Tuesday, July 31, 2012

6 Month Report

So we've survived 6 months in Michigan! As a family we have been stretched, tested, encouraged, and even discouraged at times. Life here has been pretty sweet though, so I can't complain. I moved into an area that usually sees pretty rough winters; this year was EXTREMELY mild. That was a lovely surprise and I believe a wonderful gift from the Creator. Plus as Summer rolled around, I had heard that it gets hot around here, and that the lakes never really gets warm. By early July however, the lake temp was at 75 degrees! What a pleasant surprise. Mark wondered if I would ever swim with him this summer because I hate cold water.  Thanks to the warmer temperatures I have definitely been to the beach more times than I can count, and have been in the water almost as much :). Thank you Lord for a beautiful Summer :). God's just warming me up to this area I guess.
There are many blessings to be counted as we look back over these last several months. The most important is the abundance of family time we've been able to have. You can't put a price tag on that! Back in PA Mark was working 8-10 shifts a week to keep us afloat, and I was over-stressed/over-burdened with a very young infant. Since the move Mark usually only works 40 hrs a week, which is huge for us! Not only are we spending more time with each other but also with Mark's family. We have also had the privilege of driving back to NJ once already to visit my family! It was a surprise, and we cherished the time we had with them :).

So here is an overview of our last 6 months:

-Ben has welcomed us with open arms into his home. The upstairs is totally ours. He has allowed us to paint, and make it our own. Eden's room was the last to be painted, which Mark and my Sister-in-law Heather completed when Eden and I were in NJ.  So nice to come home and have it finished! So now comes the decorating. I love decorating, but sadly it takes me so long to get around to it. I am a very big procrasinator :). Eden's room is coming along; pictures are on the wall, as well as some other decorations. The hall-way has lots of pictures up, but of course I still want to add some things. Our room could use some TLC as well. Mark just the other day, finally put our make-shift bed frame together. He measured and cut some wood, and made slats that would lay across the metal frame that we have.Then he laid ply wood on top. For those of you that don't know, our box spring didn't fit up the stairs. So we have been sleeping on our queen mattress on the floor for 6 months lol. Our first night on the new frame we felt so high up! 

-Mark got a job at Lake Woods Nursing Home, just 2 weeks after our move. He started on night shift for about 2.5 months. He has since switched to day shift which has been wonderful! Night shift definitely took a toll on our relationship. Currently we don't have health insurance, only Eden does. This is something we could use prayer and wisdom for. Mark needs to get a full time position that he can get health care with.

-I began my personal endeavor into the world of photography back in March. I've started my own business, and have had a handful of shoots so far. I have recently created a Facebook page for my business, that allows others to see my work. I know I have such a long way to go when it comes to mastering techniques, equipment, and editing programs, but I'll get there. Right now things are slow. However, as I create business cards, and discover how to expand my clientele base, I hope to have a more steady business going by the Fall.

-We have settled in at Bethel Baptist Church of Fruitport Michigan.This took longer to decide than we had hoped. We visited a handful of churches over a few months span, however our hearts were continually drawn to Bethel. This is the church Mark spent many of his growing up years at. His dad was the former Pastor. This June, we welcomed on a new pastor and his family, and are excited about the changes and growth that is happening! We have been helping out with the Youth Group for about a month or 2 now. We are also helping with the nursery renovations  project!  Both the infant and toddler nurseries at Bethel needed a bit of an upgrade. So we've been helping pull off wallpaper,scrub walls...and are hoping to paint, and install new flooring in the next few months.

-Eden has done a lot of changing and traveling since January! Her first flight was at 3.5 months. It was a bit stressful, but we made it here. In March she survived her first 12 hr + car trip. We split it between 2 days, and it took around 20 hrs total...She did pretty good considering she was only 5 months old. Shen then took her next flight back in May, at age 7 months. Her and I flew to NJ to spend some time with my family. She has been on 6 flights total, and is only 9.5 months old. She's a pro!
Eden has reached many milestones since our arrival to Michigan. She has rolled from stomach-to-back (Feb.), and back-to-stomach (March), Sat up by herself (March/April), popped through her first tooth (April 27th), waved for the first time (June), rolled/scooted all over (June/July),
 and most recently she has crawled (July11th). Despite only being able to crawl for a little over 2 weeks, she is a fast mover. Once she put all the movements together, she just took off! We may have a walker on our hands before we know it!

- Since we've moved we have been keeping up with TV shows through Netflix and Hulu Plus. However, I am happy to say that after 6 months of living here we are finally getting TV channels! Now we can enjoy the Olympics, plus have TV in time to enjoy all our favorite shows when they start up this Fall. YAY!!

So that is the recap of our last six months! We look forward to what the next half a year will hold!

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