves when he let me take his pictures.

Speaking of our porch, we'll show you photos of our house soon too. That is, once it is no longer buried beneath a plethora of boxes. 

Well I hope you enjoyed meeting our new little one... We miss you all dearly. 


Thursday, January 12, 2012

2 weeks in

Hello friends and family!

I apologize for being so absent and leaving the blogging/updating to my lovely wife (although I do think that anything she writes is far more entertaining than anything that comes from me). But this is where I begin.

This was my first week at work, even though It was our second week here. Our first week here we were blessed to be given the freedom to look for a place to live. Our prayers were answered and we signed the lease for an apartment in Lancaster city. The apartment is actually really neat. It's a detached converted carriage house behind an old victorian mansion. It's a 2 bedroom 1 bath and the entire living space is on what would be a second story. The "basement" is on the first floor and is actually the entry way that leads to the stairs that go up to the living quarters (photos coming soon to make up for my not so clear description). Anyway..
We are able to move in on Monday, the 16th. We're so excited! The only downfall would be that all of our belongings are still in Salinas. Actually, all of our belongings are being packed up the same day we move into our apt, and will take around 10-14 days to get here. Bummer right?
But we'll be alright. There are some amazing, Godly people here and we're going to be loaned a mattress, a cafe table w/ chairs, and some pots and pans. We are humbly overwhelmed by the love and generosity that radiates through the community of God's people here.

So how was my first week of work? Well, to be honest it kind of went by in a quick blur. I would be lying if I said It wasn't overwhelming. But that's expected right? I'm in a new location, with new people, in a new church, and new set of ways to learn. To be honest that sums up what I've been trying to do this week; learn. I'm also playing electric guitar this week at Manheim (the main campus), so I've been learning the songs for the weekend. Busy, busy, busy!

Yes.. we have been fighting the feelings of being homesick. Again, it just comes with the territory. Monday night we were feeling it pretty hard. It was our 8th day in PA and the day after our one year anniversary being married. On top of it all, It our first day away from each other since we've been here. We thought a lot of home and our emotions led us to wanting to be there right now, but God saw our need. That night we went to LCBC's newcomers class and boy did we get just what we needed! In the class, David (the Senior Pastor) and Jason Mitchell (the Nextgen Pastor) casted the vision of LCBC and told the 100+ people in the room what LCBC was all about. The perspective of LCBC, the philosophy of how it translates into practical daily life, the priorities and where LCBC's heart is, it was like the "About Me" on a Facebook page for LCBC. It was great. Through all of the people that taught and shared that night, God was reminding us why we are here. My spirit was lifted so much that I found myself wanting to yell out an agreeing "Amen!" by the end of it!

Fast forward to the end of the week, and here is where we are - We're preparing to paint our apartment, we both have gym memberships, we've found some grocery stores that sell "René proof" food (dairy-free & primarily vegan/vegetarian), and we're excited for what God has in store for our lives in this beautiful county. Yes we're scared, yes we're a bit lost, but we're following a God that will never fail us. That is the most comforting thing I've been able to think of. The God I talked to and walked with in Salinas, California is the same God I'm walking with and talking to here in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It's starting to make sense why God is referred to as a "Rock". Even though my entire world has changed, He still hasn't moved.

How you can be praying for us:

Health. Travel and adjusting to the new time zone can take a while, and a toll on your body. Jess is just recovering from being sick, and I'm fighting to not get the bug (even though it seems like I'm losing the battle).

Moving. We're moving into our new place this weekend with our loaned furniture. We're also wanting to paint the living room and master bedroom. Also, our belongings will be packed and shipped across the country on Monday. We just ask for an easy and smooth transition (and that nothing gets lost, damaged, or broken!).

Work. As I mentioned before, there are many things I need to learn and get into the groove with. I'm asking for guidance, wisdom, patience (for me and for my employers!), and just the ability to be a quick learner. Also, Jess is still working. She's still booking and emailing clients back in California. We ask for wisdom in how to handle the traveling involved.

Life. We have a completely new life here; a new place, new church, new friends, and new culture. We ask that God would connect us with people that we could grow and do life with. We want/need genuine relationships and are asking God to put people in our lives that can fulfill these roles. There are also a bunch of logistical things like car registration, insurance, bank responsibilities, etc. that need to be taken care of.


Please send us a message on Facebook on how we can be praying for you!

We love you all, miss you greatly, and hope to see/talk/skype you all soon.

With love,

René & Jess

Monday, January 9, 2012

a sunrise and a song

It was wonderful to see the sun the other day. It was also wonderful to be up early enough to see it rise. It's been a rough week full of wonderful moments. We miss home, our dearest friends and family. We miss our cat. But we have been exploring the city and falling in love with it. We've been meeting some really amazing people. I know that deep and lifelong friendships will be found in time and that the ones we've left behind will only grow stronger across the distance. 

It's a strange place to be, in such transition. I just have a sunrise and a song for you today. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

one year ago today

on a cold and grey day in January

we laughed and cried and danced

and promised to love each other forever

Friday, January 6, 2012

hello Virginia

          This week we took a break from apartment hunting in the city to visit our dear friends and fellow californians-turned-east-coasters in McLean, Virginia, just outside of DC. Jordan and Kristy have been some of our closest friends since we were only dating years ago and I can't express what a comfort it was to spend some quality time with old and familiar friends in a new and unfamiliar place. It was a fun night of reconnecting and catching up. We enjoyed the road trip too...

This turtle shot is for you Colleen...

Crossing the Susquehanna river.

Kristy and Jordan's awesome kitty, Oliver McLean.

Rene was happy to get some guitar time in...

exploring a little bit of Georgetown...