All The Ways

I started writing this post on May 15th, because by then God had already done some really sweet things for me as we prepared to make the move back to Austin.

About a month ago I was feeling really stressed out about telling two of my neighbors we were planning to move.  I LOVE our next door neighbors, they have been the best neighbors and have really helped us out while Andrew was traveling.  And they have a little girl that is just 6 weeks younger than Ellery so I know we both pictured them growing up together, sleepovers, etc.  My other neighbor is the mom of the little boy I watch one day a week and we absolutely love having him come play once a week and she is the best mama to “work” for.  I knew that by moving that would mean she would have to find other arrangements for him and I hate being the bearer of bad news.  Then one day the three of us were together and the mom of the little boy said, so when do you think you guys will be moving.  I obviously was shocked because I have never mentioned anything, but she put it all together that no one wants to live apart that much and that we have nothing else technically holding us here.  The cat was then out of the bag, and I felt so relieved.

Once I realized the move was going to come so much faster than I was originally planning I started looking into preschools.  We knew where we planned to buy a house and I knew because of that which preschool I wanted to send Ellery to.  I figured it was a long shot that I would be able to get her in there, but I inquired anyway and wouldn’t you know there were 3 spots left for 3 year olds!!!  Then the big God moment came when my friend happened to stop by because she felt she was supposed to and met the director and 4 of the teachers on what happened to be the VERY LAST DAY they would be at the school.  I talked to them and she LOVED the school and the teachers and assured me that it would be the type of place I’d want to send Ellery.  I had chills the whole time she was telling me about her visit and felt very at peace enrolling Ellery there.

I’ve tried to maintain a positive attitude through this whole process, but honestly I never thought we’d move back, nor do I really have much of a desire to leave Peoria.  I was griping to Andrew over text one day while he was on a trip and during our back and forth of me saying something to the effect of is it IF we move and him telling me it was in fact a WHEN we move, I received a message from the pastor’s wife telling me how they were so excited to have us down there.  Ok God, I heard you, I’ll quit making my husband’s life harder than it already is.  We are really excited about joining up with the Vineyard church plant. Grace Vineyard Church.

This section written on July 19, 2015

We sold our house a week ago.  I realized that I am an open book about almost everything, but on things that seem very “touchy” I don’t share with anyone.  People kept asking how our house stuff was going and I would say, “oh yeah we actually sold the house.”  I know that the whole thing is so fragile and if any piece isn’t perfect it can all fall apart and I realize I just don’t want to “jinx” things.  So we get the house inspected on Monday and once all of that is negotiated I will feel like I can tell people.  So here is the story of how we got our house in Austin.

Then planning the actual move….holy moly I was stressed out.  Andrew had a trip planned the week we were supposed to move and my Dad was completely unavailable to help us drive because of some work commitments.  Basically the only plan I could forsee was my mom and I driving the 17+ hours with the two girls by ourselves which sounded like a couple terrible days.  I was panicking/flitting around the kitchen table when Andrew told me to leave the house, come back and he would give me a better plan.  I left, came home, and he had a FANTASTIC plan outlined.  He is coming home a couple days early, driving our van, and I’m flying down with the girls and he is picking us up at the airport.  If that doesn’t sound like it worked out perfectly, it gets even better….my brother was already going to be in Champaign for work so he is flew with me and the girls.  Thank you Lord for all this help!!!!!

Written August 13, 2015

We are completely moved out and officially sold our house.  I am so glad to be done with that chapter, not because I wanted to leave Peoria, but once you know you are leaving it makes you want to just finish.  The movers arrived and I was feeling incredibly unprepared.  For the first 15 minutes of the morning I walked around aimlessly and just wanted to cry.  The first thing I said when they arrived was, “I am so behind where I thought I would be.”  The foreman responded the best way possible,” no worries, we can do this together, if you aren’t done when we get to you we can help you pack, we can do this.”  Thank you Jesus!!!  Seriously felt like a complete God send.  They got our entire house packed onto the teeny tiny truck in 3 hours and 15 minutes.  They also packed it with a foot to spare!  The movers attitudes were so fantastic and put me at ease, I would ask how things were going and they would say, “great!”  They assured me everything would fit and I was really happy when it actually did….seriously the truck looked so tiny.

And my last entry I’m writing on September 12th,  I know a lot of other things have happened between my last writing and this one, but for simplicity sake I’m going to skip some of those good things and go to this one.  A couple weeks after we moved here there was a pretty major shift with Andrew’s job, that showed us why we felt the urgency to move here when we did.  I am not sure how much I’m allowed to say, so I will just say this….God know’s best.

Screenshot 2015-09-12 16.09.56



On August 9, 2015 we “celebrated” our 7th wedding anniversary.  It was quite the celebration, let me tell ya.  We stayed up until Midnight……packing our house.  We moved out of our home in Illinois on August 10th, so our anniversary was a big ole bust.  We decided on our honeymoon we would go on an overnight trip every year for our anniversary, this year that obviously did not happen.  There has been at least one other year that it was a no go due to having a 3 week old baby, but other than that I believe we have taken the weekend to focus on us….this just means anniversary 8 better be a fabulous getaway!!

We met labor day weekend 8 years ago.  Yes for all you mathematicians we did not even KNOW each other a year before we tied the knot.  Lord, thank you for naïveté.  Who thinks tying yourself to someone for the rest of your life at 22 is a good idea, pretty much no one….but for us it’s worked.  Some years have been hard.  Year one was a doozy and year three with pregnant crazy depressed hormonal Laura wasn’t a party, but we are doing it, we are making it, and I’m grateful.  Some years have been great, year 2 I remember with fondness and year 4 as our first year as parents was a great year of trust and teamwork and we arrived at year 5 a changed couple.

In 7 years of marriage we’ve moved 4 times (across the country three of those), bought 3 houses (hopefully we won’t buy our 4th for at least another 7), had 2 beautiful little girls, led and/or hosted 5 small groups, joined 2 church plants, pushed each other to do better, laughed, cried, fought, made up, and bickered nearly every single day.  And through all of it I’m glad we chose each other.  It hasn’t always been fun, it hasn’t always been easy, but it has been constant and with everything else that swirls around in life I have appreciated that so much.

Ellery Letter

To my PRESCHOOLER Ellery Wynn,

I must say of all the milestones of motherhood this one is hitting me the hardest!  You started preschool this week and while you haven’t even flinched at going to class and haven’t questioned it once I’ve been questioning my decision to send you all week.  The preschool is fantastic, the people are loving and the environment is happy.  I however feel like suddenly I’m missing out.  Like you now have a life outside of me (and that’s a really good thing), but it makes me feel a little sad that it’s more than just us in our bubble.  It hit me hard the first time while standing in the office ordering the embroidery on your bag and buying your preschool t-shirt that we are entering a whole new phase of being in structured organized situations.  It just feels like some of our free-spirit lifestyle and lazy days are going to become fewer and farther between.  I have had the absolute privilege to stay home with you almost exclusively for the past 3 years and keep you in this safe positive bubble where you are surrounded only by people who love and care for you.  Rarely have you encountered meanness or feelings of uncertainty.  Unfortunately both of those are realities out in the “real world” and are undoubtedly things you will encounter this year at school.  While I’m pretty sure you would make it VERY known if you didn’t like school, everyday when I ask you what you liked you respond, “I didn’t like ANYTHING!”  So I’m still not sure if you have enjoyed school at all, but you haven’t cried or said anything too negative so I will just chalk it up to you hearing your cousin say that about school.  Despite your best efforts to convince me you are having a terrible time, I’m told you really enjoy the playground and are already making some friends.  We are getting into the routine of getting up and out the door and I’m so excited to watch you grow this year as I’m giving you your wings after planting your roots for the last 3 years.  You are a shining star and I’m praying everyday that you are bringing that light into your classroom and bringing the Kingdom of God with you every where you go.  I adore you!

Love you forever,



10 Month Letter

To Our Vaughnie Vaughn Emerson,

We, Mommy and Daddy, do not call you Vaughnie, but Ellery frequently does and I love that she has a nick name for you.  She also says, “Vaughnie Vaughn Vaughn Vaughn Vaughn” a lot and I have caught myself saying that a time of two.  I feel like this past month hasn’t brought a whole lot of changes.  You still sleep the same, are cruising around the furniture constantly, climbing the stairs, are into everything and still love food A LOT.  The huge change this month for our family was, we moved to Austin, TX.  I am happy to report that you have transitioned beautifully.  From the very first night you have acted like nothing has changed.  I am still pushing hard for you to say Mama, we get a lot of Dada (in fact when we ask you to say Mama you respond with Dada which is really funny) and we are pretty sure you say “Earl” to Uncle Kevin’s dog, but Mama—no such luck.  This is not to say you don’t “talk” constantly.  People comment frequently about how verbal you are, we love to listen to you squeal and happy scream.  You have become very much done with nursing, but I’m pushing you to make it to 12 months, you basically climb me like a jungle gym the entire time you are trying to eat, and while you might find this really fun, I am very much over it.  You are such a big admirer of your sister, I love watching you two together and I can tell you are looking for her when she is not around.  Your biggest likes are: your family, all foods, Earl, cords (yikes), and anything your sister is playing with at the moment.  Your biggest dislike: flying on airplanes-you pretty much scream the entire time.  Otherwise you are just about the most congenial baby I have every met.  We enjoy you so incredibly much and I can’t imagine our family without you.

Love you forever,