Friday, June 24, 2016

The first day of summer

serene at 2 years 8 months and valor at 13 months
newport beach
valor at 13 months
serene at 2 years 8 months and valor at 13 months
valor at 13 months
serene at 2 years 8 months and valor at 13 months
serene at 2 years 8 months and valor at 13 months
valor at 13 months
newport beach
serene at 2 years 8 months and valor at 13 months
serene at 2 years 8 months and valor at 13 months
We fled the scorching 110-degree weather at home for the pleasant, mid-80s degree weather on the shore earlier this week for family day. There is not much quite like the beach's staggering breadth and beauty that screams God's glory. It was the first day of summer and our inaugural beach trip of the season. Both kids are a bit older this year, which made our time on the sand and in the water more fun (newborn Valor slept through most excursions last summer). We've been using one car, which Alex takes during his work week. It's such a treat to get out of the house for the day, have Alex with us for family day, and spend quality time together. Although we sin against each other in the midst of the competing priorities we have, Alex and I agree that these really are the sweetest (and most sanctifying) days.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Alex turns thirty

alex's 30th birthday
alex's 30th birthday
alex's 30th birthday
Alex turned thirty last Friday, two days before Father's Day. He requested a steak dinner with family, where we dressed up and snapped photos against the restaurant's stunning aerial view. We also celebrated the day beforehand with friends. He had been pining for a Universal Studios pass ever since we learned years ago they'd be opening The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Hollywood. I persuaded an owl to deliver his acceptance letter to Hogwarts in time for his birthday dinner with friends last Thursday. He opened the package with great enthusiasm. Then our dear community surprised us with a pass for me, too! I was shocked to tears by God's kindness through our sweet friends.

God consistently shows me grace through Alex. He is my greatest earthly treasure and such a gift to our little family. He leads and loves us by grace, pointing us to our greatest joy in Christ Jesus. The kids and I love him a whole lot. I have such great joy watching him be the most amazing daddy to Serene and Valor. Parenting is our greatest adventure yet. Thankful for our own dads who have shaped us into who we are today, and ultimately, for the heavenly Father who models perfect sacrificial love for us through Christ.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Season's first swim

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Summer's first heat wave emerged last week, which made swimming at the pool a welcome diversion for our family and sweet friends who came to visit. Alex was so excited for the season's first swim that he scooped up toddler floaties and a huge inflatable dolphin for the kids. He's totally a big kid himself, which offsets my more practical inclinations (I would not have picked up an inflatable dolphin if I were on a mission to just grab floaties). I tried to convince him to inflate the dolphin another time so we could go down to the pool right away, but he persisted. As he predicted, the kids adored riding the dolphin. It was definitely the afternoon's highlight, which he likes to point out and I laughingly admit to this day. In hindset, I'm thankful for Alex's contagious, childlike enthusiasm. Our lives are more fun because of him.