Thursday, July 17

Summer Time Update

In both expected and unexpected ways our summer has so far been very chaotic and full. Everything that has happened or we have done falls into a least one of the following 4 categories:

  1. Seeing family and friends
  2. Leading trips
  3. Working + running
  4. Seeing fireworks

We have been really blessed to have opportunities to connect with many family and friends over the past few summer months. A girlfriend of mine got married over Memorial Day weekend - which was a great way to start! Celebrating the starting of a dear friend's marriage was so great, always an honor to stand up next to friends on their big days. The added plus to all of this was that one of my best friends [Jamie] and her new fiancé [Scott] came up for the wedding AND had time to come back and visit with Adam and I in Wisconsin for a few days - winning all around!

3 days after Jamie and Scott flew back south, Adam and I were off to Chicago to chaperone the 8th Grade Class trip for his church's school. We love showing people around Chicago and had a lot of fun taking the whole group around - including using public transportation all day Saturday. They were all troopers and covered a lot of ground (Medieval Times, Wrigley Field, Blue Man Group, Giordano's Pizza, Millennium Park, Navy Pier, Museum of Science and Industry, and the John Hancock 360 Observatory!) The coolest part was getting to experience a new part of the John Hancock Observatory called Tilt. We all got a chance to lean out over the side of the top of the building, SUCH a cool view of the city!!!! There were also many dance parties during our van ride to and from Chicago, which was an added bonus. 

2 days after we got back from the 8th Grade Class Trip to Chicago - more visitor's arrived - my parents and 3 of my younger brothers came to town! All throughout college I worked summer jobs away from home, so this was the first year I have celebrated the actual day of my birthday with my parents and brothers in years. We had a fun week exploring the area with my family. They are all big Packers fans so a tour of Lambeau Field was a hit! We also checked out the local wildlife sanctuary, a cute local amusement park - it was the first time the 2 youngest of my brothers had ever been on a roller coaster - did some hiking at a state park, and shared lots of meals and time together. It was a great week!

A few days after my family left and drove back to Maryland, we got the news that Adam's Granddaddy had passed away. This was not completely unexpected, he had had Parkinson's for over 2 decades and had really been struggling health wise for the better part of this year. Adam's words from Facebook really say it all I think:

"Death was Satan's idea. The greatest irony; Christ's greatest victory comes from Satan's idea, death, when He welcomes believers into heaven. Grandaddy is now living a life without Parkinson's, without bed sores, without pain, weighing more than 60 pounds, and he can finally communicate again. I know you are too busy worshipping God to read this Facebook post, but one day I will join you Grandaddy"

We were blessed to be able to make the trip down to Alabama to be with his family and attend Granddaddy's memorial service. A few long days in the car were more than worth it so that we could all be together. We even got a little bonus time in on his grandparent's boat one morning!

Literally as we got back and walked in the door to our apartment from our trip to Alabama, we got super amazing bonus news that Adam's sister and her husband were going to have a BABY - Read: WE ARE GOING TO BE AN AUNT AND UNCLE FOR THE FIRST TIME!!!! They move back to the US this summer and we just couldn't be happier for them. We also can't wait to meet our niece/nephew in a handful of months!!!! Look how cute their announcement pictures are >>>

2 days after we got back from Alabama it was time for Vacation Bible School at my church. Talk about one thing after the other! For VBS I was the Bible Adventure leader which meant that each day I taught the bible lesson to all of the students - from 3 year olds through 6th graders. I love getting to share about Jesus to everyone, so despite some long days, it was always worth it to see all of the students at VBS have a chance to experience a Bible story in a meaningful way each day. My two favorite days were (1) when we re-enacted Jesus washing His disciples feet (yes I did foot washing with 40 preschoolers!) and (2) When I got to share about Jesus dying on the cross for all of us so we could always have forgiveness from our sins and students had to opportunity to write their own names on the cross and remember what Jesus did for them - really powerful to see students of all ages experiencing God's love. 

You might think that perhaps there would be break somewhere in the timeline of all of these things...but that has not been the case. VBS ended on Friday and then early Sunday morning of that same weekend it was time to get on the road to Michigan for a mission trip with Adam's youth group.   We traveled to Grand Rapids, MI and spent one week there doing community service projects. Our projects included everything from  working at local food banks and nursing homes to cleaning up people's yards.
I had the awesome opportunity to serve as a volunteer staff member for the camp week. In college I worked as permanent summer staff for Group Mission Trips Week of Hope so to say I was excited to serve this awesome organization again was an understatement. I very happily pulled my Red Shirts out for the week! Huge surprise bonus of the summer #2 (The first being the news of our niece/nephew!) - one of my best friends (Valerie) showed up at camp and surprised me! We had 24 hours together in the same place which was such a blessing, even though our visits are never long enough! Valerie works full time for Group Mission Trips and I knew she was traveling around to many camp locations this summer for her job, so naturally I was really hoping she was planning on showing up in Michigan...Adam told me not to get my hopes up! I hadn't asked her what her specific travel plans were specifically in hopes of a surprise and I was not disappointed :) 
On the way back to Wisconsin from our mission trip, we stopped through Chicago for a night/day. (Do you see a theme yet?!) We got to stay on campus at our college, show more people around Chicago, enjoy deep dish pizza, visit a Dragon Boat Racing Festival in Chinatown, spend some time at the Zoo downtown and finished our day at beach.
After getting back from the Michigan mission trip a few weeks ago, we have actually stayed put and have not entertained any visitors lately. For the 4th of July we finally got some relaxing time in, we were able to spend the day with friends on a boat which was so nice! Followed by grilling dinner together and heading back out to the boat to watch the fireworks downtown Green Bay. Otherwise, we have just been working and running in full force. 

Over this past weekend, we took some of Adam's students to a local Christian music festival called Lifest. It ended up pouring down rain from 6pm on that day. Thankfully one of our student's had an awesome mom who packed stylish rain ponchos for everyone - which pretty much saved our concert experience. The Newsboys were the headlining concert that night and they put on a great show. 

I leave this upcoming weekend to take my youth group on a mission trip to the Week of Hope site in Indianapolis, IN. Now that this update is finally posted, I am excited to start sharing some new series of posts I have been working on! Later this weekend, I will start sharing some of my reflections on moving and making our apartment our home because the crazy thing is - we have officially lived here for 1 year. Time is weird.  

Thankful for and love you all dear readers. 


Friday, July 11


The time I have spent today sitting and working on this blog has been much needed. Look for new posts soon, and for today, enjoy the wise words of the late Maya Angelou.

Love, Kyla