Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 in Review

Today I'm taking some time by myself and reflecting a little on the past year. And I realized no wonder I'm exhausted, I lived a LOT of life in 2010. It was a year of growing up and making some big adult decisions, learning to trust God and his plans for my life, and making some new and amazing friends. So let's review my 2010 together!

-I went back to school full time to pursue a physical therapy degree
-I dropped back to part time and then quit my social work job
-I got to watch one of my old clients go to her dream university and 3 of my old clients get adopted into amazing families who love God a lot
-We took a family vacation to California to visit our good friends, Dain and Terry and have one last family vacation before I moved and Clayton started his real job
-I donated my hair for the first time, after over 2 years of growing it out
-I went to the spring leadership retreat, summer conference, and fall retreat with Clear River Church where God showed up and showed off big time
-I got to do a trail marathon, a century bike ride, 2 sprint triathlons, 1 olympic distance tri, 1 half ironman, and a full ironman all in a 5 month span (no wonder I'm still exhausted!)
-And the biggie, I moved to Mexico as staff with Back2Back Ministries to "provide care for today and hope for tomorrow" for the orphan child.

As I look forward to 2011, I have little to no idea where my life is headed. I know that God is good and that he has a plan for my life. I know God always gives me what I need in the moment, and right now knowing that I'm living here in Mexico for the next 8 months is what I need to know. Pray that God would give me wisdom and direction as I make some big decisions on where my life is headed after August!

Pre-hair donation, it was cut a little shorter than chin length!

Family vacation in California. Clayton and I were determined to sit on the beach even though it was cold and no one else was out there.
My 25th birthday dinner with my good friends Jenny and Ashley.

At summer conference Heather, Jenny, me, Karissa, and Marissa shared a tent next to some Clear River friends.
Clayton and I before our half-ironman triathlon in July.
On the bike leg of Ironman Kentucky in August, where the heat index was over 100!
One of my friends at the Rio 1 soup kitchen in Monterrey

Monday, December 27, 2010


For about 3 weeks, I'm helping take care of my neighbor's 6 yr old foster daughter while they're in the United States for Christmas. I think the day after Christmas might be one of the most universally difficult, tantrum filled days on the planet. The presents are all opened and played with, the candy and soda disappear, the lack of sleep wears on everyone, and it's just cold. So after a particularly difficult morning, and mandatory naps for both me and the kiddo, we had an interesting night. We laid down to read our favorite bilingual book, Noah and the Ark, and my sweet little one decided she wanted to read all of the Spanish parts! And she even read some of the English parts too. Then she started a tickle fight and we spent a good 10 minutes just laughing and giggling with each other. Around 1 am she had a bad dream and was freezing, so she jumped in my twin sized bunk bed with me, wrapped her arms around my neck, and was back to sleep in less than a minute. As a pseudo-parent, I'm convinced that God gives us those times of giggles and snuggles to help us remember to enjoy our kids. And at the end of a very difficult day, it was a welcome reminder!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My Christmas Family

Meet the sweet people that I spent Christmas with. Lonnie and Angela invited me to live with them in their house (just on the other side of our campus) for 2 or 3 weeks during Christmas. During that time they're also watching my neighbor's foster daughter, so I've been around to help out with the extra Spanish speaking kid. Sharing a room with a 6 year old has been quite the fun experience. She loves to sleep in my bed, wake me up really early to watch Cinderella 3, and speak really fast Spanish to me in the middle of the night when my brain is still sleeping. This morning I woke up to her face right next to mine telling me she was cold and wanted to play with her new Play-Doh set now. So, while this blog loads I'm decorating play-doh cakes. Here are a few pictures we took one afternoon just playing around the house.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Faces of Rio 1

I took these pictures on Saturday during the Christmas party that we had at the soup kitchen in Rio 1. We help Meme with the soup kitchen every Saturday where we have worship, a sermon for the adults, kids church for the kids, and then share a meal together.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


This is one of my favorite friends, Valeria, from the soup kitchen at Rio 1. She comes with her mom every Saturday and she's quiet and mellow like me so we hang out and color and practice the memory verse together. We did a Christmas party at Rio 1 today (another post to follow on that), and she gave me lots of hugs and showed off her candy and presents. Today she also discovered that I'm really ticklish, and this is what happened!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Here are a few pictures I took today at Del Norte. I spend my Thursdays with these sweet kids, and I'm trying to figure out how to get over there a second time each week. I love them a lot!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Party Time

The Christmas season has arrived at Back2Back Monterrey. Yesterday we did Christmas parties for the kids at Villa de Juarez and the Manantial de Amor boys home and girls home. Each party was equipped with a telling of Jesus' birth and toy nativity set, a special lunch (pizza and pollo loco), a piƱata, a bag of candy, and presents. If anyone is deserving of being showered with love, presents, and goodies it's the orphan child. But we wanted to be sure the kids knew that the presents were a gift from God. Someone in the United States listened and obeyed God's prompting to give their money generously so that we could have Christmas parties from them. The party and presents are a gift from God because He loves them and thinks they're special. My favorite part of the day was when the kids at Villa de Juarez stood up one at a time and said "Thank you God, friends, presents, my second family, Back2Back, etc.