In my last post, I wrote that this season of pregnancy has been challenging and full, but also so very sweet. I am approaching the 31st week of pregnancy and I would have to say this season continues to be incredibly good and incredibly hard. 

I also need to be honest that I have struggled with how honest to be during this season. When I struggled with getting pregnant or surviving our two losses, I really had a difficult time with the honesty of others who were pregnant. I often thought to myself when/if I'm pregnant, "I'll never do that." I'll never complain of morning sickness, I'll never complain of discomfort in my body, I'll never complain that my body is changing. I think that Social Media heightened this sense of "I'll never" because pregnancy complaints are so easily thrown around. What I have realized during this season is that pregnancy is hard, and I don't want to complain, but I also want to be honest. And maybe, just maybe, others were not complaining during their pregnancies - they were just being honest too. And maybe, just maybe, I spent too much time judging that honesty.

And if I keep being truthful, it is important for me to share that getting pregnant has been my "one thing". That one thing that would make my life better. That one thing that would bring me closer to God. That one thing that would bring me closer to my husband. That one thing that would bring me joy and take away the sadness. And even though I knew logically that there is no "one thing" that can make you life be better, and that I was idolizing pregnancy, my heart believed and my heart wanted it more than my logical brain. It is amusing to reflect on how this pregnancy has not magically made my life better or easier, and while I pray more I do not feel closer to God. And while Paul and I grow closer we have really been challenged and distant during times. And while I feel joy, I feel sadness as well.

So, I thought I would share more about this season, the challenges and the sweet things.

Fear. Fear has dominated this pregnancy. It still does, but it has transformed. As soon as I knew I was pregnant I feared the worst. Every single day (for the first 28ish weeks) my mind has gone to the worst case scenario. Today could be the day I lose this pregnancy. I kept thinking as I hit milestones that fear would finally go away. When we had our 14 week ultrasound, I continued to fear, even though I knew that the rate of miscarriage drops significantly. When we had our 20 week ultrasound I continued to fear a loss. The fear has transformed in the past few weeks. I still have fleeting thoughts of "what if" regarding losing this pregnancy, but now I fear and worry about the actual impact once this baby is here. Being able to meet needs, surviving off of little to no sleep, the change in my relationship with Paul, being a good mom. It is a lot to think about. And while I pray more, because I fear more. I can't say that I feel closer to God right now. My fears have revealed to me where I lack trust in God. My faith is like Swiss cheese, I believe - but I have so many holes and gaps. I am not consistent. In the back of my mind lurks the thought of "maybe God isn't a good God" so shouldn't I be on my best behavior so I can meet this baby? I recognize this and yet I do not know how to "fix" it. 

Sickness. What can I say? That first trimester was difficult. I felt sick every day. However, if I didn't have Paul here to remind me that every day he came home from work and I was just laying on the couch miserable, I am not sure I would believe it. Time has been forgiving.

Conflict. Paul and I had a period of time (roughly weeks 15-19) were we could not connect. We argued every single day. It got to the point that both of us separately had decided that maybe we should not even talk to the other person in order to avoid an argument. I know I felt at a loss. I thought I was communicating clearly what the problem was from my perspective. But every day we went round and round and made no progress. Our resolution came about in a funny way. Paul was at a work training on coaching employees. In a small group they were asked to share a scenario where coaching was not working. It could be personal or professional. Paul shared about coaching me with a recent diagnosis of gestational diabetes. One of Paul's colleagues gave a piece of feedback that changed everything. They said something along the lines of "It sounds like your wife doesn't feel like you trust her". Paul came home and shared that and it was like a light bulb went off in my head.  Trust. I hadn't even realized that was my issue. I knew that I was feeling micromanaged during pregnancy and that was driving me nuts. Yet when the word trust was thrown out there, I realized that in the deepest part of my heart, I believed that I had done something to cause my miscarriages. It is not a thought that I verbalized, or one that I even fully admitted to myself, but it lingered. Without realizing it, whenever Paul would ask me questions about pregnancy or why I was doing something I automatically jumped to the defense because maybe he believed I caused our losses and that was what was driving his line of questioning. From Paul's perspective, he had been such a big part of our journey with getting pregnant, in fact, I could not have done it without him ;). However now that I was pregnant, he was feeling left out and would ask questions to feel involved, to understand what was going on, to participate. Finally being able to put words to what we were feeling made all the difference. The tension lifted immediately and we have both been able to show each other more grace. Not to say other conflict has not reared its ugly head, but we have been able to take those on as they arise.

Life. The best part of pregnancy for me has been feeling Baby O moving around. It has been amazing to feel kicks, pushes, stretches, and hiccups. I marvel at what is happening inside of me. I think this is what I will miss the most. I have an everyday reminder that this baby is alive, growing, and thriving. I cannot wait to meet Baby O and yet I am thankful for this safe space for Baby O to grow and to know that I'm providing everything he or she needs.

Control. I have written before that I struggle with wanting to control my life, feeling like I have the ability to do so, and then my amazement when that carpet is pulled out from underneath me. Well, pregnancy has been one long season of giving up control. I could not control how I felt during my first trimester. Then at week 15 my midwife had me tested early for Gestational Diabetes (GD) because of my PCOS. Within two weeks I had the official diagnosis that I did have GD. For the next 10 weeks I was able to manage my GD with diet and exercise. I had control. And then as I approached week 27 of pregnancy everything changed. I had been warned by my midwife and the specialists that around week 26 or 27 the insulin requirements sky rocket in pregnancy and that my body may not be able to keep up. Like clockwork, suddenly I could not control my fasting blood sugar numbers. This has changed everything in my pregnancy, forced me to give up control and work on my flexibility. I had to start insulin 3 weeks ago. The cascading effect is that I had to give up my midwife that I have worked with through all three pregnancies as many hospitals have policies around a midwife delivering a high risk pregnancy. I have also had a vision for how birthing Baby O would go. I've had to come to accept that I may have to be induced during this pregnancy, which I know does not negate my vision, but it will make it a lot harder. It has been hard and frustrating to deal with these cascading effects. At my core though, I realize, these decisions are not about me any more, but about what is best for this precious life.

Big Feelings. I love this term. I think it describes me well with or without being pregnant. I feel things deeply and on a big scale. I am sometimes overwhelmed by emotions. Both the good and the bad. My emotions have bounced all over the place during this pregnancy. I cried a lot during the end of my first trimester and into my second, and then it magically went away. Only to rear its head during the third trimester. In the past few weeks I have cried at Red Robin, Mod Pizza, in the car, on the phone, and just in general at home. I cry when I feel dismissed, I cry when I get hungry. I just cry. I feel sad more than I'd like to admit and yet I can't explain to you why I feel sad. I struggle to verbalize these intense feelings. I will feel sad one day, and then elated the next day. I take things extra personal right now. If I thought I was sensitive before pregnancy, now I just feel like I have a raw nerve on display. I can only imagine what Paul thinks when the tears start forming. And if he is annoyed he does not let on. He has been patient with me and helps talk me off of my cliff. So add my emotions to the list of things I cannot control ;)

Pain. Physical pain has been interesting during this season. Of course I started out with sickness, but that didn't last that long. Then came the chronic headaches. I wanted to gouge my eyes out. But at around week 21 those just disappeared. Then there was mild back pain/discomfort, usually when I did long walks. At week 26 we flew to the Midwest to celebrate Thanksgiving with my sister. I could not believe how sitting for a few hours across a couple flights each way caused such incredible pain in my body. Every time I would stand up, I felt pain everywhere, including places I didn't think you could feel pain. That faded away after being home a couple weeks, thankfully. I have also had hand numbness that started sometime after week 20. At first it was no big deal, annoying, but not that bad. Then the numbness turned into pain when trying to do certain things like chop an onion, or even typing this blog post is causing pain in my wrist. Apparently this is all part of carpal tunnel which can come on during pregnancy.

Longing. I long to know the other two babies that I will not meet this side of heaven. Pregnancy feels bittersweet in this way. So sweet because of the life we will meet soon. Sad because I don't know my other babies.

Joy. I marvel everyday now that Paul and I will soon be parents. I mean, it scares the heck out of me, but that is because I don't know what to expect. I feel joyful at holding our child, smelling that sweet baby smell, being in awe as Baby O takes on and learns about their environment and their world. I cannot wait to see Paul be a daddy. I look forward to seeing how parenthood helps me to know and understand God the Father better. I wonder who Baby O will look like. Will they have my hazel eyes? Paul's dark hair? Will we see each other in Baby O? I hope Baby O loves to read as much as we do and I can't help but want to buy every book I come across. Will Baby O be a feeler like me? Or more logical like Paul? Or as I like to hope - a good balance of the both of us. What can I teach Baby O about life? About Faith? About suffering and about joy? How do we teach Baby O to persevere? How do I instill that my love is unconditional? There are so many things that I wonder, but it is a joyful wondering. 

You'll never believe this, but I am crying right now ;) So there you have it, a brief snapshot of this season that I have been in. Sweet and Challenging.

{With Thanksgiving}


Paul and I have been pretty open about our fertility struggles the past three years. This November marked the 3 year anniversary of the start of that journey for us. At the time, in November 2011, we had been a couple for almost three years, and married for just over a year. We felt we were ready to become parents. Well, as ready as one can be. And trust me, even in the midst of making that decision we were still arguing about logistics (i.e. would I work or stay at home).

A factor in making that decision were concerns over how long it might take us to get pregnant. No one had ever told me that I would have difficulty getting pregnant, and I never had a medical diagnosis that would lead me to believe otherwise. But I also knew that if I was only having a few periods a year (if that), it probably wouldn't be easy. So I ditched the birth control and that was the start of the most challenging, painful, difficult, fruitful, stressful, frustrating, isolating, hopeful and emotional three years. During the last three year years I have had the joy of finding out I was pregnant twice, and the heartache of losing both of those pregnancies. You can read about those losses here. In that time, I have struggled with depression and with isolating myself. Subsequently our marriage has moved back and forth between periods of struggling and flourishing.

In September of 2013, we began working with a fertility clinic to get help. In theory we knew that if I could ovulate, I could get pregnant. The difficulty was getting my body to ovulate. The fertility specialists were able to confirm my diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS can look and play out differently for women. The explanation that I understood the best is that each cycle, my body produces more eggs than an average women. This confuses my body, and it chooses to not participate in the process of selecting an egg and ovulating. While that might be an over simplification of PCOS it was the core of my problem. The specialists were optimistic that with a combination of drugs, HCG shots and timed intercourse (yes a schedule) we would get pregnant.

We began our 1st cycle of drugs in November 2013. I plan to write a separate blog soon about that process. It was in some ways easy, and in others was extremely difficult. The process and the medication took both a physical and emotional toll. 

The long and short though, is that at the end of June 2014 we had a positive pregnancy test. It was again surreal, and though we both wanted to be excited, it was difficult to feel like we could. The following week (at 5 weeks pregnant) we took off for Europe. Knowing this pregnancy was not guaranteed, we decided to keep our travel plans. It was a good trip and time to be together. We of course thought a lot about being pregnant, but also we were able to keep ourselves distracted by exploring new places.

Once we returned home, we had an ultrasound at 6.5 weeks which went well, and then an 8.5 week ultrasound that also went well. We kept taking the pregnancy day by day and had a great 14 week ultrasound and then another one at 20 weeks.

So this Thanksgiving, three years after we started this journey, Paul and I are thrilled to share that we are expecting the arrival of Baby O in early March. This season of pregnancy has been challenging and full, but also so very sweet. I look forward to sharing more of this season, both the challenging and the sweet. We are so unbelievably thankful for this miracle.

Below are a few photos we took recently, thanks to our friend Jessica Valle.



Before I delve into Budapest, did you know that Paul has a technology blog? Yep, you can read it here. Next week Paul will post his 52nd blog post out of the last 52 weeks. This blog, well this is post #7 for the year! I really need to get into gear! The funny thing is, I'm not usually doing anything very important when he is writing his blogs!

Okay, onto Budapest! Paul and I started our grand adventure on July 4th to maximize an extra day off from work. We were up at 3:30am and caught a shuttle to the airport at 4:30am. The first of our three flights took us to Toronto. We thought we might miss our second flight so we hustled through the Toronto airport, only to stand around at a gate and watch the slowest boarding process ever for a plane. Our second flight did make it out late which got us to Frankfurt behind schedule. We ran, along with several others to get from one end of the airport to another. Turns out, to the wrong gate. So we missed our Budapest flight. Thankfully the next one took off in less than an hour, so it was another mad dash to get to the next gate.

Finally we land in Budapest at 10:30am local time, 1:30am Seattle time which means we'd been up for 22 hours at this point. We catch a bus to the city and thankfully we were able to check into our hotel early. Then our trip took another turn for the interesting. While we were freshening up at the hotel, my right eye started feeling painful. I kept asking Paul if my eye looked okay, and he thought it looked fine. Then while were eating a meal (lunch? Breakfast? Who knows!) my eye began oozing goop and was red on the eyeball. Perfect! All the nearby pharmacies appeared to be closed, so we just rolled with it and started our adventure. Later in the evening I did some Google research and started putting compresses on my eye.

While we had energy, we walked Andrassy Ut to Hero Square and explored a small part of the City Park. We were so exhausted that we decided to head back to our hotel room and while trying to stay up and watch TV, we both fell asleep. 15 hours of sleep later, breakfast, and finding a 24 hour pharmacy for my eye - we were ready for day 2.

First meal, look at those tired eyes!

Exploring Heroes Square

We were up early to explore Parliament and walk along the Danube. We stopped off at a cute street-side cafe for lunch. Partway into our lunch, it looked like Paul had a huge welt on his face. We started worrying briefly that he was having an allergic reaction to something he was eating. Which would have been just grrreeaat after my unexplained eye issue. A couple hours later as the welt was fading, Paul realized that he must of touched his face after using his fingers to put some very hot peppers on his lunch. Whoops!  After lunch we went to St. Istvan's Basilica (St. Stephen's) and climbed the stairs up to get a view of the city. 


 Chain Bridge - one of the bridges that links Buda with Pest.

Holocaust Memorial along the Danube

St. Istvan

 Views from St. Istvan

Day three we spent some time in the morning just meandering the city and taking in the sites, looking at cool architecture and just enjoying a slow morning. We eventually made our way to The Great Market Hall which was amazing. It is a market that makes our Pike Place Market look small. There are three floors and each floor sells something different. The top floor sells touristy items, souvenirs, hungarian specialty items, and there are food vendors . The main level that you walk into sells mostly produce, baked goods, and meat. For instance I found a little slice of heaven at a bakery selling strudels. Paul and I split a strudel as we walked out of the market. As soon as we hit the doors I looked at Paul and told him, I think I need another strudel. So we did! Yay vacation! The basement level sells fish, has butchers AND is a one stop shop for buying anything pickled. And I mean anything! From The Great Market we were off to the Great Jewish Synagogue.

Strudel Heaven
Great Jewish Synagogue

After a rest we were back to City Park to see more sites and to explore the  House of Terror. The House of Terror is a museum that chronicles the Nazi Invasion and then the Soviet invasion of Hungary. It is a fascinating and somber place. In the evening, we made our way over to the ruin pubs which are, as it sounds, pubs in derelict buildings that are literally falling down.

Day four we explored the Budapest Castle in Pest. Sadly this castle was highly damaged during WW2 and the Soviet occupation, so the years after this have been spent restoring the castle. From the castle we went to explore Mathias Church and the Fisherman's Bastion. On our way back over to the Buda side we detoured off to Margaret Island. There we rented a bicycle carriage and explored the monastery ruins, water tower landmark, and a music fountain water show. We finally made it to grab some dinner and then back to our hotel room to pack our bags for flight to Prague.
Budapest Castle

 View of Buda from Pest (Looking at Parliament)

Mathias Church

Fisherman's Bastion

 Farewell Budapest!



Confession. I stopped attending baby showers 2+ years ago.

It started in 2012. I was planning on attending the shower of my dear friend Christianna and celebrate the upcoming birth of her first child. The day before the shower, I learned that my own pregnancy was not viable. Instead of attending that baby shower, I stayed home to grieve our loss. After that, I stopped attending showers. A year after that first pregnancy we lost a second pregnancy, and the years have started piling up on our fertility journey. I continued to feel justified in my decision. Not to say I wasn't excited and happy for my friends, I just found the thought of attending a baby shower too painful.

I thought I should write on this topic because it has been a real consequence of my journey. In the past, it has been easier to document the facts of what has happened, but not always easy to share the impact.

Fast forward to this summer and I found myself invited to three baby showers. One in June, July, and August. I started gearing up to send my regrets once again. I checked in with Paul, because I thought it would make me feel like I was making the right decision if I had his approval. Paul challenged me to think through my motives with not attending. Was I trying to create a certain reality for myself by cutting out the parts of life that I didn't like?

Paul's words cut into me deeply. They were true. I was avoiding a big aspect of life. I decided to say Yes to each of the baby showers. I won't lie, they were incredibly difficult and joyous at the same time. I struggled because my mind would wander to my own losses, my own fears. I struggled to keep down the tears when someone I didn't know asked if I had children. I went home and carried a sadness with me. But I was rewarded too. I was able to celebrate amazing milestones in the lives of three women in my life. I chose to participate in an aspect of life that was painful and sweet. I felt good with my decision and that I have started re-engaging with all aspects of life, no matter how hard. I just keep praying for the strength to meet each challenge and that God will help me overcome my fears.

{30 until 30}


In July, my little sister Destiny turned the big 30! I still can't believe it. Sometimes I can only picture us as gawky teenage girls sharing a room up in Alaska. My how life has changed :)

The 30th birthday is a big one if you ask me. The 20's are so tentative and ever changing, and in the 30's you're starting to solidify who you are. Dare I say become an adult?

This birthday was especially a big deal for Destiny because it was the last birthday before welcoming her first baby into the world.

I really wanted to make Destiny's 30th birthday celebration special, which is kind of hard to do when you live 1700+ miles apart. So this year, I borrowed an idea I saw done a few years ago for a friend's 30th birthday. I created a birthday advent calendar.

A what? Basically for the 30 days leading up until my sister's 30th birthday she opened up one gift a day. It was so much fun to send a box, out of the blue, filled with goodies. So what kinds of things did she get? Well my favorite was that every other day she would open up a card from a friend or family member and she had a scrapbook that she could glue her messages into. On the days that she wasn't opening a card, anything was possible. Some different gifts I sent: chocolates (of course), a yummy smelling candle, cute mug, a fun journal, my version of a BFF necklace, a lucky penny (minted in 1984), pedicure supplies (toes gotta look good when you go into the hospital), and a cute scarf to name a few.

It was so much fun to get a text from my sister each day, and so much fun to make her wonder each day what could possibly be in that box! I love that I could help her ring in her 30th while being so far away!



There is a Positivity challenge and a Happiness challenge going around Facebook these days, and I can't lie, it makes my heart happy. I love seeing people stop and reflect on the good in life. Even better it isn't in November :)

I've been thinking a lot about gratitude lately. Let's be honest, life is hard, doesn't always go our way, and can get tedious. It is very humbling to slow down and see what is going right.

As I write this, I'm on "baby duty" for my beautiful niece while my sister and brother in law try to eek out a little sleep before I leave town tomorrow. I am so thankful to watch over this precious life, but also thankful that my flight home was delayed to give me a few more hours. Yes, tomorrow will be a long day, but I'd rather focus on this bundle of sweet.

I am thankful for the community of women I have been blessed to grow spiritually with over the summer. It has been challenging and encouraging to meet up on Thursdays and dig into God's word together.

I am always grateful for Paul. I am encouraged and challenged by him. I love that we are a team and facing this world together. I'm grateful for celebrations, especially celebrating four years of marriage earlier this month.

I am thankful for the Kaetzel Pretzel's, our dear friends who we can talk honestly with about faith, community, church, marriage, and everything else that comes up in life.

I am so grateful for travel. That Paul and I were able to experience two new cities this year and best of all the pure quality time that comes with being together 24-7 for 10 days.

I am thankful for summer vacations, for the time to rest and slow down and tap into my lazy side.

Most of all, I am grateful for a God who is faithful even when I am not.

Gotta go, Eleanor Rose is waking up!



Fomo (via UrbanDictionary.com)
a state of mental or emotional strain caused by the fear of missing out.
• Evolutionary biology - an omnipresent anxiety brought on by our cognitive ability to recognize potential opportunities
• A form of social anxiety - a compulsive concern that one might miss an opportunity or satisfying event, often aroused by posts seen on social media websites.
The first time I heard the term FOMO I realized that is me (Charity) in a nutshell. This Fear of Missing Out started in college. I was anxiety ridden that I might miss out some event or some gathering of friends. I would have the hardest time closing my dorm room door. If the door was open, others would know I was in my room and available to hang out. A closed door meant they might forget about me. Actually maybe my issues aren't around missing out, they are about being forgotten about.
Ten years after college, I have found another avenue to plug into these fears, and that is on Facebook. I have this almost compulsive behavior around Facebook. I am chronically checking it to see what others are doing, is there anything that I am missing out on? And then when I do see something that I think I should have been included in, my feeling are hurt. It is a weird lose-lose cycle.

The weird part, I have a great life. Sure it is not perfect, but it is my crazy imperfect, wonderful life with an amazing husband and a super cute dog.

I think for the longest time, I have been telling myself that Facebook is a source of community. But when I deactivated my account last month, there were probably close to 500 "friends" and that is not my community. Case in point, as I have been struggling these past six months with our 2.5 year journey with infertility, Facebook wasn't a safe place I felt I could put those hurts or be honest. So what is the point? Good question, I'm not sure. In the last month though, I have heard from about 6-7 friends out of 500 to see how I am doing. That is my community.

So while I'm off of Facebook, I'm thinking a lot about what my presence will be going forward. Paul and I talk about doing a joint account together, or I am thinking about narrowing down my friend group to the 50's. Or, do I want to be on Facebook at all? Does not being on Facebook, force people to pursue me and vice-versa? Does it allow me to live my life more authentically (the good, the bad, the ugly) and walk along side others that are living their life authentically? 

I suppose I still have a few more weeks to think this through :)

Here we are!


Here we are in March. And almost mid-March! Last week I had a kiddo in my office lamenting about how fast it felt like life was moving. It's rare to have a kid think life is going to fast. Usually they're lamenting about the slowness of life. I had to chuckle to myself, I wanted to say something about if you think it is moving fast now, wait until you're 31 almost 32. It just flies by.

Speaking of work, I transitioned into full-time at my school about a month ago. I had been hoping that a full time position would work out for next school year and then BAM there was an offer. I have to say, I am missing my Mondays & Fridays. That being said, I cannot complain, Spring Break is less than a month away.

The last few months have been confusing for Paul and me. Yet, I could not pick anyone better to ride the waves of confusion. I'm spending some time during the Lenten season to take better care of myself. That included deactivating Facebook. It's amazing how often I think to myself I don't have time to be in the Word regularly. But the crazy thing is, all those minutes on Facebook add up. Suddenly I have time to do a daily devotional, pray more frequently, and even blog. So that is where I am at.

Here are some of the highlights of our 2014.

Our PTown cousins came and visited for a weekend in January. We walked a lot, talked a lot, and played a ridiculously long game of monopoly while they were here.

I went to my 10 year college reunion (speaking of time goes by too quickly) and connected with my former adviser (and favorite professor) Dr. Smyth.

We celebrated the Seahawks winning the Superbowl. Paul was even able to make it to the freezing cold parade! I'm so glad that the year I picked to be more interested in football was the year the Seahawks won! Maybe I'm a good luck charm? Just sayin!

Paul and I were able to sneak away for a lovely Valentines Weekend. We hopped in the car, drove 20 minutes and were treated to a wonderful experience at the Woodmark. We enjoyed getting away and even took a couples painting class to try something new.
 (View from our hotel room)

(Our masterpiece!)

We enjoyed an awesome double date with our friends Angelo & Sarah. We went to dinner and then to see the a cappella group Pentatonix perform. They were amazing to see live!

During my Mid Winter Break I was able to relax and do quite a bit of reading. I also had a special day hanging with my buddy Gus. We went out to breakfast, the pet store, the dog park and then of course we had to have ice-cream! Gus & Charlie are best buds!

One of our highlights from February was being a part of our dear friend Justin's wedding. We had a lovely weekend celebrating the couple and the start of their new life together!
 (This was the practice dinner so we'd know what to do on Sunday!)

(Justin is Married!)

Another highlight in February was heading up to Suncadia for a church retreat. Paul and I were only able to hang out for a day, but we had a blast while we were there. Highlights including cramming 10 people into a Land Cruiser and sledding for the first time in YEARS! Boy did I hurt the next day. Here are a couple photos from the amazing Jenny Linquist Photography. Check out her blog while you're at it. You will fall in love with her photographs! The picture of me and Paul sledding together makes me smile every time. Shortly after that picture Paul fell off the sled and I went hurtling down the hill backwards. Good times!

 (Photo Credit: Jenny Linquist Photography)

                                                (Photo Credit: Jenny Linquist Photography)

2013 Highs and Lows


Oh poor blog, once again I have neglected you. When I wrote my last post on transitions, I probably should have known that the energy to blog would disappear for a bit. Alas, I am back. I thought I would start the year with a couple of easy blog posts and at least start with the Paul + Charity 2013 in review.

2013 was the year of learning that I (Charity) lack control in this life, and that God is looking out for me.  A serious car accident in February help me realize that though I seek control, and I often believe I have it - it only takes a moment to see that I have only been fooling myself. That God is the only one in complete control. My little car was crushed between a van and a SVU, but amazingly I walked out with bruised shins and a hurt neck - nothing that couldn't be healed.

Then a few weeks after the car accident we learned that I would miscarry another life. I had gone into this second pregnancy believing that because I had done everything right, we would be successful at starting our family. Again the idea of control was ripped out from under me. I have no idea what God is doing in that area of life, but every day is a reminder to trust and surrender.

Paul and I did some major traveling in 2013: San Francisco, Portland, D.C., Den Haag, Amsterdam, Rome, Venice, and Barcelona (+Vegas and Texas for Paul). Where do I even start with highlighting these experiences? They were amazing and filled with joy. They allowed us to grow our relationship deeper and to interact with the world on a level we don't often get to do. I am thankful that Paul desires to see the world and that we'll keep on exploring together!

In the midst of all our traveling, 2013 was the year that friends and family came and visited us! It started with my cousin Lisa and her daughter Izzy, my sister Destiny and her husband Kevin, my bestie Raena, my mamasita, and Paul's aunt and uncle.

2013 was the year of new opportunities and challenges. Paul spoke at his first technology conference in Texas - the Big Android BBQ. Paul also received a promotion to Principal Software Engineer and then made the leap from that to a management position. And it was a good year job wise for me too! 2 years and 3 months after I graduated with my Master's degree I was finally offered a School Counseling position. I said goodbye to the YWCA after 7 years and have been loving the transition!

Other random notes: Paul ran a half marathon after entering only 7 days before the event,  he ran his 2nd 200 mile relay race (so he still loves running), we moved our new couch in through our second floor window and didn't cause any damage, we celebrated 3 years of marriage and 5 years of dating (or a faux anniversary as Paul calls it), we took our first (and second) cooking class, we started creating urban adventures (long hikes around the city), and went to Charity's first NFL game (Redskins vs. Cowboys).

The final highlight of 2013 is recognizing great friendships. We are surrounded by wonderful people in our life but very blessed to share the ups and downs with our friends the Kaetzel's. Mark + Marin challenge and encourage us as a married couple, as parents, and as friends. Over the last 20 years we (Paul has a 15 year head start on me) have been able to grow closer with them and they really are family. Plus, if you can survive B&B 2013, you're bonded for life!