Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mission Possible!

Kyle's dad got us all in the car one Saturday & we headed to Charlotte. The car arrangement is important, so here is who was in each car:
  • Car 1:
    • Kyle, Kinsley Anne, and myself
    • Kyle's brother Ryan & wife Ashley
    • Kyle's brother Clay & fiancee Tory
  • Car 2:
    • Kyle's mom & dad (Kinsley Anne's Nonie & Poppy)
We were all chatting/doing work (our hard worker Ash)/watching Charlotte's Web, when all of our phones either vibrated or rang. We started reading a text message that read like this:

Mission Possible....
Behind Clay in the right pocket of the red bag, you will find an envelope for each passenger of the car. Your mission is to use the contents for yourself only and you must use the total contents and will have one hour to do so. Your time will begin once we finish lunch. Again, total contents. On Yourself. Something you would NOT normally do.
Mission Possible!

Chaos ensued inside of the vehicle after that, because we realized that there was a $100 bill in each envelope, for each of the passengers of the car, including Kinsley Anne. The questions were...what do I want? Do I need anything? Do they have a store with ___? I got on the store directory for SouthPark Mall and started searching. 1 hour in a big mall is not much time.

Our plan was to head to Cheesecake Factory for lunch but with a hungry 2 year old & a group of 8 (+ a toddler), the wait was going to be 1 hour. So, we decided to hit up the Southpark Mall Food Court & start our mission!!!

The race began as soon as we ate. Nonie took Kinsley Anne & I went off by myself.  First, I was on a search for a purse. I wanted a new crossbody. However, all of the ones I liked were north of $400. Plan B.... Boots. I wanted riding style boots and a pair of black boots with dark brown up top...similar to these. But if you click on that link, you'll see that they are nearly a grand...NOT happening. So, Plan C.. Jewelry. That's when I found the store that every girl loves...Tiffany's. I purchased a beautiful piece wrapped up in that gorgeous blue/green box. I have worn it every day since.

{this is customer service.
a customized email later that day from the salesman at Tiffany & Co. thanking me for my business}

When I met back up with Nonie, Kinsley Anne was crying for sassy. She was tired from only napping <1 a="a" above="above" all="all" amp="amp" an="an" angels="angels" any="any" be="be" came="came" car.="car." charlotte.="charlotte." department="department" didn="didn" even="even" for="for" from="from" had="had" he="he" hen="hen" her="her" hey="hey" high="high" hr="hr" href="http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/gund-sesame-street-stuffed-animal/3006493?origin=category&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=&resultback=1100" in="in" into="into" it.="it." kids="kids" low="low" money.="money." music="music" nbsp="nbsp" nordstrom="nordstrom" now="now" o="o" of="of" on="on" out="out" passed...no="passed...no" perfect="perfect" picked="picked" que="que" removed.="removed." ride="ride" said="said" sassies="sassies" sassy.="sassy." sassy="sassy" searched="searched" she="she" spend="spend" store="store" stores="stores" t="t" tag="tag" that="that" the="the" through="through" to="to" toy="toy" up="up" upon="upon" wait="wait" was="was" we="we" went="went" whining="whining">Abby Cadabby
doll and a pair of light up Skechers boots that SHE picked out all by herself. I put her in front of the shoes (since she only had 1 pair that fit at home, and let her go to town).  She investigated all of the Tom's.  Then, the boots, until she came across this pair.  She wouldn't stop stomping her feet for ~2 days straight to make them light up! She loves each of her purchases. I have taught my girl how to shop early. 

Amongst other purchases in the group were a purse, athletic gear, boots, sports coat, belt, milkshakes, etc. However, most importantly was the fun had by everyone. This was SUCH a fun game. It was expensive for Randy, but we had a ball & Randy definitely gave me a souvenir to remember our family by. As you can see, my necklace is an infinity knot. There is a lot of meaning behind this. I hope that all of our family realizes that our love for them never ends. This also represents that there is no true "beginning or end" to our story. I can't help but think often of the song by Semisonic, Closing Time, that says: "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

Thank you for the great memory!  We still have time to make more & that's exactly what I plan to do!

Until Next Time..
Love, Jen

Friday, October 26, 2012

Leavin' on a Jet Plane...

Dear Family,

   We wanted to write a letter to our close friends and family (and I consider my blog readers to be part of that category) to let you in on the newest adventure in our lives. As you may or may not be aware, our “little family” is at a crossroads and will be relocating to Houston, Texas over the next couple of months.
   Kyle has been able to break though some of his struggles at work over the past year. However, the next step for him would take us out of town on a long-term assignment, likely without a promotion. Realizing the likelihood of relocation since Fluor was not giving Kyle the right opportunities at this time, one of Kyle’s contacts asked for an updated resume to pass along. About five weeks later, Kyle received a voicemail from WorleyParsons showing great interest and requested a phone interview. After much discussion and research, the phone interview went great and a face-to-face interview was scheduled in Houston, TX. The interview in Houston was intended to be a one day trip, but turned out to be quite the roller coaster and extended for another day. Kyle interviewed with his potential manager, Tom, first and was told they would be putting together an offer soon. After a few other interviews, Kyle found a project he felt would be a great fit on as a Project Engineer, given his experience and interests. This is a great career opportunity to step into project management, so after a week of negotiations, we are committed and Texas bound!

   Jen has also been struggling for quite some time regarding her career desires. She has been praying about what she should be doing to better provide for her family, but also not “give up” on her awesome NP career. She has been blessed with amazing coworkers during her time in SC, but she is very interested in getting plugged into a hospital system that is dedicated solely to children. She feels that although her current hospital system does a stellar job caring for the children in the Upstate region, there is a difference between a dedicated children’s hospital and a children’s hospital within a larger hospital. Jen looks forward to finding a part-time pediatric NP career so that she has extra time to spend with Kinsley Anne and better keep up our home.
   Hopefully the above information helps explain the ‘career’ reasons for our decision, but it is only one piece of the puzzle. We have been praying for God’s guidance in our life, specifically asking for direction in where we should be going geographically and how we can better serve. We have had a strong feeling inside of us that we are not doing all that God has called us to do in life. Through the process of considering Houston, both of us have had an extreme sense of peace and feel like we are being led in that direction. As much as we would like to say we can simply follow God’s calling, we have still struggled due to the fact that we will be leaving the family and community that we LOVE. We have gotten fully involved in the local church, we have Kyle’s family here, Jen’s sister nearby, and let's be honest - everything's familiar. However, we understand that life comes in seasons. All of our families have gone through seasons away from ‘home’ and we feel strongly that the next season of our life should be spent in Texas. The Upstate of South Carolina still holds a large piece of our hearts and given the right opportunities and time, we feel that our time in Houston may prepare us to come back to you in a better situation.
   Thank you to all of you for the love and support that you have given us throughout our life. Although you, like us, may not be excited to say goodbye, we appreciate your understanding and support during this season of our life.

Much Love and Thanks,

Kyle, Jen, and Kinsley Anne

Houston, Ima comin' to see you
Houston, has it really been that long?
I know I've been away
But I'm just callin' to tell you that I'm leavin' today

-Glen Campbell

Thursday, October 25, 2012

2 years old!!

What a difference two years makes...

Kinsley Anne, 
  Two years old. Is that possible? It doesn't seem so.  Your daddy & I have had the pure exhilaration and pleasure of carrying you & letting you carry us through uncountable trials and triumphs throughout these past 2 years.  From taking home a precious but fragile child from the NICU, to seeing you sit up for the first time in the pediatrician's office, to watching you take your first steps, to listening to you string words together in your first phrases, every milestone you have reached has been a true joy to be a part of.  

We can only imagine what mountains you will climb to the top of in life with the perseverance of an ox, stubborness of a mule, and that special heart of gold.  

At two years old, you are:

  • wearing 12 month - 24 month clothes and occasionally 2T.
  • wearing a size 4 diaper
  • weighing 25.5lbs
  • measuring 35in
  • talking up a storm.  You fool people every once in a while into thinking you're shy, but for the most part, you don't meet a stranger.
  • stringing words together into phrases/sentences
    • i.e. - No mama, no want it.
  • Running a little too fast. Your feet sometimes get tripped up on each other & you go boom. You tell the floor, table, or whatever you hit your 'noggin on that it was "mean, not nice!"
    • You were running in your Halloween socks in the kitchen at Nonie's the other night & hit the floor in a spread eagle. You had a fat lip for "Christmas pictures" at school the next day.  It was the first time you had truly drawn blood from an injury and it was not a pretty sight.  You could barely suck your "sassy" [paci] because your lip was so fat.
  • Still running with a "chicken wing." You don't like to swing your right arm at all when you run, unlike your left arm. This began when you first started running. Your pediatrician thinks it is more of a habit than a problem, but we will continue to keep an eye on it.  You use your right arm to color and stack things, you just don't use it to run.
  • Jumping [barely] off of the floor. Going to gymnastics and bouncing on the trampoline has helped with that.
  • Walking up and down stairs with alternating feet. You are good about holding onto the handrail or to mommy/daddy, but you have mastered this skill.
  • Loving to carry purses, bags, backpacks, etc. It doesn't matter if they are empty or packed to the brim.  You are all girl.
  • Loving your new Sketcher's light up boots, from a shopping spree at Nordstrom [a post in and of itself].  You got them in black & have worn them many times already.  You have traded in your beloved zebra squeaker boots for these...good thing, considering the zebras were no longer fitting!
  • Using manners exceptionally well.  You still need reminded for maam & sir sometimes, but you say please, thank you, yes maam/no sir, etc.
    • when the waiter the other night asked Daddy if he wanted more tea, you answered for him "No...thank you!"  He really did want more, but we were just so happy to hear your manners.
  • Loving on all of your babies.  It can be a tissue, a pack of cards, a stuffed animal, or a baby doll.  Everything is "sweet baby."  You give it all hugs and rock back and forth loving on it.  If it falls, you tell it "baby fall! it ok, baby. do not cry, baby." You put all your babies in your swing & say "weeee baby." I never hear you fussing at your babies, so I must not be too harsh with you! :)  phew!
  • Loving reading books. If you see one that you love, you tell us "favorite! book! favorite! kinsley! book!"  At this time, those include, Brown Bear Brown Bear, Pete the Cat, Llama Llama, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, & Talk Oscar, Please!
  • Singing.  Not necessarily anything in particular.  Sometimes parts of the ABCs, sometimes Ring around the Rosey, whatever it is, it is very quiet and to yourself.  If I try to get you to sing louder, you stop.

Kinsley Anne, 
    What a bright little light you are in our life. You cheer us up on the worst of days. I know our family loves you just as much as we do & it is so nice to know that we have a "village" of people helping us to raise you.  Please always know that you are surrounded by the love of your family.  Also know that God is good, has always been good, and will always be good. We talked about this verse in Church on Sunday & I have been led to share it with you...
For you created my inmost being; 
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, 
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
how precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand --
when I awake, I am still with you.

Psalm 139: 13-18:

Just remember that Kinsley Anne. There is a God in charge of this crazy thing called life. He knew us before he formed us. He thinks about us more than there are grains of sand in this world. That.is.a lot.

I love you to the moon & back. Always, always, always & forever.

Your mama.

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