"For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace"

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rio D Braker

Rio D Braker was born on June 21st, 2011. He weighed 8lbs 3oz & was 20.25 inches long. He is a beautiful, perfect little miracle.

I love being an aunt. Don't get me wrong, I hope to be a mother some day, but i'm relishing my days as an aunt as well. I had the AMAZING privilege to be part of this miracle. Jackie asked if I would want to be in the labor & delivery room with her and take pictures of the whole day. I was honored & thrilled!

Day of Birth: At 4:10am we woke up to a text message saying Jay & Jackie were on their way to the hospital & we should head there as well. This was it, Rio was coming! I threw on some clothes, tossed my hair up & grabbed some freshly made coffee (kudos to my hubby for doing that first thing :)) & ran out the door. Haha, thinking back at it, our driving to the hospital was pretty comical. Seth & I drove separately to the hospital so he could go to work in a couple hours. We were convinced that we were going to miss Rio's birth (probably me more than him) so we were darting (eh..speeding) down Knoxville avenue at 4:30 am. We even devised a plan for talking to the police if we got pulled over! But we made it without need to initiate our plan. We parked & ran into the hospital. And I mean ran. We made a mad dash to the labor floor. Breathless we exit the elevator determined to make it in time for Rio's birth. We ran into Mom B & Bets & went to the nearest waiting room....all of us anxiously & excitedly awaiting news from Jay & Jackie. They took a walk and found us in the waiting area & informed us that they were going to walk for about an hour to help dilate some more. Seth then left for work & us girls talked & read magazines while we would look forward to getting updates from Jay on the progression. Eventually they found a room for Jackie & we were all able to be in there with her. Her mom and her sister, Amber, were able to travel over from Taylor to be with her too! Let me just say- she did AMAZING. I was so proud of her- she was very organized, determined, strong, focused, a fighter, and in the midst of it all, still had a smile on! Soon after things all happened in a blur. Labor progressed & she was ready to have this baby! We all gathered to the side of the room- praying, watching, & crying. Jay was an AMAZING coach & teammate for Jackie. All of a sudden.....Rio entered into this world. It was amazing, beautiful, miraculous. What a moment to be a part of- thanks for including us Jay & Jackie :). Below are some pictures of the day:

First family picture!

Sweet Rio, all wrapped up!

The crew- Betsy, Amber, me, Jan, Jackie, Rio, Jay, Mom B

Precious. daddy & his boy.

Aunt Ang's first time holding Rio

Uncle Seth's first time holding rio

I loooove Maggy's face here, so darling. She loved her new little cousin .

Dayne couldn't wait to play with his new buddy. He already started reading him books about tractors!

All the boys with "D" as their middle name

Braker family :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

adam & cori {wedding}.

We just spent an amazing weekend with an amazing couple! Adam Bloom & Cori Hoerr were wed on Saturday, June 18th, 2011. I had the incredible privilege to be a bridesmaid in this beautiful wedding! Their heartbeat is that God would be the center of their lives & their marriage & I can say with full assurance that God was absolutely the center of this wedding & radiates out of this couple's hearts. Words can't express how much I love this girl and now this boy.

Us girls spent the friday before the wedding getting pampered. We started the festivities off with a lunch out at 309....mmmm delish! We had fun just being girls and giggling over the excitement of the wedding & being together! THEN we went next door to Natural Nails & each got a pedicure & manicure to beautify for the wedding. Then we headed back to the hotel to get ready for rehersal.

For rehersal dinner we ate at ONE WORLD...mmmm! It was a sweet night full of laughs, friends, and good memories. The next morning we ate some yumshish breakfast at the hotel & started getting ready :)! Out come the curling irons, rollers, hairspray, eye shadow, etc! We had fun talking & laughing as we got ready & then headed to downtown peoria for the pictures.

The wedding ceremony was beautiful. Full of God and full of love. And two became one. Mr & Mrs Bloom. Adam & Cori Bloom!

We headed to the reception at Dan & Kayla Hoerr's (Cori's Parent's) home. The flowers & decorations were GORGEOUS. The food was OUTSTANDING. The bride & groom were BEAUTIFUL. God was so glorified & provided so abundantly!!

Below are a few of my favorite pictures (I had to narrow down from 300+ pictures)

 Adam & Cori- groom & his bride.

 My benna & me

 Miranda & Curtis- love love them!

 My buddy and me

I absolultely LOVE this picture....I think they are beautiful!! 

Love this one too!!

This is at the hotel before we left to get pictures taken :) 

Their first meeting. It was so sweet & beautiful.

Cori & her parents :)

                                          Cori's holding baby Gia, Dusty & Erin's beautiful little girl!


As you can see, we had an awesome time celebrating with Adam & Cori!
Congratulations Mr & Mrs Bloom :).

Friday, June 10, 2011

our life lately.

I really have been intending to update this for some time now. Also, I do intend to do a much better job once we move- hold me to it! Maybe I'll break this one apart into what's been going on since my last post:

Yes, we are moving to Little Rock ( I know, old news :)). We were originally planning on moving today. However we've pushed our move date to July 8th when we officially become southerners for a year! It's actually one month minus 2 days from right now! We are currently living with our parents and all of our belongings are stuffed in two trailers (generously provided to us to keep our things in until we move!). Time just keeps flying by- right when I think I have toooons of time to do all my projects/see friends/etc, I realize I actually don't & better get moving on my huge to-do list :). However, I must admit that I love having a few lazy days while I can :). Currently we are both still working- seth is working full time with the exception of one day or so a week & I am very part time- usually 1-2 days per week. We are trying to spend as much time as possible with our family & friends before we leave :). We are realizing how much we are going to miss everyone & how blessed we've been to live where we have & close to who we have for our whole lives. We are excited, too, to meet wonderful people in Little Rock.

First of all, God is faithful & good. We've been reminded of that LOTS lately as satan continues to attack us (as previously mentioned in another blog post). God has told us to be open & honest with the hard times. And hard it has been lately. We are realizing just how tricky emotions can be, how stinkin' pride can lead to destruction, how walls are no good, how blame only causes more blame, how arguing can lead to weariness, and how in the midst of all the attacks & the destruction satan is trying to create- God has been refining us in a way we have never known before. We have Jesus fighting for us & during the battle He is molding us to better reflect Him & His love. We are very very very imperfect people who are in need of their Redeemer. Truly honest thought: We often wonder why God is sending us to ministry when we have so much work of our own to do? Honestly, We don't fully understand but God has placed an unwavering peace & confidence in our hearts this is exactly where He wants us for such a time as this. He has grown our desire & passion for FamilyLife's mission so much during the last 6 months. We are much better beginning to understand the battle that wages against the family & the marriage.  It's a powerful & beautiful thing- the family is. So am I trying to wrap this up in a bow? Nope. Honestly- we are crawling sometimes. Sometimes we are running hand in hand. Sometimes we are standing on the uncertain ground.  God is doing some re-modeling right now. But who doesn't love the finished product of a re-model? Something new & fresh & exciting....it's just the process that can be a little nerve-wracking at times :). With all this said- we are so thankful for eachother & to be on the journey together! We are so excited for what is ahead!

Life & everything else:
Below are some pictures of what we have been up to this spring/early summer :)

                              Mother's day- Bets & Maggy :)

 Dayners- what a little stud :)

 Maggy moo- what a sweet heart!

 Mom B & Maggy :)- precious!

 Me, BEBO NORMAN, & Seth. We went to a concent in the chicago area & were able to do a meet & greet with Bebo & Christ August. Also, we had FRONT ROW seats :). He's my favorite musician. God is mightly in his music & his heart. God has healed me & spoken to me alot through his lyrics :).

 This is us & Christ August. He is an awesome musician & great guy!! 

Us, in our front row seats :)!!! 

 Braker girls took a shopping day to chicago and of course ate at PF Changs :)!!

Picture of the hostesses at one of Jackie's baby showers :)

To wrap it up:
Sorry this was such a long post! I'll try not to wait so long next time! To wrap it up- we are moving soon, we love eachother & we love Jesus. We are continuing to walk this journey step by step & hand in hand.

Some of my favorite tunes lately (can't get through a blog post without some new music, right?):
1. What a Savior- Laura Story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSXpFsjSc-4
2. Your Name- Phil Wickham & Paul Baloche http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqCkRl26JbY
3. Faithful God- Laura Story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiTH7NGWzxA

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:37-39)