RSS

Tag Archives: San Antonio

2018: a year in review

Well, we’ve had an eventful year!  I feel like I say that every year, but really, 2018 was cray-cray and packed full of fun, adventure, joyful hellos and sad goodbyes.

What have we been up to?

Trent:

Trent finished his 11th year teaching, the last of which was at IDEA Judson, where he’s spent the last two years of his teaching career.  He coached youth basketball throughout the spring and then said goodbye in June. 

This year it was a different kind of goodbye.  It wasn’t the “see you in 2.5 months” goodbye, it was an “on to new adventures” goodbye.  Trent has left the teaching world (well, kind of) and has entered into the world of Real Estate!  He is now a licensed Realtor with eXp Realty

If you want to read more about that transition, you can read about it here

While he wasn’t intending to go back to teaching, there was a need and he decided to fill it.  The homeschool co-op that I teach at, Artios Academies, was in need of a pre-k teacher once a week, so Trent volunteered.  So he teaches there one day a week. 

More recently a new job presented itself and so he also works for Foam-It, a foam-insulation company.  It has a lot of crossover to Real Estate and allows him to make a lot of good Real Estate connections.

Angie:

I have been staying busy at home with the boys, teaching throughout the week and spending time in ministry.  I went from being a mom of a toddler and a teenager (we had our exchange “daughter” Yi-Han with us for half of the year) to being the mom of a preschooler and a newborn!  Yikes! 

In the midst of all of this, I am teaching Spanish classes out of my home on Mondays, I teach at Artios Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, and am a group leader at BSF on Wednesdays.  Joining leadership at BSF has been such a huge blessing to me this year!

Our family volunteers at Revolution Church on Sundays and we have continued to lead our small group on Monday nights.  Meanwhile, we are still working for EF High School Exchange Year, placing exchange students all around the US!  All of this keeps us plenty busy!

Yi-Han

After spending nearly 10 months with our family, Yi-Han, our foreign exchange student from Taiwan, left us in June to go back to her family.  It was a teary goodbye for all of us. 

We loved having her here with us and it broke our hearts to watch her go.   She really did become like a daughter to us and we had such a great experience with her!  Our family did so many fun things together while she was here and we made many unforgettable memories- bowling, tubing the river, going to a Spurs game and a Missions game, visiting state parks, walking in the largest MLK march in the country, camping, visiting the Botanical Gardens, Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, Sea World, Japanese Tea Gardens, the Witte Museum, and the zoo. 

Oh yeah, and she attended her first birth!  She was right there in the middle of things as Levi made his way into the world!  Pretty crazy, huh?!?

Jedidiah:

Jedi is now THREE!  How does that happen?!?  We celebrated his 3rd birthday with a super hero birthday party

Jedi is no longer a toddler, but a very smart, sassy, STUBBORN and unstoppable preschooler.  He loves LEGOs, superheroes, reading books and watching his “kewo” (Kindle). He talks all the time and his vocabulary grows by the day… also, his favorite question is “why?” WHY?????

He dealt with a lot of changes this year.  In addition to lots of traveling, job changes, funerals, etc., he had to say “goodbye” to his “sister” Yi-Han and “hello” to his new baby brother, Levi.  But watching the two of them together has been so sweet.  He loves “his baby!”

Levi:

And, last but not least, the newest addition to our family, little Levi!  He made his debut 11 long days after his due date, but his birth was amazing.  He was born at home, right in our living room after a short, 4 hour labor… all 9 pounds, 14 ounces of him!  You can read his birth story here or follow the story through pictures here

We are so blessed by this little guy!  He is so smiley and content (well, at least if momma is holding him).  He is always on the move and he is just a joy to have!

Travels

We began the year, kid-free (Nana had Yi-Han and Jedi for the weekend), on the beaches of Cancun for our first EF National Meeting.  We enjoyed an all-expenses paid meeting/”baby-moon” in warm, sunny Mexico!  

I followed that with a cold trip to Minnesota, this time just Jedi and I, as my grandma fell very sick and spent several days in the ICU before passing away in February.  Although it was bittersweet, I can’t tell you how glad I was to have been able to go up and spend her last few days with her.  When she first got sick and was in the hospital, we didn’t know how serious it was.  I debated on whether or not to go, but Trent encouraged me to go and I will never regret that decision.  For anyone who was lucky enough to know my grandma, she was an incredible woman, full of love and laughter, who lived a life of service and, more than anything else, loved the Lord with all her heart.  She was one of my greatest mentors in my faith and in life.  We emailed frequently and I am forever grateful to have her words and constant encouragement for me to look back on. 

This trip was sweet for so many reasons.  My sister Christie was also pregnant and we didn’t think we’d get to see each other before we had our babies.  The time we spent together was sweet. 

Uncle D getting in on the action!

Jedi got to see his cousin Evie and spend some special time with her. 

Jedi and I got to spend some quality time with my grandpa, who passed a little over a month after my grandma did, along with a lot of extended family and friends that I hadn’t seen in a very long time.  

That was the first of FOUR trips to Minnesota this year.  The second was in June for my grandpa Jim’s funeral.  Even though he passed in March, he was cremated, so the family decided to wait until school was out (for the teachers, kids and family that would be traveling).  My grandpa was another person who I treasured deeply.  He was a man of fervent faith; he was funny, smart and creative.  I had the pleasure of reading his memoirs, which I am so grateful he wrote and left behind for all of us. 

This second trip was sweet because I had a little, bitty baby to show off, and I got to meet my nephew Rowan, born only 2 and a half weeks before our Levi. 

Trent was with me for this trip, and the four of us enjoyed being there for Rowan’s baptism as well as for the beautiful summer weather!

The third trip was a blessing.  Each year, my family has a time share up at Breezy Point Resort.  We haven’t been able to go since Jedi was little, so, after two sad, unexpected trips to Minnesota, my mom and dad offered to fly us up for an enjoyable trip.  So in late July, we flew up again.  This time we were able to catch a family reunion and I was able to see some family that I haven’t seen since Trent and I were newly married. 

Cousins!

That was followed by a week up at the lake with my family.  We had a wonderful, relaxing time together and Jedi loved it!

The fourth trip was in October and it was for a very special event, my baby sister’s wedding!!!  We are rarely there in the fall, so we were ready for fall colors and cooler weather.  We enjoyed our time playing in the leaves!!!

However, despite it only being mid-October, it SNOWED while we were there, which led to a fun snowball fight with Grammy.  We were completely unprepared for the cold weather, but Jedi loved it nonetheless. 

The weather was cold and rainy most of the time we were there.  The morning of my sister’s wedding was frigid!!!  Our bridesmaid’s dresses were very cold and poor Jedi was all bundled up over his handsome ring-bearer get-up.  But the wedding was beautiful and I was so honored to be a part of her special day!   We are definitely proud of her and we love her husband Billy!

Our travels this year weren’t limited to Minnesota.  We really wanted to make sure that Yi-Han got to see a couple of other places in Texas before she left (and before Levi came).  So at 37 weeks pregnant, we drove to the coast and spent a few days in Corpus Christi.  We had such a great time at the beach and we also got to kayak and go fishing.  Yi-Han caught her very first fish!

The following weekend, at 38 weeks, we went to Austin.  We’ve made several trips to Austin this year, always stopping to visit our besties (also from China) Heather and Zach.  These guys are the best.  We love them so much.  They hosted us for a weekend while Yi-Han was still with us so that we could show her the sights and sounds of Austin.  We hit up the Texas State Capitol, Graffiti Park, Yi-Han got her first pedicure, and we ate lots of yummy Austin food!  #foodiesforlife

Among other short trips, Trent and I also went back to Austin for their annual murder mystery party.  If anyone knows how to throw a party, these guys sure do!  They always pull out all the stops and this year was no exception!  This year’s theme was “The Grand Gatsby” and grand it was!

Before our second trip up to Minnesota, we went to Dallas to meet up with all of our best friends from China. We were finally together again! Heather and Zach, Trent and I, and Justin and Catherine!!!  Zach and Heather live in Austin (as you have just read), so we see them pretty frequently, but Justin and Cat hadn’t been “home” in three years, so this was a really special time that we were able to spend together.  We were able to celebrate Eli’s 4th birthday and Eli and Jedi were able to meet in person for the first time!

Seeing these friends was an incredible blessing and we had so much fun together. These gals are truly my “soul sisters” and the time we spend together is such a gift. 

My dear friend Catherine is a photographer {Captured by Cat} and she offered to do a little family session for us while we were there, so in addition to getting to see our good friends, we also got some sweet, sweet photos of our (newly evolved) family!

While we were in Dallas, we also had the opportunity to go to LEGOLAND and Sea Life Aquarium.  Jedi is SUPER into LEGOs so that was a fun trip.  It also fell on Father’s Day, and you know that Trent enjoyed himself there too!

On the return trip, we drove through Waco and were able to visit Chip and Joanna Gaines’ silos at Magnolia Market!!!  (HGTV celebrities and my faves!!!)  It was a SUPER hot day, but we still enjoyed a little stop there!

Other notable events:

Other than our travels, the big news this year was attending Trent’s 20 year high school reunion!  We spent a weekend with his old classmates over several events and really enjoyed ourselves and the opportunity to reconnect with old friends. The first night was a family-friendly mixer out at The Well, where we ate, hung out with old friends and watched Jedidiah dance! The second night was downtown- Trent and I got to have a kid-free date-night on the town!

We walked in the MS walk like we do every year for team “I Heart Hallie” (although we weren’t the cover faces for the event posters this year).

I got to attend one of my alma mater’s soccer games while we were in Minnesota this fall.  It brought me back to my “glory days” at Northwestern College (now University of Northwestern, St, Paul), although the campus has changed quite a bit since I graduated in 2007. Even though it was a frigid night, we enjoyed watching them play. Oh, and did I mention, they were division champs this year?!? Go Eagles!

We also want to remember those we lost this year: Earl Cooley II, Betty and James Settle, Marilyn (MeeMaw) Keller, Jamin Matske and our kitty cat- Little Grey.

May they rest in peace and may we someday see them again in eternity!

This year was full of blessings, laughter, tears, and family. Wishing you and yours a happy and prosperous new year! Happy 2019!!!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 31, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

“Bumpdates” weeks 23-27

Wow! I can’t believe I just finished my second trimester of being pregnant! Now we’re entering the home stretch and I am so excited to meet our little guy!

Week 23:

This week Jedidiah is the size of an eggplant- measuring about 11 inches long and weighing just over a pound. He can feel my movements now and I can certainly feel his! This was the first week I could actually see my stomach moving as he moved inside of me. It is a strange, but cool experience. His little lungs are still developing and are busy preparing to breathe outside of the womb. His hearing is fully developed now, but of course, things might sound a bit muffled since there’s lots of other “stuff” going on in there.

20150729_161907

20150729_161931

20150729_162142

I was reminded this week how important it is to write Jedidiah’s story down and make sure that it is shared. He already has a unique story and purpose in life and we can already see how God’s hand has been at work in making him. Amber White, my pastor’s wife, took some time to share with Trent and I the stories of her two babies and how they had to trust God with both of those pregnancies. It is always good to be reminded of how God brought us through the tough times (I’m thinking back to the stress and confusion of my early pregnancy). I want to remember that my Jedidiah is deeply loved, highly favored, greatly blessed, totally righteous and destined to reign all because of what Jesus did on the cross! He has already been created by and for the creator of the universe. He has a purpose and a future! We were blessed by hearing her story and reminded to be thankful for ours.

Pastor Zak, Amber and their two kiddos

Pastor Zak, Amber and their two kiddos

In other big news this week, we bought a second car! We bought it used, with cash, so that we can save the majority of our money for baby boy. A very worthwhile investment, indeed! Ironically, we bought the same make and model that we sold right before we left for China. Apparently a 2005 Dodge Neon is destined for us even though our other one is being used by a ministry somewhere in Mexico. We also paid off our CRV, so we are officially debt free (except for our house)!!! FREEDOM!

new car

Other highlights of the week included meeting with my Bible Study again. I have been meeting with the same core group of ladies ever since I moved to San Antonio 7 years ago, and we’re still going strong! This core group in many ways reminds me of my house church in China; it is an intimate group of believers with one heart and one mind- to glorify Jesus in all that we do.

Some of my core Bible Study girls

Some of my core Bible Study girls

We also got to go swimming with Trent’s sister Katey (and baby) and our nephew Cohen. It was (and always is) so much fun to watch Trent interact with Cohen. The two of them had so much fun together, which allowed Katey and I to relax! It was awesome.

Trent and I went for a game night to celebrate my dear friend Abby’s birthday. Abby is the reason I moved to San Antonio in the first place and has been a big part of my life ever since. We had a great night celebrating her birthday and having fun, playing games and eating yummy cupcakes!

20150724_201419

We went out to dinner one night at the BBQ place right down the road. They catered our wedding and we always enjoy their food. Harmon’s BBQ- if you’re ever in Cibolo, that’s the place to go!

20150729_174216

Symptoms this week: Nothing… I feel like I have a lot of energy and I’ve been trying to work out and walk more often. The San Antonio heat sure zaps me though and makes me pretty tired, but only if I’m outside for long periods of time. I’m still craving (and eating) a lot of pancakes (…and pickles… but not together). Preggo brain is in full swing!

week 23

Week 24:
Wow, 6 months pregnant! That’s HALF A YEAR! In some ways it seems like it’s flying by and in others it seems to be going slowly. This week baby boy is the size of an ear of corn. He is about a foot long and weighs just over a pound. He is starting to fill out a bit more and get more “baby fat” on his little body. His brain is continuing to grow as are his taste buds and lungs.

20150806_175140

20150806_175148

20150806_175201

This week we began looking at birthing centers in and around San Antonio. We toured three different ones: San Antonio, Stone Oak, and New Braunfels. All of the centers were very nice and we enjoyed chatting with each of the midwives, but in the end, we decided to go with the New Braunfels Family Birth Center. My friend Abby (the same Abby who had a birthday last week) had her last two babies there, and not only is it the closest to our house, but we felt most comfortable there. They even checked me out while we were visiting, just to give me some peace of mind (We hadn’t been to the doctor in over 6 weeks… since China). They took my blood pressure and all my measurements and made sure that Jedidiah and I were doing well before we left. That extra care goes a long way in a mommy’s mind! I’ll write another post soon about why we chose to go the “Birthing Center” route instead of the typical OB-GYN/Hospital route.

Daddy and I have been reading to Jedidiah every night out of The Toddler’s Bible. We bought it last week at Barnes and Noble and have decided to start reading one story a night to our little guy. What I really like about this Bible is that it is simple and that it is bilingual. So Trent reads the story in English and then I read it to Jedi in Spanish… and then Trent tries to read to him in Spanish too. It is good practice for him. Lol.

bible

Mommy started taking zumba classes this week at DeVoir Fitness just down the road from our house on FM 78. I really enjoy the music and the movement, and now Jedidiah should be able to feel it too. It has been a fun way to make sure I’m getting the exercise I need for a healthy pregnancy.

work out ready

Some highlights of this week were going to the river for Trent’s best friend, Casey’s, birthday. We floated all day long, ate some amazing BBQ, and then headed back to their campground for a dip in the pool. The sunset was beautiful and we got to watch some deer wander along the side of the lake at dusk.

casey

trent in the pool

You can see at least one deer by the lakeside... at one point there were 6 or 7 of them.

You can see at least one deer by the lakeside… at one point there were 6 or 7 of them.

We also got together with my bestie, Traci, and her family for dinner at Genghis Grill. Yum! We had a family dinner at Trent and I’s favorite local restaurant, Garcia’s. We got to see some family that we hadn’t gotten to see since we got back, so that was really nice.

20150802_184452

Lowlights of the week: Trent spent this ENTIRE week studying. His new job requires him to pass the Generalist EC-6th grade test for Texas since he will be the teacher of record (he was already certified for Special Ed). Poor guy…8-10 hours a day he was pouring himself into his studies. I’m thankful for his diligence though. He wants to make sure he can have this job and provide for his family. Love him!

Symptoms this week: Preggo brain!!! Hard core. It was SO bad this week, I couldn’t remember anything. I also had no control over my body… there was one night I nearly had a breakdown… after not being able to think clearly or remember anything, I sneezed and peed a little (sad times) and then just minutes later, I was literally drooling… WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!!? What is happening to my body!?! The crazy thing is that it will only get worse. I also had my first bloody nose this week. It happened at the river of all places, but I had been reading that many pregnant women have sinus issues and nosebleeds due to rhinitis, the swelling of your nasal cavities while pregnant. It’s just a side effect, but it still came as a surprise!

week 24

Week 25:
Man, my baby boy is growing! He is now 13 and a half inches long and weighs a pound and a half. Jedi is the size of a rutabaga or an acorn squash. He’s growing more hair- even the color is distinguishable now! He’s also fattening up and filling out those skinny little arms and legs.

20150809_142225

20150809_142235

20150809_142247

This was a week of WAITING for us. Trent took his teaching test on Friday and we didn’t know that he PASSED until this Wednesday! It was a long few days of waiting but daddy did good! Now he can officially work at Windcrest Elementary! I’m so proud of him!

We had dinner with my friend Missy and her daughter Baylee, who was our flower girl in our wedding. My, has she changed! This little girl is growing up!

IMG_6823

Baylee

Missy

We spent an entire day doing yard work with Trent’s mom- we trimmed our trees, bushes, and cacti, and cleaned out the garden beds so that we can plant again. It was a lot of work and it was exhausting, but the yard looks so much better now! While we were working we came across a HUGE spider and a very large wasp’s nest. Good thing we didn’t end up disturbing either one!

spider

spider context

wasps nest

Symptoms this week: I feel great! Preggo brain hasn’t been as much of an issue and I’ve had a lot of energy.

week 25

Week 26:
We are getting so close to the third trimester! This week Jedidiah is the size of a scallion, about 14 inches long and almost 2 pounds. He’s growing so fast! His sense of hearing has really developed so hopefully he can hear daddy and I talking to him and reading to him at night. We hope so! He’s begun breathing in small amounts of amniotic fluid- again, preparing his lungs to begin breathing outside of the womb. Since he is a boy, his testes have begun their descent… a process which apparently takes 2-3 more months!

20150816_115842

20150816_115846

20150816_115915

Trent officially started work on Thursday- he went in for two days of trainings, signing contracts, and all that other official stuff. We went out to dinner on Thursday night to celebrate his first official day of work. We decided to go to Texas Roadhouse. I had a hankering for their bread (oh, my gosh… so good). Anyways, as we were sitting there, one of the managers came up to us because her son used to go to Trent’s school. He wasn’t one of the kids on Trent’s case-load, but Trent worked a lot with many of the Gen. Ed. kids too. She still remembered him and praised him highly for how much her son liked and trusted him. She was sad to hear that he wouldn’t be going back to Walzem (there weren’t any job openings when we looked), but was happy for him in his new position. I love to brag on my husband because I’ve seen how great he is with the kids, but it is even better to hear other people sing his praises! It made me so proud. On top of all that, she bought our dinner for us! It was such a nice gesture that again, made me love my husband even more.

Friday night, they had a “welcome back” party at his new Vice Principal’s house. It was nice to meet lots of Trent’s new co-workers and I got to see my dear friend Hope, who Trent and I both worked with at Walzem and who is currently the other Vice Principal at his new school. They even had a pinata and a photo booth! It was a fun evening.

20150814_200648

The rest of the week he spent at his new school, in and out of trainings and preparing for the first week of school. I spent a lot of time with him getting his room set up and helping in any other way that I could. It was a LOT of work that left both of us exhausted, but I think we are ready!

On Saturday evening, we went to Revolution Church’s “After Party” and gorged ourselves on pizza and popcorn. They had a climbing wall, a petting zoo, and karaoke! We love our church and all the cool things it does for outreach, but the coolest part about the evening was running into one of Trent’s new co-workers. Not just any co-worker, but his mentor, Gabe. It was an answer to a prayer I had been praying that Trent would not only find community in his new school, but that there would be other believers there that he could connect with. Seeing them at our church was super cool and we were excited to hear that he and his family also attend Revolution! We also enjoyed a beautiful sunset that evening!

revolution after party

20150815_192542

20150815_195458

On Sunday, after church, we took our weekly “bump” pictures, but then also decided to do an impromptu photo shoot. I have tons of pictures of ME and the baby, but we hardly had any of Trent AND I. So we went up the road to a cornfield and tried to self-timer the camera for a few good shots. We were really happy with how the pictures turned out. Unfortunately since the car ended up being our “tripod,” there’s not a whole lot of variety in the angles of the shots we got and the background is the same in all of them. But for us being by ourselves, I think we did alright. We started out serious…

belly

looking up

photo shoot

photo shoot2

…and then, as usual, things turned silly. We had fun- that’s for sure!

bellies

bellies1

bellies2

photo shoot silly

photo shoot silly2

Other highlights of the week included eating dinner with our friends Sandy and Derek. We hung out, chatted and Sandy and I watched as Trent and Cyler (their 6 year old) played with the dog. I know I’ve said this before, but Trent is going to be such a good daddy. As we were leaving, Cy wrapped his arms around Trent in a big, impromptu hug (he didn’t even say goodbye to me…) and I knew that Trent had totally made his night.

Cy and Bay

Symptoms this week: I’ve been much gassier/bloated than normal. I’ve been tired too, but probably from helping Trent with his classroom. Setting up for the school year is a LOT of work! We’ve been seeing/feeling much bigger movements from Jedidiah. Before we could really just feel his kicks, but now I can tell when he’s shifting inside of me. Sometimes I can feel his head or butt or elbow or heel moving across my belly. It’s pretty cool. I’m also pretty sure baby boy has had the hiccups once or twice (but only for short periods of time).

week 26

Week 27

This week Jedidiah is the size of a cauliflower- weighing 2 pounds and measuring about 14 and a half inches long. He has become active at more regular times- usually right before bed and for a few hours in the evening, and also usually right when I wake up in the morning. He’s also off and on throughout the day.

cauliflower

cauliflower front

cauliflower side

This week was full of excitement! Trent’s sister had a birthday, so we went to celebrate with a dinner at Houlihan’s.

20150820_200912

We also took a road trip to Dallas with some of our best friends from China. We met the Mosby’s (Zach and Heather) in Georgetown, just outside of Austin, and then spent Friday night at their place after a delicious Mexican dinner at Chuy’s (I’ll never stop being thankful for Mexican food after living in China).

Heather and I

Trent and Zach

We enjoyed our time together, catching up with these two, who left China several months before we did. They also gave us a present for Jedidiah, full of cute outfits for him to wear!

Jedi gift bag

baby gifts

Early Saturday morning, we woke up, ate some tasty bagels (another luxury we didn’t often get in China) and coffee and then hit the road. Other than a stop at the Czech Store for some kolaches, the trip went by pretty quickly. We arrived at Justin’s parents’ house (where they were staying) around noon and it was SO great to be reunited with these friends! I’m sure you’ve read about Justin, Catherine, and baby Eli in some of our other posts. We spent the weekend talking and catching up, lounging in the pool and eating delicious BBQ. It was so great to be able to be together again and we left feeling like our souls were refreshed!

poolside

pool belly shot

the boys

Elijah has already gotten so much bigger and he’s nearly walking (he does this hilarious walk on his knees). He also LOVES the pool and being in the water. Trent and him played for a while and it was precious to watch. Eli loves his “uncle” Trent!

Trent and Eli in the pool

Eli

Elijah

Justin and Cat also got us a gift for Jedi- more adorable (and funny) onesies. We can’t wait until Jedi is here so that he can actually wear them!

more gifts for baby Jedi

Heather had put together awesome gift bags for Justin’s parents (for hosting us) and another one for Eli. Here they are together with the stuffed dog she got him.

Eli's gift

It was really a great weekend!

Monday was a big day for Trent… his first day of school! I should have taken a picture of him (too late now) but I forgot. His first day was bit on the rough side, but lots of kinks have been worked out and the rest of the first week went much smoother.

I had to take our kitty to the vet because something is wrong with his poor ears. That was a bit traumatic, but it worked out in the end. Now we just have to give him medicine in his ears for the next week and a half.

Symptoms this week: Nothing much. I feel a little bit more sluggish than normal, but I’ve been waking up with Trent in the mornings to get his breakfast and lunch ready for school, then I’ve been trying to stay up (not go back to bed) and do my devotions early in the morning and maximize the time I have in my days.

week 27

I’m planning on doing my “bumpdates” more regularly now that I’m hitting the third trimester. I’m aiming for every 2-3 weeks instead of the 4-5 I’ve been doing! Keep posted for more coming soon!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,