Wednesday, December 19, 2012

2012 In a Nutshell

As I look back over the year, I realize how much has happened in just twelve months. Here are some memories of 2012.

The started off full of anticipation. Mike was still working at the district office with hopes of getting an associate pastor's job. Landin was a year and a half old and full of non stop energy. I was at the beginning stages of pregnancy with sweet little Audrey. My sister, Christine, was recently engage and getting married in June. Aly, my other sister, was planning on graduating in May. And we were in the middle of trying to short sale our house. Just a few things on our plate :)

Well the year started to pan out as expected with a few changes along the way. Aly decided to delay graduation a year in order to get some science pre recs in for studying optometry. Who knew a phych, French major would go into optometry. Christine announced the big date for the end of June and Audrey was due in August. We were in full swing helping to plant Missio in Southwest Portland and loving the community we were surrounded by. As chaotic as life was, we were feeling good.

In March we found out that Audrey was a girl. I was so excited. Up until this point all our friends were having boys, including the last three births at Missio. Then Lisa announced she was having a girl. All I could pray at that moment was "please start the girl trend". Two weeks before our appointment Anya found out she was having a girl. So this was either a switch in the trends or someone was playing a cruel trick on me. I was ecstatic when the ultrasound nurse proclaimed it was a girl. I couldn't stop beaming for days. I finally got to use the name I had held on to for years (and before anyone else took it :)

Then the big moment came for our house. We were so excited because after multiple showings, a few dropped offers, and a foreclosure notice from the bank, we now had two offers in. Surely the bank would not let this opportunity go. But after much delay and pushing, the bank announced they would not except the offer unless we agreed that they could come back after us for the money anytime in the future. So we foreclosed. We packed up and left our first house. The house that we had built fives years of memories in. The house that didn't look anything like when we first bought it because of all the work we put into it. The only house my two year old son had known was now gone. It was a bittersweet moment as we loaded the truck and drove away. What will happen to the beautiful house we have so come to love and adore? Will someone else come along and take care of it just as we had? Our sweet house will be truly missed.

We headed across town and moved into a townhouse in Tualatin the day before one of Mike's big work conferences. April was turning out to be a busy month. Kaden's birthday party, Addysen was born, we moved, a conference, and Landin's birthday party. We moved on a Sat and on Sun we were at the hotel setting up for the week. On Mon. a crazy old pastor came up to Mike and offered him a job :) What? Didn't he know that we just packed up and moved across town? Doesn't he know how much work it is to move with a kid (and no energy)? What is happening? Were we really ready to move? Right now when things were so good and community is so sweet?

Well, we checked it out and prayed about it and decided that like all people who start to get comfortable, God throws something else their way. This was finally it, the job that Mike had been praying for, and it fit him perfectly. Mike would work as an associate pastor overseeing small groups and would run the church's coffee shop. Hmm, hand picked just for him right? So we told Andy we would take the job.

In June we headed out to California for Christine's wedding. It was a crazy week of putting it together but a beautiful day of celebration. We were happy to announce that Eddie Gray did marry a Steinbacher. For those of you who don't know, Eddie was a good friend of ours from high school. He hung around us so much that someone came up with the joke that Eddie would one day marry a Steinbacher girl. Of course we all thought it was Aly because she had a crush on him and we all thought it was funny because she was 10 years younger. None of us even imagined it would be Christine. As we all went on to college, we lost track of Eddie. Then a few years ago Christine got back in touch with him. They started talking and hanging out. Enough that Aly and I predicted their wedding before they even started dating. It is so wonderful to see Christine so happy. I am so glad that Eddie is a part of the family. God couldn't have created a better guy for her. Congrats Christine and Eddie!

Leaving California was hard. I missed the weather, my family, and I knew what lied ahead. I was 6 weeks away from my due date and we still had to find a house in Seattle. So we spent a few weeks in July traveling with no success. When August arrived we settled and eagerly waited for the birth of our daughter. Audrey Elizabeth arrived on August 11 at 1:30 in the morning. She was a beautiful healthy girl. God has blessed us with two wonderful kids that are perfect for our family. It has been so neat to watch her grow and watch Landin interact with her. He loves her and she loves her brother :)

September arrived and we had to start thinking about the move again. It was time to start packing boxes and finding a house. We headed back up to Seattle to search. For three weeks we made the trek and came back empty handed. Mike was getting anxious and wanting to be there by now and I was tired of making the long drive back and forth. Then finally one week before we were supposed to move we found the perfect place. It has a beautiful story that is a whole other post of it's own. But long story short, God picked this place out just for us and orchestrated everything perfectly. He blessed us beyond what we could have imagined.

We said our goodbyes, packed up our things, and made the long drive north to our new home. If you think moving with one toddler is crazy, try a toddler and a seven week old. We were so blessed by the guys that came out from the church to move us in and to Lisa's family that welcomed us with open arms.

Life in Seattle has been good but crazy. Mike is settling in his new job. Between learning to run a coffee shop in three days, trying to define what missional communities will look like for an existing church, battles with zoning for the coffee shop and now taking on new responsibilities after a former employer left, he has had his hands full. Landin is slowly settling. Poor thing went through two moves, potty training, a big boy bed, and a new sister in six months. He gave us a scare as well and we thought we were going to have to get him tested for seizures. But praise to God, we went to the neurology clinic to find out that it most likely was a breath holding spell and didn't sound like a seizure. Audrey is growing fast and wants to keep up with her brother. She is so adorable and sweet. She will smile and talk to anyone that gives her their attention. And I am starting to settle in. Life has been crazy and I am looking forward to it slowing down a little.

Well there you go. That's 2012 in a nutshell.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Little Fall Fun

Today I took the kids out for a little adventure. With it being fall and all the pumpkin farms in full swing, we travelled out to Snohomish for a visit. After a 20 minute drive through the city we headed off the beaten path (somewhat :) for a beautiful drive in the country. Although we were not the only people there by any means, it felt great to leave the hussle and bussle behind and to relax. The farm was a little crowded from all the school field trips that day but we walked in between the crowds and got to experience much of what the farm had to offer.

It started out with a ride on a stationary tractor for Landin. Then we headed over to view the animals. Much to our surprise, we stumbled upon a duck race. The ducks started a one end of a long water trough and raced to the other end. The highlight was after the race was over when all the ducks flew back down the line and into the pen.  Out of all the animals there, these were Landin's favorite. 

After a picnic lunch we wandered into the pumpkin patch to find the perfect pumpkin to take home. I don't know what was more exciting, picking out a pumpkin or pushing the wheel barrow. Either way this was Landin's favorite part of our adventure. 

Then after a little prodding, I finally talked him into letting me take a few more pictures before we left. Life was too exciting for a two year old to stop and pose for a picture. But with a little encouragement of going on the swing and slide after the pictures were done, we both were finally satisfied. And it was a nice ending to our day. 

Here's a few pics of the farm:

                                                            Landin driving the tractor

                                                        The ducks after the duck race

                                                              And another tractor

                                Landin's pumpkin. The first one he choose and the one we took home :)

                              Mommy's pumpkin. One of the ones he is holding. What a happy boy :)

The beautiful view. It was very green (and cold). There are mountains in the background as well that are hard to see with the clouds.

First attempt of having Landin hold Audrey to take a picture with the pumpkins. He only agreed because I told him he couldn't go on the slide until after a took the pictures. However, he had a lot of fun holding his sister.

My attempt of getting a picture of Audrey by herself with the pumpkins. It must have been hilarious to watch as I help her up against the pumpkin, aimed the camera in her general direction, then let go of her long enough to take the picture and then caught her as she started to fall over. After many shots I gave up. This is the best that I got. 


Well, it's official. We made the move to Washington, the last state for me to complete the journey of living in all the states on the West Coast. On October 1 we left Portland. Mike drove a UHaul while towing his car and I drove the kids up. It was a long, crazy, windy drive. But with God's protection we made it safe and sound. And thanks to a crew from North Seattle Alliance Church and a few friends we got everything moved in and started to unpack.

The first week we spent unpacking and settling in. We took time to familiarize ourselves with the area and Mike dove in head first into his job. He had three days to learn how to run a coffee shop. Pretty crazy! Needless to say it was a really long week. We were all excited to reach the end and have my parents come visit us. They drove up for the weekend to help us get unpacked and settled. So after a week our place was finally looking like home.

The biggest challenge I have had is helping the kids to settle. Audrey has learned to demand my attention when I am with Landin and Landin has develop fears of monsters, giants, the dark, and the neighbors. He does not like to be left along, especially at night time. It has turned into one more thing to add to the craziness of life.

On the plus side, we came up at the perfect time for weather. Although Seattle is significantly colder then Portland, we had a beautiful sunny week to kick off our move here. That helped to keep our moods high and positive.

We are enjoying our new adventure and missing our community in Portland all at the same time. We know that God has brought us here for a reason and we are in the center of his will. It seems no matter what the enemy throws our way, God continues to amaze us and bless us. He is always providing in ways we never could imagine. We know it is going to be a long road ahead of us as slowly settle here but knowing that God is with us makes the journey easier. We are excited for what lies ahead and for what God has in store for the future.

                                             Downtown Seattle from the waterfront

                                             Here's a few pics of our duplex :)

                                            Dining Room

                                             Living Room


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Welcome Baby Audrey

On August 11, 2012, Audrey Elizabeth Labrum became the newest addition to our family. She was born at 1:25am weighing 7lbs 5oz and was 20 inches long.

                                                                Audrey Elizabeth

                                                                  Proud Nana


                                                                      Titi and Audrey

                                                             Landin loves his sister

                                                         Uncle Travis and Aunt Angela

                                                           Grandma and Grandpa

                                                                Wonderful friends

Our Family

So I finally gave in and decided to start a blog of my own. Since we are moving to Seattle, I thought our friends and family would love updates and pics of our family. I usually am not good at keeping things like this updated but I will try to post on a consistent basis. So here's to giving my first blog a try.

                                                                 Our Family