Monday, September 26, 2011


the last two days i have been emotional/sensitive/dramatic/whatever. i am not sure what brought it on, exactly, but on saturday night i had a couple pretty bad dreams. when i have bad dreams, it always has something to do with someone leaving me. so when i woke up i was just a little off. peter and i went to the 9:30 service together at church and it was exactly what i needed! the worship music was exactly that, worship. the sermon was straight from God's word and there was a really great time of prayer during the service too. it was really encouraging and got me ready to volunteer with the middle schoolers in the 2nd service. i told peter about how i was feeling over lunch. i have realized things go much better if i express what i am feeling/thinking sooner rather than later. we had a good talk and he was super encouraging to me. the day started out a little rough, but ended up being great. time with peter, hanging out with middle schoolers, and a nap were all great! before falling asleep last night, i spent time thinking about Charlotte, looking at her stuff (which is by my bed right now), and thanking God for the time that i did have with her. God helped me find a way to choose half full rather than half empty! :) this thought (which i saw on pinterest) kept coming to mind too.

today, i didnt wake up emotional, but there was an "incident" that kinda hurt my feelings. i dont think that i want to go into it...however i did talk to peter about it. he understands why i feel the way that i do, but he was more than kind enough to tell me not to let it bother me. this type of thing has very rarely happened, so i took it hard...he told me not to take it personally because of the previous statement. i know this all sounds kind of strange and doesnt make sense...sorry! anyway. all of that was put into perspective tonight. i got a call from mom about a horrible tragedy in the lives of some dear family friends. all that i was thinking and feeling today was pretty much made null and void in comparison. again, i can not share all the details here, but please be praying for these friends. i was quickly reminded of how blessed i am, how loved i am, and how much i love my family and friends. 

God is good all the time, and all the time God is good. 

here are two songs from worship this weekend that were encouraging to me..hope they are the same for you!!

blessings, ALo

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Lulu


i wish i was there to help your family celebrate your first birthday! i wish, more than anything, that you were here to celebrate too! i bet that you are having the most spectacular birthday cake in heaven today. i hope that you and Charlotte are playing games and enjoying this day together.

please pray with me today for my sweet friend, cami. i can not imagine all the emotions that she is feeling today! my prayer, which i texted to her this morning, is that her day is full of joy not sadness; hope not fear; thankfulness not regret. please pray for cami's hubby and four older children as they also grieve and celebrate at the same time. today, the snyder family is celebrating by going to the hospital and doctors' offices that helped care for Lulu...taking treats to celebrate and thank you notes (like the picture above). what an amazing gift in honor of their sweet little girl. please pray that this will be an encouraging time, rather than a time of anxiety!

i love you, cami! praying for you!!

blessings, ALo

Thursday, September 15, 2011

More Than Coincidence

i have been offered a job! i was offered the job before i even moved down here! this is so much more than a coincidence and i just have to share might get a little wordy, because i am so excited about it, so forgive me...or dont read it...whatever! :)

in january 2005, i had i just graduated from college (december) and started a job as an intern at far hills community church in dayton with the youth department. i worked specifically for the middle school pastor, jason, as well as helping out when needed for the high school events. jason and i always had so much fun together...he quickly taught me that middle schoolers arent all that bad if you just reach them where they are at. so, yes, lots of fun! but jason also knows how to communicate with the middle schoolers to get them to understand God's movement in their lives...he doesnt take the Bible and"water it down" but makes it applicable for their lives right now. i was in charge of games, announcements, the "bulletin", helping coordinate events, and everyday admin work. i was also a small group leader, which i loved!! i worked as an intern until the end of may and was then asked to join full time staff the first of june. i was so excited!! that summer jason, a few volunteer leaders, and myself lead a group of the middle schoolers on a missions trip to a christian camp in southern ohio to do a work project. i will never forget playing a night game (towards the end of the week) and completely wiping out on some wet grass. i came down hard on my tailbone, which i had previously injured a few times, and threw my back out! i had to be moved to a separate cabin without stairs...jason and one of the other male leaders had to carry me up the hill...i was more than embarrassed!! by the end of the summer, there was some shady stuff going on and not long after shady stuff caused the church to split. by october i was working at an eye doctors office and at the end of the year, jason and his family took a new position at a big church in tennessee.

fast forward to the middle of august (this year, like last month!). i saw on facebook that jason and jacqueline and their 2 kids were moving to houston. i asked him what was up...where in houston (mind you houston is the 4th largest city in the nation right now) etc. i never thought that he would say northwest houston (where we are wanting to be), but he did. the following monday jason called me and filled me in on what was going on (it had been not quite 5 years since we had talked besides the occasional facebook stalk) and all about the church that he was joining. we talked for almost an hour and at the end he was jokingly telling me that i needed to come work for him. i said "sure, sure, whatever!" well, i did some research on the church and wasnt able to fine anything i didnt like. i think that i was secretly hoping i would, because this was just a little crazy! jason called me back the night before we were leaving for jamaica to for real offer me a job. "aimee, come work for me. i got the green light and the money to pay you!" what??!!!??? nobody there has met me and i have not seen you in five years!! i didnt say that, but it was what i was thinking!! what i did say, after hearing the details, is that i would pray about it, talk with peter and see him (jason) when we got there the next week. jason and his family moved to houston on saturday (9/3) and i was there tuesday (9/4). on wednesday i met jason, jacqueline and the kids for lunch and then went to their house to chat. the more i heard about the job, the more excited i got! on thursday i met jason at the church to look around and meet a few other members of the staff. to say that everyone was welcoming and encouraging is an understatement. jason knew that me taking the job was going to be contingent on whether or not peter and i liked the church as a place for us to grow. saturday night we went to a service and really enjoyed it! even though community of faith is a very large church, we felt very welcomed! it reminded me a lot of my time as an intern at first baptist church naples in florida. the worship at CoF was contemporary without feeling like i was going to a concert or that the band was there just for entertainment. the pastor started a new series and this week was about forgiveness (kind of perfect for sept. 11). he did not stand up at the pulpit and pretend like he was above all of us. he actually sat and talked like we were sitting in his living room, talking about something he struggles with on a certain level. i left very encouraged! i went back sunday morning to watch jason in action and to get a feel for the middle schoolers. again, by the end of the morning, i could see jason was going to be the perfect fit for this middle school ministry.

so, long story short, i am taking the job! :) i am not going to officially accept the offer for a few weeks, but i will be doing everything that jason has asked of me in the job description on a volunteer basis. peter and i just want to make sure that it is not too much for me and that this is going to be a good fit for our family before we make it official. i have been burned twice while being on staff of a ministry and we are just being a little cautious! :) however, i am beyond excited to being going back into ministry! i have been praying for the last several months to be given an opportunity to get involved. thats how we know that this is more than just a coincidence! God is obviously working here! jason needs an assistant (that will not be my title, but we are still working on that) and i wanted to be involved with youth again. again, not that i needed any confirmation that we should be in texas, but this is just amazing...i keep saying it...more than a coincidence!

i am praying that God will use me where i am at to help some of these teen where they are at! i am praying that the details are just right for what peter and i need for our family! i am praising God for this amazing opportunity to be back in ministry and in ministry with friends who i trust!

i am so blessed!


Verse 3:
When Christ shall come,
With shouts of acclamation,
And take me home,
What joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow
In humble adoration
And there proclaim,
"My God, how great Thou art!" 

blessings, ALo

ps. remember that embarrassing story about my back? well, i went to CoF today to help put together some new furniture. jason and i were working on putting together some IKEA stuff (by the way, that can be so annoying...their directions are ridiculous) and it was really warm. jason was literally dripping sweat onto me. i said "well, its a good thing we are friends and didnt just meet this week!" its still gross though...and if he were a normal person he might have been a little embarrassed...good thing he isnt! :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

So Different

a year ago today, peter and i found out we were pregnant! i had come home from work and taken the test while peter was out for a bike ride. the test immediately came back positive and i was so excited!! i wrapped up the positive test in tissue paper, put it inside of a hair color box, and wrapped the box with more tissue paper...quick planning! peter called me as i was finishing up the wrapping and asked if i would come get him from the bike path...he had gotten a flat tire on his bike that he could not repair. i wanted so badly to tell him on the ride home, but knew i should wait. i told him to hurry up and go change his clothes so that we could go to dinner. we had already planned a date night to our favorite local mexican place. after changing, i told him i had a gift for he was unwrapping it he was totally clueless, he had no idea i had even taken a test! once he got to the second wrapping of tissue, he asked if i got him a new pen...i laughed and said "no, keep going!" as he unwrapped the test he looked at me, figured out what it meant and then got this HUGE grin on his face. i wish i would have had my camera was PRICELESS!!! at one point over dinner, while we were planning on how to tell our families and making big plans for a nursery and different names we liked, we joked about how excited we were over a pee stick and how much that urine test was going to change our lives. we had no idea!!!

i took another test this week. it was negative. i was so sad and super dissapointed. i still am...but today i am more pissed because i have stinkin' cramps. i have been thinking a lot about how many things are different than they were a year ago. some for the better, some for the worse, and some just different. i had to stop counting how many different people announced that they were pregnant in the last week. here is the deal...i am excited for them! i DO NOT want other people's lives to be put on hold! i just wish i was looking forward to having another baby not cramps! all in God's time...i know. i have just needed more help reminding myself of that this week. thanks, mom and lisa, for hearing me out and then giving me a kick in the butt!

here are a few pics from the beginning last time...i didnt blog about our pregnancy until we had gotten bad news, so i wanted to share them now...we were so excited. i still get so excited thinking about all of it. i will always love my baby girl and these pictures will always be precious to me!!

not even a question!

right after dinner, the day we found out!

this is how we told our extended family in october...
"guess who is adding a pumpkin to their patch"

"we are! babyLo is due in May!"

If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ... Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:31-39

blessings, ALo

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 years ago...

...changed our family, like every other american family, forever! i will never forget where i was when the "news" of 9/11/01 happened. cedarville was still on quarters, so unlike all my friends from high school, i had a few more days at home before leaving for college. that morning, i was still in bed when my mom woke me up to tell me that "something happened in new york, come watch the tv while i take your siblings to school. let me know what happens." i came down and sat in front of the tv totally stunned, then watched as the next plane plowed into the world trade center. i will never forget calling my mom totally freaked out re-capping what i had been watching! as a family, we were prayerful and concerned for those affected. it became a little more real, when 4 days later, mom and i were in the chapel at cedarville...we met a father of a fellow freshman who had a brother in new york that they had yet to hear from. i remember kneeling there with so many others, praying for God's peace for this family and so many others who were looking for loved ones in the chaos.

during that same week, our family was going through our own tradgedy. events that rocked us forever. being away from home while there was so much going on in and around our family was miserable. i wanted to "be there" for my family and cedarville felt so far away. that was the first time that i was not ok with going away to school. God became a very real and constant force in my life for the first time. both 9/11 and this family crisis pushed me to understand, truely, that evil is a very real thing and only God can help pull us together to get through it. without His constant guidance through the turmoil, we would all be in a world of hurt!!

in september 2001, my brother (jonathan) was in 11th grade. if he had been just a little older he would have immediately left school and joined the armed servcies. jonathan had always wanted to be a soldier (i can not even tell you how many of my barbies were shot down by his army men!) and the attack on our country 10 years ago sealed the deal for him. right after graduating from high school, he went on to boot camp and basic training and eventually on to serve 2 tours (one in iraq and one in afghanistan) with the 101st airborne division of the army...he was a screaming eagle!! i am so proud of my brother for his courage and bravery, especially during war time. he gladly signed up, with so many other fine men and women, to proudly serve and protect our country's freedom from terrorism. while our family prayed and worried constantly for his safety, we all knew he was right he should be and was trained to be...on the front lines fighting for us! by God's grace, he came home each time...a true hero!!!

the events that happened 10 years ago rocked my world in more ways than one, but i am so grateful to be living in a country that is proud to defend who we are! i am so grateful for the men and women, like jonathan, who have sacrificed so much for this country. may we never forget all that has brought us to where we are! God bless america!!

i pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the united states of america, and to the republic, for which it stands: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Amen.

at jonathan's "turning blue" ceremony. ft. benning grorgia

just before shipping out for tour #1. pictured with beal, his best friend! they did boot camp, basic training, both tours and blackwater together!!

2nd tour, on patrol.

2nd tour, the little dog they found on patrol.
this still brings tears to my eyes...welcome home, paco!!! jonathan with his family!

blessings, ALo

Thursday, September 8, 2011

No problem, Mon!

oh, did me right!! for real, this was one of the best and most needed adult vacations!! to say that we had a great time would be an understatement!! first, i need to thank my mom for making this possible! she not only financially made it possible, but she babysat kayla and carter so that jonathan and whit could come along (my bro and sis-in-law). THANKS, MOM!!!! second, a big shout out to kira, our travel agent!! she was super helpful and answered all my silly questions at the most random times! :) she got us an awesome upgrade on our room at no extra charge! if you looking to plan a trip email her!!! :)

ok, so our trip started last thursday early morning am! peter and i flew out of dayton, oh to baltimore where we met up with paco (aka jonathan) and whit. we all then went on to montego bay together. we landed just before 11 am (jamaica time, they are an hour behind...kinda weird). we got through customs with no problems, got the luggage, exchanged some money (we felt pretty rich...$1US = $74JAM) and headed to our bus for transport to the resort. we all thought we were being punk'd after getting on the bus...we were told the ride would be an hour and a half long...what??? i was expecting to be sitting by the pool sippin a pina colada by 1!! not a joke. for real, this was the only bummer of the whole trip. and in the end it really wasnt that big of a fact on the bus ride back on monday we watched the classic jamaican movie, "cool runnings". ok, when we did get to the resort, checked in and got a little settled and then headed down to the pool and beach area. that was it...i was in heaven! two amazing pools (both with swim up bars), all the food you could want (including a made to order pizza place) and amazing beachfront with a breeze looking into the crystal clear turquoise waters! we honestly did not do anything special outside of snorkeling the entire time we were there, which was perfect!! we all got plenty of sun, ate plenty of food, and had a fantastic time! by the end of the trip, we were all planning our next get away! even paco, who is very hard to please, was ready to book for next year!!! the jewel (an all inclusive adult only resort) was awesome!! it was sooooooooooo clean, not overcrowded (partly because it is a smaller resort), the most friendly staff, etc. i literally could go on and on. please...check it out! i just told my dad, i have always liked cruises because everything is right there and easy...well i will never go on another cruise if i can go to the jewel. it was all the perks of a cruise, plus more and much bigger rooms and no sea sickness!! my favorite was being able to get up early and sit either on my balcony overlooking the ocean or go down to the beach for my time with beautiful! i also spent saturday morning on the beach, thinking about Charlotte, looking at her pics, and knowing that her view must be a thousand times better than what i was seeing right then! so, after 5 amazing days of alone time with peter (so thankful for that!!) and lots of laughs between the four of us (plus 106 photos!!!) it was time to go. i could have definitely stayed a few more days, but we all left in great moods! paco and whit were ready to see the kids and puppy and peter and i were ready to start our adventure in texas. we all got back without any travel glitches (not so lucky for some guy who got kicked off his USAirways flight...we saw him ranting while waiting for our flight...sounded like he was not cooperating with the inflight staff before take off, so they hauled him back to the gate and kicked him off. good for them!!!) after getting in late monday night to dayton, peter and i flew out of columbus on tuesday to head to texas. big thanks to my friend, morgan, for being an airport shuttle and providing a place to are awesome!!! 

all in all, absolutely NO COMPLAINTS about our time and experiences in jamaica! we went during "hurricane season" but did not have a single drop of rain!!! we saw a sweet lightening storm, never anything else! this was a trip that all four of us needed!! wish i was there today, doing my devotions on the beach rather than inhaling the scent of smoke from the texas fires i had this morning...please be praying for that!!

here are a few pics...i will post most of the rest on facebook later pics from my last dinner with friends in ohio. no comments either about how many times i have worn the navy dress this summer either...its comfy!! :)

me and paco the first day!

me and whit on our way to dinner on the pier

getting ready to go snorkeling!

surprise dessert brought to our room one good!

last full day by the beach

whit and paco (so burnt) enjoying the pool

last night at dinner

one last pic on the beach before going to the airport.

blessings, ALo

ps. i will have you know, i am the only one that did not get SCORCHED in the sun. sadly, the rest of the group did not come with a base tan...and the salt water while snorkeling did them in. i know you ware probably looking at the pics saying, "she is totally burnt, look at her!" no, that is me tan, i promise...well, red, but never painful...indian tan??!!?? :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A little behind

so...i am usually a little behind on cool up and coming artists/music because i usually just listen to stuff that i already have or that some one gives me or that we are singing in church. well, a few posts back i posted a link about carter and the music in the background quickly drew me in. i had heard of the band "gungor" a while back, but did not keep up with the latest stuff, but now i keep replaying a few of the songs on their "beautiful things" album. if you are not familiar with their stuff, CHECK THEM OUT!!! the above video is from a live recording for relevant, so the sounds is a little different than on the CD, but still great! 

"Ironically, most of the music is not directly about caring for the poor and ministering to widows and orphans. Instead, much of the album addresses the spiritual journey and the understanding of God that happens when we do these acts. Like many before him, Gungor has had to fight off feelings of disillusionment when he’s tried to love the unlovable and gotten no love in return. 'Sometimes it feels like the love just turns to dust,' Gungor admits. 'This album is an expression of hope that God will make beautiful things out of the dust in our lives, that God will somehow use us, use our obedience and love, our feeble human effort, and build Himself a kingdom.' Gungor has captured this hope with sparse, poetic words." an excerpt from the band's website

hope you check them out and find something encouraging!!

blessings, ALo

ps. we are in texas...our jamaica trip was amazing and all our travels went super smoothly...that will be its own post after i have time to upload all my pics!!! sometime this week...promise! quick prayer request...i am looking at our #1 choice for a house here in houston, tomorrow at 10am, then i am going to meet with two long time friends about a job opportunity for me...update on all of that later too! :) thanks, friends!!