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This past weekend we visited some of our close framily ( friends that became family ) in VA
& we brought our lovely lab Lady with us.
We laughed and were extremely entertained by her fixation on tennis balls,
but of course it got me thinking.
All weekend long 
from the moment she woke up till she went to bed
 tennis balls  consumed her little doggy brain.
Nothing else mattered.
Wherever the ball went, she went.
She didn’t waiver its her and her tennis ball against the world,
and in every moment was as if it were the only moment to enjoy the tennis ball.
If getting the tennis ball required her to
 sit, lay, spin, sprint, or roll over she would do whatever it took to have the tennis ball.
If the tennis ball got stuck somewhere and she felt it without of her reach or there were to many obstacles in her way to attain it,
 she would go to extraordinary measures to be with that tennis ball again.
She was perfectly content to just sit in the grass with her precious tennis ball,
& likewise was willing to disobey Greg and I at the prospect of being with the tennis ball.
Of course as I thought about her and this ball I thought about us & Jesus.
At first it was only a lighthearted remark 
“if only we could be as fixated on Jesus as Lady is on her tennis ball”
but then I reflected on that each time I saw her 
chasing or resting or insisting that you play with the tennis ball too
 because “obviously you don’t know what you’re missing because come on humans TENNIS BALL!”
It may be a bit ludicrous to say our dog inspires us, but so be it.
We would LOVE to be shamelessly fixated as she to tennis balls;
go to extraordinary measures,
to meditate ALL day and night,
to disobey when need be,
to say “obviously you don’t know what you’re missing because come on humans, JESUS!”
to do whatever it takes ( sprinting, sitting still, etc.)
to be content knowing nothing else really matters
 in our fixation on following Jesus.

Happy National Dog Day, 
as our lab Lady is to tennis balls,
may you be as much or even more so on shamelessly fixated on following  Jesus.

exhausted from a long fun filled weekend and lost without her tennis ball

370

On day 365 
we danced.
my thrill his nuisance .
we tubed.
my thrill his nuisance. 
we rested
his thrill my nuisance.
What a sweet gig.
 To be able to have someone partake
 in what is considered a nuisance to them,
just so they can add to the joy of the thrill for you.
What a treasure 
to have that same person 
slowly but surely
 begin to secretly enjoy 
(though they’ll never admit to it)
 doing the things they once considered a nuisance.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to capture to watch the sweet thrill of watching Greg flip on his tube,
but I did manage to capture a few snapshots from our weekend in the great state of NJ
( keep that laughter to yourself, haters gonn hate)
enjoying every drop- both the thrill but most importantly the chill-
 of  quality family time we got
& our Sunday out on big blue ! 
As I write we’re on day 370,
i think about how our days are filled with nuisances and thrills
but we manage to hang on,
way better then Greg on a tube 😉
enjoying the 
sometimes bumpy
 sometimes refreshing 
sometimes salt water burning your eyes 
sometimes exhilarating ride that is marriage,
and life.
May you revel in the thrills & the nuisances, 
because that’s what makes going tubing,
 being married, 
and everyday life so memorable.
Bubu’s Nuisance; showers

Lady’s Thrill; attention

Brendan’s Thrill : Preaching & People

Greg’s nuisance; selfies

Our Thrill; family

Our Thrill; a view of the Hudson River & the Tappan Zee reminiscent of our “just friends” days

Thressa’s Nuisance; when you ask the waitress to take a picture & she decided a good backdrop would be the parking lot

Our Thrill; Sitting waterside watching the sunset.

Thressa’s Thrill; Lobster Sliders… any seafood really  & salad

Thressa’s Thrill; being shameless & asking the bus boy to take a pic ( YES for water backdrop)

Sibling Thrill; a forever rivalry in any game even corn in a hole

Bubu nuisance;sharing the attention when Lady visits

Bruce’s Thrill; Snapchat & Cuddling pups. 

Our Thrill; Fresh Fruit & Old Friends

Our nuisance; disagreeing

Thrill; Scenes that remind you of the song you walked down the aisle to ” & then when we get to the ocean we’re gonna take a boat all the way to the end of the world”

Our Thrill; Lifelong friends & black Labs

Nuisance; putting in so much effort & time into making a quality (+ affordable) wedding album  Thrill; looking through it on your anniversary & it all being worth it.

Thrill & Nuisance; Brothers who think they’re cool 😉

Thrill & Nuisance; i REPEAT brother’s who think they’re cool 😉

Thrill; being their sister ( + secretly knowing they’ve always been cool <3 )

Brendan hanging on ( flashback to us tubing at Word of Life where we conquered the circle of death)…

Greg decided to have some fun & go tubing ….
… followed by Greg’s wipeout <3 

Our biggest Nuisance’s & Thrill’s ; each other

365 days =)

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air. -R.W.E.  ( Thrill; good writers)

Nuisance as a teenager Thrill once your grown and realize how amazing they are; mae’s <3

minha familia 


Straight up Cara de Pau

Nuisance; 3 hour drive home after an exhausting day Thrill; Anniversary milkshakes & reading love letters from our friends + fam

Thrill of the day; watching this hottie go tubing

Thrill; having a handsome husband
They’ve got smiles that seems to me reminds me of childhood memories <3

Nuisance; When you tease your husband for his almond eyes in sun in your eye pics, but then you close your eyes.

365

a majority of people take photos on their wedding day,
it’s a marvelous life changing moment in our lives 
that should be captured,
( & we are SO thankful for our wedding photos, 
our photographer truly blessed us by taking extraordinary photos
 that captured the overflow of  joy & life on that day.
Photos that we finally sorted into an album, 
received in a bright orange package on the 7th of August
 and have “patiently” awaited until TODAY to look through it)
but it remains just that, a moment.

A moment that is only the beginning
of  all the future moments to come
of all the incredible adventure that marriage is.

Rightfully so wedding photos capture the wedding day as their intended to,
but it doesn’t capture the beautiful life changing moments of  day to day marriage.

So several months ago while we were still living in New York the idea hit me,
what should also be photographed is photos of what marriage looks like.

What if young impressionable females of all ages who are fiending over their “pinterest” wedding
instead had a visual of the everyday photos of marriage to swoon and sigh over.

What if the vocabulary used didn’t revolve around ” a beautiful wedding day”
but rather “a beautiful marriage”.

Now Greg & I have the privilege of having both,
Our wedding day, was so beautiful, but our marriage WOAH ….
 our marriage is my favorite.
It’s breathtaking, stunning, gorgeous, enthralling, mesmerizing,
 the kind of marriage that drops your jaw because you forgot it still exists.

So today we have officially been husband and wife for 365 days.
As we celebrate simply & perfectly by being with family,
looking through our wedding album
reading bundles of never before read encouraging letters from our wedding guests,
& debuting our REVAMPED blog all about the count up 
( created from scratch by the technological hottie + genius that my husband is)

May these anniversary photos remind you what it’s ALL ABOUT
may they showcase just a fraction of the challenging beautiful
day by day adventure that is MARRIAGE.

** THANK YOU Relevant Life Photography, for your spontaneous availability

Mont Lawn Camp: Worth Every Second

This past weekend we had the privilege to go to Mont Lawn Camp
there are hundreds of beautiful life changing places in this world,
& for us Mont Lawn Camp will always rank in our top 3.

Not because we got married there, but because of what happens there.
It is sacred ground,
 a space where flawed human beings go
– like the woman with the alabaster jar –
 pouring out their offering to show children the Love & safe embrace of our King.

A place where tears are shed;
from sheer exhaustion of the beating sun & vigorous activities
but even more so
 from sheer heartbreak of the pain they’ve experienced & joy of seeing them come to life.

It is place where the Glory of His goodness is experienced.

Where when you work there
every drop of blood  from playing gaga ball for the hundreth time this summer,
every drop of sweat from canoeing down the Delaware or running around playground
every drop of salt water your eyes leak
from hearing these kids hearts, & being used to love them despite your frailty,
is not in vain.

All presuppositions of the luxury it is to serve is tossed to the wayside,
as your exposed to the nitty gritty, of the hardest job you’ll ever love.

Where you are humbled because you realize you ARE NOT the bees knees,
and that you need Jesus just as much as these kids do!

Where God meets you where you’re at & believes in you, even when you don’t believe in you.

Where you are humbled again because like it or not
these same people you work with day after day,
that the slightest thing they do can irritate you beyond measure,
become some of the few people who forever understand your heart for this place & these kids
so you learn the true measure of
 forgiving your brother, the grace of Christ that surpasses all understanding,
and just how large that learning curve can be.

Where like Narnia, no matter how much time has passed,
it’s like no time has gone by & you still find yourself deeply connected to this place.
Realizing, it wasn’t so much the staff who somehow turned into family that kept you coming back.
It was the kids.

It has been, and always will be them, that tugs on your heart strings.
To cannonball with them
To make monkeybread with them
To DROP THAT BEAT with them.
To watch them catch a frog
& catch the infectious love of Christ, as you take time to listen to them.

Even as we visited we couldn’t help to not only reminisce but to join in;

the lost voice from shouting camp songs all day
the popping vitamin C gummies, EARLY morning staff devos,
& a cup of coffee (with guaranteed stole away coffee grinds that manage to sneak their way in)
  that contributed to keeping your sleep deprived self going.

It is hard,
 it is exhausting,
it is unpredictable,
it is filled with days where you feel depleted
& you can’t make it another second on your own;

and then you realize
  it was never about you; it’s about showing them Him
& letting His grace & strength FILL YOU.

 Mont Lawn Camp.
It goes with you wherever you go,
whatever job you find yourself in the future,
whether or not you ever come back,
it infiltrates your worldview,
& changes your life before you even realize or agree that it has,
because you’ve been living out the gospel in its most draining and purest form.

Your prayers & memories are filled with the way that one camper danced at awards ceremony,
or how the other camper passed the swim test,
or that one camper who tested your patience all week
gave you the most genuine hug you’ve ever felt before they boarded the bus.

THAT is this place.
THAT is Mont Lawn Camp.
THAT is how even if you never come back, you are a lifer at heart.
THAT is just scratching the surface of explaining
why it is THE HARDEST JOB YOU’LL EVER LOVE
 why we are PRIVILEGED TO SERVE,
& why its worth every second.