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I have a really nice husband who likes me a lot. We decided to try this experiment of the fastest Home Assignment ever. We took a regular 12-week trip and pared it down to just 4 short weeks. We didn't know if it was a good idea but we agreed we were both willing to try it and assess later whether it was a win or a fail. But in all of that planning and looking closely at days and realizing how few we had, I let Nate know that my dream day that we had missed out on last visit to the US would be t...

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This summer we spent four weeks in the US, connecting with our churches, supporters, friends and family. Chicago was a whirwind of activity from the time we left for the airport til we headed off to our next stop. We stayed with Matt, Tina, Nolan and Siena and were met with giordano's pizza to settle us in for the first night. It was such a gift for them to offer their home, moving Siena out of her bedroom and into theirs, and allowing us to descend with older kids and a busy schedule. Trul...

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We planned a final beach trip as a way to say goodbye to EBB. Nate ended up having a trip to Honduras during this time but Passmores, EBB, Bryan and I rented a penthouse condo together. Bryan was gracious to drive me and the kids down and I enjoyed reconnecting with him after a summer apart while the kids watched movies in the back. He got a good taste of life when Eden started sobbing when Tarzan got too sad. We drifted between work talk, chill moments and then some intensely personal topics. D...

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Our actual anniversary fell on a night when Nate had practice. While he was willing to to skip practice I knew those nights were precious with us about to travel for a month. I told him we'd keep it simple and just share some strawberry shortcake when he got home that night. It was mellow and just lovely, which I think is descriptive of our relationship right now. We aren't perfect but we aren't putting out big fires and we are just quietly enjoying each other.  On Friday night Nate arrange...

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This lady turned 39 in early June! My coworker Bryan asked me to attend an ACSD conference with him at Biola in early June. It sounded interesting and worked with our schedule so I signed on. I got excited when I realized it ended the day before my sister's birthday. I went back and forth about whether I could go fly to her after that or if I asked her to join me if that would be fun or a burden but ultimately went for it and was met with an immediate yes from my sister to join me in. The planni...

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You guys. My kids have a great dad. Spirit Week landed while I was in Southern California at a conference. We didn't find out it was happening til I left so there was no plan ahead time and it all landed to Nate. There was twin day where you picked a classmate and dressed as pairs (Eden was batwoman to Evangelina's batman with a homemade mask by Nate, Canaan was a shepherd to Athena's sheep.) Crazy hair day (a classic), 80's day which most impressed me. I was texting Nate pics of 80's looks that...

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Our neighborhood reinstated their 5K this year and I immediately got excited about seeing if the kids would want to do it. On first pitch Canaan was a definite yes and Eden was an absolute no. Then she changed her mind and then the Passmores joined the fun. Meanwhile after I signed up I started physical therapy and my therapist was adamant that there should be NO running in my future. This race was my last hurrah before stopping. Then a week before the race I cracked/bruised some ribs in volleyb...

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For Mother's Day Nate booked Christine and I a room at Swissotel. We played our traditional volleyball on Saturday afternoon and then headed out with the whole family. We spent a few hours in the pool, splashing with our families before the guys headed off with the kids and we got some alone time. We walked up and down, looking for a new restaurant to try and landed at OM Lounge, that had fusion asian. We were happily surprised with our experience there and had a relaxing dinner. After we headed...

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Another four year tradition is being at the El Refugio cross on Easter morning for a simple worship service. We focus on the resurrection as we look at the crude cross and the beautiful mountains beyond. Most come from home and have their matching Sunday outfits and hot brunch items ready. We come from two days of camping and look a bit more bedraggled. After the service we head down the mountain together for a communal brunch. Afterward we send the kids off into the prayer garden for a chaotic ...

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Our fourth annual camping trip went off without a hitch. We've figured out how to streamline things and were up on the mountain and set up in no time. We tried out some new camp food, with campfire pita pizzas, s'mores ice cream cones, and more. We skipped our usual perimeter hike, we played Dutch Blitz under the canopy while trying to keep our cards from blowing in the wind. The older kids did throwing knives, the little girls couldn't keep their hands off the walkie talkies, and there was hamm...

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