Tuesday, February 24, 2015

baby girl. gummy vitamins. & our future family.

Waiting a while to blog is a bother because I end up with so much I want to say that I just can't seem to say any of it quite right. Rather than attempting to type words that flow perfectly, which will probably leave me with yet another day of blog-less-ness, I'm just going to spill my thoughts as they come. Future posts will be more... articulate... but today's will be on the sporadic side of life. 

This weekend we found out we are having a baby girl which is at the forefront of my brain from the moment I wake to the moment I sleep. She is wiggling a lot these days and three people other than me have already felt her kick, which delights me in ways I didn't know I could be delighted. My sister was the first person to feel her move and now every time I see her she goes straight for my belly. She talks to it. Rubs it. Pokes it. Then talks to it again. The baby moves most when I'm laying so Meredith has also forced me to lay down on several occasions just to feel baby girl dance. I love that people are excited because it makes me more excited too. 

On a dead serious note... they don't sell Gummy Prenatal Vitamins. At least not at any of the stores near me. I have checked multiple places. I am not incapable of swallowing vitamins, I've done it most of my life, but for whatever reason being pregnant has suddenly made me want to invest in my very own Gummy Vitamins. I've always thought Gummy Vitamins were incredible inventions because... well it's obvious isn't it? Vitamins that taste like gummy bears? Yes please. But this desire has led me to utter disappointment in discovering that they don't exist. They sell Adult Gummy Vitamins. They even sell Fiber Gummies for "kids of all ages". But who do they leave out? The pregnant ladies. Maybe they think that if we are about to have a kid then its time we get serious and swallow our vitamins. I'm more like, hey vitamin people, in a few months I am going to be squeezing out a watermelon sized human from a hole the size of a dime, the least you could do is give me a piece of candy that will fill my body with nutrition and my mouth with joy. 
But no. They don't sell them. Darn vitamin people. 

We were supposed to leave for Spain this Thursday but due to some visa issues we pushed our flights back a week. Now we are leaving March 4th and returning June 3rd. My due date is July 4th. We are both excited to go but haven't done anything at all to pack, so this 6 days is a gift straight from Heaven. 

People have asked how my life will change after having the baby. 
Will we still travel? 
Will we still work as unsalaried missionaries? 
Will we continue living in a room at the church? 
Will she be a skateboarder? 
Who is going to be buying her the pink helmet she'll need? 

All good questions. 
Here are some short answers: 

We know that traveling is a major part of the lifestyle God has called us to as a family so we are prepared to be mobile with the babe. We don't know what that means exactly but we are excited to learn. We also know that we want to be rooted in Los Angeles, which means life won't be quite as transient as it has been the last several years. Together Shaun and I plan to keep loving God, loving each other, and we'll figure out together how to maintain a healthy lifestyle for our family. Also, children fly for free until they are two years old, so you can count on us taking advantage of that as much as possible.

We will continue working as unsalaried missionaries for Youth With a Mission LA- Shaun will still be directing Calling All Skaters & I will keep leading Beauty Arise. We also plan to continue serving Models For Christ. My particular responsibilities will likely shift so that I can focus my time, energy, and breastmilk on my little girl, but we have no plans to stop doing ministry. Having children has always been part of our vision so over the last few years we have specifically been building our ministries in a way that they can continue to flourish with children and families involved. Our hope is that in the coming months I will be writing and speaking more and that some of my other duties can be delegated to wonderful, willing friends & coworkers. 

We will be moving out of our room at the church sometime in the summer. We do not know where we will be living yet and are grateful for your prayers on that. There is a prospective housing opportunity on the horizon but nothing confirmed at this point. We aren't stressed about it but mostly we just aren't thinking about it. That strategy is working at the moment but we know that as my tummy grows, the reality of needing a home will become more obvious. I'll keep you posted. 

She will skate. She will also dance sometimes and probably do a million other things too. We have loved the way our parents helped us to discover our passions by releasing us to do lots of different things and we want to do that same thing with our kids. 

I'm pretty sure my Mama will be the one buying her the pink helmet. Or my Aunt or my Grandma. These are the 3 people in my life who NEVER FAIL to remind me how important helmets are. They'll probably buy Shaun a helmet too, though I am doubtful that he'll wear it.
(PS. I am going to regret typing that part... I'll never hear the end of it.) 

My ramblings are coming to a close but I still have lots to say so you can expect another post coming soon. I hope you have a happy Tuesday! Thank you for being such a faithful friend & for following my blog.
You guys are a HUGE encouragement to me.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Hover Latest

Hi friends! I hope you all are having a wonderful 2015 so far! It's been a little while since we have shared an update so I thought I'd take advantage of a free morning to get it done! Thank you to everyone who prays for us & gives to us financially to make these endeavors possible. None of this would be possible without you! 

Shaun was in China two weeks ago visiting our Calling All Skaters DTS team on outreach over there. He was doing what we call a "Pastoral Visit" - checking on the health of the team and the leaders, ensuring that our ministry partners over there are doing well, and joining the team in the ministry they are doing. He had an amazing time and has reported that the team is doing incredibly well. Here are a few videos he put together while he was over there! 

Last weekend we drove down to Ensenada, Mexico to participate in a Beauty Arise Fashion Show our Beauty Arise team produced there. YWAM Ensenada hosted the event as an outreach to their city & over 200 people attended! The models were women chosen from the community, young teens from the local safe house that our Beauty Arise team invests in weekly were seated front-row as the "guests of honor," & I was the featured speaker - sharing on the love of God & the value He has placed in each of us. Lizbeth Espinoza & Beauty Arise: Unfading Beauty YWAM-Ensenada directed & produced the whole thing! God was so faithful - taking care of every detail && we felt privileged to have been a part of the evening! Since the event multiple Mexican newspapers have posted articles about it. Here is a link to one:  http://ed.el-mexicano.com.mx/impreso/Ensenada/012815/28-01-2015_ENS_01E.pdf

Shaun just returned to California yesterday from a week-long pastoral visit to our Calling All Skaters team in Chile. The crew is doing great & he is excited to be home! Check out @callingallskatersofficial on Instagram to follow the work they are doing down there.

Next Wednesday I'll be leaving to serve another Models For Christ outreach to Fashion Week in New York City! Models For Christ ministry produces Fashion Week Outreaches, and provides support, encouragement, and community globally to fashion industry professionals through outreach and discipleship to reflect the light and love of Jesus Christ within popular culture.This will be fifth year helping to serve these outreaches and I am full of anticipation for what God wants to do in and through our team there. Please pray for us! 

On February 21st we will find out if our baby is a boy or a girl! 
We'll be having a gender reveal party to find out alongside our friends and to celebrate together just before leaving for Spain. We are TOO excited! We could actually find out the gender at our appointment next week but we are both party people so we think the waiting will be worth it -
even though we both SO want to know now!! The baby is due July 4th. 

Lastly we will be leaving for Barcelona on February 26th to launch the first ever Calling All Skaters DTS there. We have a team of people coming with us to help lead and staff the bilingual school. Since we will be delivering our babe in California we will only be there for the first 3 months of the project but we feel grateful to have such a solid crew to lead the students for the remaining 3 months. We return from Spain on June 3rd. 

That is all for now!
As always if you feel compelled to give financially to our ministry you can do so through the "Support" link at the top of this page! Click "Donate" and fill out the form accordingly!
 We are still hoping to raise roughly $350 towards my outreach to NYC.
You are a huge encouragement to us both and it's a joy to do life with you!  
All our love, Shaun & Jess 
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