Location: San Luis Obispo 

ALL the pictures to come! We have the rest of our year to put up--thanks for joining in on the fun. We did it, finished 364 days of wedding pictures.  

A new day--and we are celebrating! We are so excited that we have walked through an amazing year together and we would be lying if we didn't share our exuberance over NOT having to take our picture of the day today.  We woke up on a 151 acre ranch surrounded by classic signature-gold California mountains-- Travis started writing a beautiful song on a dreamy porch and I started our new year reading Psalms.  

The celebration continued--driving through the San Luis Obispo wine country, buying a 45 pound pound pumpkin, drinking iced coffee, eating a gourmet cheeseburger and walking around the quaint surfer style streets of SLO. 

I think it is safe to say that we love each other more than we did on our wedding day. Each day is like turning a new page in each others story---celebration all the way through. 

 
 

Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Man of the house! You better believe we are counting down the days until our first anniversary--two weeks from today we are married one year! Any suggestions for our last picture of the year?

 
 

It was nice to go out to eat after a long day at work. We walked out onto the pier in Santa Cruz and found a little sea food diner.

 
 

Location: Santa Cruz, CA

We just finished playing UNO and are enjoying our last couple of weekend hours. Time off has so much more weight now! The best part of today was eating the fresh baked cinnamon rolls that Travis made---so yummy!

 
 

This is our first day off in over two weeks and it was gloriously lazy! We drank espresso, walked to the boardwalk to meet friends and watched netflix for pretty much the rest of the day. The cloudy skies with scattered rain showers chased any feelings of guilt away and we relished the day of rest.

Every human being needs days of rest--cherish them, guard them, cancel plans for them, teach your children about them and don't let busy lives make a slave of you.

 
 

Worst quality picture ever but here is to another day married! Notice Travis holding the wand he carved this weekend to use for directing the band at the school. I married a renaissance man.

This week brought in a tide of contemplation about relationships. This is a short summary of all of my thoughts this week: how you learn to resolve conflict and disappointment will determine the health of your life. Today I am considering this the number one life skill that needs to be attained and taught--dealing with conflict! Forget algebra we need lots and lots of tools for dealing with hurt, betrayal, disappointment, offense, injustice, anger and abuse! These are the events that derail lives and the opportunities to run into them are plenty each week! We need to learn how to talk instead of blame, to communicate in a healthy way and to fight our own toxic patterns. We need to become experts at forgiveness.

For once and for all while I'm on my soap box-- Love IS NOT a feeling. Feelings are meant to be followers not leaders. You choose out of love-- you do not fall out! Love is when you have no warm affectionate feelings bubbling inside for someone and you ask--what does it look like to choose love right now? There is such a beautiful power to love someone in moments when it is not benefitting you. Today I asked God to make mlove big giant lover!

For those that are followers of Jesus, is there ever an excuse not to love? When we have a leader who said things like, "love your enemies" and "pray for people who curse you". Was he speaking of a feeling when he referenced this word love? Absolutely not, he was talking about the love that goes beyond affection, friendship and romance-- the bold love we are called to give away. To have mercy, forgiveness and care for people who's actions don't deserve it. This is the love that was lived out for us when Jesus chose to die for us--when we were the betrayers, the offenders, the liars. Have you ever felt the love of God pouring into your heart and literally changing you? It is crazy love!

He doesn't want us to get along-- he wants us to have such transformational love that even the most undeserving can taste and see that HE is good but we need lots of love practice because the older you get-- the more hurt you get! When you are hurt, you have two choices-- you either harden yourself in some way to cope through it or you have to allow yourself to go through some pain, forgiveness and grieving to prevent your heart from calcifying. Some comfort in those painful moments? The words of a masterful lover, "My grace is sufficient for you and my power is made perfect in weakness". Choose love!

 
 

Location: Home Sweet Home

This picture sums up exactly how we feel about taking our photo of the day tonight-- not feeling much about it! A wise mentor once told me, "Feelings are meant to be followers not leaders". Don't give feelings very much power over your life and especially over you decision to love people when it is hard or unglamorous or unromantic.

 
 
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Location: Santa Cruz, CA 

Crazy!! Today was the first day of school! It has been so many years since either of us have been players on the school scene! I am teaching Media Arts and Travis is teaching Band and 5th grade core subjects. 

First observations about school: 

1. School bags (*cough* cough) I mean suitcases are way bigger! Yes, they are really suitcases being rolled in daily.  What every happened to Esprit bags and Jansen backpacks?  I was amazed at the amount of 'stuff' carried in today. 

2. Locker decorations are WAY cooler. I am seeing locker chandeliers, locker rugs, locker gems, locker sparkle garland and an assortment of locker decor that I never imagine existed. I will post pictures as I discover the new uncharted territory of locker furnishings. 
3. Junior Highers like to talk!  They are like bubbling brooks of stories, expression and not so quite whispers! 

More to come! 

 
 

Location: Morgan Hill, CA

Delirium has hit, we are covered in splattered paper mâché, our hands are cut from tediously wiring our beast of a reading reading tree. We remembered to bring our wedding clothes into our work zone tonight!

 
 

Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Today was day three of intense thrift store combing. Only a few days until we need to have our classrooms organized and in our case "styled". What is a space if it doesn't have some style? If it doesn't read something through color and design? Trav"s room is an explorer theme and we are about 8 hours into an enormous paper mâché reading tree. It is a beast, big enough for the kids to climb right inside to read. We laughed out loud at the size of our very first paper mâché project.