Going into the third year of our marriage, we had major changes that were only a few months away. Six to be exact. We celebrated our second anniversary in China, and our first anniversary at Reno Dance Sensation, which made the expectations for this year very high. Thankfully, each anniversary doesn’t have to top the previous one by how far we travel, but how far God has taken us from the moment we said, “I do.”
After coming back from China, we both had 10-year high school reunions to look forward to. I had the pleasure of working with some of my classmates, who I hadn’t seen in ten years, to organize the reunion. I dare say that people have not changed very much—some had families, some had changed several careers—but it seemed to me that many have stayed the same. We all had grown up a bit but each person’s essence was instantly recognizable.
Jenni volunteered as English teacher for the Korean church at Beaverton Foursquare as an opportunity to use her teaching skills. I’m glad there was a place for her to use what she had prepared to do as a career. I remember going to the classroom at the end of her lesson and happily watched as Jenni helped someone learn English so they could thrive in America.
Rachel, one of Jenni’s closest friends, had a baby and we visited her in Montana. I was saving up vacation days for my eventual paternity leave, so Jenni flew before me to spend an extra few days in Montana. We invaded their home and I got to know Rachel, Brian, her three sons, Luke, Jesse, and Stephen, and their newborn daughter, Naomi.
The Jones family took us out to see mountain ranges, played Lego Star Wars, and we experienced our first drive-in theater watching the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
Shortly after returning from Montana, we visited Oysterville with Clark, Mary, Bobby, Jack, and Tiffany. We had heard of Tiffany from Jack, and we were glad to have met her. She is our new architect friend who I’ve enjoyed asking about egress and door handle designs. She shares many similar interests as Jennilyn (trombone player, Muppet fan, Harry Potter fan) and they got along great.
So great, that they both went to the Harry Potter book 7 launch party at Powell’s books. I tagged along to experience the celebratory decorations and activities. The crew at the bookstore were very creative in their decorations and activities.
The monumental moment in our third year was the arrival of our first child. She is a beautiful baby girl we named Kadence, meaning one who has rhythm. Her birth had some minor complications, but both Jenni and Kadie came through strong. I wasn’t quite sure what to feel, act, or think, except that we had a new life placed in our care.
In December, God gave us an opportunity to reflect on His provisions and goodness. Beaverton Foursquare Church asked us to share our testimony as part of their Christmas celebration centered on the theme, The Hidden Gift.
We were delighted to get to know Pastor Steve Mitchell as he interviewed and mentored us before we were up on the pulpit. Looking back at how God saved me and brought Jennilyn and I together reminded us of the promises we made to God and to each other.
One unexpected area God had continued to open up was photography. It started as one small photo job for a coworker’s friend’s daughter’s second birthday party, but now we’ve been hired off-and-on for a variety of photography projects, including family portraits and weddings. Jenni and I have really enjoyed working as a team; she is great at helping people smile and be at ease while I work on the technical details of getting “the money shot.”
I’ve been learning a lot about lighting and flash photography through books and web sites. While we started with more event photojournalism, we have moved into portrait photography—especially since we were taking portraits of Kadence quite a bit.
In looking ahead to our fourth year, we have new milestones from God. We are searching for a house to call our home. So far, we’ve put in one low-bid offer, but it was rejected. So we are excited to see what the Lord has prepared for us within our means.
See a slideshow of moments from our third year.
Song used: You Are Good by Point of Grace.
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