Sunday, May 31, 2009

Introduction: Timeline

Well, here goes nothing.

I decided to start my journey into blogging by showing you a timeline of important events in my life. Many of these events are boring, some are exciting, but ALL are important. I would not be the person I am today without these landmarks. I warn you...this could get long!

November 11, 1985~ My birthday.
June 1, 1991~ My Dad and Julie get married in Woodhull, IL.
June 10, 1991~ I go to Christian Women's Club with my grandma. After, we sit at her counter, and I ask her about Jesus. She explains to me that He was perfect, but chose to die on the cross for all mankind's sins. She says that because of Him, anyone who wants to can spend eternity in Heaven. I accept His invitation.
July 21, 1992~ My brother Dylan is born in Moline, IL.
October 8, 1993~ My brother Caleb is born in Moline, IL.
February 25, 1994~ My Mom and Jim get married (in a blizzard!), and I gain two sisters--Lyndsay and Kayla.
1994-1995 School Year~ I meet Nick at church. I meet Whitney at school.
March 4, 1997~ My sister Grace is born in Galesburg, IL and spends a week in the NICU at St.Francis in Peoria. This is my first real taste of fear for my loved ones.
September 1997~ I am awakened to the news that my grandfather has passed away. This is my first close experience with death.
December 5, 1997~ My brother Noah is born at 36 weeks in Moline, IL and is tiny, but fine.
June 22, 1998~ My brother Jamie is born in Galesburg, IL.
Summer 1999~ My family relocates to Fairmont, MN. I begin being homeschooled. These prove to be the most challenging and rewarding endeavors my family has ever undertaken. We come to know many great friends. While in Minnesota, I begin emailing back and forth with Nick. At one point during a visit to Illinois from Minnesota, I tell my mom that I'd like to marry a man like Nick some day. She smiles and says, "He seems free." My mom claims to have known Nick and I would end up together FAR before either he or I knew it.
July 24, 2001~ My sister Hannah is born during a circus in Fairmont, MN. I forget to steal a circus poster for my mom. I will spend the rest of my life being reminded of my forgetfulness.
April 3, 2002~ My sister Sarah is born in Moline, IL.
December 16, 2002~ My brother Daniel is born in Fairmont, MN. Meanwhile, my dad is granted a phone interview with a radio station in Coal Valley, IL.
December 26, 2002~ We get a call from Illinois that my grandma is very sick and in the ICU at St.Francis in Peoria. I am told to pack funeral clothes "in case of a water landing."
December 28(?), 2002~ My grandmother passes away surrounded by many family and friends. We all cry and pray. Seeing my dad and big, manly uncles crying is worse than anything.
January 2003~ My grandma's funeral proves to be heart-wrenching. However, after a tiny amount of begging, Nick chooses to skip school and attend the funeral. This solidifies my budding feelings for him even further.
February 25, 2003~ My family and I move back to Illinois--to a house next door to my grandma. Leaving Minnesota proves to be almost as hard as leaving Illinois was 4 short years ago. We attend our old church again. Being in such close proximity to Nick all the time makes it extremely difficult to wait until he gets the "memo."
Summer 2003~ Thanks to some creative finageling by my sister Kayla, Nick and I teach a class together at VBS. The little church ladies enjoy looking out the kitchen window at us and giggling. We also go to the Cornerstone Christian music festival in Bushnell, IL together, along with other youth group members. I continue to realize how in love with him I am (despite the fanny pack!).
September 2003~ I take Grace to the Prime Beef Festival in Monmouth, IL to listen to Nick sing with the Ecumenical Singers. We walk around and talk. I bribe Grace to get her to be quiet in the car when Nick says he wants to talk to me about something. He proceeds to tell me that "people talk," and he's beginning to listen. He says that he thinks people over-use the word "awesome," and it should be only used for something that is truly awe-inspiring. He tells me he thinks I'm awesome. (Cheesy, but cute, right?) We decide to take some time to pray about pursuing a relationship, as neither of us are big fans of modern-day dating. I'm on cloud nine as I drive a very sleepy Grace home.
October 4, 2003~ Nick comes to my house to talk to me and my parents about a possible relationship. We talk until the wee hours of the morning, when my parents insist that it's time for bed.
October 5, 2003~ Nick tells me he's all in! I am happier than I have ever been in my life.
October 6, 2003~ I get a gut-wrenching email from Nick stating he's having a bit of cold feet about the decisions he's made all of a sudden. Little do I know that by the time he had finished writing the email, he had recieved "the memo." I get to the bottom of the email, tears rolling down my face, and I see that he has turned a corner, and is--for sure this time!-- all in! We chat online and we exchange our first "I Love You"s. (Just so you know, we consider October 5th our dateiversary.) We catch some flack from some of those near and dear to us about our decisions, but we know we have the Lord's blessing, so we don't care.
December 2003~ We go on a youth group trip to Pigeon Forge, TN. We talk about the future, and many jokes are made about stopping at one of the plethora wedding chapels. We find out while on the trip that I have been accepted to a college in Ohio that Nick has also been accepted to. We both later decide to go a different route.
2004-2005~ We lose many family members in a few short month's time. My great aunt Grace passes away in April of 2004; Nick's grandfather in May of 2004; my great-grandpa in June of 2004; my great-grandma in June of 2005. We grow close as a family through these trials.
May 2004~ I graduate from high school (although I have taken college classes exclusively since my junior year.) Nick graduates from high school.
August 2004~ Nick starts Monmouth College. I continue at the local community college to get my general education requirements for my nursing degree out of the way.
September 2004~ My family and I relocate to Rozetta, IL(a mere 20 minutes away), where my dad becomes the pastor of a small Baptist church.
January 19, 2005~ My sister Mary is born in Moline, IL.
May 14, 2005~ Nick proposes...I accept.
August 2005~ I move to Andover, IL to live with my Dad, step-mom and siblings while I attend nursing school in Rock Island, IL at Trinity College of Nursing. In October, I get a job at the Handicapped Development Center in Davenport, IA. Nick and I become proficient at a semi-long-distance relationship. Meanwhile, my mom and dad attain their foster care license.
October 2005~ My mom and dad get a foster placement (who they will later adopt). Six-week-old Mercy is placed with them due to drug exposure.
May 2006~ I move to the house next to my grandma's with my new kitten, Lily. Nick will join me when we get married.
September 2006~ I'm planning a wedding and in my second year of nursing school. My mom and dad recieve a second foster placement--Mercy's little brother Sam, who is 3 days old. Nick's grandmother also passes away this month.
December 16, 2006~ Nick and I get married! The wedding is beautiful and we get many compliments. Nick and I finish finals by the skin of our teeth (Nick even takes one the morning of the wedding!). We go to the Twin Cities, MN for our honeymoon the week after Christmas. We have a blast.
March 2007~ We suffer an early miscarriage. We are heart-broken, but we lean on God and our family, who is able to get us through.
May 16, 2007~ I graduate nursing school!
June 4, 2007~ I start my job at St.Mary Medical Center in Galesburg, IL in the OB department. I start out wanting to be a midwife, but soon learn I love the nursery.
March 23, 2008~ My sister, Kayla, has a baby. Jayla makes a wonderful addition to our family. I get the joy of spending time with her at work the night after she is born.
May 2008~ Nick graduates from Monmouth College. He has a 3.98(ish) GPA and gets to wear a bunch of colorful cords.
Summer 2008~ We go on a mission trip to Joseph City, AZ, where we spend a week working at an orphanage on an Indian Reservation. We also spend a day at the Grand Canyon, where I learn that people really can spend all day looking at a big whole in the ground, and I should have dressed accordingly. We also decide to start the process to become foster parents.
Fall 2008~ We take our PRIDE classes for our foster license. We have the home studies, get the physicals, fill out the questionairres, etc.
January 2009~ We recieve our foster license in the mail. We get a couple of calls for kids, but we have to say no for one reason or another.
January 30, 2009~ Asher is placed with us (although is known as Travis at this time). He comes from a history of abuse.
February 24, 2009~ My parents FINALLY adopt Mercy and Sam! We find out after the adoption that Asher's biological parents are thinking of surrendering their parental rights. This comes as a surprise, but we are pleased.
March 11, 2009~ Asher's biological mother signs a specific surrender stating that only Nick and I are allowed to adopt Asher. His father doesn't show up to court.
April 15, 2009~ Asher's father finally shows up to court to sign his surrender. Asher is now up for adoption. We can't start on the process until he's been with us for 6 months, however. The social worker hopes to get it done by the end of the year.
May 29, 2009~ I decide to start a blog!