Saturday, December 12, 2009

Aside: Meet our neices and nephews

As the story goes, my parents were living happily with their 3 daughters.  Liz was 12, Emily 10, and Kate 9.  They were anxiously awaiting the graduation of their three girls from elementary school to junior high.  Their sights were set on the day when the girls would learn to drive and they would practically be home free.  Yes, dreams of early retirement in Destin--days filled with golf, tennis, and baking in the sun occupied their thoughts.  The good life was not far from atainment.  When....dum dum dum.  They got the news.  Sara Lynn, age 42, was pregnant with a bouncing baby girl....ME.  "The caboose", "The woopsie baby", "the surprise"...only a few of the names by which I have been called.  Nonetheless, they took a deep breath, and started chapter 2 with just one more girl.
I grew absolute joy and blessing to all who knew me!  (Just kidding...spoken by a true "baby child", right?)  My sisters went on to college at Ole Miss.  There, Liz met her husband Brett. They have now been married about 12 years and have 3 blonde kids (8, 6, 4).  Emily met Paul there and 10 years later they have 3 kids as well (6, 4, 3).  Kate is single and has an amazing personal ministry in Birmingham and through frequent mission trips to spanish speaking countries in South America.
There is actually a point to this lengthy aside about my family tree.  I just had to show these adorable pictures of the six little ones taken earlier this week!  I thought I'd give a little background as to why it is exactly that at age 23 & 25 we have 6 nieces and nephews!

 (from left:  Beau G., Banks L., Bess L., Amelia G., Maddie G., Fox L.)

As a bonus, here's a few pics of the whole family from our wedding...

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Preface: Married Life

Let's see, where did I last leave off?
Oh...we got married!
Yes, Chris and I had a blissful wedding July of 2008.  Only slightly short of blissful was our first month of marriage.  You see, well, we were homeless.

There's a backstory here.  As of 7 days before our marriage Chris and I were planning to live in a fabulous 1900's home in the historic and prestigious Pinehurst neighborhood of Tuscaloosa, AL.  (The house was shaped like a hexagon...super cool.) Are we rolling in dough?...of course not.  We had a friend of a friend who had a house she couldn't sell and so she offered us to rent it for a very modest rate until it sold...which she assured us may not happen for a while.  The house was empty during our engagement so we started moving our belongings in about two months before our wedding.  We were so excited about the house and our new life together that we got everything as ready as we could.  Like...down to the glade plug-ins, soap in the soap dish, toilet paper on the catch my drift.

During the weeks before our wedding, Chris had been having second thoughts about continuing his career with Campus Crusade in Tuscaloosa.  He wondered if God was calling him to leave the ranks of vocational ministry and join the business world and have a personal ministry there.  He talked to a friend of his that had a business in Birmingham he was interested in.  As it turned out, they were hiring.  They offered Chris a job on Monday before our wedding.  That same Monday night our landlord-to-be in Tuscaloosa called and said "I'm so sorry, but I've sold the house.  You've got to get your things out this week."  Chris and I knew when we decided to rent this house there was a possibility this might happen, but never dreamed it would happen before we even moved in!  I always had a strange intuition that we would never actually live in that house, and I told Chris this several times.  So the week before our wedding, when we trudged from Birmingham over to Tuscaloosa, packed up all of our things in one afternoon (with the help of some of the dear families from Trinity Church) and stored everything in a friend's basement.
We decided to enjoy our wedding week, and to try not to worry about what we would do and where we would live until after the wedding.
We had a fabulous honeymoon.  (See happy lovebird pictures from previous post)
We decided to leave Campus Crusade and Chris took the job with South Cypress Floors.  He started work right away and I began looking for a job in Birmingham.
We spent one...and ONLY ONE night with my parents.  Being in my childhood bedroom really killed the newlywed romance.  We house-sat one week for the Gregorys (my sister Emily's family), then house-sat another week for a mansion in Mtn. Brook with no TV or comfortable couch.  Then finally we landed at a place that feels very familiar now (more to come in a future post)...The Landgren Family Basement (my sister's liz's family).  We spent two weeks there.  You must understand that the Landgrens have three children who were 8,5, & 3 at the time.  These kids are wild.  Photo to the right is the youngest Landgren child, and a great example of the wildness.  He is referred to as "Crunch" on my sister's blog ThisFunkyJunky.  We love them to death and love playing with them.  But forget you not, we were only two weeks married so it's a strange turn of events to be living with 3 small children who want to wrestle and play hide and go seek all the time!
Finally, we moved into a two bedroom apartment at Mayfair Apartments somewhere around our 1 month anniversary.  We loved Mayfair and we recommend it, by the way.
We had a great first year of marriage.  It wasn't always easy, because any newlywed knows there are a lot of adjustments that come with marriage.  Nonetheless, we have loved being married so far.  More to come in the next post.

Here are some pictures from our apartment.  It's nothing too exciting, but we did our best to make it feel like home!

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Preface: Meet the Walkers

Hello to our readers all over the U.S.  Greetings to our readers in Kenya, India, Tibet, and Malaysia!  Just kidding, let's be honest....Hi to our moms!

I'm Sara.  I'll be the narrator of this experiment.  I know this for a fact because writing is "painful" for my husband, Chris. We're the Walkers.

How did we meet, you say?
Well, I'll tell you.  Chris and I met at the University of Alabama.  Chris is from Greenville, MS and I am from Birmingham, AL.

You wanna know all the details?  Okay, fine...
 I was a freshman and he was a senior.  We had mutual friends and were both involved in Campus Crusade for Christ.  We had mutual respect for each other but didn't notice each other romantically until after he graduated December of his fifth year, and I was a sophomore.  The truth is, up until this point he had a really nerdy haircut so I never considered him.  He never considered me because I wa

s "weird".  You see it is crucial to know that when Chris and I met, he was rather preppy and a redeemed frat-star.  Though I was in a sorority, I resisted the culture and scoffed at the ways of fraternity boys.  I am a dancer, and my freshman year was probably the height of my self-expression.  This involved wearing skirts over jeans, multi-colored socks with stilettos, hoodies- with the hood on my head, over-alls...I think you catch the drift.  Thus, I thought Chris was a prep and he thought I was weird.  It's only the natural order of things.
Nonetheless, we became friends.  I always looked up to him.  He was the guy my friends and I would call for directions or to change a tire---cause he's just that kinda guy.  He was a student leader in Campus Crusade (Campus Crusade is a Christian college ministry that can be found at most campuses in the U.S. and around the world).  He was the perfect guy, except that nerdy haircut.  Anyway, so we got to be good friends and then bonded over a Campus Crusade Christmas Conference in Atlanta.  God flipped some sort of switch, and we began to like each other.  He asked me on a date shortly after.  We started dating, and I quickly began cutting his hair myself...restoring him to his hottie-potential.

He started wearing cooler jeans and vintage t-shirts, I stopped wearing skirts over my jeans and even experimented with a pair of tempo shorts.  Let's just say we met in the middle on the major issues (just kidding) and fell in love.  

Then I moved to Los Angeles...
We had been dating about 6 months before I moved to Los Angeles.  I told him on our first date that I would probably be moving to L.A. that summer, but he didn't believe me.  He thought he could charm me into staying.  When, actually he charmed me into going!  I had aspirations of moving to L.A. to dance professionally since the ninth grade.  I never dreamed some frat guy from the U. of A. would stand in the way of that!  So when I realized I liked this, I might even want to marry him, I figured I better go fulfill my dreams now, while I still can.  So I moved to Los Angeles.  We continued dating while I was there.

Every few months he would ask me to move home.  Finally I concurred and began to make arrangements to move home in August 1 year after my arrival date.  After all the arrangements were in place, our relationship began to be on the rocks.  Yikes!  I was giving up my dream and we might not even make it!  How can I go back to life in Tuscaloosa now!  He flew to L.A. to help me pack, then we flew to Colorado where he had been for the summer and we got in his car to drive home.  I cried the whole way home.  It was miserable!  I know God had to have a good plan for us, but I couldn't imagine it!
Well after that, the Lord just sorta worked things out.  We got along great once I was back in Tuscaloosa.  We knew we had done the right thing and we knew we wanted to get married.  Tah-dah!  We were engaged 3 months later November 6th...or wait was it the 8th?  Hmm.

We were engaged for 7 months... 
I was in my senior year at Bama, and Chris was on staff with Campus Crusade at UA.  We did pre-marital counseling with our pastor from Trinity PCA Church in Tuscaloosa and his wife.  They are amazing and God blessed our time!  We had to work through some tough issues, but we highly recommend counseling!  In addition to our counseling we read and skimmed books like:  Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts, For Women Only & For Men Only, Intended for Pleasure, and Sheet Music.  

We got married in July of 2008!   
We got married at my parents church in Birmingham, Alabama.  Yipee!

Photos by Cary Norton
(full album here)
We went on our honeymoon in Playa del Carmen, Mexico at the El Dorado Royale resort.  We highly recommend it.  And we highly recommend choosing a resort that is adults only and all-inclusive.

We now live happily in my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama.  I work as a free lance photo stylist for magazines like PORTICO and flower magazine, I work at a clothing store, and I teach dance.  Chris works for South Cypress, an online flooring company.  More to come....

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