We received an incredible gift from good friends recently- a new camera!  Chuck and I have been longing for a nice camera.  This surprise gift blew us away, and we are THRILLED!  With every picture our current camera captures, it includes a black spot.  Not anymore!  Our baby can now be well photographed, as well as  video-ed.  This past weekend was oh-so-special, and we had many opportunities to use our groovy new toy.  I am learning to use it, and learning how to get pictures on the computer, and am now about to attempt posting some of our new camera shots.  

Spending time with his BFF's in VA
This makes me laugh- I was practicing the zoom feature, and you can see how thrilled Chuck was with my learning curve.
More to come on our journey home to VA these past few days!  For now let me just remind everyone how much we love it there! 

My Baby Girl

A couple weeks ago my Aunt Keren and Grandma came out East, stayed with us, and then we met up with my Mom's side of the family for my cousin's wedding in NJ.  After the fun wedding festivities and a few days at the beach, they came back to my parent's.  One of the nights we had a fire bowl, and sat outside talking for awhile.  Grandma was really missing her pup, so she scooped Jovie up.  That night she wanted nothing to do with sitting on my lap, but she cozied right up with Gram.  It was super precious.  I love this picture of the two of them together.

Right now Jovie is actually sick and it breaks my heart.  I get so worried about her, which I know seems goofy because "she's just a dog".  But she's my baby girl and I hate seeing her lethargic, and puking.  The other bummer is that the vet is expensive, so we're trying to take the cheapest route, and are praying she gets better within the next 48 hours.  Poor little thing.  This Mama is sad!

The Big Apple

I'm hungry right now, and typing "The Big Apple" as my title has made me hungrier.  I don't know what to do about my constant hunger.  Mom made lasagna, broccoli, and bread for lunch today. It was a wonderful feast!  To top it off Chuck and I shared a piece of yummy chocolate cake that I saved from a shower yesterday.  Before even leaving the table I knew I was still hungry but felt ridiculous eating MORE.  At my last doctor's visit she said I had gained too much weight- 14 pounds total since the beginning.  She also told me I should only gain 25 pounds total for the whole pregnancy.  Please lady.  I'm hungry and I know it!  Anyway, that has absolutely nothing to do with the actual post for today.  Moving on.

We had an all-day interview at a church in North Jersey earlier this week.  Well, since it's Sunday, technically it was last week.  The time with the people there went well, but it was exhausting.  Thankfully they put us up in a really nice hotel, so I was able to take a nap in the afternoon between meetings.  And, a very sweet thing happened while I was napping.  There was a knock on the hotel door and guess who it was?  A delivery man with a vase of one dozen roses all for me! I was so surprised and over joyed!  My husband is seriously too amazing!  He took a picture of me with the roses the next day.

It was such an awesome gift that the church paid for our hotel.  They knew it would be our anniversy so wanted to do something special for us- it certainly was!  I absolutely LOVE staying in hotels!  Growing up, my Dad would get to stay in hotels for his job, so I got accustomed to experiencing some luxurious places.  One of my favorite things about the hotel we stayed in was the king sized, pillow topped awesomeness!  I got to spread out and shift around and stretch in any direction, never to bump into my man.  Plus his heat didn't scald my legs since we had our own space.  Don't get me wrong, I love being near him, and I love finally being able to share a bed with him (I hated that aspect of dating, and am still so thankful to be married!), but the space was glorious!

We started our 4th anniversary morning off at a complimentary breakfast buffet.  If you know anything at all about me, you should know that my adoration of breakfast, especially in buffet form, is a large part of who I am.  Chuck and I took great advantage of this fantastic feast.  French toast, muffins, fruit, granola, bagels, eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns....now I'm getting even hungrier!  Here is the man of the day- if you look closely you can see a small portion of the food in the background.

 We decided to take a train into NYC instead of driving in ourselves.  Either way costs way too much.  Once we arrived we decided to hop on a bus to go to Battery Park, and catch the Staten Island Ferry.  What we didn't realize was that we had to have a card to ride the bus.  But God provided for us, and a lady paid our fare with her own card.  It was so touching to us!  Who says New Yorkers are mean?!

Another way God provided was during our ferry ride.  I heard someone say my name and low and behold a dear friend of our family's was standing right in front of us!  What are the odds?  Lala goes to college in NYC, and is working there for the summer.  The three of us had a great time chatting and catching up, and Lala also directed us and gave us great tips for the day.  Such a sweet, sweet blessing!

 Another gift Chuck got me for our four years of marriage was a caricature. He knew it was something I had always wanted to have done, so he surprised me!  (I'm actually holding up the "gift certificate" he made in the first picture.)  I have to say, having the drawing done was the most fun part of the day for me.  I laughed so much. This is while the man was drawing me, but it was much more fun watching him draw Chuck!

And the final product.

As a friend of mine used to say, all in all it was a great day!  We loved our time together just the two of us.  God provided a free hotel, a free breakfast, a free ride on the bus, a sweet friend, and Chuck actually got his money back for my roses because they weren't to his standards.  =)  Thank you God for loving us so uniquely, so specially.  And thank you to my Love for the best four years of my life.  Here's to a lifetime with you!

I know I look less happy than normal in this picture, but I felt faint.  It was probably the hunger!  Time for a snack.

The End

It's been almost three weeks since we left our dearly loved friends, and home in NOVA.  Though a little late, I still wanted to post some pictures of our finals days there.  God gave us some really special times with really special people.  I wish I had pictures of all our loved-ones, and all the things we got to do, but these pictures will do.  Such warm memories.

Last Sunday morning with our teens.  They gave us a framed verse signed with many, many thoughtful notes from students and staff.

A time of prayer for us on our last Sunday.

We went into DC to watch our friend ride in Rolling Thunder and unexpectedly ran into more friends! 
Hangin' out with our great buds Joe and Heidi- the star of Rolling Thunder!
Some of my precious girls that came to our Open House.