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!