Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Was going for a total overhaul of the blog, but instead I have ended up with total procrastination! I keep trying to find time to sit and put all my thoughts into writing.- do something more creative with the site. Was hoping to go back and re-trace, but now I have waited too long and that feels like a major task. It is time to just start somewhere if I don't want this blog to die!
Time is really flying by. I can't believe we have been here for over 2 months. I still can't believe we live here. Most days I am still sort of bewildered by the whole transition- very grateful and very happy. Then there are the days where I am hit with a wave of feeling shell shocked, lonely, and disoriented. The weekends are especially hard. I think the best advice I got before we moved was to allow myself to grieve all I was leaving behind. Although we have arrived at an exciting opportunity, beautiful place, and new stage- what we left behind wasn't bad. Who wants to say good-bye to family, friends, church, comfort, stability.... So, in sum, which is all I got for now.... We are doing great, still feels right, but not without some emotional melt downs :)
Peter on the other hand has faced a few more obstacles. Although he loves the beach, laying in the sun, and having his own yard... He did not love getting sprayed by a skunk. Peter eagerly ran to the skunk, excited that a new friend had come into his yard to introduce themselves. We YELLED, scurried, laughed, and ran inside just in time to miss being sprayed ourselves! He also does not love that he has doggy allergies here and ended up with a skin infection apparently known as "The Santa Barbara Itch"! He is presently on drugs and had to have several large patches of hair shaved off. Poor guy looks homely.
We've had many fun visitors both from in state and out of state. That has been a blessing! My parents come for Thanksgiving and arrive this weekend- looking forward to that.
So, there we have it, not much to it, but there is a post to get me going again...
Monday, October 5, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Just a glimpse of the GIANT TRUCK, not a fun ride for 2,00o miles!!
Thanks for helping us unload Ryan & Eli!!
EVEN BIGGER thanks to the packing/loading crew back in Chicago...don't have those pics yet and that will deserve a post in and of itself!!
This Pagoda belonged to my Grandma who passed away a couple years ago. Meaning, it traveled farther than any of us!!!! I now have a family heirlom in my lawn--- it all the way from New Jersey to California!
Also, our parents were so awesome! We are so grateful they have been able to be along side us for the move! My parents followed our PENSKE truck in our little Honda Civic and also took part in dog watching, hotel searches, and desperate gas runs! Hey, it was a road trip! Jon's Mom flew out and was here to help us unload. Dad P. is in Africa... c'mon, what kind of excuse is that!! ;)
Tribute to Dad D.... he was in his glory and was such a great help! He really should be a groundskeeper, nothing makes him happier than some good yard work, hosing down a house, cleaning outdoor windows, and "cleaning dirt". He bought us a hardy supply of yard tools, I think so they will be here for him to use when he comes to visit. Like I said before, Mom D. and Mom P. were super helpful at unpacking, cleaning, pointing out parental insights.... :) So sad to have them so far away!! :(
Burying a sock in the yard....
Peter is a very, very, HAPPY dog!
And then we quickly transitioned to ....
5 year anniversary...
Wonderful Weekend Get-A-Way in Ojai!
On our way "home" to Santa Barbara, I encountered my first fire experience..
Mind you, this was a minor one...didn't even make local news!!! Yikes!!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I am not saying how old I turned today... because people tend to think I am either A LOT younger than I am, or, A LOT older... so I will let it be a mystery! :)
Anyway, yup, Happy Birthday to me! Thanks for all the face book messages (gotta love technology, anyone who sent a paper card gets hero points! No really, I do it too, and it is an easy way to stay connected and I genuinely loved all the greetings!!! )
Along with Happy Birthday, I am still processing...Happy Moving, "Happy" Good-Bye to Beloved friends & family, Happy New Rental House, Happy 5 Year Anniversary, Happy New Job, New Culture, etc. etc......
Which.... is why I declined my hub's very nice offer to take me out anywhere I wanted tonight and instead voted for Pizza and a movie at home! We have been out either at restaurants, fast food, or at friends homes, since we left Chicago. SO much has gone on, I am E-X-H-A-U-S-T-E-D!!! I know there are a ton of emotions going on, but right now, I am working to stay functioning and appearing normal at my new job! Haven't had time to let it all filter. Don't get me wrong, there have been plenty of tears along with shouts of excitement, but that doesn't mean any of this makes sense quite yet!
So for my "birthday". Mind is kinda numb after all the moving transitions and two really intense days at my new job. I have enjoyed time with family and friends here in Santa Barbara. Jon bought me super cute Rainbow Flip Flops (even if he did buy a size 6.5 when I am size 8, its OK... they were green and I loved them!!!) Also,YES, it has been sunny and beautiful :) In addition, m y employers have also been AMAZING and so sweet and generous, I feel very, very, lucky!!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
packing is in full swing,
changed our address,
saying good byes...
I am guessing my next post will either be from the road, or a few weeks from now once we are settled in! Just a few other things to take care of.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
My camera was also lost/maybe stolen this weekend, so I am stealing my wonderful friend Greta's photos! Thanks!
I guess we do have decent outdoor space..
Isaiah: Halli, let me in ...please!Our friend's make pretty cute kids.. and they are already pushing for them to be sweethearts. I must admit, they would be a super cute couple! And, look, she is already dying to run her fingers through that hair!!!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Here is the summary version, still hoping to get the whole journey into writing, but that may not happen any time soon... so we won't leave you hanging any longer.
SUMMARY STEPS OF OUR DECISION TO MOVE
1) Jon grew up in Santa Barbara, California.
2) It is incredibly beautiful and there is an amazing community of people there
3) We have always wanted/seen ourselves living in California (winter, snow, flat lands... don't bring out our strong traits)
4) Jon is connected with the Habitat for Humanity (where he presently works) office in Santa Barbara through a connection with a family friend. They have some nice conversations..
5) Nice conversations turn into "maybe" they would like to talk about him joining their team in the future.
6) "Maybe" they would like him to join their team turns into they would like him to join the team... now.
7) Stacy takes all this with a grain of salt and doesn't get her hopes up, but is also very excited. Stacy looks at Craigslist and applies for a job that looks intriguing.
8) Stacy has phone interview the next day.
9) They want to talk to Stacy further...
10) We travel to Santa Barbara for a dear friends wedding, and also both have job interviews scheduled in between wedding activities.
11) Jon learns he will receive a job offer within the next few days.
12) Stacy has a great interview.
13) Jon gets job.
14) Stacy gets job.
15) We decide.. WE ARE MOVING!!
Oh yeah, and in between these steps, we prayed a lot :)
Clearly, God has opened doors for us. That has been our prayer all along and our key phrase. I can't tell you how many people we told over this past year, "Well, we aren't trying to move to California, but we are open to it, and if God opened doors I think we would run through them!" I don't think either of us expected doors to actually open!!!
As it became clear things may be moving forward, we spent weeks going through the pros and cons of moving. We struggled with not wanting to get attached to the idea, but also realizing we needed to make life decisions based off the idea it may happen. We thought about the move (maybe too much in attempt to be logical) and realized that we couldn't just pick up and move to the most expensive state in the country and just expect to make it. More importantly, the decision to leave family, friends, our Church, stable jobs, owning a home, a diverse city with endless activities at our fingertips... there are a lot of reasons not to move!
However, when we were in Santa Barbara just a couple weeks ago we had to work really hard to come up with reasons why we wouldn't move there if things fell into place. Really, it is such an incredible place- and God's beauty surrounds you all the time. Our brother/pastor put it well as we were driving around and he said- this is why the phrase "It's all good" came out of California. Because you just look from one direction to another and say, "God made this all and it is all good".
By NO means do we think Santa Barbara is perfect. The struggles people face are deep and often hidden. There is still racism/classicism and a struggle just to survive. And the state may also break off the country and fall into the ocean one day.....
It is with such joy and humbleness that we can say, this is where we know we need to go. It is a huge risk, but where would we be without taking risks? We are excited to see how God will use us and what he will teach us. We know it will be hard, but we have such a peace about it and are ready to start down this road and see where it takes us. Everyone has been super supportive (with a balance of being sad) which is also confirmation for us.
Wow. Anyway, we are super excited, and also overwhelmed. Lots of closure that needs to happen and more decisions to be made.... We are working hard to continue trusting as God has taken care of us countless times in the past, we trust that everything will work out just as it is supposed to.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tonight I was feeling a tad restless and overwhelmed. I am not typically one to ask God to reveal specifics to me. I have been blessed that in the past, God has revealed himself and been with me in a way that I just know what I am doing is either right or wrong. However, I have recently worked with a few families where God has been very clear, in a not cheesy way, but a real way. This made me wonder, ok, so how does this whole call on God to ask him to "speak" to me thing work. So I decided, to take in all I have learned, from friends, family, church, the bible... and call on God, for real, for real. Whenever I do this, he listens (why don't I do it every day, I don't know, I am a fool, a human, a sinner, but praise God for grace!)
Anyway, I took the lead of fellow believers and decided to pray for a specific verse in the midst of my anxiety. It took many moments for me to re-adjust my thinking... "OK just keep praying, you are not crazy. Either you will hear God or you will not. Just try to keep your little ADHD body still and see if God has anything to say" ....Well, I can't really explain it, but just like that.. I heard Psalm 121. Meaning just that. I didn't know which Psalm this was, but I heard that and immediately responded. " Ok, don't know what this is, but I know I need to read it!" One thing I have learned is key is that when God talks... you better listen right away even if you just "think" you heard him. Cause when you respond, you realize, oh crap..., Yeah, that was God alright! I actually did hear him! Here is the Psalm, which turns out, is one of my favorites even if I didn't recognize the number.....
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
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.
I rest assured, that God always watches over me, even if I am a sleeping fool. Wow, that is an amazing God. And, I face life questions knowing that he is with me, and I couldn't ask for more peace than that.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Popular toys from the 1980s, all of which were still living in my parents basement!
One high light of our summer thus far was helping my parents have a major garage sale at their house. They are re-doing a lot of the house and therefore keep discovering more um...how do you say...junk? No really, actually a lot of it wasn't junk, but just incredible how much my very wonderful mother has kept. Mainly stuff from when my brother and I were kids. I am appreciative of her sentimental thoughts, but the time to go through all my toys was over due!
It was actually a lot of fun to go through and see all the toys which were dearly loved, but totally forgotten! Of course I could've recounted my favorites such as Care Bears, Cabbage Patch Kids, Barbies, Rainbow Bright, and Pound Puppies. However, there was a whole other mess of other creatures and characters. Such as the Popples, Wuzzles, and Fluppies. Any one else remember.....
Lady Lovely Locks
I am sure there are some others I am forgetting, it has been a few weeks since I sorted through kid-land in my parents basement. I had mixed emotions in response to this occurrence. Nostalgia of course. Remembering how exciting it was when Barbie's surf shop was finally put together or the joy that came from attaching all the strange little hair pieces to Miss Lady Lovely Locks. Gratitude was another... I had SOO much stuff! Seriously, were we at the toy store every week? Really it was probably large in part to the people who know kids toys best....Grandparents! Frustration.. why on earth did I have so many toys and why are they still here!! Those were two separate issues which I won't go into too much, but point being- so many children in this world don't even have one special toy. I was reminded of the little boy in Ethiopia who was ecstatic to get a tennis ball, the house keeper who was brought to tears when we gave her a small stuffed bear to take home to her daughter, and some of the adopted kids I work with who don't know how to play with toys because they have never seen them.
My intention is definitely not to criticize anyone for providing their kids with a multitude of toys to enjoy! This experience was for me, a good reminder of the vast contrast of children's play experiences across the globe. This is hard when we think about how little many other children have. However, it is also a reminder of how amazing children and their imaginations are. Sticks become bats, magic swords, or animals. Games might be born from cans, rocks, or cracks in the street, and trees become secret palaces and land marks. Certainly, whether locally or globally, it is not the toy that is responsible for the well being of the child.
We are not parents yet, I am sure we will be some day (no... we are not pregnant, because I am sure that was going through a lot of your heads...). When that time does come, I am sure it will be very hard to not get caught up with all the latest toys and trinkets little Jonny Jr. is begging for. And I am sure I will be equally excited about some of the funny little creatures that I presently pass up whille roaming through Target. I do hope though, that I will keep perspective and balance in mind. For those of you who are parents, I wonder how this experience has been for you?
Monday, June 29, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
The first few years of college I switched to "working out" more so than traditional running. Maybe my body just needed a break, because when I began to train for things again, I seemed to be "injury free". It is true that running is probably the worst physical activity for your body and I am remembering that again now.
As it looks now, I am going to be opting out of this race on Sunday. I have been having trouble with my foot (and my back, but that is more just achy than injury). I am pretty sure I have a stress fracture in my foot. At one point I thought it was a broken toe, but I think it is problem with my foot in general. For the past month, I haven't been able to make it past 6 miles without developing intense pain in my foot. It then lingers for the next few days. So I am thinking 1) I am not very well trained for this race and 2) Doesn't seem like a good idea to possibly aggravate this injury to the point where I couldn't run/walk for weeks as opposed to days.
I am kind of bummed about this, because it looked like a really fun race! There is also a part of me that feels relieved too. A lot of about this particular race, and the training for it, felt more like a hassle and something I "had" to do. That is not why I run, I run because I love to run and it is a source of stress relief as well. Also, I have to admit part of the thrill of the 1/2 marathon and the marathon I ran before was that I was facing a new challenge and seeing how far I could push myself. Perhaps I have crossed these extremely long runs off my mental check list? Probably not forever, but right now I am not sure I have he mental capacity needed for such intensity :)
Anyway, I may show up and see how much I can run. However, for me I also know that there would be a strong chance that I would not stop and push myself further than I should. I have a tendency to get a little obsessive when I start something- I don't like leaving things unfinished!
I have enjoyed all the motivational song suggestions! Please feel free to keep passing them on, they have made my more recent runs much more rejuvenating.
Friday, May 22, 2009
So I received a reminder email today from "13.1 Marathon Chicago" that was titled, Only 18 days left!. Maybe that was supposed to be exciting or encouraging, but to me it meant (for lack of a better way to put it), Oh crap......
Haven't really been running much more than 4-6 miles a few times a week. So I am very behind training wise.
Anyway, I am signed up and I will be at the start line on June 7th. All I can do is move forward from where I am now. So here is my request from my faithful friends and blog readers-
What songs inspire you to move? I am working on putting together an official "Stacy 2009 Run Mix" that will need to be about 2 hours long. I usually don't train with music, because running is a time for me to clear my head and process thoughts and feelings. However, this time I need that extra "umph" to keep me goin! So please share with me, whether you run/work out or not.. I have shared on of my favorites, now your turn:
What songs inspire you to get up and make your body move?
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Well we have been home over a week now.
The first few days we were home, I could tell I had actually gotten a good vacation. When I left work, I was able to take off my work hat and leave it at work. It was wonderful to leave each day and not feel burnt out or burdened. Now I am back to reality and despising this whole working full time thing! It was so much better to lay in the sun, read, go out with friends, shop, take walks, and explore new areas. Anyway, I am not trying to complain- SO happy we got a vacation. It just made me realize how much I really needed one and how important it is to literally remove yourself from all your habitual surroundings every now and again.
On our vacation, we were actually quite busy. In a good way.
The first weekend was Kim & Henry's Wedding. Their reception site was so beautiful, but also very low key. Park side beach setting. It was ideal!
Above: Dinner with Dolans at Pacifica
Above: Hiking at Palm Canyon
After a few days there we headed to the Marina Del Rey area of L.A. to see some friends. Don't have pictures of everyone, but we spent time with Ben & Brigetta, Ryan & Brigit, and Josh. The Olsen's brought us to a boat party, which was very fun!
Then we headed back to Santa Barbara to celebrate Montecito Covenant Church's 50th Anniversary celebration. This is the church that Jon grew up in. His dad was a pastor there for 23 years before moving to Chicago to take a position with the denomination. It was great to be there for this special event. This community was such a huge part of Jon's life! I should say it is his very large extended family. Of course, we also saw "real" family and more friends while there too.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I don't know if any one else has experienced this bizarre realization that seems to come from no where.... you will know if you have.
Here is a very brief summary of how it goes. Today I woke up, took a moment to make sure I was awake, then literally said to myself (in my head), "Oh my gosh, I am actually an adoption social worker." For some this may look more like, "I am a Mother", or, "I am a Surgeon", or, "I am a Pastor", or, "I am a Musician"...etc, etc.. I am sure I will have other moments in life where I feel this way other than today. I have had them in the past, for example, " How did I end up climbing the Alps with a gang of street children " or "I did make it back to Africa" or, "How did I end up with a condo, a husband, and a dog, in Chicago!" Life truly can be surreal.
Yes, today I woke up wondering how it could be true I was living out something I imagined once during my high school years. I vividly remember the details of the conversation. I was driving in my parents white Buick, we were just past the Cantera movie theaters on Deihl Road, it was late, we were chatting and I said something along the lines of, "I think I know the perfect job for me. I would love to help families adopt children who have special needs, or just help families adopt, and work with them throughout what all that means. There has to be some sort of job or counseling for that, right?" Truthfully, I have no idea where this desire from such a young age came from. I did not understand what it really means to be an orphan or to be adopted. However, I did know it was something I could grow to understand, and I wanted too.
Here we are today, and I actually have that job, wow. I am not sure how it happened. Although, really of course I know, it was all God. Here we go Jeremiah 29:11... he does have a plan. I have known this all along, but not remembered it in the midst of stressful transitions, secular work places, and bad management. It is so easy to get caught up with the worldly path of finishing degrees, internships, getting into the field, and then landing a job. It it easy to forget why, and how, I got where I am. Thank you Jesus! I know I am blessed to be where I am.
Yes, I know. Trust me, I know, many of you have heard me complain, cry, and vent about my job. Thank you, I appreciate you listening. It is VERY complicated and stressful. However, just today I had a client ask me, "Do you find it fulfilling?" And I can answer truthfully with a resounding, YES! For that I am thankful. I am happy to be a part of many resolutions, meeting needs, and building families. Also, I am so happy and so lucky to be in a place I actually imagined I might be 10 or so years ago. Seriously, who thinks that will actually happen,!! I sure didn't- and I def. picked a very specific route!
I am not sure if I see myself in this type of work forever. However, I do know that I "get" adoption, and all of the factors that come along with it. I love what I do. Even though the systems in place,the powers that be, and the people involved, are not always easy to work with- at the end of the day I am working to build families and meet peoples needs and that is completely amazing and humbling to me more and more each day!
Friday, March 27, 2009
Intuition and instinct lead you.
Rest assured, you are resilient, and ready,
To trust on behalf of your beloved child.
Here you are, heartbroken and honest.
May I give you a glimpse of your strength and impact, by simply saying, I am so shaken and moved by your strength and intimate love.
Only you know- how this feels, what is best, and how to cry for this child.
Here we are now. Hopeful and wishing for happy ever after.
Every day we will think of you, and offer prayers of thanksgiving. Most of all, we
Recognize all that you are, your face, your body, your blood, your womb, your love.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Ben and Eric (our friends who are aspiring young talents) have done it once again! Their "Barack, Paper, Scissors" game is a hit on you tube!!
They are too funny, and so creative! This isn't a political statement or anything, it is just for fun! It was also recently featured on CNN. See link http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2009/03/09/ntm.barack.paper.scisso
Have fun playing!
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Jonathan, Stacy, & Peter Peterson
I have tried to navigate blogger settings/tips,etc.... but I am no computer whiz- how do I get rid of the "&" part? Or is that just how it shows up to me?
On that note,so yes, I have a Blackberry now (only because I ruined my other phone due to snow/water damage-one of the only positive things that has come out of snow this year!). And I HATE that with every email I send from my phone it says, "Sent from my Blackberry" How do I get rid of that?? Sorry if I seemed like a snoot to all of you have received emails with notice that I have a new electronic device I am unknowingly endorsing.... Hey, it is still no i-phone :)
Clearly my strengths are not in technology...
Monday, February 23, 2009
Below you will see a few quotes from prominent figures who have inspired me. In some way, these quotes all relate to my current state of mind. Also, I picked quotes that I felt we could all relate to, despite stances on race, politics, or religion. Let us recognize these individuals who, as result of the color of their skin, have had to go un-recognized in the past, and even now. And let us be thankful for the HOPE, that times are changing, and our world is moving to a place where this is becoming less and less of an issue ( day by day) as we recognize our prejudices and move forward with reconcilation and joy.
The following few quotes are from folks who have made great contributions to society, made us all laugh, helped us relate to one another, or all of the above! Happy Black History Month 2009! To start us off, here we go.....the one and only Bill Cosby! (Really, from me, did you expect anything different??? I know I am obsessed :)
"The past is a ghost, the future a dream. All we ever have is now."
- Bill Cosby
"The question is not whether we can afford to invest in every child; it is whether we can afford not to."
-Marian Wright Edelman
"I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying."
"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
-Martin Luther King
"That . . . man . . . says women can't have as much rights as man, cause Christ wasn't a woman. Where did your Christ come from? . . . From God and a woman. Man had nothing to do with him."
"My hope for my children must be that they respond to the still, small voice of God in their own hearts."
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
-Martin Luther King, Jr
"I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself. "
"You can cry, ain't no shame in it."
"When I was a kid, my mother told me that if you could not be a good loser, then there's no way you could be a good winner."
- Halle Berry
"Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand."
Friday, February 13, 2009
We are sorry we have neglected you. As you know, things have been a bit hard to manage lately. High pressure work situations, some family drama, and well... just trying to keep our heads above water.
All in all, we hope you know we are fine. Thank goodness for grace, faith, and community. It has just been one of those phases where work/professions have been very consuming, but in the right way-just part of the calling, if you can make sense of that. We hope we have made sense of it, and are we are following a leader and doing our part to, " Keep on, keeping on!" ...And very thankful for the many ways we have been blessed. We know there is really no room to complain. We are joyfully living out our callings. Which some of your friends may understand how that can also be quite difficult! Please feel free to tell them we are open to their insights and advice!
Thank you for understanding for our neglect Blog,
Jon & Stacy
Friday, January 23, 2009
This quote just happened to be in my devotions earlier this week. I thought the timing was quite uncanny :) That is all for today!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Below: Instead of clanging glasses for the bride and groom to kiss, they requested that people sang a song with the word love in it. Here we are preforming "Love" Frank Sinatra style complete with motions...
That baby better like to dance! Annie is in her 8th month, but that didn't stop her!