a year in review – 2009

What an amazing year we had!!

Here are a few highlights: *Started a new job at House of Blues in Anaheim *Brook went on staff at Kingsfield *Celebrated our 1 year anniversary...a trip we'll never forget *Started training to run a half marathon *Lost 15 pounds *Held my niece & loved on her. What a sweet girl! *Took an amazing trip to Israel *Stopped training for marathon...because... *WE'RE PREGNANT!!! *Threw up for 6 months straight. Best 6 months of my life. *Found out we're having a GIRL! *My life began to drastically change as it centered around growing & preparing for this child! Can't wait to see her face in 2010!!

It's interesting to look back at what I had hoped to do in 2009. A lot of what I wanted to do couldn't be done because we got pregnant, but I would trade it for the world!! I did lose 15 pounds before I got pregnant, but didn't run the half marathon, learn to snowboard or get a tan.  I guess there's always next year!

A few things I'm looking forward to this year: *Getting this baby out of me!!!!!! *Seeing my baby girl's face for the first time *Learning how to be the best mom I can be *Losing weight!!!!!! *Our first trip to Alaska for family vacation *Growing closer to my husband through the birth of our first child *Morning sickness to be GONE!

Here's to an amazing year that will be life changing!!!

a look back

Well, we've been home a couple weeks now, and the experience in Israel has had some time to sink in.  I'd like to share a few of my favorite things, and most life changing. I read the bible differently now. It's amazing the change I've seen in the way I look at God's word.  It's more personal, and more real now.  I've been there, I've seen it.  I saw the place that God took Moses to show him the Promised Land.  I stood on the hill where Jesus preached and fed the 5,000.  I walked up the steps that Jesus took some of his final on.  I prayed in the place that Jesus cried out to God, and cried over the land.  It is so real to me.  Never again will I look at the bible as stories.

Hands of a Carpenter

Experiencing it with my husband. We do everything together, and I can't imagine doing this without him.   We learned and grew together.  We had a blast together! I'm so thankful that we are able to share experiences such as these, and everyday makes me look more and more forward to our future together!!

Brook leading worship Overlooking the Sea of Galilee

Baptism in the Jordan River. This was one of the most amazing experiences! Jesus was baptized in this place.  It was the place that he taught us how important it is to be cleansed of our sins.  He lowered himself to our level to set the example for us.  Nothing beats that!!


Spending intense quality time with family/friends. This was quite the intense trip.  Not only were we tested physically by walking a million miles a day, but we were tested spiritually.  We learned together, we were stretched together.  I'm so thankful I got to do this with this group of people.  The "family friend network" and the brave souls who joined them...you have all become my family and some of the greatest friends I could ever imagine.  Thank you for welcoming me in with open arms from day one!

Family at Petra Public Bathrooms... The Girls! It was an unbelievable trip! I can't wait to go back :)

Thanks for listening to the stories, seeing the pictures and I just pray that you learned a bit reading about our experience.  I encourage you to take the trip if you ever get the opportunity! It'll change you in so many ways!


jordan: day eight & nine

JORDAN — Day EightWednesday, June 10

Border Crossing into Jordan - Our time in Israel has sadly come to an end, and it was time to say goodbye to Israel and our amazing guides.  Thank you to Abraham and Moshe for all you did for us! You made our trip that much more amazing! We crossed the border and pulled up to the area we would cross over.  Stacy & Uncle Dick took pictures of some soldiers and got pulled off the bus and questioned.  Welcome to Jordan... you're not in Kansas anymore people.  We got all the ok into the country and said our goodbyes to Abraham and we were off with our new tour guide and bus driver. Oh...and armed guard. That's not scary at all.

Mount Nebo - The place that God brought Moses to show him the Promised Land.  And then he died. I always thought that should go in Alanis Morissette's "Ironic"...because isn't it? Anyway, we got to check out the promised land and then we were off. Not much time to enjoy it or anything.  We've got places to go....or a bus to ride on for 5 hours.  Awesome.

Shobak Castle - Next stop....the castle.  We weren't originally going to go to Karak Castle, which I was kinda stoked about because it's basically my name but we went to Shobak instead. I love seeing the ruins of these old cities! The architecture of this castle was really interesting, so it was fun to explore around.

Today was pretty laid back, which was nice since we've been going going going for the last 10 days straight! We checked into our 'interesting' hotel in Petra, check out Brook's experience at the hotel that I slept through!

JORDAN— Day Nine Thursday, June 11

Petra - WOW.  This place is just unbelievable! Since I slept through Indiana Jones (I know, I'm a loser...) I wasn't sure exactly what to expect.  Which I was happy to have it that way to go in with an open mind, and my mind was blown more than I expected!!!

For those that don't know, Petra is a city build completely into the rock.  It took 50 years just for them to finish the Treasury (the largest, most recognized building).  I can't imagine having the patience to do that! The detailing was outstanding! After a long, drawn out tour by our tour guide...we finally got to go explore.  We rode camels (which was something I was really looking forward to!).  Yeah...my camel's name was Jack.  We bonded rather quickly, until he tried to eat my face.  I figured it was safe to keep my distance after that! We even rode horses out, just like Indiana Jones did.  However, I have a feeling his horse had a little more life than ours did.

We had a blast at Petra and although Jordan was a little scary and crazy at times, I'm so glad we went just to see Petra.

Then it was off to the airport for our 12:45 am flight to AMERICA! Hooray!

Coming soon...my favorite highlights of the trip and pictures!


israel: day seven - part 2

Abraham was kind enough to throw in a few extra things for us this day, so I wanted to post seperately to share about them! Pools of Bethesda - Also known as the "house of healing".  Apparently the sick would gather at this pool, and according to John, that an angel would stir the waters and the first one into the pool would be healed.  Jesus passed by here one day and there was a man who had not been healed.  The man told Jesus that he had no one to lift him into the pool so he could not be healed.  Jesus told him to pick up his mat and walk! So cool!

St. Anne's Cathedral - This church is believed to be the birthplace of Mary, and is named after Jesus' grandmother.  Kinda cool to think of Jesus having a grandma! Well the acoustics in this place were outstanding! The way it is built, voices just echo throughout and sound amazing.  Reagan got up and sang Amazing Grace for us, and it was beautiful!! I finally begged Brook to get up and sing something once everyone had left, but then they all heard him and made him do it again :) Not sure I've ever heard him sound better.  I took a rough video on my camera that doesn't do justice but here it is anyway!

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israel: day seven

ISRAEL — Day SevenTuesday, June 9th

A walk through the final days of Jesus... If you don't often read the story of Jesus' final days I encourage to take a few moments and do so.  It's even more powerful to me now than ever before. Have some pictures, then take a few minutes to read the story of our Savior!

Mount of Olives -Our day began on the Mt. of Olives, overlook Jerusalem.  In Jesus' last days, he entered Jerusalem from the road that led from the Mt.  Here he stopped and wept for the city and it was here that people laid their garments on the ground and shouted "Hosanna!"

Luke 19: 37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” 41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.

44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you.”

Garden of Gesthemane - In this garden was where Jesus was betrayed and arrested.  Here he sweat blood, agonizing over what was to come.  This garden is filled with Olive Trees that date back before the time of Christ.  We were able to spend time pouring into the word as we prayed and wept in the same place Jesus did.  One of my favorite parts about this is how surprisingly close it was to the Temple.  When the soldiers came to arrest him, I'm sure He was able to hear them coming if not see them!

Matthew 26: 36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.

38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Caiaphas’ House - The house of the high priest where Peter betrayed Jesus and where Jesus was kept overnight in an underground cell.  The steps leading up to this house are dated back before the time of Jesus, so you know those were the steps Jesus would have been taken up when he was brought here.

Matthew 26: 57 Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. 58 But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome. 59 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death.

60 But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward 61 and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’ ” 62 Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?”

63 But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.”

64 “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy.

66 What do you think?” “He is worthy of death,” they answered. 67 Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him 68 and said, “Prophesy to us, Christ. Who hit you?”

69 Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said. 70 But he denied it before them all. “I don't know what you're talking about,” he said.

71 Then he went out to the gateway, where another girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.”

72 He denied it again, with an oath: “I don't know the man!”

73 After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them, for your accent gives you away.” 74 Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, “I don't know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed.

75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Scourging Floor - Scourging was a very severe form of punishment, and often a lot of people would die from the beatings.  On the floor here, you can see markings from games the Roman Soliders would play.  This was the place Jesus was tried by Pilate and then beat.

Matthew 27: 11 Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied.  12 When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer.13 Then Pilate asked him, “Don't you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?”

14 But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge–to the great amazement of the governor.

15 Now it was the governor's custom at the Feast to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd.16 At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”

18 For he knew it was out of envy that they had handed Jesus over to him. 19 While Pilate was sitting on the judge's seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don't have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.” 20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.

21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.  “Barabbas,” they answered.

22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate asked.  They all answered, “Crucify him!”

23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.  But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man's blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”

25 All the people answered, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!”

26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

27 Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him.28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him,29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said.30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.

31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

Garden Tomb & Golgotha - Crucifixion, Burial and Resurrection of our Savior!!!!! There are no greater words to explain this than these:

Matthew 27: 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull).34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it.35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots.36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there.37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him:|sc THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.38 Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads

40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!”  41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him.42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can't save himself! He's the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” 44 In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

45 From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.

46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”–which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He's calling Elijah.” 48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink.

49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to save him.” 50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.52 The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!” 55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's sons.

57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him.59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.

62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate.63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.”

66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

Matthew 28: 1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.

4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. 5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.