Thursday, June 21, 2012

It's a....(baby announcement!!!) the hustle and bustle of everything...we forgot to make a major announcement!!!!!!

It's a....GIRL!!

We were so surprised with this news...I (along with Bella) was certain that it was a boy. I've been really sick like I was with Brennan. But, every pregnancy is different.

It was really neat seeing HER for our ultrasound. She was moving around just enough. At one point it seemed like her hand was stuck to her nose, and the technician said that it seemed like she was looking for her thumb. The next time around we saw her sucking her thumb - a first out of the Blakney bunch. It was very precious.

All of her organs are normal and functioning perfectly. She is a healthy girl - just like we've been praying for!

At another point, the technician asked, "Does anyone play music? The way she's moving her fingers looks like she's playing guitar. Ya'll must listen to a lot of music...she's hearing something in there."

This had to be the coolest thing ever. The technician had no idea that we were literally about to move 1300 miles from there to be worship leaders at a new church. Unbelievable.

It's been neat feeling her more...knowing that she's in there.

We don't have a name yet. We're thinking of keeping it in the "B" range.

I found a huge bag of clothes right before we moved. It was in Bella's closet and just didn't make it out for the yard sale. I decided to keep it since we would be finding out just a few days later...and sure enough, I've got some girl clothes for our little girl!!!!!!!!!

God knows what He's doing. Bella will be a wonderful big sister...she is already so helpful. Brennan will have fun being the only boy...I know he and his daddy will be super close!

Our family is growing. God is good to us. Our adventure is changing and developing every day. We know that God is in control and we will never, ever go without. Ever. That's a comforting, reassuring feeling.

Monday, June 18, 2012

"I Lift up My Eyes to the Mountains..."

We've been here for a week. A whole week.

It's been a week of ups and downs. But we are feeling physically better than we did last week. That's a huge plus.

Today I ventured out on my own with the kids. We made a trip to Target and then Chick Fil A. Nothing like sweet tea to soothe the soul. :) And Bella enjoyed playing there for a while. I know it's a place that we'll be back to often.

Lee was able to get out and ask about some jobs and take care of a few other things. We are still believing that he will get a great part-time job with great hours, pay, and possibly benefits! We know that is not too small for God.

And we know that a house is not too small for God either. Just another miracle that will bring Him glory. It can get overwhelming looking for a house and job, but I've been challenged to live in victory and not defeat.

I woke up thinking this morning to remember the victories we've had. The blessings that God has abundantly poured out on us. The miracles that have and continue to take place right before our eyes... and this can let us know that God is at work even right now for more miracles on our behalf.

I'm also reminded of this Psalm...a good one for me to work on memorizing right now...especially since we live in the mountains.

Psalm 121

A song of ascents.
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


we are slowly adjusting to our new "home." I don't think I knew what to expect in the first place.

It's been emotional at times.

Our truck getting here and being unloaded makes things more official...even though it is all in a storage unit. :) At least it is accessible if we need something!

At the restaurant we went to last night to celebrate being able to get out of the house after our week of stomach issues, I heard an Otis Redding song...totally made me think of my dad. And although I've talked to him several times since we've been just struck me that I miss him.

Then on our way back to Shawn & Amy's house....Bella asked to go to the "bouncy castle..." which is what she calls Kart Ranch in Youngsville...which is like 2 minutes from our house in Broussard.

Lee told her that we are far far away from the bouncy castle, and she responded that she was ready to go our house. This was the first time she really said anything like that. Lee told her that he missed our house in Broussard too...but this is our new home, and we will find fun things here.

This interaction made me cry. And yes I'm preggo, so anything can seem to make me cry...but still it shows that this is hard on everyone...

Transitions usually aren't easy. They are usually complicated and uncomfortable. And we have chosen to make this transition as a response to what God has asked us to use our gifts, talents, and abilities to start a church in an area where people are hurting but they don't want to admit that they need help.

Sis. Logan was chatting with me on Facebook the other day, and as I talked about the difficulties that we are facing, she encouraged me to remember that we've been called...that is what will get us through the tough times.

I appreciate all the prayers and encouraging texts and messages that we've received. They have come at just the right times.

We have been warmly welcomed here, which is awesome and exciting. And we are feeling much better after battling stomach bugs that just didn't want to leave...which has made our first week here different than we planned.

But we know that God is working on our behalf. That He is with us...He is for us...and with that, nothing can stand against us.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

We Made It to Colorado!!!

well...we are here. And was it ever a long trip getting here.

We figured it up, and with unexpected traffic, we were in the car for about 22 hours.

That's a long time. And I don't know if we would have made it without Hope Taylor. I get extremely car sick...but she was able to take care of my kids with ease as I drove 1300 miles.

Another part of the trip that was unexpected was that Brennan got sick. Really sick. Like he just kept throwing up in the car. It was awful. Thankfully this didn't phase Hope very much and she was able to take good care of him. He started feeling a little better on Saturday night at the hotel, and then slept most of the 3 1/2 hours it took us to make the remainder of our trip.

It was a long time to be in the car. But there was a party to celebrate us on Sunday night. The Connection Church launch team members came over to give us "Colorado Necessities" gifts: lots of lotion, gum, chapstick, and water. It is definitely dry up here.

But we made it. Our new adventure begins.

And on Monday we brought Hope to the airport...a very emotional time for all of us. She is our family. And the last attachment we had to our life in Lafayette. Lots of tears were shed...

We came back to our temporary home at Shawn & Amy Reine's and had dinner with them. And as the night went on, Lee started not feeling well. We all went to bed, and sometime around 3 in the morning, he, Bella & I all started vomiting. It was horrible. I mean horrible. I wasn't even that sick during the first part of this pregnancy. I was in bed all day Tuesday. Every time I tried to get up, all I could do was lay back down.

It was not the ideal way to begin our adventure, but definitely memorable!

We are feeling better today, and we are looking forward to discovering more of Colorado.

And we are settling into our new "home" - Bella came downstairs and said, "I'm ready for a nap," as she laid on her air mattress and fell sound asleep. That's the peace of God.

We are still looking for housing and a job. We are interviewing with an apartment community program soon, and if that doesn't work out, we are looking for a rent house. Lee is applying for all kinds of jobs, but thankfully, a lot of our support team members are staying with us for one more year. This is such a blessing in this transition, as well as a great thing for beginning the church - Lee will have the ability to focus on what he needs to do to be the worship leader and associate pastor.

This is a whole new experience for our family. All of it is.

We are seeing God's faithfulness and His abundant blessings on us.

We have been welcomed into a new community. A new team to work with to build the Kingdom of God.

Yes, we miss Lafayette and the comforts of "home" - especially when we were sick. But this is our new home. This is where we have been called to be. And we will embrace all that this new adventure has for us.

We are expecting great things from God. We know that He is with us...He is for us...and with that, there's nothing that can stand against us.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Our Last Week of Louisiana Celebrations

It was a full week of celebrations.

On Friday we had dinner with friends...our final "supper club" meeting here in Lafayette...We had some great laughs...I laughed so hard that I cried. It was definitely what I needed. I've come to enjoy that group of friends and their company. And I was happy that we were able to eat with a few of them again! :) 

We did amazingly well on our yard sale...we made a lot of money and we got rid of a lot of stuff!! It felt so good getting rid of it as well as getting a little money for it. It's not something that I want to do all of the time, but it's definitely something that I will do again!! Probably on a smaller scale though. And believe it or not, we are still getting rid of stuff as we go through it to pack up. I definitely want to move with less than what we've got now. 

On Tuesday we loaded up our living room and dining room furniture as well as our washer & dryer in a trailer for my cousins who bought it all from us. It is weird having an empty house, but it's exciting knowing that we will get to pick out new (or new to us) things once we get up to Colorado. And again, it's less stuff we have to fit in a moving trailer. 

That same Tuesday we went to my parents house in Buras. When we got there, my dad had already set up and was about to start our shrimp boil. The Lathams and a few other guests came over to eat with us...and it really was a celebration. It's something that I love about my family. They know how to do it big. It's a blessing to have grown up in that kind of environment.

It was hard leaving Buras on of those things you just don't want to do. And I shed a few tears in the's just hard leaving. With a newborn coming in November, I know it will be a while before I make it down there again. I'm so thankful for Skype that I get to see my parents faces when we talk to them now. My kids get really excited...and they look forward to talking on the computer. 

We went to church on Wednesday night and then out to eat with friends afterwards. My kids were a little dunzo from the long day of traveling. But was still good to spend time with those friends. 

On Thursday night we had dinner with the Chi Alpha staff. (I'm noticing more and more that our celebrations revolved around food!!) This was a fun, relaxing night. We've enjoyed being a part of the UL Chi Alpha family...and honestly, this community is just as hard to be away from as our families. 
They believe in us and what we are doing...and that means so much...and they are sad to let us go. 

I didn't think my last Chi Alpha event would be a wedding...and I didn't think it would be as emotional as it was for me. Tony and Lindsay (Mula) Jones were married on Saturday. So, we were in Thibodaux for the rehearsal on Friday night since Lee was performing part of the ceremony and Bella was the flowergirl. Tony & Lindsay are super special to our family. Lee often says that Tony is the reason that he did Chi Alpha. I've known Lindsay for 9 years. She was one of the first people who Bella would stay with as a baby...and we were able to have date nights because of her. :) 

It didn't hit me until we were about to leave the reception. It had been a beautiful wedding ceremony and a wonderful celebration at their reception. I loved every second of it. When Lindsay asked us if we were leaving, she started crying because she said, "I just realized that I won't see ya'll again..." 

Then the hugs started with the other Chi Alpha staff and students who were there...the ones who I won't see for a long time most likely...and my heart broke all over again. I couldn't hold back the tears that were flowing. I hugged Lance Dunn for a long time. He thanked me for letting my husband spend so much time with him and the guys...The hugs and tears continued even as I was walking out the door. 

I know that we will be a part of a wonderful community when we get to Colorado. And I know that so much of what we bring to the community will be from what we've gained over the last  5 years in Lafayette. There is something so special about our Chi Alpha family here at UL. 

Sunday was our last time to go to church at Crossroads here in Lafayette. We were so encouraged by the people who were stopping us to tell us they were praying for us...that they are excited for us...that they love us. We are so thrilled to be a part of Crossroads Connection Church in Denver. It's going to be an amazing adventure for our family...

As we continue to pack up our house and belongings, our hearts are filled with love, excitement, and peace that God is with us. He is leading us and guiding us. It would be easy to stay in the comfort here, but there is something waiting for us...something God has called us to do, and we have answered. 

On Friday we are heading up to Colorado...