Leaving Ella

To say going on vacation with my husband was tough is an understatement, and I don't mean this to be funny.  Leaving Ella is one of the hardest things I have had to do.  And it wasn't only leaving her, but when we were leaving and the unknown.  

Ryan had two gigs back to back.  One in Alaska and the other in Arizona; two completely different extremes!  He arranged with with the clients for me to be able to tag along.  That all seemed great 10 months out but as time got closer it started to hit me that I was leaving my baby for a whole week.

To make matters worse, we were leaving on election day.  With the turbulence in our country leading up to the election I knew that one outcome of the other was going to ensue some backlash.  This scared me to death.  What if I couldn't get home to my little girl?  What if Atlanta became crazy?  Too many unknowns for me to have peace about leaving.  

As I began sorting through my feelings, I was reminded of when I went to Haiti in 2010.  It wasn't until I go there that Satan was doing a number on me.  All I could think about was what if something happened to Ryan while I was gone.  Reality is, something could have happened to Ryan while I was in Atlanta; I couldn't constantly be there to protect him from everything (that's crazy).  But my heart was overtaking my head.  

That was what was currently happening when it came to leaving Ella.  I prepared as best I could to ensure things would run smoothly and her schedule would be un interrupted.  I prayed, I had 2 small groups praying, and I had a few family members praying that understood where I was coming from.  

Peace came!  That doesn't mean I didn't cry when I put her down for her nap before I left.  But I had peace.  Ultimately, I am not in control and Ella is a gift that I have been given for a short time.  I can't control her circumstances or ours, but simple trust.  We are in God's hands and who better to be in control!  

Leading through Buckhead

This fall we have embarked on new leading opportunities through Buckhead Church.  Together we have grown and used the talents that God has equipped up with.

Together Ryan and I are leading a Thrive Married group.  This is one of the short term groups that our church does.  It goes for 8 weeks and looks at different marriage topics.  For the past 6 weeks we have walked along side of 3 other couples and talked about all things marriage.  It brings great prospective to our marriage and is a great way for us to continue to have open dialogue.  One of the big things that we have said from the beginning is that it gives us a common language; whether it be phrases that are call backs or helps us name specific things that are going on.  As we have led this group, we have been able to give wisdom and suggestions to certain situations.  Not that we have all the answers, but simple that we have taken the time from the beginning to talk through all things marriage so that as things arise we are able to hit them head on.  As Ryan likes to say, "we sweat in peace so we don't bleed in battle."

I have gotten the opportunity to lead an amazing group of recent college graduates.  BC has created a group that allows for recently graduated girls to get into a group with others in similar situations that has a leader that helps navigate the water of being in the real world, ADULTING.  We cover topics such as spiritual group, purpose/identity, finances, dating, and relationship/boundaries.  To say I absolutely love it would be an understatement.  These girls are amazing and we are having so much fun.  I definitely feel old, but love getting to laugh with them each week.  It has also been amazing as I have imparted on them things that I have learned through my 10 years on being out of college.

Ryan's First Father's Day (or weekend...)

This year we got to celebrate Ryan in the new way; we got to celebrate what an amazing father he is!  Since before Ella came into the world Ryan was preparing be the most amazing father ever.  He would read books, show interest in Ella's growth, and come to as many doctors' appointments and classes that he could.  Since her birth, he makes time to play with her in the middle of the day, takes bath time and bedtime very seriously, and doesn't mind being goofy with Ella at music class.  We decided that a day wasn't enough time to show Ryan how much we appreciate him and love him but needed a whole weekend.  

What more does Ryan love then drinking IPAs? Drinking them at his favorite brewery with his two favorite girls!

At TerrapinĀ 

At Terrapin 

At Creature Comforts

At Creature Comforts

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Ella and Bauer both made Ryan stepping stones

Ella and Bauer both made Ryan stepping stones