Category Archives: Family

Happy Father’s Day!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Father’s Day!
I’m dedicating this post to my dad and my father-in-law.
We love you both very much!!



We have community group tonight so we celebrated last night instead. On the way home, Matt picked Matador for dinner. He had mentioned getting ice cream afterward, but I had planned a little surprise happy hour for him so I told him that I wanted to take him to get a beer first. A lot of our friends were there and some of the guys Matt worked with! I think he was at least a little surprised. We headed over to a famous homemade ice cream shop that we hadn’t been to yet and finished the night off with a game of Settlers of Catan – Cities and Knights (an early bday gift!).

Since Matt is turning 25, I thought it would be appropriate to tell you 25 things about him. In no particular order…

The 25 list

1. Matt was born in Turlock, CA and has lived in 5 states (California, Virginia, Texas, Tennessee, and Washington).

2. He is the oldest of 6 siblings. They all have names beginning with “M” – Matt, Mackenzie, Merrick, Maclendon, Mallory, and Maclean. I love them all!!

3. Matt might be one of the most joy-filled, high energy people you meet. He goes non-stop until bedtime – every day – and then immediately falls asleep after insisting that he isn’t tired. He is also a morning person and wakes up as if he’s already had 2 cups of coffee in bed. I wish I could say the same for myself… 🙂

4. He is passionate about church planting and loves the local church. This is one of the first things that drew us together. I was taking a membership class at my church in DC and asked a question afterward. The pastor later mentioned it to Matt. I don’t really know if that had anything to do with him introducing himself to me or not. Soon after we met, and I was 100% sure I wanted to encourage him as he moved across the country one month after we met to work for Acts 29.

5. He’s really good at making up songs. Especially in the morning while he showers. Some of them are pretty impressive. Others are ridiculous. I have a few on video!

6. He has the best smile! Ok, I might be biased….but seriously, what a hunk, right??

7. Brewing beer gives him great joy. It makes a huge mess in the kitchen, but I actually enjoy the smell and I really like watching and learning him do something he loves. He creates his own recipes and always tries something new.

8. He loves food! This is great for me for a couple reasons: (1) he loves taking me out and (2) he compliments my cooking no matter how simple/elaborate and good/terrible it is.

9. His dream job is to be a video game developer. I have to admit that I used to HATE video games. I still don’t really like them but have learned to appreciate the ‘art’ in them. He has a huge collection and has recently been into Diablo 3 (it just came out a couple weeks ago). He says it’s the best game he’s ever played!

10. Matt also loves to play board games. We usually have a game night with friends at least once a week. He got Settlers of Catan Cities and Knights for his birthday. And we already played it last night (I let him open it a day early)! We are talking serious excitement here folks.

11. I memorized Proverbs 3:5-6 as a little girl in Sunday school. Matt loves the Lord with his entire being and exemplifies this probably more than any man I’ve met. He challenges and encourages me daily to do the same.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways kacknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

12. He’s one of the most generous people I know…with time, money, and service.

13.  Matt is a natural protector. He will be a great dad (for more reasons than this)!

14. His pockets are always full. He keeps the following on his person every day: flashlight, knife, pocket bible, pen, wallet, usually gum and probably several random things too.

15. Matt loves to shop! Well, really he only likes to shop if we’re shopping for him. I think he would buy everything from Jcrew every season if he could.

16. He eats ice cream almost every night. Cookies and cream and cookie dough are his favorites. In fact, to celebrate his birthday last night, he ordered 3 (huge) scoops of homemade ice cream from Molly Moons.

17. Matt wants a German Shepard. Names of choice inlcude: Ruger, Gunner (he wanted this for a baby, but I think it’s a dog name), Springfield, Colt…anybody see a theme?

18. Matt has two favorite restaurants (1) La Hacienda in Dallas, TX and (2) Mama’s Fish House in Maui. We went to the second on our honeymoon, and I hope he takes me to the first some day!

19. He loves to dance!! On our first date, a new Brittney Spears song came on in the car and Matt, his roommate Matt, and his now-wife Rebekah started dancing to it. I was so embarrased and just sat there for the entire song. This is funny if you know me because I grew up dancing and am known for ridiculous dance parties with my sisters… We played the song at our wedding as the dance floor opener.

20. He loves movies. Specifically trilogies. I do not. But the first few months of marriage, we managed to get through all 6 of the Star Wars movies (in about 1 hour increments. I hadn’t seen any of them prior to this. Lord of the Rings is up next.)

21. Matt is a people person. Ok…if you know him this is no surprise. He seriously knows thousands of people – all over the country!

22. Twenty-five years ago, Matt’s mom and dad were putting his crib together when they left for the hospital! Nancy tells Matt the story every year, and he says it’s one of the only things he likes about his birthday.

23. His middle name is Arnold, after his great-grandfather. I didn’t realize how much he loves his name until he started begging to name our first son Arnold.

24. I texted Matt for a random fact that I can share publicly. He gave me three, but here is the best: When I was 11, I was constipated for a month. My mom told me they would stick a water balloon up my butt if I didn’t start pooping…I pooped.

25. Finally, Matt is the perfect husband for me. He loves me and leads better and better every day. He knows me intimately. He takes me on adventures. He makes me laugh. He encourages me, comforts me, and challenges me. He prays with me, for me, and for my friends. He wants what is best for me. He is always there for me. He compliments me. He listens to me and also teaches me. He gives me a practical picture of Christ’s love. I love you so much, Matt! Happy birthday!!

Thanks to all who took the time to read my ramblings about my husband :). I hope you learned something about him!

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Big News

Hi everybody! Matt is posting today with some big news about our family.

Some of you might have heard that I was laid off back in April. So, I have been on the job hunt for the better part of the last 40 days. By God’s grace, I was offered a job in Nashville, TN Friday! I will be assuming the role of IT Auditor at HealthSpring, a Medicare Advantage provider that was recently bought by Cigna.

With the baby on the way, we wanted to find somewhere to settle down and also be closer to family while still also in a city. Nashville seemed like a great fit. When we went to Indiana for Eloise’s graduation, we actually flew through Nashville to explore different neighborhoods and scope out some apartments. Lauren felt right at home as soon as we landed, as the Tennessee culture is a little more comparable to Indiana than Seattle is.

Lauren and I are also excited because we will be near my sister and brother-in-law! In fact, we plan on moving to the same apartment complex as them. This will be great, especially with Mackenzie anxiously awaiting becoming an Aunt in October. 

So, we are packing up this week and will hit the road on Tuesday the 29th. We are going to take the northern route through Montana and South Dakota. Lauren has never seen Mt. Rushmore so we will be taking a brief detour in Rapid City. Then, we are going to head to Iowa for a day to stay with my grandparents on their farm. Finally, we will go through St. Louis and pull into Nashville on Monday.

Be praying for us as this is an extraordinary time for our family! It will stretch our marriage, give us stories to tell our little girl, and most of all, teach Lauren that road trips ARE fun. 

That’s right, I have never taken a road trip. Riding in the car puts me to sleep. (…like sleeping 8 of the 13 hours our family drives down to Florida every year.) In fact, my mom told me that she would sometimes take me for a short drive as a baby to get me to fall asleep. We are both looking forward to the trip though. I’m bringing along a couple books, and Matt is prepared to make lots of stops along the way for stretching and bathroom breaks to keep both me and baby girl comfortable :). Pray that we have a safe trip! 2,496 miles is a LONG way!

Happy Mother’s Day!


Mom and her girls

Mom, I love you so much!! Thank you for your constant love, encouragement, and selflessness over the years. You are such an inspiration, and having you as my mom makes me excited to become a mom. I hope you had a very special day!

This year Matt and I got to spend Mother’s Day with his family. We went to church this morning, had brunch at 5 Spot, drove to Kerry Park for some sunshine and a nice view, and relaxed the rest of the day.

The ladies of my second family
My eyes are pretty much closed…Kenzie, if you send me your version I’ll replace it!

It’s still Mother’s Day on the West Coast, so Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mom’s out there!