Thursday, June 25, 2009

Moving On

Well, everyone, Vance got the call. We're moving to Florida!

Vance will be an Assistant Professor at the University of Florida. Go Gators! He will be heading up their strawberry breeding program, which is based outside of Tampa. We'll move to FL the second week in August. Vance is really excited about the job, and we are all excited about following God's very clear leading to this new adventure. Who knows what will be in store for us there, but knowing that God's ways are better and kinder than anything we could have chosen gives us a lot of joy.

And yet. Leaving everyone here in Minneapolis--our dear friends who have become like our family--is going to feel like slicing off an arm. I moved up here 5.5 years ago, fresh out of college with a shiny new diamond on my finger, not knowing anyone but Vance. You barely knew me, but you threw me a bridal shower. Some of you flew down for our wedding a few months later. You taught me how to do small group, sharing my raw life with you, confessing sin, sharing joys, and receiving your love and support as I did. You celebrated with me when I was pregnant with Isaac, prayed with me when he was diagnosed with heart problems, and rejoiced when God healed him. You cried with me when my Mom died, and have continued to comfort and reach out to me in my grief, even two and a half years later. You helped me make my transition to two children, have given me advice on how to be a godly wife and mother, you have mentored me and challenged me and made me laugh until my sides hurt. You have loved my children, fished and grilled and prayed with my husband, let us crash your parties, invited us over for holidays when we couldn't travel home... You are dearer to me than I can begin to express. I can't imagine life without you all.

Emotions are strange things, and mine are especially fickle. I'll probably be dry-eyed as we leave you all, and I'll probably burst into tears at some other randomly inopportune time. So if you're reading this and you are one of the dear friends we are leaving in the Cities, know that we really, really love you. And we insist that you come visit us in our new oh-so-tropical home sometime in the dead of February or March!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

life with my little people

just a couple stories from the last 24 hours with my kids:

I was putting Claire to bed last night, getting a few cuddles in, singing songs, "talking", and praying over her. At one point I was praying, "Lord, give her a tender heart towards you," and immediately she looked up at me and whapped me right across the cheek! I guess that answer to prayer will be a miracle... :)

We had a church picnic today, and although I swear I brought lunch for the kids, they were much more interested in foraging for more exotic food amongst the other picnickers. They went from table to table, blanket to blanket, scoping everyone out for good eats. Isaac would walk around saying, "What are you eating? Can I have some?" I know I probably should have stopped it, but that would have required me to spend the entire picnic breathing down their necks. And I'm much more laissez-faire in my mothering than that. (don't worry, gentle reader, I don't let my children live like complete animals...I do have a few standards :) Anyway, near the end of the picnic, Isaac showed up at Vance's side with a handful of cheetos. Vance looked at him and said, "Who gave those to you, son?" Isaac looked up in his face and brightly replied, "Anyone!" So much as to say: "it's paradise here, Dad! There's food everywhere!"

They had a great time. And so did we.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

whirlwind of spring

I have a lot of things to catch up on...(especially Dad and Deonni's trip with us to the BWCA, and Yesupadam and Monika's visit!)...but really, it has been such a crazy month and a half that I feel the need to just crash and not do much for a few days.

An indicator of our busyness: we've had our latest Netflix offering in our desk drawer since the end of April. We're both interested in watching a movie, but there has not been a single night since that dvd came in the mail that we have both been free enough to sit down and veg in front of a film. Not one night! Crazy.

Now things have slowed down somewhat, for me at least, but Vance is out of town going through the very rigorous interview process for a faculty position. I haven't talked much about that--mostly because there hasn't been much to say, I suppose--but you can pray that God will provide us the perfect place to be. We thought we would know where our future would take us by the end of April, but it's the middle of June and although we may be closer, we still have no idea where we're going. Vance is currently interview in Florida for the last faculty position open to him. Should they hire someone else, he'll be looking into a postdoc for next year, and that could be pretty much anywhere. I think we're getting used to the lack of news, but at the same time, not knowing where/when/how/with whom is getting a little wearying. We can't really plan for anything, but life goes on.

On the flip side, we have an income! :) Vance is technically a postdoc for his current advisor, and that is a huge blessing, as his salary as a PhD student ended in May. He's even making a bit more now that he's got that fancy degree! And I am grateful for any amount of time that keeps us here with our dear friends. I would like to know what's next, but I don't like to think about leaving...

In other news, Claire spoke her first sentence two days ago. She was looking at one of Vance's books, and she pointed and said, "it's a fish!" Papa Frank, you can be very proud of your granddaughter! Maybe she will be the first Whitaker female fishing pro :)

More pictures and updates to come...