Monday, December 13, 2010

Elisa's Third Birthday


Elisa is three. It's amazing how much she's grown lately. I feel like she's matured so much since Jonathan was born that it just blows me away. Here she is on her birthday last year:


And today:


There is absolutely no baby left in her. She is a little girl. It's a lot of fun watching her learn and develop her personality. She loves playing pretend, reading books, and listening to music. She is such a special girl and I'm so happy to be her daddy.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Another Milestone

Jonathan has reached many milestones this week. He turned one, ate his first cupcake, had his first party, and took his first steps. Well, it continued today when he ate his first Burgerville cheeseburger.
A proud moment for me, to say the least.

Birthday Party


On Saturday we had Jonathan's birthday party. It was a great time with family and he enjoyed all the company. He also reached the milestone of taking his first steps during the party and just so happened to have both Grandmothers and Carolyn as witnesses.

Of course he received some wonderful gifts, but I'm guessing that most of all he's glad to finally have some masculine representation in the toy closet. There are now plenty of trucks to go around.

Of course he loved his first cupcake. All in all it was a great day and I'm so thankful to everyone who came to show him how special and loved this great little guy is.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

1


Today is Jonathan's first birthday. I can't believe how much I love this little man. He is so much fun to be around and it's amazing to watch him grown. I love seeing his love for his mom and sister. Anytime either of them walk into the room, he gets excited. He has always been quick to respond to people with a smile and loves being where the action is. His life has truly been a gift from God to us. To begin this celebration we had pancakes and eggs for breakfast. He was very fond of both.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Tradition


One of my favorite Portland traditions is the waterfront concert by the Oregon Symphony. In my mind, going to this concert was a key experience validating that we had really moved back to Portland. We thought we would only be albe to go for the early portion and so we could get the kids to bed. However, my Mom ended up coming into town and babysitting for us, so Carolyn and I had stayed the whole time. We found Becca who had extra space so we could sit closer than we ever have before. It was as good as I remembered it being and combined with the warm weather made for a fantastic evening.

Other People's Posts

Here are a couple good articles I've read from other people's blogs this last week. The first here, is one by Donald Miller about 20 somethings and the delay many seem to have in growing up. It's really interesting and I appreciate some of the challenges he puts out there.

The second one here, I found on CNN.com and is about Christians and sexuality. It's a summary of another blog (so I guess I'm summarizing a summary), but I appreciate the direction of the conversation. If you are interested in reading further about healthy biblical sexuality I highly recommend Lauren Winner's Real Sex and Lewis Smede's Sex for Christians.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Another Thing

Another perk Carolyn & I were looking forward to about moving back to Portland was reconnecting with Multnomah County Library. It is second only to Queens Public Library in circulation and usually considered the busiest in the country for population served. This afternoon we took a stroll over to our local Holgate branch.

As you can see, Jonathan is super excited about being there.

Elisa is enjoying a digital reading of Cat in the Hat. I just love the headphones on her little head.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Not in Arkansas Anymore

Every once in a while I realize how different it is now that we're not living in Arkansas any longer. While driving down 39th (a four lane road) I was surrounded by Outbacks all going the same direction. I love our Subaru and there were a few in Siloam Springs, but on this particular day I was surrounded. There was one in front of me, two beside me, and one behind me. The funny thing was, they were all similar in body style. Our is a 98 and they were all in that same generation. Definitely a first for me.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Searching No More

This is old news now, but for the record - I have a job! I'm the Area Coordinator at Warner Pacific College here in Portland. In my last post I was hoping to have a job by August 1, but I had one just 5 days after that. It's been a whirlwind since then. We moved into our on-campus apartment two weeks ago today and of the 14 days since then I've been gone for 7 of them.

The PAs (Peer Assistants) moved onto campus the same day I did and I've been joining in getting them trained and ready for the year. This last week I spent backpacking through the Mt. Adams wilderness with the campus student leaders. It was a great time and I'll try to get some pictures when people pass them along to me. Just think incredible post card scenery and you'll get the idea.

I am so thankful to be a part of another quality Christian College. It's such a relief to be able to keep doing something I am passionate about. To top it all off, we aren't simply living in Portland as was our goal, we're living on the same street as my best friend Greg.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Still Searching

The clock is ticking and I'm still unemployed. Yesterday morning I heard back from Concordia and it turns out I'm not the guy for them. There was an internal candidate and I'm thankful they gave me a shot at it. I will keep applying and doing what I can, but please join me in praying that I will get a job before August 1.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Too Close

On Thursday afternoon I was on my way into Portland for an interview and just before getting to Scappoose I saw this Explorer in mid air coming towards me. It happened on a four lane highway and when I first saw the Explorer, it was in the turning lane and I was in the lane closest to it. I thought for sure it was going to land right on top of me. When I replay it in my mind I can see it all happening in slow motion. I can still see little details, like how it would be suspended in mid air in between each of it's rolls, how the bumper was starting to come off, and seeing the oil filter go flying underneath my car. I was hit with a few pieces of debris and there were a number of bangs from stuff bouncing around underneath my car. The strangest thing was that fluid from the explorer's engine sprayed all over the length of my car. When I saw that I knew I really was I close as I thought I had been. It was a little after 3 when it happened and there was a lot of traffic so I couldn't just veer off to the right to avoid him. I slowed way down, but there were other cars all around me and fortunately I was just far enough away. I ended up learning later that a Ford Explorer is 16 times more likely than a typical family car to kill occupants of another vehicle in a crash.

Like everyone else, I pulled off to the shoulder and tried to call 911. I couldn't get through so I ran to one of the cars to see if the driver was okay. I was the first one to the white car and the woman was alive, but certainly not okay. I think she was one of the people with serious injuries. I made sure she had a pulse and then waited until the ambulance arrived before I left (it felt like it took forever). I've never seen such a violent accident that close. There were four cars involved and at least two of them had their wheels ripped off and every single one had air bags deployed. Here is an article about the accident if you'd like to check it out. I hope everyone will end up being okay eventually.

When I showed up for the interview about 45 minutes later, I was still shaking a little bit. The lesson of the day for me was how quickly life can change. Things you have absolutely no control of, like the frequent roll over rate of SUVs, can completely change your life in an instant. Three of those cars were just driving along perfectly safely and responsibly. It only took one little Honda Civic to set off a chain reaction that happened so fast that they couldn't avoid it. I'm very grateful and thankful that I was spared from being the fifth car in this accident.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Search Continues

Last week was quite eventful on the job search front. I already mentioned in my last post that I had a second interview at Concordia on Wednesday for an advising position (I was 1 of 2). That interview went great and after 3 hours I had another interview for a different position. Since I was on campus they invited me to lunch with residence life folks to interview for another job I had applied for. Thursday I got the call that I didn't get the advising job and half an hour later I was invited back to campus for a second interview for the res life job.

As I drove into Portland Thursday afternoon I was only a few feet away from being involved in a major car accident, but that is another post all together. Thursday night I hung out with the staff, toured the campus, ate dinner at Kennedy school, and met with some students. It was great and I'm really excited about joining the team at Concordia. On Friday I found out I'm one of two (again) and was invited back, although this time with Carolyn. On Monday afternoon we'll be heading in and I'm excited for Carolyn to meet everyone and see the campus. I love working with college students and this position is a really good fit for us. I'm very excited and hopeful, but I've definitely realized again how very little control I have. I can only do my best, pray, and wait.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Good Things

I've mentioned this before, but I've had so many "It's worth it" moments this summer. The picture above is one of those moments. Elisa having a tea party with my Mom and Gramma. My Gramma always had tea parties and is a favorite memory of her from childhood. I'm so happy that Elisa can have those experiences with her too.

In other news, I had an interview at Concordia University in Portland yesterday for a job that I'm really excited about. Tomorrow I have a second interview that will last a bit longer and will be there most of the morning. I'm really hopeful and think this advising position would be a good fit for me. I'm trying not to get too far ahead of myself, but I am really hopeful that by the end of the week I might have a job.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Celebrating Brain Freezes


This month is the Slurpee's 44th birthday and to celebrate 7-11 is giving them out for free tomorrow. Don't drink it too fast or you'll end up with sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia (the scientific term for a brain freeze).

Friday, July 09, 2010

My Beautiful Wife


I am so thankful for this woman for so many reasons. She is a beautiful woman of God. She is smart and has taught me the value of reading a book. She is an amazing mother and constantly amazes me with her wisdom and patience. I really appreciate her willingness to try new things and be creative. She is the first person I want to talk over a new idea with and the last person I want to see at the end of the day. Life with Carolyn has made me a better man and I'm amazed that I get to married to her. Happy Birthday Carolyn, I'm so happy to share today with you!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Life

Where to begin? We've been back in the NW for about a month now. We really have enjoyed being with our families. There have been many times when I've seen Elisa playing with her grandparents and thought to myself, "This is why we did it." It's been stressful being in such a state of transition with searching for a home and job, but I'm really happy to be back in the NW.

After a drought of 4 1/2 straight weeks full of NO's from the job prospects, I'm finally starting to see some action. I had two interviews last week, two this week, and one scheduled for next week. It's also been encouraging to have some student development job postings in the last few weeks. I'm hopeful that I'll have an offer soon.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

My Little Guy


Jonathan has reached a milestone. He has teeth! Two little ones right in the middle on the bottom have poked through. He's drooling like mad, but I think he's pretty relieved to have them through. The picture above is from this morning before heading off to church. Elisa brought him the flowers that we had sitting on the porch.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

On a Rainy Day

You sometimes need to walk in the puddles:


Saturday, May 08, 2010

It's a long story...

...but I'll keep it short. Two weeks ago I flew to Seattle to interview for a Residence Director job at Seattle Pacific University. On Tuesday they offered me the job. On Friday I turned it down.

I've never turned down a job before and this definitely feels weird. The hardest part was it would've been a good decision to either take it or not. In the end there were enough red flags and things that weren't a good fit to make us realize how to choose. The downside of turning it down is obvious, I still don't have a job. The upside is we're moving forward with plans to move to Portland and I've got two months to secure an income. I'm still working through the end of May and we'll be moving the second week of June.

For a while now Carolyn has said we need to start packing when students leave. Well, today they left and we are officially in packing season. We always leave here during the summer and I'm having to remind myself that we are actually leaving forever. This won't be our typical summer vacation, but I'm excited and hopeful about what's ahead.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

J. Alvin Day

We had a big J. Alvin celebration day on Tuesday in which all the residents wore their new red "J. Alvin MAN" shirts. We had a cook out on the quad (a little pinata Sponge Bob included) and topped the evening off with a concert in the Atrium. It was a great time and the weather was perfect.


J. Alvin men use their fists, not bats.


I'm going to miss living here. It's a great place to be.

The guys surprised me with a banner of love and a killer cake for us.
Notice that little hand reaching for the frosting?

Jonathan couldn't quite make it to the end of the party.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Big News

Jonathan rolled over for the first time today! He rolled back to front and then got really upset he was on his tummy (he doesn't enjoy tummy time very much).

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Triathlon


The first ever JBU Triathlon event was a smashing success. We had 100 people (75 athletes & 25 volunteers) and raised over $2,000 for The Genesis House. The weather was perfect and everybody seemed to enjoy themselves. The logistics ran pretty well and no one got hit by a car, so I was happy. Leading up to the event the car scenario was my worst fear and I had hopes of getting 50 people to run. Having 100 people was way beyond my expectations.

At the finish area lots of people said they were looking forward to next year and asking if we'd do it again. I really wanted to reassure them it would happen, but because I won't be at JBU (and neither will the other main person who helped me) I could only say, "I hope so." Another surprising stat was that we had more triathletes than people running the 5K. Carolyn ended up running the triathlon and had a pretty good time too. It's especially amazing considering she hadn't ridden her bike or swam since before she was pregnant with Jonathan before this week.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Friday, April 02, 2010

JBU Triathlon


One week from today, JBU will host it's first Triathlon on campus. I'm really excited and nervous at the same time about this. I had been thinking about trying trying to put this together since September and now it's hard to believe it's really happening. It's turned into quite the event now. It'll be a 300 meter swim, 12 mile bike, and 5k run. At the same time as the tri there will also be a fun run/walk. The whole thing is a fundraiser for the local homeless ministry, Genesis House. I'm really excited about the potential of this event and how many people will participate. This week I just have to make sure that all the logistics come together and pray that it doesn't rain.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Quote of the Day

"It's okay Jonathan. We're almost home buddy." - Elisa, as said to a fussing Jonathan on the way home from the store.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Another Roll Developed




I think my family is super cute.
Its great being married to such a great wife who loves me and our children so well.
The picture below is the J. Alvin RAs from our retreat to Grand Lake, OK last weekend.


Saturday, March 06, 2010

Moving

It's been a great four years here in Arkansas and we have loved being at JBU, but this is it. We've made it official and we're going to be moving back to the Pacific NW with or without a job this June. I'm hoping to get a job at a Christian University to continue working in Student Development somewhere in Oregon or Washington.

I will officially be unemployed at the end of May and we will most likely move sometime in mid-June. It's amazing how fast these 4 years have gone. We're looking forward to Jonathan & Elisa to be able to spend time with the Grandparents on a regular basis. It's definitely nerve wracking to quit a job I like without anything to replace it, but we feel like this is the right time to move back. Please join us in prayer as I search for a new job and for the transition.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Traded

News broke today that the Blazers are trading Steve Blake & Travis Outlaw to the Clippers for Marcus Camby. This trade makes a lot of sense and shows that the Blazers management have made reaching the playoffs a priority. Camby will fill the part of the significant gap left by Oden & Pryzbilla and should provide some decent shot-blocking defense and rebounding.

It's hard to see Blake & Outlaw go, but with their expiring contracts it was unlikely either of them would be around next year anyway. Blake leaving does put more pressure on Bayless to become a quality and consistent leader of the second unit. I feel good about this trade because it doesn't mortage Portland's future simply to make the playoffs for this year (no major pieces of the puzzle were given up). It gives this young team a fighting chance to make the playoffs and in turn gets them experience so they are better prepared for a champioinship run in the next couple years.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A-Team 2.0


Believe it or not, there is a new A-Team movie coming out in June. I just saw the trailer and I'm excited (You can watch it here). Two years ago I wrote a post telling about my history with this classic TV show here. There are a couple decent actors in it (Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper) and other names you've heard of (Jessica Biel). My expectations aren't that high, but I can guaranty that I'll watch it. I'm too big a fan of the original not to give this one a try. I'm just hoping Mr. T will make a cameo.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sharing

Here are a few random pics off the cell phone from the last few weeks.


Fountain in downtown Tallahassee. In the building behind this fountain sits a wonderful New Orlean's style restaurant named Harry's, where I had one of the best meals I've had in a long time. I wish Carolyn would've been there to share the goodness of the creamy basalmic feta dressing.


Main entrance of FSU.


Is it wrong for a father to pray for his son to be a fan of his favorite team?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Green Shipping

Today, I received a calendar I ordered off Amazon:


The calendar has a sticker that says, "ECO Friendly." It was delivered in a 1,500 square inch box full of paper.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Weekend, what weekend?

It is great to be home, but between church and the J. Alvin super bowl party today I don't really feel like I've been "home" yet. The presentation went really well. It took a lot of time to prepare, but I'm really happy with how it went. We didn't get the best time slot to lead our session, but I'm glad to get the experience. We were the first session on Saturday morning and we brought Krispy Kreme for everyone to help get them ready for dialogue. Elisa got sick the day after I left with a fever. The fever is gone now, but she is still on edge and pretty emotional. She starts crying and freaking out really easily and quickly. I'm hoping she sleeps long and well tonight so that she causes less stress for Carolyn going into another long work week.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Reservations

Greetings from Tallahassee! I'm in town for the conference I wrote about a few months ago here. As I was renting our car tonight I was reminded of this Seinfeld clip:


Our car rental went fine and we got our car, but our hotel overbooked and we couldn't stay there. We had to go to a different hotel. They are taking care of us and it will get worked out, but it makes me laugh.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Snow Art

Here is a highlight of the snow art found around campus this week:

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pic of the Day

Although we haven't weighed him in two months, we think he weighs as much now (3 mo.) as Elisa did at a year.

Elisa Singing

A few of Elisa's favorite songs to sing: Baby it's Cold Outside, Jesus Loves Me, and ABCs.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Midseason Grades


Here is my assessment of the Blazers at the mid-way point of the season. Keep in mind that this is subjective and mid-season grades are really relative to my expectations at the start of the season. Here you go:

The MVPNBR award (most valuable player not named Brandon Roy) goes to Martell Webster. He lead the league in 3's this month and has really stepped up his game this year.

Roy: A- He is carrying this team and not letting down any expectations for a two time all-star. It would be a solid A if not for the injury concerns.

Aldridge: C. He's not stepping it up. Besides aches & pains, is he having big contract let down?

Miller: B- It would be a C- if not for the month of January.

Webster: A- Rough start to the season, but for how long he was out he has adjusted nicely. Can't wait to see what he can do in the coming years if his play can stay consistent.

Bayless: C+ He's just too inconsistent. I get nervous every time he touches the ball. He's shown flashes of brilliance (starting in place of Roy), but I'm not convinced he isn't just reckless with some luck. He has yet to have a stand out game against a solid defensive opponent (Except San Antonio who was having an off night.

Blake: C- He's just not been in this season yet. I'd like his flaming bag pass numbers go down and his shooting percentage to stay up.

Howard: A. This guy has stepped up big time. He could have been taking it easy coasting through these twilight years at the end. Instead he's working his tale off and coming in clutch. Did anyone predict Portland fans would be buying Juwan Howard jerseys at the beginning of the year?

Cunningham: C. Portland brass had high hopes for him coming in. He's handled the surprise of playing time well, but it's too soon to tell what he'll become. He's very athletic and it would be great if he could play a little more physical.

Pendergraph: A- He has amazed everyone with the role he's taken on this team (you'll find him in the middle of the pre-game circle getting everyone worked into a frenzy). He plays with such intensity and is carrying Joel's spirit of toughness.

Fernandez: C. Didn't get into a rhythm before he got injured and will need some time before getting back into the full swing.

The rest of the injured guys & Patty don't get grades since they're out of the picture all together right now. One comment on Joel & Greg though; it's just bad luck. The Blazers have to plan their future around LA & Roy. The lesson of this season is that anything they get from Oden is gravy and will help tremendously, but he just can't be relied on.

Coaches grades:

McMillan: A. Solid grade for handling a freakish year and keeping this group together. Also, extra credit for getting onto the court and sacrificing his Achilles for the sake of the team.

Monty Williams: A+ He stepped up huge on the east coast trip without Nate and got the team to stop navel gazing. The job offers are going to start coming in for him to get a top dog spot with another team any day now. This is a healthy sign for the Blazers. Good coaches reproduce good coaches (think Bill Parcells).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Nice Break

We had a great time in the Northwest. Traveling went well both directions. On the flight home last Friday, Elisa didn't sleep at all until the very last minute, literally. As we were landing I turned to her and said, "Look, we're landing! See how the ground is getting closer?" Then I looked over at Carolyn across the aisle and less than a minute later turned back to Elisa and she was out in a deep sleep. I ended up carrying her still in her car seat off the plane:


Upon arriving we found Siloam Springs to be in a deep freeze. The high temp last Friday, the day we got back, was 12. The picture below is of the fountains downtown by the library where Carolyn works.

The freeze is over by the way. Today it was 54.