First of all, thank you so much for all the wonderful questions! You definitely came through and asked me all kinds of things and I loved reading all your comments :) Thank you lurkers for "de-lurking" to participate! I used to comment on so many blogs back in the day, but these days, I reserve my comments and my time for only a few. I just can't keep up with all of them. However I do love to read many, so trust me, I understand your silence :) Glad to know many of you have followed me for awhile and for some reason unknown to me, you continue to! Ok, enough of this, let's just get to the great questions you asked and my honest answers!!
Drum roll please....
1. Do I think Ava looks like my Mom??
Well, yes actually. She has the same high forehead that my Mom and I both have :) And maybe our eyes too. However, even more than that, I think she looks like my Mom's Mom. She makes several faces that totally remind me of my Grandma Glenny (that was her name). I find this so sweet for several reasons. My Grandma was very sick most of my life. I have very vivid memories of her when I was a little girl, I can still hear her voice :) However, most of my growing up years she was in a nursing home and very confused. It makes me sad that she couldn't enjoy her golden years and that we missed out on really knowing her. But, she was a wonderful Grandma and she loved us dearly. I know she would be over the moon about Ava. It warms my heart and is a special gift from the Lord when I look at Ava and I see my Grandma Glenny in her. I love that the Lord did that! Even though I was very young when she wasn't sick, I have a certain picture of her in my head and now I have that same picture of her in my arms.
You may think they look alike due to the hair color...but I'm going to gently suggest that one of them may or may not be a natural redhead :)
Hello Grandma Glenny! Nice to see you again :)
2. What is my favorite book/song/musical group??
Well, I think I've shared before that I do not like to read fiction. I don't know why, I just don't. Some of you can't believe I'm not a Francine Rivers girl, but it's true. I totally prefer a biography, a true story or theological book any day. Having said that, it's very hard to choose my favorite, but for the sake of this question, I would have to say my favorite true story is "Mistaken Identity." It is the true story of the two girls from Taylor University who were in a car accident and mistaken for one another. One lived and one died. The story is about how they were switched and their family's reaction. It was just riveting to me. It rocked me to my core because it was a story full of such grief, but the faith and grace and forgiveness both families displayed was so incredible and God honoring. I think of it often, more than many books I've read in the last few years.
My favorite song is "New Day" by Robbie Seay Band. It was so soothing to me while Travis and I were walking the long road of trying to get pregnant. It was so "us" it just makes me cry every time I hear it. Plus, the first time I heard it was right before we took a wonderful vacation to Florida together. It reminds me of that sweet week every time I hear it.
My favorite musician is definitely Michael Buble. It's impossible for me to choose a Christian artist, I like too many, but EVERY TIME I hear Michael sing, I melt! And then I immediately want to dance with my husband :) There's not a single song of his I don't like.
3. Do I play an instrument or sing?
No! But this question made me laugh. As the stereo-typical Pastor's wife, you might think I do, but sorry to shatter any expectations, I do not :) However, when Travis was interviewing at some small, country churches in North Carolina, you wouldn't believe how many times I got asked this question! I think it was a sad disappointment that I wouldn't be accompanying someone on the piano, leading the choir or singing a special number! For the record, I was in band in junior high and I played the clarinet, but I never liked it and had no desire to continue after that! I can carry a tune and when I do sing, I prefer to stay in the alto range :) but I would NEVER sing alone! However, I do admire people who are gifted musically. I wish I were one of them :)
4. How are the baby foods going for Ava?
Well, so far they aren't. Before we can start her on them, her doctor wanted her to meet a certain number of ounces per day (of formula) and we aren't there yet. I would imagine in the coming weeks we will be, but Miss Ava is not a big eater. She's at the stage where she's so distracted by anything while we feed her, that we have to really work to get all her ounces in. You can be assured that when we are ready for rice cereal, it will be well documented on here!
5. Am I planning on going back to work full-time or sticking with my floral business?
By the grace of God, I am able to stay home with Ava full time. I've always hoped and prayed that would be the case, but I prepared myself for the possibility that I would need to return to work. As it turns out, the Lord provided for us in some unexpected ways and I'm able to be home with her. I will still dabble in nannying here and there, at this point we are looking at an afternoon a week, but Ava will go with me and we'll be able to stay connected to my sweet little guys that I've been with for a few years now. I love that. It will give Ava and I something to do and bring a little cash in too. I am still pursuing weddings and God has really blessed my business. I have a few upcoming jobs and hopefully more in the future. I've always hoped that could be what keeps me working because I love it so much and it's something I can do on my own time and largely from home. I am very thankful to have these precious days with Ava at home and I am enjoying it more than I ever thought possible!
6. Do we ever plan on living in a home vs. a condo, so Ava can have a yard to play in?
Well sure! Who wouldn't?? Do you want to pay our mortgage?? :) Of course we would love to be in a house someday, with a yard for both Ava and Ryley, but right now we are happily enjoying the condo/home we live in and are content to be here as long as we need to be. When we bought our current condo, it was our first home together and something the Lord clearly brought to us. Buying for the first time, on a youth pastor's salary, left us very few options in an incredibly expensive market, but we patiently waited for the right thing and God brought us our condo. We have loved living here and have definitely enjoyed condo living. I love that we don't have to mow in the summer, clear snow in the winter and or do any kind of exterior maintenance. With all the trips and retreats that Travis goes on for work, it's been a comfortable place for me to be alone in, because it's a secure building with neighbors all around me. We actually do have quite a large yard in the back with woods and lots of trails. We live right by a lake and have parks all around us. Ava and Ryley get plenty of chances to be outside and we get them both out as much as we can.
So, would I love to have a bigger place someday? Yes. Would I love to have a lush, fenced in yard? Yes. Do we think we're doing Ava a disservice by living in a condo? No. Until the day comes for a move, we are quite content and thankful for what we do have. From the first day we got our key, I prayed that God would show us how long we should live here and that he would provide a smooth transition when it was time to go. I honestly believe that he will bring us the right buyer at the right time, but until then, we trust Him. The decline of the housing market is good timing for us to buy, but we need to sell this first and right now we are in the process of exploring that option. We don't have our hearts set on anything but being wise and obedient. If it's meant to be, then it will happen. If not, then we'll happily stay put. God knows our needs, our wants and our desires. He has taken care of us every step of the way and we believe he will continue to. We value Trav's call to ministry more than we value a house or a car or a bank account. We love the life God has given us and we will praise Him no matter how many bedrooms we have or the size of our yard :)
However, having said all of that, if you have a free house you would like to "gift" us or a check to cover our mortgage, we would be happy to accept it :)
6. How old is Travis??
Oh Lindsey, you made my husband's day with this question!! He was so happy when he read it! I am pleased to tell you that yes, I am the younger one of the two of us...by 6 years in fact! He said I could tell you, that I am 29 and he is 35. I know, shocker :) But, if I'm going to honest, the real deal is that in his heart, he isn't a day over 17!!
Thanks for those fun questions! It's been fun thinking about these and seeing what you all are interested in knowing. Although these are just a few of the questions asked, I will tackle the rest in part two :)
Hope you have a blessed Labor Day Weekend!