Thursday, July 31, 2008

Balancing Dreams...

This time next week, we'll be celebrating our 3rd anniversary. Wow, 3 years already. Just writing those words seems crazy to me, let alone the reality of them. We've spent a lot of time this week, reflecting over the last few years together and the ones that are yet to come, God-willing. In some ways, our wedding day seems like it was just yesterday, and in other ways, it feels like we've always been together. So much has happened in the last 3 years... lots of change, and lots of ups & downs. But despite the roller coaster ride its been at times, these have definitely been the best 3 years of my life so far. There's no one I'd rather ride the roller coaster with.

Amongst all the reminiscing of the past, there is continual dreaming for the future. Anticipation of what's to come.

Last weekend as we were driving home from Vancouver, we got talking about our goals and dreams for this next year of marriage. Things we want to strive for individually and as a couple. So many aspects of our conversation aligned perfectly, even inspite of the fact that we will always have certain "individual dreams." The key is finding a balance between these dreams. Making sure that we support each other even when one of us is more keen on something than the other. Compromise. Not always an easy thing to do... but still important.

I'm excited to see where the road takes us this year.
One of my favorite musicians right now is a girl by the name of Brooke Fraser. She has the most beautiful song called "Shadowfeet" and I thought I'd share the words with you. This song is a wonderful reminder of the fact that we are safe in Him and no matter what comes, we find ourselves in His grip.
Shadowfeet- Brooke Fraser

Walking, stumbling on these shadowfeet toward home,
a land that I’ve never seen
I am changing: less and less asleep
made of different stuff than when I began
And I have sensed it all along
fast approaching is the day

When the world has fallen out from under me
I’ll be found in you, still standing
When the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
when time and space are through
I’ll be found in you

There's distraction buzzing in my head
saying in the shadows it’s easier to stay
but I’ve heard rumours of true reality
whispers of a well-lit way

When the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
When the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you

You make all things new (x3)

When the world has fallen out from under me
I’ll be found in you, still standing
Every fear and accusation under my feet
when time and space are through
I’ll be found in you.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

"A Night of Magic"...

Yesterday was definitely a "feel good" day. You know... the kind of day that just leaves you smiling and feeling content with life. That's the kind of day we had. We got to spend it with our wonderful friends, Hailey & Danny. We love these two SO much and always have a ton of fun with them. Yesterday was no exception.
Jon & I drove into Vancouver in the early afternoon and spent some time just relaxing at Hailey & Danny's place, while we tried to decide what the rest of the day would entail. After quite a few suggestions and many updates from Hailey as to when the fireworks would start that evening (Quote from HT: "Well, the fireworks start at 10pm so we should probably plan to..." -- we heard this approx. 5-6 times over the course of the afternoon. Thanks for keeping us on top of things Hails! hahaha... :) ), we finally agreed on going to the local park for a round of tennis. Now I'm not going to lie, it was a bit of a gong show but nonetheless, very fun. After working up quite a thirst from tennis, we drove down to Yaletown for some refreshing drinks and walked around, perusing some shops and alleyways.
We stopped in at a really ritzy home decor store and were absolutely astonished to find this book (click on picture above to read the caption at the bottom). Amongst gorgeous mirrors, lamps, extravagant wallpapers and furniture alike, was this bizarre story of "the birds and the bees." Only, it wasn't about birds and bees but rather...ummm... well, you can read for yourself. :) This book was cause for MANY laughs and questioning on why it would be in such an upscale furniture store. Oh well... definitely brought entertainment to the afternoon walk.

Danny impersonating "Willy"...

Danny & Jon enjoying their afternoon walk & refreshments...

We ate out at a delicious Italian restaurant for dinner and then went back to H & D's for a round of "Scattegories" before heading out to the fireworks.

Waiting for the fireworks to start...

Hailey & Danny sure love fireworks. The excitement was almost too much... :)

Evening treats...

A little loving...

Trying to love, but only getting goofy faces, as usual...

Finally a good one...
There was great debate as to what the Vancouver fireworks are called. Some thought "Symphony of Fire," others thought "Festival of Lights," or "Celebration of Lights," but seeing as we couldn't agree on a name, we figured, why not just give them our own name. Danny came up with "A Night of Magic" and so they've officially been dubbed just that. Well, by us anyway. And what a magical evening it was... :)

video
It was the United States turn at the fireworks display last night and they did an incredible job. Probably the best fireworks I've ever been to so far. This is just a little snip-it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Twenty-four...

Well... I turned another year older yesterday.  Can't believe how quickly this year has gone by.  So much has happened in the last 12 months... such a wide range of events, memories and emotions have been a part of them.  And yet, through all of the ups and downs of this year, I can only thank the Lord for how blessed I have been.  

I did a lot of reflecting yesterday and something became so clear to me.  God has been working... in BIG ways.  He's been using me, and the sense of joy that comes with knowing that is incredible.  I'm so unworthy and yet, He continually brings people into my life for such specific reasons.  Whether its to change my own life, or for me to change someone else's.  Either way, He's been working in my life and I feel so richly blessed to be a part of his plan.  I read a quote yesterday that rang true in my own heart.

"I don't have any grandiose illusions about being the saviour of the world, but I hope that I can play a little part. I would rather be considered a fool for thinking I can make a difference than for not doing anything. "    Brooke Fraser

Praying He will continue to use me over this next year and in the years to come.  
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And I just want to say a huge THANK-YOU to everyone that sent cards, emails, facebook messages and phonecalls yesterday.  I had one of the most special birthdays I've had in a long time and it was all thanks to you guys!  I felt so loved... thank you.  

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Summer memory-making...

One of my summer highlights, by far, is having my brother and sister-in-law, Craig & Jen, come for a visit. Seeing as they're the last of our family left in Saskatchewan, we usually only end up seeing them once a year, when they come out to BC for summer holidays. We were spoiled this year because we got to see them twice... first, when they came out for Viv & Rich's wedding, and now in July, for their 2 1/2 week visit. This visit was SO good. They stayed with us for the majority of their time here -- it was just perfect having them around again.

Many evenings (and afternoons for that matter) were spent playing tennis, baseball, bowling & GOLF on the Wii. Jon's mom bought one for the daycare she owns and was very generous in letting us steal it for the week and a half that C & J were here. It was definitely put to good use so THANKS AGAIN Mom Esau!! We had a blast with it!

Craig & Jen refining their baseball skills...
I was fortunate enough to get some time off work while they were here. It was really nice to just relax at home, do some shopping with Jen and take a day trip to the Othello Tunnels with Mom & Dad and C & J. Craig enjoyed them so much last year that he wanted to go back, so we spent an afternoon basking in the sun and dipping our feet in the frigidly cold river.

I love this picture! Caught Craig in his "happy dance" and utter delight at being back at the tunnels... makes me grin from ear to ear every time I look at it :)


Another fun thing we got to do with them was go to Vancouver Island. They did a day trip to Victoria with Viv and my parents (Rich, Jon and I all had to work), but we had a wedding to attend in Courtenay last weekend, so they joined us for some more island fun.

Surviving the wind on the ferry to Nanaimo...
Jon showing off his mind-bending camera tricks... :)


Our friends Kathleen & Jackson, tied the knot on Sunday, July 13th at the most beautiful waterfront property in Courtenay. Kathleen was such a stunning bride, as I knew she would be. It was such a wonderful blessing to be part of such a joy-filled day.
The beautiful bridesmaids...
Saying their vows...
Mr. & Mrs. Wall!!

Our wonderful friend Carly, at the reception...
her special day is also just around the corner. Can't wait!!
The happy couple...

Kathleen's sister-in-law, Dayna, made them the most exquisite wedding cake. And let me tell you, it didn't just look incredible, but tasted great too...
Cutting the cake...

The reception ended fairly early so we were able to fit in a little "post-wedding" fun with C & J. We cruised all over Courtenay and Comox and found a few great spots for some quick photo ops...
lots of good laughs entailed...

Captain Jon, reporting for duty...

A little bit of Jack and Kate...
reminiscent not only of Titanic, but also the two lovebirds we celebrated with at the wedding that day... :) haha
Pretty fitting I'd say...

Craig & Jen did some beach hunting while we were at the wedding and found some beautiful spots along the water. We stopped at "Goose Spit" (a small peninsula on the outskirts of Comox) and hit some golf balls into the ocean. This was a definite highlight...
The clouds and sunset were remarkably beautiful that night...




Jen and I found it very entertaining watching the boys prepare their golf shots...
it seemed to take them forever to actually hit the ball.
Aww, such a good night though... one I'll remember for a long, long time.

video

Craig & Jen headed home to Saskatchewan yesterday and the apparent emptiness of the house now is almost more than I can bear. It just felt so 'right' having them around again... I already miss them so much.

It has hit me harder than usual this time and I haven't quite figured out exactly why that is. I guess I just love the way they challenge me spiritually (we had SO many awesome late night talks), and they encourage me so much in everyday life. Life is just more rich when they're around and I hate that there is always the inevitable goodbye at the end of every visit. I'm realizing more and more each day, what an unbelievable gift family is.

We love you C & J! Thanks for making the last few weeks so wonderful. We'll be thinking of you and praying for a smooth transition as you prepare for your move to Regina.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Long weekend bliss...

We spent the July long weekend at Whatcom Lake in Washington and had a truly delightful time. Both Jon and I agreed that it was probably one of the most relaxing vacations we've had since our honeymoon. Plus, we could NOT have had better weather. It was hot and sunny the whole weekend. Just perfect.

The view from our little cabin. It was so nice to have the lake just a few steps away...

Erich, Juergen & Susie hanging out while Juergen prepares the dingy for our weekend water adventures...

Jon getting his favorite snuggles from his favorite niece...

Our ideal weekend activity... definitely a highlight :)

Cody & Konrad spending some time in the sun... don't they look like they're having fun...

Playing with my new "crush" (as Jon calls him)... :)


We spent quite a bit of time in that trusty dingy over the course of the weekend.
Out for an early evening cruise...
Naomi, Ava and myself

Hey Uncle Jon.... ready, set....GO!

Cheeeeeeeese!

Monday evenings supper was by far the best one... rollkucken (sp??) and watermelon. YUM!
Grandma Esau getting the pieces ready for frying...

Waiting patiently for supper...



Grandpa Esau and Dad Esau preparing the rollkucken...


Mom Esau watching Ava goof off as usual...

Konrad was pooped after a long day in the sun and couldn't even keep his eyes open long enough to enjoy our yummy Mennonite dinner...

I'm definitely thankful I married into a Mennonite family. This food is just TOO good... :)

It was such a wonderful weekend and we're really hoping for another camping trip to Whatcom Lake next year. Especially if its as relaxing as this year's trip was. Why do holidays always have to go by so quickly... :)