Live. Lose. Love

December 31, 2010

This month life has been a little too hectic to write any formal new years resolutions and quite frankly we didn’t exactly keep our 2010 resolutions so I’m going to keep them simple this year!

Live: We are going to live life to the fullest this year.  Exploring Austin, starting new jobs, making new friends, taking a legit vacation, buying a house… our goal is to live life intentionally and enjoy it!  Also part of living for Laura is to complete her 25 list.

Lose:  This year we are going to try to shed some serious pounds…I won’t give you the exact breakdown, but between the two of us we are pledging to one another to lose 70 pounds combined.  Hopefully with our warmer climate for exercise and living with people who are trying to lose weight too we will be more successful than last year when we gained all our weight back.

Love:  This year we hope to grow closer to God and love Him more and to meet new people to love.  Also I want to continue to show love to all the amazing people in our lives that we just left behind in Champaign.  I also have a feeling our hearts will almost explode with love for our youngest roommate 🙂

So there you have it.  I can’t wait to hear your resolutions or rather read them on your blog.  HAPPY 2011!!!  Did you realize that tomorrow is 1.1.11?

I hope yall had a wonderful Christmas, ours was everything we had hoped for and more. We did all our traditions, ate way more than we should have, opened presents for about 3 hours.  No we didn’t have THAT many presents, we just savored every last one! I couldn’t have dreamed up a better “last Christmas” in Champaign. It snowed the perfect amount at just the right time, the fire burned perfectly, everyone’s gifts were just what they wanted and the day was filled with surprises. mom and I just finished playing and singing our Christmas duets and in a few minutes we’ll be sitting down to eat grasshopper pie and play boxers and briefs the board game. Life isn’t perfect, but today was pretty close!

This post is to also wish you a happy new year as I will be taking this week off to get moved to Texas and to spend time with family. After the first I’ll be back to post regularly and keep you updated on our life as Texans! See you in 2011 🙂

Yes, I Love Technology

December 21, 2010

I’m so thankful to be moving in a technological era.  I plan to keep in touch with Facebook, texting, skype, facetime,  this blog and I’ve even toyed with getting a twitter account…not really sure what that is for, but hey if it keeps me connected more maybe I will.  I also intend to stalk people’s accounts and look at picture albums, and I also need to figure out how to get people’s facebook statuses synced with my phone…can I do that?  My momma is getting the Iphone 4 in January and you better believe we’ll be face timing and we gave Jenna a camera and she’s about to set up a skype account (wink*).  So I’ll try to get on skype occasionally with my friend who doesn’t talk on the phone, thank goodness the hubs bumped up my texting plan…thanks love.  Not quite sure how people stayed connected years ago when there wasn’t all these methods, glad I was born when I was.  Woke up feeling really sad thinking about what we’ll be missing.  What I’m going to need from you guys out there in cyberspace…comments, I LOVE getting comments from Ellen, she lives all the way in Mexico and I feel connected to her because I see her sweet little comments on here 🙂

…until I started packing.  Holy cow we have a ton of stuff.  I can’t imagine moving more than a one bedroom apartment!  I’ve come to realize that I love dishes and glassware.  Anything for entertaining I have a really hard time getting rid of.  When my grandparents asked me years ago if there was anything we wanted in their house before they had a huge house sale to downsize to an apartment, the only thing I requested was their fiesta ware.  I so enjoy it, but I am hoping we won’t move very often because let me tell you, it is NO FUN to pack!  According to Jenna, after helping us pack last night, I have a lot of purses. This is one thing I thought I had a very minimal amount of, maybe I am not a minimalist after all!  It doesn’t help that on top of all of it we also have Christmas decorations that we need to pack, I should have not listened to my heart and should have kept our tree in the box this year!  Oh well, you live and learn, although I have really enjoyed having our tree up.  It’s hitting me today that we’re moving in 12 days and packing today has been emotional for the first time so far.  It doesn’t help that 24 hours after moving we are flying from Austin to Boston for 5 days so I’m trying to pack and plan for that trip simultaneously, let’s just say they’ll be seeing me in the same pants and sweater most of the trip!  Oh well, what’s life without a little adventure right??

If anyone is available on the 27th we’re getting a team of people together to load the truck.  Even if you could stop by for an hour and load for a little bit that would be great!  If for nothing else we’d love to see you, I think we’ll start loading around noon, so let me know if you can make it for a little bit.

Letter

December 15, 2010

Here is the letter I wrote to the Peoria church planting team, Andrew thought it was too much info so he sent a different one, but I thought I’d share my heart and perspective on here because I can.  For those of you that don’t know us we had planned to move to Peoria to start a new Vineyard church and well, things changed.

Dear Future Peoria Church Planters:

We have stopped trying to presume to know God’s plan for our lives.  Rather we are doing our best to abide in Him and do what he is doing in the moment.  As many of you know our story of going on the church plant to Peoria began in 2006 when Andrew believed he heard God tell him that he was to plant a church with Ben and Tina.  A year or so later Laura met Andrew and also had the tug on her heart for church planting.  On August 9, 2008 a missional couple was formed.  We were committed to following God’s plan for our life from day one of our journey together.

 

Through much prayer and through different events it finally came time to tell Ben and Tina of our thoughts about planting a church with them.  We lived and breathed Peoria, you know when you first fall in love with someone and they’re all you can talk about, every conversation turns into talking about them?  That was Peoria for us. Andrew started his job search in Peoria in January of 2010 and we were all in.

 

After 8 months of looking for a job and being strung along for 10 weeks by a job in Peoria the job doors in Peoria were slammed shut.  The day after the news of the job not panning out we didn’t feel that we were supposed to quit on Peoria and we rose up and continued the search just as committed as we were day one.  We told everyone we knew we were moving to Peoria, we looked for houses, researched neighborhoods, applied for any open jobs and waited with hope that something would come up.  We felt like God had stopped speaking to us and we were blindly being obedient to what we believed the call on our life was to plant a church with Ben and Tina.  In September God began speaking to Andrew and I once again.  He gave us both the same picture, that I won’t try to explain, but basically the message was the same for both of us in the end, God spoke clearly that we were to look for jobs in other locations.  This seemed crazy to us and neither of us wanted to say anything to the other until finally one day it came out that we were seeing and interpreting the same picture.  I can’t remember feeling more hopeful any other time in my life.  It was as if the biggest burden was lifted off both of us and we could dream again.  We continued to seek God through the process of applying for jobs across the country.  We both heard God say, this is your house not selling moment, don’t think that you are wimping out…if someone’s house didn’t sell they wouldn’t go either.  Considering we only needed ONE thing to go our way to go to Peoria it was becoming clear that this might not be the path God wanted for us.

 

It’s no secret that we love Austin, Texas.  Laura’s siblings and our nephew live there and it’s the closest place to home in our hearts besides our actual homes.  We always hoped that someday we would get to move there and live close to family in this beautiful city.  A job came up in Austin that Andrew thought he would really enjoy so we pursued God and pursued the job simultaneously.  I remember one night Andrew said, “Laura, do you think it’s possible for God’s plan to be the same as the plan that we would like and it could actually happen now, instead of down the road?”  I hadn’t really thought about it considering the only trajectory we had been on for the last year was Peoria.  We kept pursuing every option that was laid out before us and on November 29th Andrew interviewed at Sapling Learning in Austin, TX.

 

Tuesday December 7th Andrew was offered this job.  We don’t presume to know God’s plan, but I do know his timing is impeccable.  I, Laura, quit my job a few weeks ago and my last day was December 3rd.  Weeks ago we told our landlord that come January we would be moved out (she filled it in one day), Andrew’s last paycheck comes on December 16th and I’ve been packing for the last few months, God’s timing if perfect.  We have been at peace through this whole process.  We were about to be homeless, jobless, and hopeless and God swooped in and gave us a job in a city we love that has a Vineyard church and a free place to live (Laura’s brother’s house).  Not to mention of all the jobs Andrew has applied for this one seems to be the favorite, it’s an environment he’ll be comfortable in with a job he will enjoy.

 

We don’t know why we were told we were planting a church with the Hoerr’s and now it looks like we won’t be, at least not in Peoria, but I don’t feel the need to know at this point.  Neither of us our angry with God and we don’t feel abandoned by Him.  He has all of our best interest at heart and when we look at this team we see an incredible group of people that will change the city of Peoria.  We are sad to not get to be on this journey with you, but we are excited to see the amazing things God has for this stellar team of people.  I now know this to be true God is good, even when we don’t understand Him, He is so good.  God has run this line through my head many times over the last few weeks:

 

Different Mission Field, Same Mission: to share the love of Jesus in Biblical, Practical, Powerful, and Fun Ways.

 

Doing His Work here, near, and far away.

The Campbells

 

Coldest Photo Shoot EVER

December 11, 2010

Here are a few of the pictures that will not be making the cut for our Christmas card, but these are some of my favorites!  I’ll post our actual picture when we post our Christmas letter…hopefully we’ll get that together before December 25th!

In case you don't have facebook here's my bozo hair picture

Love that face...Andrew's that is

This would be my choice for Christmas card because it most captures our relationship, but I know people wouldn't want this on their fridge!

It was cold, 7 degrees, and we were out there with NO COATS

I like this one, but there are better ones so we won't be using this one either.

This was a mini session…it took us a total of 30 minutes start to finish and we got some good ones. Jenna is AMAZING, we appreciate her more than we could ever express!

Bah Humbug

December 10, 2010

Did you know that when Charles wrote the Christmas Carol the plan was to use the phrase, “Bah Christmas.”  Weird huh?  Anyway here is the list of things that I do not love about Christmas, especially just songs I can’t stand.

1. Rockin Around the Christmas tree

2. Go Tell it on the Mountain

3. Christmas Shoes

4. Grown up Christmas List (sorry mom)

5. Home Alone 3 &4…seriously who knew there was a 4, they should have stopped at 2, or even 1

6. Reindeer antlers and a Rudolph nose on cars

7. GLITTER…there just seems to be more at Christmas

8. Santa…well I don’t HATE Santa, I’m just not a huge fan.

9.  Packing up decorations when it’s all over

10.  Traveling… I like who we see when we travel, but the hustle and bustle just isn’t really my style.  We did score a couple INCREDIBLE tickets to go home to MA for New Years and I’m excited about that!

 

…these are a few of my favorite things BELLA EDITION.  So I’ve been thinking a lot about another favorite things post before Christmas and since I’m surrounded by Bella merchandise all day I figure I might as well do a post of all things fantastic from Bella.

No need to wear socks! AC and I both need some Sperry Topsiders...need I guess is a little strong!

These are also one of Oprah’s favorite things, they’ll run you around $30, but they are hand painted and one of a kind.

This stuff smells delicious... I use it to freshen our couch, bed, rugs, etc and to iron my clothes.

Sweet Little initial bracelet $28, not sure if I'd want a C, L or A-to represent Andrew. Most everyone at Bella has these and I'd kind of like one.

 

Happy for Jane

December 6, 2010

Alright so I wanted it to snow a pretty good amount before December 17th when my parent’s foreign exchange student goes back to Hong Kong.  She had never seen snow and I wanted her to experience it at least once in her life.  It snowed, she saw it, and now it’s welcome to leave and not come back.  She even made a miniature snow man yesterday so her snow dream has been fulfilled.  I’m happy for her, but sad for me, I forgot how much I HATE cold weather and snow.  It also doesn’t help that Bryan calls to update us on the temperature of Austin…I believe it was 78 just two days ago.  I’m trying to cherish this snow as it COULD BE our last one…no we have no news so don’t make any assumptions…we’ll let you know as soon as we do.  Thanks for your love and prayers…and if possible go ahead and pray this snow/cold away, this is miserable!

2.5 to 1.5

December 3, 2010

Tomorrow marks my last official day at Wesley Romine Painting, Inc.  Then I will just be managing Bella Bambini and doing Thirty-One on the side.  It feels surreal to be down from 5 jobs to basically part time work.  I’m looking forward to spending more time with family, packing our things and preparing to move.  Whether we’re moving to Austin or to Southwest Champaign I’ve got to finish packing and I’m really glad I’ll have the time to do so.  At this point I’m tired of working 50 hour weeks so I feel as though I will not miss my office job.   I’m sure as it sets in that I will no longer be managing the office and being with the people that I’ve seen 5 days a week for the last year and a half  I will then be sad, but for now I’m ready for a break!  I’m looking forward to a holiday season full of friends, family and FUN!!!