Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Too long needing an update!!!

Hello from Ripon!!!! We can't believe how long it has been since our last post, but we have officially made it up north and have moved in to our new place. It is definitely an adjustment but we are slowly getting accustomed to our new life up here. Annika likes the extra space to roam, she has found the stairs a new adventure and loves seeing her cousins almost everyday. More on our move later, now we need to catch up on the last 4 weeks!

Thanksgiving was our first in SD and we spent it and Jon and Ang's house. It was a great time and Sienna and Annika made it through most of the day. Ryan and BJ schooled Jon and me in corn hole, really just me and Jon had to endure it. Corn hole is one thing I will not miss about SD.

Annika had some hard days adjusting to her house being boxed up, but she also got into the spirit of it as well. The day we moved out Tatum took her to the park for two hours and when she came back, all her furniture was gone. She looked around and started to cry because none of her stuff was there! Proof we are creatures of habit.

One of the coolest things Kara did with Annika was take her to Glenner, an Alzheimer's day center that Kara worked at during nursing school. Every week Annika would hang out with the group and they all would light up. One man in particular was always pretty grumpy but would light up when Annika showed up.

So this is my tball shirt from when I was 4 years old. It is a little big but she fits!

So we left SD on Saturday the 5th and moved our stuff into the garage of our house on the 8th. We couldn't move in until the 19th so we took the time for a family vacation to the coast at Kara's parent's place in Pebble Beach. Her parents came down for 2 days to bring her cousin from out of town. We love Pebble, the weather, the peace and quiet, the golf, Carmel, coffee at Il Fornaio by the fireplace, the bag piper at sunset at Spanish Bay... needless to say it was a great vacation, and the first for us as a family of three!

We went to Los Lobos state park one day, it is just south of Carmel. We walked about a mile in and after about 30 minutes of being there the rain and wind caught up with us. A brisk walk back in the wind and a short drive with some visitors from Colorado made it a memorable day, and thankfully Kara didn't kill me for convincing her not to bring another blanket on the walk. Always trust a mother's intuition!

You can't really see it from this picture, but the coastline across from here is the 18th Hole of Pebble Beach. Beautiful!

Another day we went to the Monterrey Bay Aquarium. Annika enjoyed it but it probably will be more enjoyable for her in another few months, which is cool because Kara's parents got us passes for the year for Christmas. We look forward to coming back, especially with Ethan and Morgan.

At the park in Dublin, we spent a few days with my parents before moving in.

"I luv medicine."

Annika has become a great traveler. As long as music is playing in the car she is happy.

I went to give Annika a bath one night at Kara's parent's house. I told Ethan what I was doing and before I could grab Annika Ethan was already in the tub. It was the first time I bathed three kids by myself, but it worked and Ethan kept the girls in line. They all had a fun time.

Annika's first Christmas present. She didn't really get into this one, but by the fourth or fifth present over a few day period she figured out how presents work. I was proud of Kara's wrapping job personally.

Annika's first gift. She figured it out more after this... I promise!

Ok that's it, thanks for being patient and reading all the way through. For those of you in SD, we definitely miss you, and probably will more so in the upcoming weeks as the holidays come to an end. With that said, even though it isn't always easy, we know each day that being up here is the right thing for us. Happy New Year to everyone, we hope you all have had a great holiday season!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Found Art Party

During this stage of life we find ourselves each year celebrating fewer weddings and more babies. Last month we were privileged to celebrate in a birth of different sorts, the release of Leeana Tankersley's book, Found Art.

The book was released in November and is a memoir of the first year of Steve and Leeana's marriage which they spent in Bahrain as Steve was deployed with the Navy. It focuses on the tough lessons learned, the areas of her life (which we all have) that were exposed during that year, and the way in which God transformed her in that desert oasis.

Two separate thoughts stand out to me about Leeana's book. The first is the process Leeana went through to write it. I would often times see Leeana during the day as Steve and I were working together a lot during this time, and I can say the process she went through was grueling. The idea of writing a memoir is terrifying enough, yet to have an outside third party rip revisions to shreds and tell you to tell your life story differently... all I can say is she handled that experience better than I ever would. We often ask her which was worse, birthing the book or the twins... it is usually a toss up. Her perseverance, dedication, and commitment to the process is truly something that will always speak of Leeana's character.

Then her book was released, and I have to admit, as a friend it is a little unnerving opening your friend's work and being able to read the final print. Yet in true Leeana fashion, her blend of wit, self humor, introspection, and vulnerability are a delight to read and speaks of who she is. The conclusions she comes to about life, God, and our relationship with him are profound and applicable.

Kara and I both recommend purchasing a copy (yes, even a woman's memoir is a solid read for a guy), and the link for the book on Amazon is below. You can also check out her blog, Gypsy Ink ( where her latest post is about Kara, and always gets me choked up when I read it.

Lee, thanks for allowing us to celebrate the birth of your book with you! We love you!

EJ, KJ, and AJ